Ancient Manual Focus Canon Lens Sharper than Newest?

by Hugh BrownstoneLeave a Comment

Well, sometimes: in this test, Canon’s FD 50mm f/1.8 center sharpness wide-open betters that of the brand new Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM [B&H | Amazon], though the STM is nominally better in the corners – and both are significantly better than the last generation EF 50mm f/1.8 II.

To be fair: Breakthrough Photography also finds that chromatic aberration and lens flare on the STM are very well controlled, and considers this latest version superior in every way to the lens it replaces.

And, of course, the old FD lens doesn’t offer autofocus.

On the other hand, the FD is 45 years old.

I’m not sure if this says more about the old lens or the new lens, but I also know that while the STM is much quieter than the outgoing 50mm f/1.8 II, it still isn’t nearly as quiet as the Sony E 50mm f/1.8 OSS [B&H | Amazon] sitting on my Sony a6000 [B&H | Amazon].

Still, if you’re a Canon person looking to move beyond the kit zoom, this new STM with its shallow depth of field will make a wonderful addition, especially on APS-C cameras like the Rebels.

Canon 50mm 1.8 STM Review plus 8GB+ RAW images

Via Breakthrough Photography:

As you can see from the Canon 50mm 1.8 STM image gallery, critically sharp images are possible with AF, and with MF with a little work.

Even long exposure shots with a X3 ND and a couple Singh-Ray GNDs look clean and sharp. Colors didn’t hold that well, but the sharpness at the center looks great.

Click Image to View Full Size

Click Image to View Full Size | Photo Credit: Breakthrough Photography

Details resolve critically sharp as would be expected from F4 to F8, with a gradual softening of details between F16 – F22.

Click Image to view Full Size

Click Image to view Full Size | Photo Credit: Breakthrough Photography

Read full article at Breakthrough Photography “Canon 50mm 1.8 STM Review”

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)

Hugh Brownstone

Hugh is the founder of Three Blind Men and An Elephant Productions. He and the team write, direct, shoot, score, and edit web-centric films; conduct photo shoots; and write copy, white papers and blog posts. Hugh also writes screenplays (he recently optioned a TV pilot) and just published his first eBook (Apple's iPhone: The Next Video Revolution). If it's about telling stories, it's in their wheelhouse.

And always with the ambition of authenticity, humanity and wit.
Hugh Brownstone

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