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Gear Rumors

Canon 50mm F/1.8 STM Coming Within The Month?

By Anthony Thurston on March 9th 2015

The rumors have been coming in for a while now that Canon could be updating their 50mm F/1.8 with an STM AF motor and an updated optical design. This move makes sense for Canon, considering their current design has been cloned by Yongnuo.


According to a recent rumor report over on Canon Rumors, the new Canon design may be coming down the pipe sooner than initially thought. The report claims that production on the new Canon 50mm F/1.8 STM has already started, and that the official announcement will happen in either late March or early April, with availability shortly thereafter.

As I already mentioned, it makes sense for Canon to update their 50mm lens as soon as possible. Not only is the current design of subpar build quality compared to others on the market, but it is also one of the older lens designs in their lineup. Its AF motor is comically loud as well ~ all great reasons to update the lens as soon as possible.

The interesting thing about this new STM version, will be the price. The current model sells for between $100 and $150 depending on your location and current deals, I don’t think there is any way the new model sells for any less than $200, so right off the bat, you are looking at a minimum $50-$100 price increase on a lens that has always been a staple as “the first lens you buy after your kit lens.”


The Canon 50mm f/1.4 retails for $350, so if I had to guess, a price on the new F/1.8 would be between $200 and $250. This gives the F/1.4 a $100-$150 buffer, while getting Canon a few extra $$ in the pocket without encroaching on the F/1.4 model.

What are your thoughts on this 50mm F/1.8 STM rumor? Would you welcome a new 50mm F/1.8 from Canon? What are your thoughts on price? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

 [via Canon Rumors]

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  2. Jeff Morrison

    Another nifty 50….

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  3. Graham Curran

    Won’t somebody get rid of these spammers?

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  4. Michael Burnham

    My guess would be $199.95 street price to be in-line with the Canon 40MM F/2.8 STM. Of course it may be $229.95 or Canon may done the 40MM price down to $179.95 to keep some separation between them. As long as it has faster, quieter AF and 7-9 bladed circular aperture (current has just 5 straight blades) I don’t mind paying more.

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  5. Matthew Saville

    The mid range (and the LOW range!) needs to be upgraded, desperately. Nikon has gone from 20mm to 85mm with killer, super sharp f/1.8 G primes that are all well-built, sharp as heck, and hey they even have a rear mount gasket! Anyone who shrugs off this shortcoming on Canon’s part is fooling themselves. Lenses like these are an essential part of all companies’ overall lineups, even though they’re cheap and unexciting.

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    • Daniel Lee

      That’s probably the one area of Nikon that would make me consider switching. Even Sony have great offerings like the 55mm f1.8 but Canon are definitely lacking in this department. Canon lenses like the 100L IS and 35mm f2 IS show so much potential for future primes yet newer lenses get updates instead of much needed older designs. In terms of sales Canon is at the top (at least for the past few years they have been), but they’re going to struggle to maintain that if they don’t focus on all areas.

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    • adam sanford

      Dead on as always, Matthew. Of Canon’s non-L primes from the 90s, they have done the modernization/IS refresh for only 3 of them: 24 f/2.8 IS, 28 f2.8 IS (own and love!), and 35 f/2 IS. So the following Canon non-L non-T/S primes are just getting older: 20 f/2.8, 28 f/1.8, 50 f/1.4, 50 f/2.8 Macro, 85 f/1.8, 100 f/2, and 100 f/2.8 macro (non-L).

      Of all of those, I’d peg the 50 f/1.4 being in far higher demand than the rest, but I also see a large number folks asking for the 85 f/1.8 to be updated.

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  6. Daniel Lee

    Personally I’m disappointed by this rumor. I much rather an update to the 85mm f1.8 and 50mm f1.4 that has equal quality to the 35 F2 IS. I’m sure this STM lens will still be popular, but I’ve been waiting for an 85 1.8 update for a long time!

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    • adam sanford

      Agree 100%. The midrange needs the updates.

      Given the clustering of the 24/28/35 IS refreshes, everyone expected the 50 and 85 to get the same treatment shortly thereafter. No such luck. Both are about 20 year old lenses, so Canon can’t wait forever there.

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  7. William Emmett

    I hope the STM version will not be a total “plastic fantastic” as the old lens was known. The original if it failed, and sent back to Canon was just replaced, not fixed. My 50mm came with my 50D back when it was new. I’ve not had a problem with it, but I really never used it.

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    • adam sanford

      The original nifty fifty was a hot mess. Other than it being sharp when you stop it down, name any other lens issue and it was present — poor build quality, chromatic aberrations, painful bokeh, soft corners, slow AF, noisy AF, extending front element with focusing that would let dirt/dust in, etc. In short, you’d use it from f/2.8 to about f/8 and hope your subject wasn’t moving. But we endured it because it was such a marvelous price.

      But in past years, Canon has greatly upped the game on lower-end lenses with better build quality, better focus performance, and sharper IQ. I cite the two recent pancakes as strong endorsements that you can have an inexpensive lens deliver 8 out of 10 images even when shooting wide open. Here’s hoping that trend continues with the next nifty fifty.

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  8. Anders Madsen

    I think the most interesting features will be the quality of the bokeh and the sharpness/price ratio – the current f/1.8 is more like a f/2.5 or thereabout unless you really like that soft, dreamy look.

    It’s a great lens in the studio at f/5.6 on a crop sensor for portraits, but it’s not that fantastic for the wide open, delicious bokeh type of shots – it’s soft and the bokeh is very busy, especially in the foreground.

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  9. Rafael Steffen

    No big deal just renewing older lenses.

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  10. Vince Arredondo

    A move that all saw coming…

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  11. adam sanford

    This will be a nifty fifty replacement, and there is a rumor going about that it *might* be a pancake, but as this is the ‘gateway prime’ to get you to want to buy more primes I am not buying into it.

    Glad you posted the EF 50 f/1.4 USM as well. THAT is the lens everyone and their mother is screaming to have refreshed. Give it the old ’24/28/35 IS refresh makeover’ and you can take my money. The current 50 F1.4 is already sharper than the 50L at the apertures I shoot — I just need it modernized to have reliable + fast USM focusing and I’m good to go. I’ve been waiting for that one for quite some time.

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    • Nick DiGiallonardo

      ‘Gateway prime’, that’s good haha! I honestly haven’t heard that term before but it’s catchy.

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    • adam sanford

      Deep down, even though Canon is doing well with their recent pancakes, I have to believe the new 50 f/1.8 STM will have some kind of small barrel and traditional-ish focus ring to it.

      Don’t get me wrong, it still might be focus by wire like the pancakes are, but I think it will *feel* like a small normal prime in the hands. That will help sell nicer primes to those same folks later, because the ergonomics will be similar but the build and features will be much better. (If they didn’t do this, I say shenanigans, as jumping from a pancake to a softball sized L prime will feel like moving to a different country.)

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  12. James O

    I’m tired of all of these low quality STM lenses. I hope that this is going to be a trend.

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    • adam sanford

      For most EF-S and budget EF glass, we should get used to STM (and likely welcome it). It’s better than the prior non-USM focus motors for certain. It’s also smoother and quieter for video work.

      But if you are a dedicated stills shooter (and that’s all I shoot), it’s USM or bust. USM trounces STM for focus speed — it’s not remotely close. So I’ll wait for that 50 f/1.4 to be remade and skip this 50 f/1.8 STM altogether.

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