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Gear & Apps

Canon 50mm Service Announcement | Focus Problem & Free Repair

By Kishore Sawh on August 30th 2017

Everyone’s got a 50mm lens and if you’re a Canon shooter there’s a decent chance you’ve got a Canon EF 50mm F1.4 USM given its remarkable price of $350-$400. However, should you have one such take heed of this notice as Canon has issued a service announcement for specific serial numbers of this particular lens.

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The problem is described as follows:

“While in AF or MF mode, when the focus position is moved from the infinity end to the close-up end, the focus operation stops near the area shown in the dotted circle below.”

This is a strange development to come to light at this point given the model has been around for a long time, is so popular, that you’d figure all quirks were already addressed. Nonetheless, even if your unit hasn’t been affected yet it’s a good thing to check on, and here’s how to see if your unit qualifies.

If the first four digits from the left in the serial number on the lens body are “4918”, “5018”, “5118”, “5218”, “5318”, or “5418” then you may be affected and can send the lens into Canon for free inspection, and if a repair is required it will also be handled free of charge.

See the full notice here and below:

Service Notice: EF 50mm f/1.4 USM 

Thank you for using Canon products.

We have determined that some EF50mm f/1.4 USM lenses exhibit a focus operation-related malfunction. The details of the phenomenon and Canon’s service policy are described below.

We would like to offer our sincere apologies to users who have been inconvenienced by this issue. Going forward, we will spare no effort in our quality management to make sure our customers can use our products with confidence.


While in AF or MF mode, when the focus position is moved from the infinity end to the close-up end, the focus operation stops near the area shown in the dotted circle below.

Possibly Affected Products

If the first four digits (from the left) in the serial number on the lens body (see image below) are “4918”, “5018”, “5118”, “5218”, “5318”, or “5418” then your lens may possibly be affected.


Potentially affected products will be inspected and if necessary repaired free of charge.  If you own one of the potentially affected products please contact our Customer Support Center.

When preparing your lens for inspection please be sure to attach the lens cap and the dust cap to the lens.

If you have not already done so, please register your Canon Product. By registering, we will be able to notify you via email about future announcements.

This information is for residents of the United States and its five territories only. If you do not reside in the USA or its five territories, please contact the Canon Customer Support Center in your region.

Thank you,
Customer Support Operations
Canon U.S.A., Inc

Contact Information for Inquiries
Canon Customer Support Center
Phone: 1-800-OK-CANON
TDD: 1-866-251-3752
Support options and hours of operation:


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A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Daria Ratliff

    Hello, I have a 50mm 1.2, and canon charged $900 to repair the autofocus… nah…  I then decided to look around. I know this article is about the 1.4, however I’m wondering if anyone would take the challenge and try to repair it mine. Or maybe you know of someone who can do this job. I know you can buy the parts. I am not even looking for anything for free, just wanted to have my most beautiful lens fixed without braking the bank…

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  3. Allan Morris

    That’s just great, a few years back I sent in my 50mm lens because of an issue with near object focusing problem, I remember thinking, what the hell happened to my lens, I’ve never dropped it or knocked it against anything. That repair cost me $90 to get sorted. So if my lens meets the serial numbers can I get my money back if I show them my receipt.

    When sigma came out with their 50mm art lens, I was very tempted to get it and ditch the Canon plastic crap, there is no way I’ll send in the canon 50mm for service again at 1/3 cost of a new lens, canon should be ashamed of themselves for the cost of service on gear

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  4. adam sanford

    #1 lens to replace/update with a bullet — and
    it’s not close.  How Canon does not have a sharp across the frame 50
    prime is embarrassing for a company of its size.  Forget Ferrari-like
    f/1.2L lenses that and ‘great sharpness per dollar’ lenses like the 50
    f/1.8 STM, Canon needs a workhorse all-battlefield 50 prime that offers:

    Image Stabilization

    Sharp across the frame

    Fast/modern/accurate/consistent ring USM
    Full time manual mechanical focusing

    Internal focusing — no protruding bits to take damage

    A relatively modest form factor (compared to the Sigma/Otus pickle jars)

    In short, we need an EF 50 f/1.4 IS USM just like the 24/28/35 IS lenses.

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  5. Richard Olender

    US Customers only….what about us poor Canadians?  Also I don’t see a serial number on my lens

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    • Joshua Herd

      The number on my two 50mm lenses were hard to see. Take a flashlight and shine it on the gray part of the lens  shown on the picture in the article and move the lens around. It is on there just hard to see.

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    • Boudewijn Kegels

      Yeah, canadians are poor. Almost as poor as Europeans. Here, with an avg income of 358€/month, a 5DIV of €4129 is suddenly very pricy, esp. in the light of the D850 (or in its shadow)

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