New Workshop! Lighting 3 | Advanced Off Camera Flash

Gear & Apps

Canon vs Yongnuo 50mm f1.8 | Tony & Chelsea Northrup

By Kishore Sawh on March 15th 2015


It is THAT lens. It’s that piece of equipment everyone owns, and makes beginners feel like they’re getting somewhere. Really though, a fast 50mm prime is a staple in any photographer’s kit, and well deserved. Phenomenally for us all, nifty 50’s tend to be very inexpensive, with both Nikon and Canon’s coming in around a little less than $150, making them about the best deal in photography.

At that price point, it’s hard to imagine, given the cost of camera gear on a whole, that we would consider a lesser lens to save a few dollars. But what if that lesser lens wasn’t lesser at all other than in price? Yongnuo not too long ago released a 50mm 1.8 rival to the uber popular Canon version, and initial reports were that it was just as good as the Canon with a savings of $60.

tony-chelsea-northrup-canon-yongnuo-50mm-nifty-fifty-photography-slrlounge-4 tony-chelsea-northrup-canon-yongnuo-50mm-nifty-fifty-photography-slrlounge-2

So, to get to the bottom of this, Tony & Chelsea Northrup get them both in studio and test them out, looking particularly at sharpness, vignetting, color, and chromatic aberration, but they also give insight into the less spoken about aspects of the lens, such as which is the louder of the two.

The results, were perhaps all at once surprising, and not. Being the first autofocusing lens from Yongnuo, it doesn’t seem surprising that it needs a bit of work, but there are actual benefits to the Yongnuo over the Canon. I won’t spoil it all for you, and the video is short and worth your time. In 5 minutes, you could decide if you can save $60…or not.

[REWIND: Yongnuo at It Again, Selling Clones of Canon 50mm f/1.8]

For more from Tony and Chelsea, tune in to their YouTube channel.

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, however, this does not impact accuracy or integrity of our content.

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

Please or register to post a comment.

  1. Francisco Hernandez

    I’d definitely want to pick up one of the Yongnuo lens. Looks like a great lens.

    | |
  2. Vince Arredondo

    I think Yongnuo has always improved over iterations. I want to see what they will bring next. Pretty sure they will develop a nice contestant mid term future.

    | |
  3. Jerry Jackson

    The Northrups do a good job with their various product testing on YouTube. I agree that this lens doesn’t make much sense unless you simply can’t afford to spend a few extra bucks on Canon’s “Fantastic Plastic” lens. That said, I’m happy to see more companies making autofocus lenses and I hope Yongnuo makes some autofocus lenses (with better quality) for the Sony FE mount.

    | |
    • Graham Curran

      You don’t make a lot of money trying to undercut a dollar/pound/euro store. Most hobbyist photographers that can afford a decent SLR in the first place are lusting after wide-aperture, long telephotos or enormous wide-angles for which they could never justify the outlay of a top marque for the amount of use it might get. Something like the Rokinon/Samyang 8mm and 14mm lenses which offer affordable alternatives to Canon and Nikon are where they should be aiming.

      | |
  4. Brian Stalter

    Based on what I saw, the lens isn’t worth the savings in money. $60-70 savings isn’t worth the drop in quality of glass.

    | |