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New Canon 50mm 1.8 Leak? Or Is It A Closer Match For the 1.4?

By Kishore Sawh on April 4th 2015


Definitive? Doubtable. Debatable? Definitely. But there are still things about rumors, and this lens rumor in particular tickles in the right places, excites, and springs hope. Total greenhorns and seasoned pros alike all know their kit isn’t complete without a 50mm focal length, and as such, nifty fifties have become a staple. It’s that lens that makes newbies feel like pros, and pros feel like…something or other good.

Of those, the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II is arguably the most popular, and recently there has been a challenger to the throne by shape of Yongnuo, which has been getting a lot of press given its bottom of the barrel price. A newer Canon 50mm 1.8 has been creeping around the rumor mill for some time now, and the image above seems as though it could be that new lens.


It’s a low-res file that Photo Rumors received from an unnamed source, but all indicators apparently point to this being the upcoming Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 IS STM.

From what we can deduce from this picture, it certainly appears to be of significantly better build quality than the one it would replace. As well as it performed, the current 50 1.8, I’ve always thought felt cheap, and looked it. I never liked the focus ring and that seems to be the glaring improvement on this ‘newer’ version.


[REWIND: Canon vs Yongnuo 50mm f1.8 | Tony & Chelsea Northrup]

Worth noticing too, and this could just be the image, but the front element of the lens appears significantly different, larger, than what would be the predecessor. This actually is more akin to what is found on the EF 50mm f/1.4 USM. So it begs the question, is this actually the 1.8, or is this more set to replace the 1.4, which it appears would be a better fit. Because if it does replace the 1.8, I’d assume the price point will not stay the same, and that, in the face of challengers, is probably not something Canon is going to do.

Time will tell.

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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. Matthew Saville

    Unfortunately, this looks like it could just be a photoshopped hack job of the new-ish Canon 24mm and 28mm f/2.8 IS lenses.

    However, it looks different enough that it could indeed be a new 50. The lack of a focus window, and the inclusion of IS, does lead one to believe that it will be an f/1.8 lens. It does look a tiny bit bigger than either of the existing non-L 50’s, but that’s probably just the IS.

    Either way, it’ll be a great lens if they can keep the cost down like they have been doing for their existing STM lineup. Put it at ~$200 and they have a winner.

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    • adam sanford

      Matt, my vote (and many others at CR) is that it’s a photoshop job. Besides my prior comments, it looks like a mashup of the 24/28 IS lenses and portions of the recent pancakes (towards the mount).

      Again a 50 f/1.8 STM is a hammerlock to occur, but (a) we have no guidance it will have IS and (b) there’s a pretty healthy debate whether it will be a ‘standard’ form-factor lens like the current 50 f/1.8 II or if it will be a pancake. My money’s on the former, as this is an inexpensive ‘gateway lens’ that should vaguely resemble it’s more expensive bigger brothers for a host of reasons.

      But $149-199 is a really safe bet for this lens. Manufacturing volumes will be high and keeping this lens cheap is an investment in creating more future big-ticket lens buyers.

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  2. J. Dennis Thomas

    I hate the term “nifty fifty”. It makes me want to hurt people for some reason…

    Also on the list are:
    plastic fantastic
    “tog” in its many incarnations
    (streettog, concerttog, musictog,)

    Icould probably come up with a dozen more, but I’m getting irritable.


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  3. adam sanford

    Looks about right, but most of the CR faithful are indicating this is a fake. The biggest tell is the ’50’ for two reasons — Canon writes ‘mm’ next to focal lengths, and (more damningly) the 50 above is the old skinny font type which hasn’t been used for years.

    Let’s be clear, a new 50 f/1.8 STM (nifty fifty) is coming and a new 50 f/nooneknows IS USM is coming to replace the 50 f/1.4 USM. I’ll get excited when Digicame or PhotoRumors gets actual marketing shots.

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  4. Trey Mortensen

    Canon seems to be going the way of the smaller-aperture-but-add-IS method of lens designs lately. I’m personally not a fan of those. I’d rather take the larger aperture. But I have heard good things about those lenses from those who did buy them. So based on their recent history, it will probably be a 1.8 IS aimed to replace the cheap 1.4. Maybe they’ll come out with a mid-grade 1.4 underneath their 1.2. One could only hope…

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  5. Jerry Jackson

    I suspect that if this image is legit then it will indeed be a f/1.8 lens and the optical design was changed (with a larger front element) to accommodate the IS hardware inside the lens and still keep it relatively small while still being a full-frame lens.

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  6. Paddy McDougall

    The nifty fifty is dead long live the nifty fifty. My guess it will be 1.8. Canon will initially put a premium on it stating this and that STM, better autofocus and glass, blah blah then it will come down in price. I own the 10-18 stm and really like it as it is light for travel and the quality of pics are great for a £200 lens so looking forward to the new 50mm stm.

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