As some of you may, or may not, know, in addition to my duties here at SLR Lounge, I also work a few hours a week at my local camera store here in Oregon. Yesterday afternoon we received our first shipment of the new Canon 50mm F/1.8 STM, and I was able to open one up to get some quick initial impressions.

New Canon 50mm STM

A photo posted by Anthony Thurston (@anthonythurston) on

First off, it does not feel like as much of an upgrade in build quality as I was expecting. The plastic body still feels really cheap – though it is a definite improvement over the previous model. This sort of explains why they were able to keep the price point the same.

The focus ring, specifically, is a HUGE improvement over the old model. It is amazing how moving the ring back a few mm can make such a difference. Manually focusing the lens is sooooo much nicer than the previous model.

I did not get to shoot with the lens a ton, other than a few test shots which were not worth sharing here, but I can say that the lens focuses quickly and accurately. A welcome upgrade in my book. Also, in my preliminary testing, it compares well against the Sigma 50mm F/1.4 and the Canon 50mm f/1.2 at F/1.8.

We will have a full review of the new 50mm F/1.8 STM coming soon. But suffice to say, if you are a Canon shooter, for $125, this lens NEEDS to be in your kit. Even if you already have a 50mm, and especially if you have the old 50mm F/1.8.

You can get your Canon 50mm F/1.8 STM over at B&H now for just $125. The lens is now shipping, so depending on what sort of shipping you choose, you could have yours as soon as tomorrow!