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Canon upgrades its 50mm f1.8 prime with STM technology and more

The company adds this consumer-grade staple to its handful of lenses optimized for its latest Rebels and dSLRs with Dual-Pixel CMOS sensors.


On the heels of the availability of its latest consumer models, the T6i (750D) and T6s (760D) , Canon introduces a new lens to its small family of STM lenses. Sporting significant upgrades over its older EF 50mm f1.8 II -- this year is its 25th anniversary! -- the EF 50mm f1.8 STM still comes in at the same extremely budget-friendly $126 as its predecessor (likely £90, AU$170).

While 50mm f1.8 lenses in general tend to be solid but not spectacular, they're also excellent value for anyone seeking a portrait lens for a full-frame camera, or a portrait or medium telephoto for an APS-C -- the lens is equivalent to 80mm on the latter. And primes are almost universally better than zooms at the equivalent focal length.

Canon updates the lens with its STM (stepper motor) technology for optimized autofocus and quieter drive when shooting video with many of its latest consumer dSLRs, as well as a metal mount, better lens coatings, a rounder aperture (seven blades vs. five) for more attractive out-of-focus areas, and a closer focusing distance of 14 in/35.6 cm (down from 17.8 in/45 cm). It's roughly the same size, though slightly lighter.

Still missing, unfortunately: image stabilization.

It's slated to ship at the end of May.