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The Nifty Fifty’s Successor Arrives: Canon announces the all-new EF 50mm f/1.8 STM

Canon today announced the EF 50mm f/1.8 STM, the heir apparent to the ubiquitous EF 50mm f/1.8 II, or “nifty fifty” as some called it. The EF 50mm F/1.8 STM uses a stepper motor for faster and quieter autofocus than the Mark II. It also boasts a 7-blade circular aperture and minimum focus distance of 14 inches – both a step better than the Mark II. The compact new design is a little over an inch and a half in length (39mm) and weighs 160g.

In bigger news, it features a metal mount. Whether it needed one or not, it’s there. Plus, it supports an optional integrated hood and takes 49mm filters.

For those who would like to skip ahead to the specs of the lens, head to the bottom of this article. For those ready to do some reading, let’s see what Canon had to say in an excerpt of their press release:

“The EF 50mm f/1.8 STM now features an improved design, Canon’s super spectra lens coating, a 7-blade aperture and STM technology for smooth, near silent focusing. Compact, lightweight and affordable, the EF 50mm f/1.8 STM is a welcome addition to any kit bag for people who want to create more impactful imagery.

Explore creative portraiture and low-light photography

It’s easy to capture superb portraits, or bold, artistic photos and movies with the new lens – the wide f/1.8 maximum aperture provides precise control over depth of field. It gives you the creative freedom to pinpoint focus on your subject and let the rest of the frame blend into a smooth blur – instantly allowing you to draw the viewer’s attention to a specific area. Additionally, the aperture lets more light into the lens, so you can comfortably shoot in darker conditions.

As a prime lens, the fixed 50mm focal length provides high quality results, with enhanced visible sharpness and contrast. When paired with an APS-C EOS DSLR, the lens is ideal for portraiture, helping you capture the perfect head and shoulder composition. It’s also a useful every day ‘standard’ lens for full frame DSLRs and is great at shooting a diverse range of subjects with a natural viewpoint and perspective.

The lens also provides a minimum focusing distance of just 0.35m, allowing you to get even closer to subjects and achieve a greater level of magnification, while the 7-blade aperture delivers beautiful blur and out of focus highlights. Providing enhanced image quality when compared to its predecessor, the lens features Canon’s Super Spectra Coating, which minimises internal reflections, as well as ghosting and flare.

The perfect addition to any kit bag
The lens has a compact and lightweight design, weighing a mere 160g, and easily slips into your bag adding very little to the overall weight of your kit. The lens’s new external design compliments both Canon’s consumer and mid-range EOS DSLRs, while the new metal mount provides a more robust connection to camera bodies. Additionally, the lens’s manual focusing ring gives you added freedom to control the precise area in focus in your photos and movies.

EF 50mm f/1.8 STM key benefits:

A fantastic lens for portraits
Fast, virtually silent focusing
A great performer in low-light conditions
Super-sharp image quality
Compact ‘go-everywhere’ design”

Specs for the lens are as follows:

Principal specifications
Lens type: Prime lens
Max Format size: 35mm FF
Focal length: 50 mm
Image stabilisation: No
Lens mount: Canon EF

Aperture
Maximum aperture: F1.8
Minimum aperture: F22.0
Aperture ring: No
Number of diaphragm blades: 7
Aperture notes: Circular blades

Optics
Elements: 6
Groups: 5

Focus
Minimum focus: 0.35 m (13.78″)
Maximum magnification: 0.21×
Autofocus: Yes
Motor type: Stepper motor
Full time manual: Yes
Focus method: Internal
Distance scale: No
DoF scale: No
Focus distance limiter: No

Physical
Weight: 159 g (0.35 lb)
Diameter: 69 mm (2.72″)
Length: 39 mm (1.54″)
Sealing: No
Colour: Black
Filter thread: 49 mm
Hood supplied: No
Hood product code: ES-68
Tripod collar: No

The new 50mm lens is expected to cost around $125.99 when it becomes available at the end of May. 

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