Canon EF 50mm 1.8 Lens compared to 18-55mm Kit Lens

Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:21 am
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If you can spend around $100 then Canon's 50mm f/1.8 is probably the best quality lens for the money you can get. The difference between this and the 18-55mm, and the 28-135mm kit lens is great enough so that it would be worth it for you to move around and lose the zoom altogether.

An f/1.8 aperture at 50mm lets in so much more light than the same focal length using the kit lens (1.8 vs 5.6). But the real difference is in the quality of the image. It just can't be compared.

Canon EF-S 18-55mm @ 55mm f/5.6 = 9.8mm

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 = 27.77mm

Here are two images, both taken at 50mm, but with two different lenses. The first is with the Canon 50mm and the other is with the 18-55mm kit lens set at 50mm.

There are two big things to notice. First is that there is a lot more blur in the first image using the wide aperture of f/1.8 and the other is that the Canon EF 50mm's shutter speed is 6 times faster than the Canon EF-S at 50mm (1/60 sec vs 1/10 sec). 1/60 sec is fast enough not to worry about shaking the camera, whereas 1/10 is way too slow to really be usable.

Canon EF 50mm

  • 50mm
  • ISO: 400
  • f/1.8
  • Shutter Speed: 1/60 sec

Canon EF-S 18-55mm

  • 50mm
  • ISO: 400
  • f/5.6
  • Shutter Speed: 1/10 sec

Here is a helpful chart for understanding f-stops.


Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:21 am
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