Canon has announced a new 50mm f/1.8 lens. Why might you care? Read on and find out...
So why might you care about yet another fifty mil lens? Certainly Canon and its resellers are excited, because it's yet another opportunity to sell a fairly generic lens as a "portrait" lens. Canon actually has said this in the past. This, as you may gather from my tone, smells like something you discover in a cow pasture. On a full frame, a 50mm is NOT a portrait lens but can work well for full length shots, family groups and all around snapshotting. On a Canon APS-C sensor, it has the look of an 80mm but without the subtle perspective compression that a real 80mm offers.
What makes this different from the decades old version it replaces is that the focus motor is of the STM variant. STM or stepper motor systems are quite quick and more importantly silent, so if you are one of the few people shooting video with your Canon DSLR, this will be a real advantage as the built in microphone isn't going to record the whirring and grinding noises that non-STM AF lenses make.
Fifty millimetre lenses are simple designs so manufacturers can make them inexpensively without a significant quality compromise. They have a look very much like the perspective of your eye.
If you shoot Canon, and don't have a 50mm but will shoot video, this could be a good choice for you. If you've already invested in a 50mm or don't care about in camera audio when doing video, save your money for something you will get more value from. Canon estimates availability at the end of May with a street price of around $125USD.