Playing with the Yongnuo 50mm F1.8 Canon Mount

Yongnuo is a brand now associated with providing cheaper alternatives to classic Canon produced gear. From Yongnuo branded speedlites to the lenses that they offer, does this affordable version cut quality as well? Early reviews that I have seen say no. The quality matches if not exceeds what would be expected of a mainstream product. Since I have no 50mm lens in my possession it seemed that it might be time to enter that arena and so I purchased one myself. It arrived today so I decided to pop it out of the box and quickly play with it.

Right away after slapping the lens on your camera you will notice a difference. Particularly for those who have been spoiled by Canon’s quiet USM technology the focusing sound is a lot louder and plastic sounding. Not a deal breaker in my opinion, as long as it works. Aside from feeling very light and plastic,the lens looks the part of a mainstream lens with all the markings one would come to expect. Regardless of how the “cheap” quality may feel what’s more important to me is how it performs.

At 1.8 the depth of field is very thin. I’m at the minimum focus distance for the Normandy shots which is 1.5ft. I personally like to get closer to my subjects so this bothers me when I’m composing. The last 3 images are cropped since my composition shifted as I did these handheld instead of grabbing my tripod due to sheer laziness. Regardless, you can see the deeper depth of field as the rest of the ship comes into focus.

This series I focused on the tree and pointed the camera at the sun to see the lens flare. Wide open at f1.8 we get this oddly shaped halo but at f10 and f22 we see the blades of the aperture slicing through the light instead.

This second set of 3 images demonstrates lens flare at f1.8, f2, and f22.

Another quick example of the depth of field at f1.8, f5.6, and f22 because I find it fun.

Finally a third sample of depth of field on a more interesting background at f1.8, f2.5, and f4.

I didn’t really try anything as far as a sharpness test goes and I need to play with the lens a bit more to decide how I feel but so far it seems pretty nice for the price. If you quickly run through the photos again and look at all the wide open shots at f1.8 you will notice some vignetting in the corners. Other than that I have nothing I have spotted yet that could be an issue for this lens. This can be a good budget 50mm if you need one.


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