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Canon’s new ‘nifty fifty’ budget prime lens gets stepping motor for quiet autofocusing

Canon has updated its popular “nifty fifty” prime lens with the new 50mm f/1.8 STM. The fixed focal length lens, a must-have for any new Canon DSLR owner, has a stepping motor (STM) for quiet autofocusing, especially when recording movies. Available at the end of May, the new lens has an MSRP of $126.

This new 50mm lens has a better build quality that the previous version, the 50mm f/1.8 II, which has another nickname, “plastic fantastic,” to describe its mostly plastic construction. Besides the stepping motor, the new 50mm lens has a metal mount for improved stability, and a new focus ring placement.

With its f/1.8 aperture, the lens is designed to deliver sharp portraits with nice bokeh (blurred backgrounds), and strong low-light performance.

According to Canon, the lens is “composed of six elements in five groups (and) features an optimized lens placement and Super Spectra Coating (SSC), translating into less ghosting and flaring than the previous model, while at the same time helping to enhance light transmission and optimize color reproduction accuracy. The new lens features a seven blade circular aperture, improved from the predecessor’s five blade non-circular aperture, helping to deliver a more visually appealing blurring effect, and producing sharp images of subjects that truly stand out against beautiful, soft backgrounds. The minimum focusing distance for the lens has been shortened to 1.1 feet from 1.5 feet (14-inch minimum focusing distance) with a maximum magnification of 0.21x, allowing for more creative close-up photos and videos.”

If you recently stepped up to an entry-level Canon EOS APS-C DSLR and are looking for an affordable, artistic lens to add to your collection, this new 50mm should be on that list.

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