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Question about Canon lenses and the Nifty Fifty - RF vs RF-S

ashoklela
Apprentice

I recently bought the RF-S 50mm 1.8 STM lens for my R50. I thought it was the nifty fifty but when I see people mention that lens they just say RF 50mm 1.8. I know one is full frame and I assume the RF-S is cropped. Are they basically the same lens or are they vastly different? Can I get a short explanation, please?

5 REPLIES 5

shadowsports
Legend
Legend

Greetings,

Canon has never made an RF-S 50mm f1.8

For mirrorless, only a RF 50mm in f1.2 or f1.8.  I think if you look closely at your lens, you'll find its a RF 50mm.

shadowsports_0-1716959003781.png

RF - Lens intended for full frame mirrorless.  

RF-S Lens intended for mirrorless body's with an APS-C sensor.    

shadowsports_0-1689170431945.png

This is a great article that explains it.

APS-C vs full-frame - Canon Europe (canon-europe.com)

~Rick
Bay Area - CA


~R5 C (1.0.6.1) ~RF Trinity, ~RF 100 Macro, ~RF 100~400, ~RF 100~500, +RF 1.4x TC, +Canon Control Ring, BG-R10, 430EX III-RT ~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~DaVinci Resolve ~Windows11 Pro ~ImageClass MF644Cdw/MF656Cdw ~Pixel 8
~CarePaks Are Worth It

normadel
Authority
Authority

To begin with, it is a cute misrepresentation to call a 50mm lens "nifty". The term stems from thinking a 50mm lens approximates what the human eye takes in. Not so at all. On a 35mm film camera or full-frame digital camera, it is simply the diagonal measurement of the frame. Never intended to indicate relevance to what we see.

There has been lots written on the subject. Here are two examples:

https://petapixel.com/2012/11/17/the-camera-versus-the-human-eye/#:~:text=To%20summarize%2C%20though....

https://the.me/the-focal-length-closest-to-the-human-eye-if-you-had-to-take-just-one-lens/

To make matters worse, on an APS-C/crop sensor camera, a 50mm lens gives the angle of view of an 80mm on full-frame. FAR from what the eye sees. On a full-frame camera, 28mm would closely approximate what the eye takes in. On a crop-sensor body, 17 or 18mm gives the same angle of view.

So, examine why you want a 50mm lens at all.

 

ebiggs1
Legend
Legend

"Can I get a short explanation, please?'

Yes certainly, any 50mm lens can be called a "nifty fifty". How's that for short?

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

ebiggs1
Legend
Legend

BTW, I suspect it has more to do with rhyming than what it has to do with photography.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

kvbarkley
VIP
VIP

The idea was that the 50mm on full frame approximated the perspective the eye sees. Also, being not wide-angle and not telephoto, and at f/1.8, it was an easy lens to make, so they are relatively inexpensive. Back in the day, they were the default "kit" lens on 35mm film cameras. I remember someone being really proud because he had paid extra for the "fast" f/1.4.

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