There is a new entry in my collection of 50mm lenses which sometimes enlarges and sometimes shrinks. But I’ve had my eye on the Yongnuo 50mm for quite a long time, as it has some very big advantages. So it is basically a replica of the second version of the Canon 50mm f1.8 lens, which originally came on the market in 1990 and was replaced by the STM version in 2015. This Canon lens was also my first 50mm lens and laid the foundation for my love for this focal length. Therefore this replica, which costs only half the price of the Canon, is worth considering. But let’s start with a look at the specifications:
Focal length: 50mm
Aperture: f 1.8 – f22
Aperture blades: 7
Minimum focus distance: 45 cm
Filter size: 52mm
Weight: 120 grams
Dimensions: 73 mm x 55 mm
As you can see, the great advantage of the lens, in addition to the low purchase price, is its compactness and lightness. Because, especially when traveling or hiking, you sometimes have to compromise on quality. As much as I love my Sigma 50mm, it is often just too much weight for long hikes. Since the Yongnuo is about 730 grams lighter at just 120 grams and, at 73 by 55 millimeters, fits easily into a small side pocket, it clearly fulfills its purpose here. Especially at the new price, which is around 55 €, you can confidently buy the lens for such cases.
Especially the low price makes this lens very interesting for beginners. For me, too, it was a 50mm lens with which I made my first experiences in the field of fixed focal lengths. Ambitious newbies can’t go wrong here, because the lens does what a 50mm lens should do: photos with a very natural image section and nice depth of field.
But let’s take a coser look. Because at first glance the lens makes a really good impression and can convince with the advantages mentioned above. But if you take a closer look at the image quality, a few weaknesses of the lens become apparent. Because even if, for example, the sharpness and the contrast with an open aperture are in the very, very acceptable range, it cannot compete with real prime lenses (like the Sigma 50mm ART). However, it should be said that the sharpness and contrast can easily keep up with comparable Canon entry-level models. The main drawback of the lens is the autofocus micromotor, which, apart from the volume (which makes it unsuitable for filmmakers), is not particularly fast and sometimes unreliable. Especially in situations where you shoot against the light, this can sometimes go wrong.
During the test shoot with Antonia, who was in front of the camera for dirndl photos, the Yongnuo lans made a really good figure, which actually surprised me a bit. The lens didn’t cause any problems, the autofocus was almost always good and the sharpness of the results really won me over. I had to take a closer look at some photos to find a difference to my prime lens. It was mostly in the bokeh that it is not as quiet as with some other 50mm lenses and the green and purple color fringes are noticeable on some edges. Otherwise I was really satisfied with the outcome, which you can also see in the pictures.
If you are looking for a good lens to save money, you are definitely in the right place, because the Yongnuo really doesn’t have to hide. Especially for newcomers to the field of fixed focal lengths and photographers who do not want to lug around too much weight, you can find it here.
+ Favorable price
+ Good price / performance ratio
+ Light and compact
– Autofocus with micromotor not optimal