Affordable 'nifty fifty' for the EOS R! The Canon RF 50mm f/1.8 STM is here

Canon RF 50mm f/1.8 STM
(Image credit: Canon)

At last, the Canon EOS R system gets an affordable nifty fifty – the Canon RF 50mm f/1.8 STM, which will retail for just $199 / £219 / AU$389 when it goes on sale in December. 

The Canon RF 50mm f/1.8 STM adds another inexpensive prime to the RF lineup, completing the low cost “trinity primes” with the Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 IS Macro STM (opens in new tab) and Canon RF 85mm f/2 IS Macro STM (opens in new tab).

• Read more: Best Canon RF lenses (opens in new tab)

On the surface, the RF 50mm is an update of the classic Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM (opens in new tab). However, while it possesses the same aperture, motor and even very similar dimensions, it boasts an entirely new optical formula that delivers superior sharpness – and not just in the center, but also the circumference around the center that accounts for about two-thirds of the frame. 

In addition to a PMo (precision molded) aspheric lens, the lens also features the manufacturer’s Super Spectra Coating to eliminate ghosting and flare while maintaining optimum color balance.

A switch on the Canon RF 50mm f/1.8 STM toggles the control ring between manual focus and custom input (Image credit: Canon)

The STM stepper motor is quick as a hiccup and incredibly quiet, making the lens particularly well suited for shooting movies, and adept at both tracking and transitioning between subjects when shooting stills. Its customizable control ring is de-clicked, meaning it would be ideal as an aperture ring for filming video.

Unlike its RF 35mm counterpart, this lens doesn’t possess any stabilization. However, when paired with the IBIS systems of the Canon EOS R5 (opens in new tab) or Canon EOS R6 (opens in new tab) it achieves an astonishing 7 stops of compensation. 

Compared to the EF version, both the minimum focusing distance and maximum magnification have been improved, to 30cm (from 35cm) and 0.25x (from 0.21x) respectively. 

The Canon RF 50mm f/1.8 STM goes on sale in December and will carry an RRP of £199 / £219.99 / AU$389.

Read more: 

The best 50mm lens: which 'standard prime' is the right one for you? (opens in new tab)
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM review (opens in new tab)
Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 IS Macro STM review (opens in new tab)

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The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a magazine and web journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photographic and lighting tutorials, as well as industry analysis, news and rumors for publications such as Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab)PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine (opens in new tab)Digital Photographer (opens in new tab) and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and demonstrations at The Photography Show (opens in new tab). An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.