Canon RF 50mm f/1.8 STM review

A next-gen nifty fifty, the Canon RF 50mm f/1.8 STM is both a bargain and an essential for EOS R owners

5 Star Rating
Canon RF 50mm f/1.8 STM review
(Image: © James Artaius)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Canon RF 50mm f/1.8 STM is everything you want a nifty fifty to be. It's cheap, compact and capable, delivering great image quality (on par in some areas with the RF 50mm f/1.2L, which costs over ten times as much!) in a truly pocket-sized lens. The smallest optic for the EOS R system, it's a fantastic everyday lens that pairs well with any RF boy – and is particularly perfect with the Canon EOS RP if you want a sleek, street-friendly setup.


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    Same size & weight as EF version

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    … but not as plasticky!

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    Impressive image quality

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    Very affordable


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    Not weather sealed

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The Canon RF 50mm f/1.8 STM is exactly what Canon's RF ecosystem needed: an affordable nifty fifty. In fact, it needed more affordable lenses in general.

When the Canon EOS R launched in 2018, it was accompanied by the astonishing – and, at over two grand, astonishingly expensive – Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L USM. Until this year, the RF system was dominated by prestige lenses and premium-grade, professional optics – but almost no everyday glass that people can actually afford. 

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a 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 like 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, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. 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.