Is there anyway we can do some kind of comparison between these two prime lenses from Canon and Nikon respectively?

Things to look for are - CA, Bokeh/color fringing, Bokeh ball rounding, sharpness etc.

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    They are similar. – dpollitt Feb 23 '16 at 23:56
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    For what purpose do you wish to compare them? – Michael C Feb 24 '16 at 4:34

Sure, there are multiple sites that let you head-to-head shots of test charts against each other or test results.

But whether or not you get any meaningful information about how they perform in use in the field is questionable.

The reality is that these are very similar lenses: low-cost, relatively simple construction, and fast primes. Same focal length, same max. aperture. They'll behave very similarly, and trying to find something to choose between them is like splitting hairs, and about as practical. You're unlikely to use both, since few shooters have both Canon and Nikon systems (and those who do probably don't care about 50/1.8 lenses), so which one you'd want is determined by which mount system you shoot in.


Sure, take a picture of the same subject with the same lens settings and the same lighting conditions, using film Canon/Nikon SLRs loaded with the same film stock. Develop the film and compare the results.

You can use a lens before buying it by renting. Rent the two lenses. Also rent a camera, such as a Sony A7R (or other E-mount camera), along with a Canon-EF-to-Sony-E adapter and Nikon-F-to-Sony-E adapter. By using the exact same camera, the only differences in the shots will be due to the lenses (and perhaps your own technique).

  • I need to know before buying the lens. :) – ShadowWarrior Feb 24 '16 at 0:09
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    Have you tried Google? There must be at least half a dozen articles (pointlessly) comparing these two lenses, not to mention comparison sites like Photodo, etc. – HamishKL Feb 24 '16 at 0:13
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    @MGRashed You should buy the one that is the same brand as your camera. If you don't yet have a camera, then you should not use the comparison of these particular two lenses as the deciding factor for which camera to buy - these are simple, basic lenses and there are more important deciding factors when buying a camera. – osullic Feb 24 '16 at 9:49

I'm curious why you want to compare these lenses? Surely you're not trying to decide whether to buy a Canon or Nikon camera based on the quality of their consumer-grade nifty fifty?

There are so many other factors like sensors (Canon insists designing their own mediocre ones, while Nikon uses the best it can get [usually Sony]), ergonomics, metering systems (Canon can't hold a candle to Nikon), AF systems (Nikon has mostly caught up with Canon), and more, which are more important than the cheapest and most quickly outgrown lens in each system's line-up.

This is even more true because neither of the lenses you mentioned are as good as the Sigma 50/1.4 Art or Tamron 45/1.8 (or more expensive manual focus Zeiss Milvus 50/1.4 & Otus 55/1.4) which are all available for either system.

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    I've found Canon's Evaluative metering to be superior to Nikon's Matrix metering. At least in the upper tier bodies with RGBir light meters and processors dedicated to metering. And there's no comparison between the top AF systems of Canon to Nikon's best AF systems. The new D5 may have closed the gap to the 1D X a little, but here comes the 1D X Mark II in a month or so with 61 AF points all sensitive to f/8 and 41 of them cross type points. And while Nikon sensors are currently a little better than Canon's, mediocre to best it can get is a bit of a stretch, especially since... – Michael C Feb 24 '16 at 4:31
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    ...Nikon and Sony have apparently parted ways for the short term future. – Michael C Feb 24 '16 at 4:31
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    I know this is off topic, but why do say Canon's sensors are mediocre? I would have described them as market leading, and I'm a Nikon shooter. – HamishKL Feb 24 '16 at 5:31
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    Good answer. Would be even better without the subjective assertions. – osullic Feb 24 '16 at 9:54
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    Downvoted for the biased and irrelevant assertions. The parenthetical clauses add nothing useful to the answer (Full disclosure: I'm a Canon shooter.) – JohannesD Feb 25 '16 at 21:45

They're fine. This is an easy lens design, but they're also made to be low cost, without a lot of glass or super-exotic elements. For the purposes of actual photography (as opposed to benchmark scores), there is virtually no difference.

It sounds like you are using this comparison to choose between systems. I wouldn't recommend that. The actual impact to your work will be negligible. And, anyway, it's just one budget lens — other lenses may be different, and anyway both companies offer great lenses in all price ranges, including fancier 50mm options. (And not just Canon or Nikon — same with Pentax and Sony. And there are great third party lenses for all of these systems, too. )

If, on the other hand, you want to know in order to settle some wrestling match over which brand is more awesome — well, okay, that's a funny hobby, but I know many people enjoy it. There are plenty of reviews out there, and you can probably cherry pick your favorites in order to support your side.


I just found out that the Nikon model is sharp @f1,8 and the Canon isn't :(


I received some die votes which I understand so here some more details:

I compared the sharpness measurement of the 2 lenses on dxomark:

Canon 50mm STM

Nikkor 50mm 1.8G

On these 2 pages you are able to see sharpness chartssharpness Nikkor (image from dxomark) Nikkor sharpness sharpness CanonSharpness Canon EF

As you can see the Canon version is not that good whose open (red bad - green good) whereas Nikon's lens starts with light green which already is good. (More expensive Canon 50mm lenses perform similarly,so the price difference is not the best argument!


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