My 50mm f/1.4 does not AF anymore...

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Hello everyone, I have just found out that my EF 50mm f/1.4 lens refuses to focus on AF... (I have tried it on my 5DIII and also on my wife's 30D to be sure) Does anyone have a clue that could help before i send it in for appraisal !?? I had not been using it for a while and i lend it to a friend that just got a camera with no budget for lenses... She gave it back not saying anything special... and i did not test it right away so there is no certainty as to how or who did anything... I'm not trying to blame anyone ! Just trying out this forum to see if someone may have a solution i could test. Thanks in advance. Phil

Hello everyone, I have just found out that my EF 50mm f/1.4 lens refuses to focus on AF... (I have tried it on my 5DIII and also on my wife's 30D to be sure) Does anyone have a clue that could help before i send it in for appraisal !?? I had not been using it for a while and i lend it to a friend that just got a camera with no budget for lenses... She gave it back not saying anything special... and i did not test it right away so there is no certainty as to how or who did anything... I'm not trying to blame anyone ! Just trying out this forum to see if someone may have a solution i could test. Thanks in advance. Phil
it's a relatively common fault if the lens has had a bump or knock on the front. just google it for more info. I know you don't want to blame anyone but I would probably say your friend probably caused it to fail! I wouldn't bother getting it repaired. just sell it as-is on ebay if u decide to replace it.

Yep, she probably broke it but may not have noticed if she bumped it after using it. This is one lens I own which has to be used with the lens hood attached, not one which screws into the filter thread but the one which bayonet mounts. This shields the extending part of the lens from any impacts but perhaps not dropping (as I did with mine a few days after I got it and I had to send it off, not knowing about the fragility of the lens).

My 50 1.4 stopped AF and I never dropped it or to my knowledge did anything to the lens but use it normally. It is a common fault of this lens and canon will fix it for a flat rate.

RGBCMYK wrote: My 50 1.4 stopped AF and I never dropped it or to my knowledge did anything to the lens but use it normally. It is a common fault of this lens and canon will fix it for a flat rate.
I haven't used my 50 mm f/1.4 in years (because 50 mm is a boring focal length) and pulled it out a few days ago wondering how it would do for a specific photo. It refused to AF. I've tried since and on another body, the lens just won't autofocus. Any chance I can talk you out of some more info on Canon fixing this lens for a flat rate? I've got a lot of other things I need to chase down and won't get to this for quite some time, but I'd love to know before then and make plans...

Mine died too. Its a old design and not that good a lens.

You photo gallery is superb !!!

JohnMatrix wrote: it's a relatively common fault if the lens has had a bump or knock on the front. just google it for more info.
You can also add "Scott Larson" to the Google search since I seem to break the focus on this lens regularly. Even the focus ring won't do anything. The last time Canon kindly fixed the lens for free but I don't know if they're that kind any more.

My 50 f/1.4 also stopped autofocusing recently. It worked one day and not the next. No drops or bumps of any kind. I sent it to Canon for repair at their New Jersey facility and the cost was $142.31. The autofocusing motor was replaced. I paid for one-way shipping and insurance.

Well, reading your posts i guess i'm "screwed" with a broken lens......... Getting it fixed might cost me around 150-200€ in France I'm not so sure it's worth the cost of repair !?! as i do own the 50L... One of you suggested selling it as-is on eBay but what would i get out of a broken lens !?! I'm really not sure at all what to decide.... Anyhow, many thanks for your posts. Phil

Philippe R wrote: Well, reading your posts i guess i'm "screwed" with a broken lens......... Getting it fixed might cost me around 150-200€ in France I'm not so sure it's worth the cost of repair !?! as i do own the 50L... One of you suggested selling it as-is on eBay but what would i get out of a broken lens !?! I'm really not sure at all what to decide.... Anyhow, many thanks for your posts. Phil
Bonjour Philippe, I had the same problem with mine 2-3 years ago. It took more that 2 months to have the lens repaired, and if I recall it was around $150. The image quality with this lens is very good, but the design is 20 years old. Canon will release a new version soon but probably with IS similar to 24, 28 and 35. We should expect a price os $800+. Now I'm thinking about getting the 50L...

ulto wrote:
Philippe R wrote: Well, reading your posts i guess i'm "screwed" with a broken lens......... Getting it fixed might cost me around 150-200€ in France I'm not so sure it's worth the cost of repair !?! as i do own the 50L... One of you suggested selling it as-is on eBay but what would i get out of a broken lens !?! I'm really not sure at all what to decide.... Anyhow, many thanks for your posts. Phil
Bonjour Philippe, I had the same problem with mine 2-3 years ago. It took more that 2 months to have the lens repaired, and if I recall it was around $150. The image quality with this lens is very good, but the design is 20 years old. Canon will release a new version soon but probably with IS similar to 24, 28 and 35. We should expect a price os $800+. Now I'm thinking about getting the 50L...
Bonjour Julien, I heard about a new 50mm too... I'm still debating on the repair. The thing is i might not as the resell value of a used 50 f.1.4 is quite low, around 200€, almost the cost of the repair... In any case, i visited your gallery on flickr and i really like the shot IMG_5016.jpg quite fun ! Take care Julien Philippe

ulto wrote: I had the same problem with mine 2-3 years ago. It took more that 2 months to have the lens repaired, and if I recall it was around $150. The image quality with this lens is very good, but the design is 20 years old.
We've had excellent fast 50mm lenses for several decades now. I use a forty year old Canon 55mm f1.2 (no aspheric elements!) on my Sony NEX-5 (APS-C with 16 megapixels) and the only clue that it's an old lens is the smeary and color-shifted bokeh which I think looks kind of cool.

Just recently got this lens. It's fine for use at wide apertures but past 2.8 I would be happy using the 40mm 2.8 at the cost of your repair. I can see why the AF fails. It's FTM feels the worst of any lens I have tried and the barrel which the lens cap fits on is slightly extended at all times even when retracted and is mechanically coupled to its AF gears which is not true USM in the first place. Again 40mm 2.8 STM feels better than microUSM.

Timbukto wrote: I can see why the AF fails. It's FTM feels the worst of any lens I have tried and the barrel which the lens cap fits on is slightly extended at all times even when retracted and is mechanically coupled to its AF gears which is not true USM in the first place.
Yes, one whack on that protruding metal rim and the focus system is busted. It must be cheap to manufacture because I can think of no other reason the lens is built that way.

I had this problem with my 1.4; after some searching I located a step by step guide on the web for how to fix the broken focus. The focus is really fragile and the plastic guides on the interior of the lens tend to bend. I'm reasonably competent with a screwdriver but the procedure wasn't very difficult provided you don't get in a rush and use some care. After reassembly the lens works again and it's as accurate as it ever was although the lens MFA (microfocus adjustment) did change a bit. I'd figured that sending it in to Canon would cost more than a 15 year old $400 lens was worth, and it was worthless as it sat so I couldn't make things worse. It's not quite good as new since the focus is a little slower but it's accurate and functional now. I definitely second the suggestion to ALWAYS keep a rigid body mounted hood on the lens; it's surprising just how little it takes to damage the sucker.

Seehorse wrote: I had this problem with my 1.4; after some searching I located a step by step guide on the web for how to fix the broken focus. The focus is really fragile and the plastic guides on the interior of the lens tend to bend. I'm reasonably competent with a screwdriver but the procedure wasn't very difficult provided you don't get in a rush and use some care. After reassembly the lens works again and it's as accurate as it ever was although the lens MFA (microfocus adjustment) did change a bit. I'd figured that sending it in to Canon would cost more than a 15 year old $400 lens was worth, and it was worthless as it sat so I couldn't make things worse. It's not quite good as new since the focus is a little slower but it's accurate and functional now. I definitely second the suggestion to ALWAYS keep a rigid body mounted hood on the lens; it's surprising just how little it takes to damage the sucker.
Could you post a link (or PM) to the step by step guide... i'm not too bad with screwdrivers... It's well worth the try as the cost of repair seems unreasonable as i have the 40STM and the 50L... Thanks

Sell it on e-bay, and buy a new one. It will probably cost you less than repairing it.

If you do some searching, you will find that it is common for the AF to stop working on the 50 1.4. Here are a couple of threads that I posted in last year: http://forums.dpzen.com/forums/post/41458282 http://forums.dpzen.com/forums/post/40290494 It's a great lens but seems to have a design flaw in terms of durability.

Mine broke after a tap against a wall on camera, not a fall, several years ago. As it is known to be fragile I will not buy a replacement until a new version issues. In the meantime I am quite happy using my Sigma 50mm macro and Canon 40mm pancake on full-frame, and my 35L on my 7D = 56mm.

It's all been said, but to look forward with a note of optimism - Canon seem to be working their way up the range with the 24/2.8, 28/2.8 and now 35/2 image stabilised primes all with Ring USM. If the pattern continues we should have a nice (but expensive) 50/1.4 IS with Ring USM by the end of the year...

I would definitely give Canon a call, most lens repairs are quite reasonable. The last info I have is the 50/1.4 flat repair fee is around $85, a fraction of what this lens sells for new. FYI: I always use a lens hood with this lens, if the front barrel on the lens takes a hit while extended it will take out the focusing mechanism. The lens hood mounts to the lens barrel which is significantly more robust.

I've tried the pancake lens and decided on not repairing that 50mm... I figured that f/1.4 is not that huge of a deal and will settle for f/2.8 for the time being... I can't say i'm all joy but i figure it is pointless to make a costly repair (half of it's current value) on a flawed design. Thank you all for your posts. I was greatly appreciated. Cheers and enjoy St Patrick's day

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