Yongnuo clones Canon’s ‘nifty fifty’ down to every last detail at half the price

by Gannon Burgett

posted Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 8:54 AM EST


Yongnuo, known maker of low-cost speedlights and radio triggers, is officially getting into the optics game. Continuing its tradition of ripping off products from the larger makers in the photography world, its first foray into the optics world is a ‘nifty fifty’ that is all but identical to Canon’s 50mm f/1.8.

This ‘clone’ as we’ll call it, is identical to Canon’s 50mm f/1.8 in almost every way: the typography, the placement of buttons, the focus ring and more. The only real difference is the lack of Canon branding and the price – roughly half of Canon’s at only $69.

We don’t have one in our possession yet, but Flickr user John Witkowski does and his thoughts seem fairly positive. He notes, the 'build quality seems to be on par with Canon’s 50mm 1.8 II; maybe a tad bit better, but not by much.' Witkowski also points out that the Yongnuo lens doesn’t work with live view autofocus; not a surprise considering it's destined to have a few shortcomings.

As for image quality, the photos Witkowski shared show Yonguo’s 50mm f/1.8 falls in line with its Canon counterpart. Until you hit roughly the f/2.8 mark, most everything is going to be soft around the edges and contain plenty of chromatic aberration.

The legality behind Yongnuo’s lens seems iffy at best. Given the similar appearance and functionality, it's hard to believe the lens doesn't infringe patents and copyright aplenty.

(via SLR Lounge)