Yongnuo clones Canon nifty fifty

Chinese manufacturer Yongnuo has released yet another cloned lens, this time knocking off the Canon ‘nifty fifty’ 50mm f1.8 II lens.

Attack of the clones! The left is the Yongnuo, the right is the Canon. Source: Etphotos.net

Attack of the clones! The left is the Yongnuo, the right is the Canon. Source: Etphotos.net

While no comparison tests have been done yet, the Yongnuo 50mm 1.8 AF lens looks and behaves astoundingly like the Canon lens, to the point where the buttons, typography, and specs are the same. However, the Yongnuo lens is priced at US$73 on eBay, whereas the Canon can be found for $125 Australian.

Most would assume ‘you get what you pay for’ but Flickr user, John Witkowski, owns the Yongnuo lens and said that he’s happy with the lens and the only noticeable difference between the two is that Yongnuo uses screws whereas Canon uses plastic lock tabs. He even suggests it may be a bit better than the Canon!

Yongnuo has a rep for manufacturing cheaper third party alternatives for expensive camera gear, mainly flashes and radio triggers. This is the second lens Yongnuo has released, previously announcing a 50mm f1.4 lens at Photokina, which again looks strikingly like the Canon version.

But many are curious as to why Yongnuo have chosen to clone a lens even Canon describes as ‘affordable’. Some speculate that Yongnuo are inferior manufacturers or don’t have the available resources to produce a high-end lens. Others think the company is just testing the waters to see what they can get away with and suggest that Canon’s patent may have run out.

Either way, it doesn’t seem like the Chinese brand has any plans to stop cloning camera gear from established brands and selling it for the fraction of the price, and no legal disputes have surfaced yet. And if Canon does attempt to protect its intellectual property, it will be interesting to see how well the Japanese company fares in the Chinese legal system, against a Chinese manufacturer.

Yongnuo 50mm f1.8 features:
– Auto Focus or Manual;
– 2 Inches in Length;
– 0.15 Magnification;
– 46 Degree Maximum Angle of View;
– 6 Elements in 5 Groups;
– Accepts 52mm Filters

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