This is the first prime lens I have bought and I didn't know whether to go for the f1.8 or this one. After much research I went for the f1.4, the build quality is much better, the focussing is improved and that extra stop counts for a lot.
The simplicity of this lens is such an eye opener, you have to work for your shots now instead of standing still and zooming in on everything. Your legs become your zoom and because of this you are much more likely to raise or lower your normal eye-level view of the world to find a more interesting angle on a subject.
This lens is purely about quality of image, there are no gimmicks, no image stablisation or anything you don't need, you have a focussing ring and an AF/MF switch. That's it.
Like every lens the sharpness is improved by stopping down from maximum, at f1.8 the 50mm is like a razor, even wide open at f1.4 the pictures are still pretty usable. But its the image, the colours are beautifully captured, the contrast is excellent, sharpness outstanding and the bokeh (out of focus areas) are so soft and creamy its like gazing into a pan of melted butter.
This is the lens you've been looking for, it frees you creatively, lets you make those images you could only dream about before. Sure, it takes a bit of work to get the most from this lens, but the effort will repaid tenfold when you see the results possible with this little cracker.
Sure, the f1.8 is a step in the right direction but the f1.4 is the grownup version, built to last and deliver the results time after time.
I am not exagerrating when I say that this lens has reinvigorated my photography.
If you own a Canon DSLR, you need this, its that simple.