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| p.4 #4 · 50 f/1.2 vs 50 f/1.4 - How much extra light? |
Dan -- I agree that we don't have to own every lens to know their general characteristics. But the reason you were called out on the 50/1.2L is that you are coming across as having intimate knowledge and experience, but you are saying things that betray that as not a possibility. I know you mean well, and are making statements based on what you've read and similar experiences you've had. But like other specialty lenses (17TSE, 135/2, 85/1.2, etc) we can't really lecture on owner's needs or the qualities of their specific character without having personal experience.
Sorry, don't mean to lecture on lecturing -- I'm only an enthusiastic photo maker.
I agree that the 50L isn't going to be for everyone, but not necessarily for the reasons that have been cited in various postings. Cost would be the biggest issue as far as I can see. Cost is what kept me from owning the lens until today. But I was convinced earlier through CPS loaner that I used to cover a wedding as my second camera, and additional testing and familiarization with the lens' characteristics.
My use of the lens convinced me it was quite different from the EF 50/1.4 that I'd previously owned. Quite different in very plain and positive ways.
I was concerned, until I got my own copy, that the naysayers might be right and the CPS model was a fluke, and there wouldn't be much difference to separate the 1.2 from the 1.4 at smaller apertures. I'm relieved to report that my UA (2012) model is better than my 1.4, and has outstanding sharpness and detail rendering at f/6.7 and is usable up through f/11 if needed. Best sharpness seems to be from 4.5 to 6.7, making it a perfect general purpose lens for even average users, provided they want to pay the freight.
Everything reported by others regarding f/1.2 to 2.0 is correct -- the lens is outstanding with core sharpness and surrounding softness from spherical aberration, but lacking "veiling haze" so common in extremely large apertures. My lens starts getting clinically sharp at f/2.5 -- very sharp indeed -- from closer up to infinity subjects.
I think too much of the thread discussion has been concerned over the light gathering capabilities of this lens (not that it isn't interesting, academically speaking). Frankly, there isn't a lot of advantage in the 1.2 over the 1.4 for light gathering or light fall-off. You shouldn't buy this lens with that consideration as a main reason -- you should be buying for how it handles details, colors and edge roll-off starting right at 1.2. By the time you take it up to 1.4, you can see more sharpness and quality than the 1.4 lens starting out. I'd say the 1.2 is drastically superior at these wider apertures, up through f/2.0 certainly, and may retain the advantage even into smaller apertures until they both soften from diffraction at f/8.0. That is the real life advantage -- special image quality starting at f/1.2, and carrying though smaller apertures.
Anyway, I just want to put fears to rest, that might have been making potential buyers uneasy. My experience so far with two samples of recent vintage: both were excellent and exceeded my expectations and hopes (both of which were very high for this expensive lens).
I'm going to get busy and review and take more images with this lens -- I paid for it, so I'd better get my money out of it! So far so good, and on the block will go my last Zeiss lens: C/Y 50/1.4 -- not needed now. Keeping my EF 50/2.5 Macro to go with the 1.2L, for those times I need super-sharp details and close-ups.