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Archive 2012 · 50/1.2: three strikes and you're out?
  
 
badlydrawnboy
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · 50/1.2: three strikes and you're out?


I really want the 50/1.2 to work for me. It's my favorite focal length, and when I can get a shot in focus with this lens the colors, contrast and bokeh are amazing. But that's the problem: the AF is so unreliable.

I'm now on my 3rd copy of this lens. I sold the first one (with full disclosure of focus issues). The second one I returned because the AF was so far off, and not fixable with MA. I just ordered another from Amazon because I can't quite give up on this lens. Not surprisingly (to me, at least), the focus seemed off.

I used FoCal to MA this copy yesterday (with my 5DIII). It came back with a -7 adjustment. Took a bunch of pictures yesterday and today with it at that setting. 60%+ are back-focused, which suggests the -7 adjustment was too much. I dialed it back to -2. Still focus issues.

I've noticed that the AF problems are worse when the subject is <4-5 feet (which is quite often, because I like to work in close). This shouldn't be the focus shift issue people talk about, because I'm shooting wide open 95% of the time at this distance. And it's not operator error; I have the 85/1.2 which has even narrower DOF wide open and I have a very high rate of keepers with that lens.

Just wondering if you have any tips for how I can MA this lens to get it to work for me? Or maybe I should just give up and settle for the 50/1.4, which is a decent (but not inspiring) lens. I've just been so spoiled by the results of the 85/1.2 at f/1.2 and the incredible IQ and performance of the 35/1.4, which I also own, that I've been hoping to match them at the 50mm focal length.

Perhaps that's just not possible.

Edited on Oct 18, 2012 at 05:07 PM · View previous versions



Oct 18, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Binh Ly
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · 50/1.2: three strikes and you're out?


Which body are you using with this lens?


Oct 18, 2012 at 05:06 PM
badlydrawnboy
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · 50/1.2: three strikes and you're out?


Sorry, should have mentioned that. 5D3.


Oct 18, 2012 at 05:07 PM
James Taylor
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · 50/1.2: three strikes and you're out?


Interesting, I've been using the 50L with my 5DMKIII for senior sessions this year and am happy with my results. At 1.2 there are going to be some missed shots, but i'm getting more keepers then not. I do shoot between 1.2 & 2.0 so maybe I should go back and make sure the ones at 1.2 were good. However, I haven't felt like I was disappointed with the lens at all. I use the LensAlign and ended up with a -5.


Oct 18, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Gochugogi
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · 50/1.2: three strikes and you're out?


badlydrawnboy wrote:
Sorry, should have mentioned that. 5D3.


It focuses fine on my 5D2 and, I've taken thousands of images at 4 to 5 feet without issues. You might consider using the spot focus mode as DOF is so thin at F1.2 perhaps the large size of your AF point is the variable. Or upgrade to the 5D2!



Oct 18, 2012 at 05:16 PM
longisland.km
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · 50/1.2: three strikes and you're out?


Can you get FoCal to show you the AF consistency on the lens?


Oct 18, 2012 at 05:18 PM
badlydrawnboy
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · 50/1.2: three strikes and you're out?


Gochugogi wrote:
It focuses fine on my 5D2 and, I've taken thousands of images at 4 to 5 feet without issues. You might consider using the spot focus mode as DOF is so thin at F1.2 perhaps the large size of your AF point is the variable. Or upgrade to the 5D2!


It's not a DOF issue. As I mentioned, I have the 85/1.2 and my keeper rate is very high with that lens, even at minimum focus distance and f/1.2 (which is extremely narrow DOF).



Oct 18, 2012 at 05:19 PM
badlydrawnboy
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · 50/1.2: three strikes and you're out?


longisland.km wrote:
Can you get FoCal to show you the AF consistency on the lens?


I'm not sure. Is that a Pro level feature? I only have Plus, but I'd be willing to upgrade if it can give me some insight into this lens.



Oct 18, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Binh Ly
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · 50/1.2: three strikes and you're out?


I've used 2 copies of the 50L on my 5D3 with no issues. My hit rate wide open is probably in the 90%+. Keep in mind this lens is not as sharp wide open as the 35L or 85L. There is some halation wide open and depending on your subject, it may look OOF even though it is not. Just a thought.

If you can't get it to work, maybe you can send both your body and lens to Canon and see if it comes back any better.



Oct 18, 2012 at 05:22 PM
retrofocus
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · 50/1.2: three strikes and you're out?


Same experience as Gochugogi mentioned above. I am using it on two 5D II bodies and the focus is nearly perfect after I microfocus adjusted it with Focal Pro. Definitely use center focus at f/1.2. I suspect it will work the same on the 5D III with center AF as it does on the 5D II.


Oct 18, 2012 at 05:26 PM
 

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mttran
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · 50/1.2: three strikes and you're out?


Try AFMA setting with speedlite focus assist on then do couple tripod test with and without speedlite? this might isolate camera/lens issue.


Oct 18, 2012 at 05:30 PM
badlydrawnboy
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · 50/1.2: three strikes and you're out?


Binh Ly wrote:
There is some halation wide open and depending on your subject, it may look OOF even though it is not. Just a thought.


This might be the issue in some cases. Looking over some of the shots, I can see that the eyes (where I'm most often focusing) are as much in focus as any other part of the picture, but they're not sharp. In my mind I'm comparing sharpness to my two other lenses, the 35/1.4 and 85/1.2.

That said, there are plenty of other shots where I can clearly see that the part of the picture that is in focus is not the part that I focused on.

I may try upgrading to FoCal Pro and trying another round of MA to check for focus consistency.



Oct 18, 2012 at 05:33 PM
sailingpilot
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · 50/1.2: three strikes and you're out?


http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1156911

Maybe related? Difficulty with MA and adjusting in-camera sharpness apparently helped...



Oct 18, 2012 at 05:39 PM
hsk06
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · 50/1.2: three strikes and you're out?


I suggest you send the lens to CPS for calibration if you really want a stellar 50L.

I myself went through a few copies, and i got the last copy second hand.
It's spot on, very sharp on all canon bodies (1dsiii, 60D, and now 5d III). Why? The previous owner told me he sent in Canon for calibration

Needless to say, I am very happy with my current copy.



Oct 18, 2012 at 05:40 PM
badlydrawnboy
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · 50/1.2: three strikes and you're out?


sailingpilot wrote:
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1156911

Maybe related? Difficulty with MA and adjusting in-camera sharpness apparently helped...


I shoot RAW exclusively, so I don't think this would apply to me. Or is he saying that adjusting the in-camera sharpness only during the MA procedure made a difference?



Oct 18, 2012 at 05:42 PM
badlydrawnboy
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · 50/1.2: three strikes and you're out?


hsk06 wrote:
I suggest you send the lens to CPS for calibration if you really want a stellar 50L.

I myself went through a few copies, and i got the last copy second hand.
It's spot on, very sharp on all canon bodies (1dsiii, 60D, and now 5d III). Why? The previous owner told me he sent in Canon for calibration

Needless to say, I am very happy with my current copy.


I think I will do this. It's the only way I'll ever know for sure if the 50/1.2 will work for me. Thanks.



Oct 18, 2012 at 05:43 PM
retrofocus
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · 50/1.2: three strikes and you're out?


badlydrawnboy wrote:
This might be the issue in some cases. Looking over some of the shots, I can see that the eyes (where I'm most often focusing) are as much in focus as any other part of the picture, but they're not sharp. In my mind I'm comparing sharpness to my two other lenses, the 35/1.4 and 85/1.2.

That said, there are plenty of other shots where I can clearly see that the part of the picture that is in focus is not the part that I focused on.

I may try upgrading to FoCal Pro and trying another round of MA to
...Show more

Make sure you have consistent light present when doing the MFA with this lens. Slight differences in the light can mess up the test which is critical with such wide open aperture.



Oct 18, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · 50/1.2: three strikes and you're out?


I can't remember -- do any Canon bodies have AF focus bracketing?

I ended up with -6 on my 5D2, but occasionally I get slight inconsistent focus, seeming at different distances: MFD, close up, head and shoulder portrait, middle distance, and infinity -- not a lot, but sometimes off. Need to do more work on this.

Seems to focus pretty good on my 1Ds2 as it came.

Overall, I'm very happy!



Oct 18, 2012 at 05:52 PM
mogud
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · 50/1.2: three strikes and you're out?


I went through two copies of the 50L and also gave up. About a month after, I tried again and got the same OOF issues. Rather than go through the return/test/return craziness, I sent the lens into CPS for callibration. The 50L is now spot on with all my bodies. I agree with other responders, send it in to CPS and get it callibrated.


Oct 18, 2012 at 05:59 PM
sailingpilot
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · 50/1.2: three strikes and you're out?


badlydrawnboy wrote:
I shoot RAW exclusively, so I don't think this would apply to me. Or is he saying that adjusting the in-camera sharpness only during the MA procedure made a difference?



True. As far as I know, Picture Styles (sharpening) don't carry forward in pp except for in DPP? it looks like he did the MA to get close, then +sharpness in picture styles. Don't know if he uses RAW, jpeg, DPP, or what...

Good luck, hope it works out. I'd like to pick up a 50L also but have held off for so long because of all I've read. The 1.4 is working for now...

Gregg



Oct 18, 2012 at 06:00 PM
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