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Archive 2012 · The Canon 50mm lens challenge
  
 
badlydrawnboy
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p.1 #1 · The Canon 50mm lens challenge


I've seen a lot of discussion lately about the Canon 50/1.2 vs. 50/1.4 (and to a lesser degree the 50/1.8). Technical and build quality considerations aside, one of the most common sentiments I see expressed is that the 50/1.2 has a "magical" quality of rendering images that the 50/1.4 and and 50/1.8 don't have.

I'm curious about this myself. I've used all three of these lenses myself at various times. Sometimes I think I see this quality with the 50/1.2, and other times I don't (or more accurately I see it with the 50/1.4 too).

I thought it would be interesting to invite people to post pictures they've taken with each lens, without metadata, processed the way they would normally be processed, and the rest of us can try to guess which lens was used. If the 50/1.2 does indeed have a recognizable rendering quality, shouldn't we be able to see it? I, for one, would like to know if I can see it in other side-by-side pictures since I can't always see it in my own.

Note that I'm doing this in the spirit of curiosity and not to challenge anyone's opinion or judgment about these lenses.

I'll kick things off with a few examples of my own:







#1







#2







#3







#4



Edited on Nov 14, 2012 at 11:34 PM · View previous versions



Nov 14, 2012 at 09:32 PM
Pixel Perfect
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p.1 #2 · The Canon 50mm lens challenge


That's the trouble with the canon 50mm lens, it always seems to attract these tiny little people that smile at you - very disconcerting and why I'm loathe to use one.








Nov 14, 2012 at 10:01 PM
basselmudarris
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p.1 #3 · The Canon 50mm lens challenge


To me, it looks like the first and last one were taken with the 1.2, while the middle two were the 1.4.


Nov 14, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Jefferson
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p.1 #4 · The Canon 50mm lens challenge




















Jefferson



Nov 14, 2012 at 11:19 PM
stevez32
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p.1 #5 · The Canon 50mm lens challenge


I'd hazard a guess that the 3rd one is the 1.4 at least.

Numbering the images would help a little as well



Nov 14, 2012 at 11:24 PM
basselmudarris
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p.1 #6 · The Canon 50mm lens challenge


A note about this challenge: I think that only photos that were taken wide open using these lenses should be used, since there's no reason to buy a 50mm f/1.2L if you're not going to use it wide open.


Nov 14, 2012 at 11:32 PM
badlydrawnboy
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p.1 #7 · The Canon 50mm lens challenge


Jefferson: I'm going to guess #1 and #2 are 50/1.2, and #3 is 50/1.4. But it's a wild guess, and I really don't know.

A lot of times I think I'm simply influenced by the subject matter and overall feel of the image, more than the lens.



Nov 14, 2012 at 11:35 PM
keoni068
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p.1 #8 · The Canon 50mm lens challenge


Thank you so much for starting this thread, as I have been wanting to venture into the 50mm focal length. I've stayed away from a 50 purchase because I admit I am a pixel peeping sharpness fanatic that has been very happy with the 35L and 85L. I've even considered the unthinkable...purchasing a Sigma, but I have been concerned about the reported focus inconsistencies.

With that said, badlydrawnboy, whatever you used for #1 consider me a buyer! My hope is that you took it with the 1.4, but my gut says you probably took it with the 50L because it has been rendered sharp with smooth bokeh. I also love #4. As you so eloquently put, I often am more influenced by the subject, lighting, and overall feeling, but I do believe the lens helps!

I also agree that it would be nice if the images uploaded to this thread were between f/1.2-2.0, as wide open, or close to, is the only reason to choose this over the nifty fifty.

Looking forward to seeing how this thread progresses!



Nov 15, 2012 at 12:22 AM
badlydrawnboy
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p.1 #9 · The Canon 50mm lens challenge


keoni68,

I'll give a few more people a chance to guess before I answer. But I can tell you that all of the images I uploaded are between f/1.2 and f/2.0. I rarely shoot above f/2.8 with the 50.



Nov 15, 2012 at 12:29 AM
padmasana
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p.1 #10 · The Canon 50mm lens challenge


Pixel Perfect wrote:
That's the trouble with the canon 50mm lens, it always seems to attract these tiny little people that smile at you - very disconcerting and why I'm loathe to use one.

http://www.fordxr6turbo.com/forum/public/style_emoticons/default/smilielol.gif


Funniest thing I've read all week!



Nov 15, 2012 at 12:36 AM
 

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Gunzorro
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p.1 #11 · The Canon 50mm lens challenge


Guessing games!

It's certainly not simple at close distance with such a cute little subject, but #2 and #4 look like what I'm accustomed to with the 1.2L.

I've owned all three, but the 1.8 was pretty atrocious, and I didn't have the 1.4 long enough or at the same time as the 1.2 to be able to say with certainty how its qualities compare. I just know for soft edge roll-off, the 1.2L is the best I've used. It's not the sharpest Canon 50mm -- that would probably be my 50/2.5 macro.

I was still writing when you posted your hint above! So, I'd say the third shot is the 1.4 shot at f/2 -- it definitely looks crisp with little vignetting. Oh! Now I'm confused -- maybe they are all 1.2L!

Really, to be fair, the different lenses should be shot wide open at the same distance, lighting, and subject. And not just one situation -- many, to be able to get a feel for how the lenses react. Close them down too, to see how the aperture affects the IQ -- but all the same parameters.




Nov 15, 2012 at 12:45 AM
mco_970
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p.1 #12 · The Canon 50mm lens challenge


Can I play? All I have for a Canon 50 is the 1.4, but I could use the ZE 50 MP, too.

DON'T make me buy a 50/1.2.



Nov 15, 2012 at 12:53 AM
Jefferson
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p.1 #13 · The Canon 50mm lens challenge


mco_970 wrote:
Can I play? All I have for a Canon 50 is the 1.4, but I could use the ZE 50 MP, too.

DON'T make me buy a 50/1.2.



I think you should buy the 50 f/1.2...



Nov 15, 2012 at 12:57 AM
badlydrawnboy
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p.1 #14 · The Canon 50mm lens challenge


mco_970 wrote:
Can I play? All I have for a Canon 50 is the 1.4, but I could use the ZE 50 MP, too.

DON'T make me buy a 50/1.2.


Fine with me!



Nov 15, 2012 at 12:58 AM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #15 · The Canon 50mm lens challenge


Michelle! I can't believe you don't have the 50L! Tsk, tsk!
********************

1Ds2, 50L @ 1.2

















Yes, that's Minas Tirith about to be chopped up!



Nov 15, 2012 at 01:21 AM
mco_970
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p.1 #16 · The Canon 50mm lens challenge


First set, I have EF 50/1.4, OM 50/1.2, ZE 50/2 MP to choose from for my 50s. One from each lens, which is which??

1.





2.





3.







Nov 15, 2012 at 02:10 AM
saneproduction
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p.1 #17 · The Canon 50mm lens challenge


basselmudarris wrote:
A note about this challenge: I think that only photos that were taken wide open using these lenses should be used, since there's no reason to buy a 50mm f/1.2L if you're not going to use it wide open.


Not true. I use the L all the time at 1.4 or 1.8 for improved sharpness and contrast.



Nov 15, 2012 at 02:12 AM
PatrickE
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p.1 #18 · The Canon 50mm lens challenge


#1 1.2
#2 1.2
#3 1.4
#4 1.2

Edited on Nov 16, 2012 at 01:23 AM · View previous versions



Nov 15, 2012 at 02:14 AM
mco_970
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p.1 #19 · The Canon 50mm lens challenge


Second set, same lens choices, one of each.

4.





5.





6.







Nov 15, 2012 at 02:15 AM
Chumma
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p.1 #20 · The Canon 50mm lens challenge









Nov 15, 2012 at 03:25 AM
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