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Should I keep this 50L (sample images included)?
  
 
rabbitmountain
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p.1 #1 · Should I keep this 50L (sample images included)?


I picked up a new 50L 11 days ago and I have a 2 week return period. It's sunday june 10th 2013 now and I have 3 more days to evaluate. However this is my first ever 50L and I would like other 50L owners here on FM to give me some reference as to how this lens performs.

Questions to 50L users:
1. Did I perform adequate tests, i.e. did I set up the appropriate distance and so forth?
2. How does this copy perform compared to your experience?
3. How come I don't see focus shift?

Before moving on to the details, I must say that I absolutely love this lens and I'm determined to have a good copy. There is no doubt in my mind about liking the concept and optical qualities. So here we go:

Date code: UA1109
According to this article, the lens was manufactured in Utsunomiya, Japan in november 2012.

This lens was sold as new, it had been on display behind glass and taken from the shelf and packed into its original box as I watched. I would have preferred it otherwise, but the retailer is trustworthy and I get all my kit from them. The front element was quite dusty but they cleaned it well with a soft cloth and I could not notice any irregularities.

Cameras I am using the lens on:
- 5DmkII: MA setting is -3. AF is pretty good in good light and crappy in low light. All as expected.
- 5D: AF is still uncalibrated and it's quite a bit off, so much so that it's totally useless as is. MF on the 5D is quite good (I have the super precision EE-S focusing screen for the 5D).

CPS
I'm a silver member and I'm entitled to have my gear calibrated twice a year at no cost. If I should decide to keep this copy I can take it to CPS and have it taken care of.

Focus shift
I don't really notice the focus shift though I was biased certain to find it. Quite strange, as I once tested a 50L that really exhibited focus shift visibly. Maybe I didn't venture in the appropriate combination of parameters (like distance to subject).

Sharpness
I tested sharpness on a small box of sauce tabs (real size about 2x3inches) and on a brick wall. Sauce tabs box first. Distance was about 3 feet. Settings used are Aperture Priority, +1.1/3 Exposure correction, LV 10x precise focusing with lens on Manual, checked focus every couple of shots.

Here is the scene:





And here are some 100% crops. Treatment: shot RAW, imported into Lightroom 4.4 at default settings.





50L @f/1.2





50L @f/2.0-f/5.6





50L @f/1.2, LR4.4 sharpening set to Amount 80 and Radius 0.8.

Brick wall is next.
Scene (shot at 4 feet):










50L @f/1.2





50L @f/2.0





50L @f/2.8





50L @f/4.0




50L @f/5.6





50L @f/1.2, LR4.4 sharpening set to Amount 80 and Radius 0.8.

Scene (shot at 8 feet):










50L @f/1.2





50L @f/2.0





50L @f/2.8





50L @f/4.0





50L @f/5.6





50L @f/1.2, LR4.4 sharpening set to Amount 80 and Radius 0.8.

I apologise for the many images. I combined the Maggi box into a set of 4 but I've run out of time to do the bricks, need to sleep, sorry. Thank you for viewing and your opinions.

Stay good,
Ralph

Edited on Jun 10, 2013 at 12:10 AM · View previous versions



Jun 09, 2013 at 11:15 PM
Binh Ly
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p.1 #2 · Should I keep this 50L (sample images included)?


Looks like a good copy. I have experienced that the 50L seems fine and consistent in good light like in your tests above. Once you get into dim/challenging light, then it will sometimes behave very strange and you'll experience more misses.


Jun 09, 2013 at 11:55 PM
mttran
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p.1 #3 · Should I keep this 50L (sample images included)?


It's a keeper. You can improve the 50L sharpness a bit more by sending them both in for final MA = 0. Make a note to be sure LV focus plan and VF focus plan are in tuned if you decided to send both in.

My 5d2&50L combo@f1.2: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8183/8143996670_2c942a4944_k.jpg



Jun 10, 2013 at 02:00 AM
rabbitmountain
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p.1 #4 · Should I keep this 50L (sample images included)?


Thank you Binh Ly and Michael. Today I will try to shoot some leaves in a similar composition like you Michael and see if I can attain the same level of detail. Could you provide us with a 100% crop of the middle leaves that are in focus, one without sharpening and one with sharpening? That would be excellent.

Stay good,
Ralph



Jun 10, 2013 at 05:31 AM
rabbitmountain
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p.1 #5 · Should I keep this 50L (sample images included)?


mttran wrote:
Make a note to be sure LV focus plan and VF focus plan are in tuned if you decided to send both in.

It's funny you should say that. On my 5D, VF focus is very accurate (MF is very well possible when using the VF) but AF is way off. On my 5D, when I acquire focus manually until I see a sharp image, and then use AF, I can see the focal point go unsharp immediately. And the resulting image is unsharp too.



Jun 10, 2013 at 05:35 AM
Gochugogi
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p.1 #6 · Should I keep this 50L (sample images included)?


Looks like you got a good one! It will never be as sharp as the 50 2.5 CM but it's pretty darn good and has heavenly bokeh and glow. The light falloff wide open is beautiful (unlike the light falloff of the 24-105). I almost always add a similar vignette to my images via PS.


Jun 10, 2013 at 05:39 AM
Jefferson
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p.1 #7 · Should I keep this 50L (sample images included)?


Horrible... backfocuses something terrible. Bad copy for sure... You could cut your losses and let me take it off your hands for say... $100


Jun 10, 2013 at 05:45 AM
mttran
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p.1 #8 · Should I keep this 50L (sample images included)?


rabbitmountain wrote:
Could you provide us with a 100% crop of the middle leaves that are in focus, one without sharpening and one with sharpening?
Ralph


Hi Ralph,

Quick DPP screen shots at 100%. One with DPP sharpening and other is not:

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8270/9004526124_b4976be24c_h.jpg
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8557/9004526202_bb1935ace1_h.jpg

Use DPP 100% crop then convert to JPG with and without DPP sharpening - Zoom for original uploaded

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7442/9003499499_cec11af3be_b.jpg
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3736/9003499577_e133c4a1fa_o.jpg



Jun 10, 2013 at 06:35 AM
cputeq
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p.1 #9 · Should I keep this 50L (sample images included)?


Looks good to me, I'd say its a keeper.


Jun 10, 2013 at 03:30 PM
Sir_Loin
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p.1 #10 · Should I keep this 50L (sample images included)?


Yup! As others have said it looks fine to me. My copy is sharp as well, though as most people know it's not in the same league as the 85L.


Jun 10, 2013 at 05:11 PM
 

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rabbitmountain
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p.1 #11 · Should I keep this 50L (sample images included)?


Thank you all for your thoughts. I think I just might keep this copy


Jun 10, 2013 at 05:39 PM
rabbitmountain
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p.1 #12 · Should I keep this 50L (sample images included)?


mttran wrote:
Hi Ralph,

Quick DPP screen shots at 100%.


Thank you Michael, I'll have a close look at them tonight when I sit at my home computer.

Stay good,
Ralph


Edited on Jun 10, 2013 at 05:47 PM · View previous versions



Jun 10, 2013 at 05:40 PM
unclechuck
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p.1 #13 · Should I keep this 50L (sample images included)?


Very practical and interesting thread!

Great way to see and discuss performance and share experiences, workarounds, etc

Folks, we ought to pass this idea along to Fred as "Lens Test" a forum on glass.



Jun 10, 2013 at 05:43 PM
rabbitmountain
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p.1 #14 · Should I keep this 50L (sample images included)?


Sir_Loin wrote:
Yup! As others have said it looks fine to me. My copy is sharp as well, though as most people know it's not in the same league as the 85L.


My dear Sir

Thank you for your insights. I know this is the general consensus and I would really like a 85L too, but at this time this is all I can stretch for. My next gear purchase will be a 5DmkIII (as you own yourself) and maybe some time later on I will get a 85L.

However, for my needs, I think a 85/1.8 will do fine. There's a guy who compared bokeh between a 50/1.8, 50/1.2 and 85/1.2 (the topic is somewhere on page one in the canon forum now) and That level of bokeh is way too much for my taste. I completely understand that a 85L can be shot at other apertures than 1.2, but the premium is too much for me now. My wish list contains a 5DmkIII (maybe two eventually), a 135L and a 85/1.8. Anything else may have to wait until the next decade

Stay good,
Ralph



Jun 10, 2013 at 05:46 PM
deepbluejh
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p.1 #15 · Should I keep this 50L (sample images included)?


Yours looks better than mine does... and I'm a big fan of my lens.


Jun 10, 2013 at 05:59 PM
Sir_Loin
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p.1 #16 · Should I keep this 50L (sample images included)?


rabbitmountain wrote:
My dear Sir

Thank you for your insights. I know this is the general consensus and I would really like a 85L too, but at this time this is all I can stretch for. My next gear purchase will be a 5DmkIII (as you own yourself) and maybe some time later on I will get a 85L.

However, for my needs, I think a 85/1.8 will do fine. There's a guy who compared bokeh between a 50/1.8, 50/1.2 and 85/1.2 (the topic is somewhere on page one in the canon forum now) and That level of bokeh is way too
...Show more

Hi Ralph,

No need to call me Sir, Glenn will do! . The 85 f1.8 is a fine lens and probably one of the best bang for buck lenses Canon makes. I've not seen any complaints about the quality it delivers so I'm sure you'd be extremely happy with it if you bought one. I had one a few years ago and loved it, but the 85L was calling my name!



Jun 10, 2013 at 06:40 PM
rabbitmountain
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p.1 #17 · Should I keep this 50L (sample images included)?


Sir_Loin wrote:
Hi Ralph,

No need to call me Sir, Glenn will do! . The 85 f1.8 is a fine lens and probably one of the best bang for buck lenses Canon makes. I've not seen any complaints about the quality it delivers so I'm sure you'd be extremely happy with it if you bought one. I had one a few years ago and loved it, but the 85L was calling my name!


Hi Glenn, delighted to make your acquaintance I wonder how you guys house train these lenses. I never managed to call the 85L my name or even my cat's name (my cat is called "pixel").



Jun 10, 2013 at 07:36 PM
mttran
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p.1 #18 · Should I keep this 50L (sample images included)?


Ralph, well calibrated 50L&body can be really sharp - here some crop samples of 5D2&50L@ f1.2 & f1.8 from 3-4 meters away. Focus point were on the eyes. These crops are within the dof. Zoom for original uploaded:

50%:
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8206/8176239302_3055a8a97c_o.jpg
100%:
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8063/8176174762_5134bba1f8_o.jpg

I believe yours should has the same sharpness as mine or better.



Jun 10, 2013 at 08:58 PM
kezeka
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p.1 #19 · Should I keep this 50L (sample images included)?


Looks like a great copy to me.

mttran wrote:
Ralph, well calibrated 50L&body can be really sharp - here some crop samples of 5D2&50L@ f1.2 & f1.8 from 3-4 meters away. Focus point were on the eyes. These crops are within the dof. Zoom for original uploaded:

50%:
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8063/8176174762_5134bba1f8_o.jpg

I]http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8206/8176239302_3055a8a97c_o.jpg
100%:
_http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8063/8176174762_5134bba1f8_o.jpg

I[/url] believe yours should has the same sharpness as mine or better.


Your 50L looks sharp, but - and this is my opinion - you over-sharpened the images in post. You can see the sharp lines on the highlights created by over sharpening.



Jun 11, 2013 at 01:48 AM
rabbitmountain
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p.1 #20 · Should I keep this 50L (sample images included)?


Hi Kezeka,

I suppose this:
kezeka wrote:
Looks like a great copy to me.

...is what you say about my lens

...and this:
kezeka wrote:
Your 50L looks sharp, but - and this is my opinion - you over-sharpened the images in post. You can see the sharp lines on the highlights created by over sharpening.

...is about Michael's (mttran's) lens.

Is that assumption correct?

Thanks and stay good,
Ralph



Jun 11, 2013 at 09:44 AM
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