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Canon EF 50mm f/1.0L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
20 313287 Nov 9, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
90% of reviewers $2,859.09
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.69
6.36
8.9
ef50mmf_10l_1_

Specifications:
The world’s fastest interchangeable SLR lens with a super large maximum aperture. It has two aspherical lens elements and four elements with a high refractive index. Outstanding delineation with minimal flare even at the maximum aperture. This lens ushers you to a new avenue of photographic possibilities. A dream lens in the AF age.


 


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KPV-1Ds
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Registered: Dec 29, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1189
Review Date: May 20, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,500.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Low light shooting ability, amazing build quality, selectable focusing range, exellent bokeh
Cons:
Bokeh not as smooth as the 85mm f/1.2, crazy used price tag...more than original price!

I first saw this lens in my dealer's shop when I picked up my first DSLR, the Canon 1Ds. It was in his personal collection and he wasn't interested in selling it. He let me try it out in his shop though. I fell in love with this lens and vowed to own one someday.

This lens has become somewhat analagous to a mythical creature. Its extraordinary used price tag keeps it out of reach of most, except for the terminally insane, such as myself.

Well, it is 2006 and I have upgraded the original 1Ds to a 1Ds Mark II. The 50mm f/1.0 lens has been discontinued for a number of years. It was still desirable to me so when a good example came on the market, I decided to buy it.

I really love this lens. I don't necessarily always use its primary feature, the f1.0 stop, but it has proven itself in the mid stop range quite commendably. I like having the ability to shoot in a wide variety of lighting conditions without changing lenses.

I prefer it over my 85mm f1.2 many times due to the wider field of view.

Will the newer, faster focusing, 50mm lenses beat it in a pixel peeping contest? In the majority of cases, yes. Will they be able to open up to f/1.0? Nope.

I will admit, part of this purchase was emotional. It was a chance to own the mythical beast that has been touted unobtainium.

I can't recommend it to the masses due to its hefty price, however, if you have the spare change and a good copy is available, I urge you to try it out. You just might like it as much as I do!


May 20, 2006
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bayerische
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Registered: Feb 24, 2004
Location: Finland
Posts: 2
Review Date: Mar 3, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: F:1.0! Solid build, you can almost smell the quality.
Cons:
Weight, but that comes almost always hand in hand with quality. Price. Extremely difficult to use.

WellI bought this lens a bit inpulsively. It's used, but as new. Price paid 1400€.

The F1.0 aperture makes otherwise impossible shots a possibility. In the middle of night I can shoot at a shutter speed from 40-80/1 sec. During day it's almost impossible to use the F1.0 outside, it's simply too light.

Optical performance at maximum aperture don't really blow you away, but stopped down to 2.8, or even better 5.6 it's good.

But the real show stealer is ofcourse the Aperture, and the possibilities it gives the lens users.

The lens is difficult to use, and it is a special tool, it's not you average lens. When used for portraiture, the focus areas dept might be as shallow as 2-3mm, so focusing takes on a new meaning.

I believe it's original price was about 3300€ in Finland. That's a lot! You get the 1.4 and 1.8 50mm for about 100€ and 350€, so you pay a lot of money for the aperture, and the 1kg weight.

I think many people don't like this lens, because even the 1.8 50mm lens can out perform it, but this lens is not ment for razor harp pictures, it's ment for low-light work. And the effect you get from this lens, can't be reproduced by any other lens. It's simply super for what it was intended for.

I would never had payed 3300€ for it, but 1400€ is a reasonable price for a mint specimen.

Even though its dinosaur weight, millionaire price-tag, shabby slow focus and not so sharp images at f1.0 I will rate it EXCELLENT. Because it really is excellent. It's a specialist tool, and it can get you those impossible shots. It's pretty small, and so solidly built I think it would fit god as a coconut cracker.
Love working with it. If you love low light, handheld, so much different than tripod work. Find yourself one. It's not easy to find one. And last its price is done sinking, it will become a rarity.


Mar 3, 2004
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Olsen
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Registered: May 4, 2003
Location: Norway
Posts: 147
Review Date: Jun 3, 2003 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Large aparture. Just amazingly large application area. Nice bukeh. Fairly sharp when used under normal light conditions. Sturdy design and very solidly built.
Cons:
Out of this world expensive; you pay 2,000 US$ for one aparture stop! Heavy.

Would never have bought this animal new. It just isn't cost effcient to pay 2,000 US$ for one aparture stop. Still, it is a thrill to have and I use it a lot. Not only a collectors item, but a tool with some unique application areas. Like night city scenes. Hand held, mind you. People tend to think that you are only fooling around since it is too dark for normal photography. Then they relax.

Does that one click stop, that magic 1:1,0 mean so much? It does. It makes it possible for you to shoot hand held down to EV 6 (100 ASA) which is light from a 60 W bulb. Or, at this time of the year, you can shoot 24 hours a day, - hand held, through the northern Scandinavian bright summer nights.

Equally, it is ideal for outdoor shooting, - at all, at dull and gray Scandinavian winter days with equally marginal light. Hand held. The only lense around for that kind of conditions.

It is extremely difficult to use to what it was intended to be used for; portraiture. The DOF is only millimetres thick at full opening. But it leaves a beautiful bukeh-background and slides in and out of focus nicely.

Solidly built. Something it shares with all the white tele lenses and the equally designed 85 mm/1,2 L. Far more rigid than anything else on the EOS/EF program. More in line with Carl Zeiss/Hasselblad. Heavy like a hand grenade out of WWI.



Jun 3, 2003
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hiro
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Registered: Apr 16, 2003
Location: Japan
Posts: 1
Review Date: Apr 17, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Ultimately Fast, Good tonality, Usable sharpness at wide open, Rich color
Cons:
Heavy, Slow AF, Expensive

This lens has some major drawbacks - too slow AF, too heavy to carry around. This lens may not be an every-day lens.
But this lens has some special ability which other lenses can never deliver - "F1.0", very shallow depth of field, big-bang like bokeh at wide open.
F1.0 saves a full stop of ISO for digitals, it produce clearer image in low light. The large amount of background blur (bokeh) make a special atmosphere but it somewhat drops with digitals. In calculation, F1.0 on full size is almost equivalent to F1.48 for D60 and F1.25 for 1D.
Some may say the electric focus ring is too loose but this may not be a flaw as this lens is mainly used in Full-Time-manual-Focus with just a finger tip movement.
The AF is too slow but the lens has focus limiter. However, it still slow with the limiter, not a same league to 50/1.4 or something else.
Speaking of image quality, this lens produce decent image with good tonality. The sharpness at wide-open F1.0 is good but not so good; I like the sharpness at f1.1 or f1.2. The sharpness decreases at closest distance (60cm) even the lens has floating elements. IMO, this lens produces good tonality than 50/1.4.
Color is rich but warmer, I think. The lens contains four of high-refractive index glasses and it affect the color balance. (According to the canon brochure, this lens use a unique coating to cancel the color cast by such glasses)
Note this lens is too huge with a hood attached and the hood blocks AF assist light of D60.

Here is sample photo for this lens with D60.

http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~eg3y-ssk/photo/tstar/machi53/index.htm


Apr 17, 2003
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Canon EF 50mm f/1.0L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
20 313287 Nov 9, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
90% of reviewers $2,859.09
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.69
6.36
8.9
ef50mmf_10l_1_


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