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Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
173 323496 Sep 3, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
81% of reviewers $1,420.40
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.39
7.03
8.7
ef50lusm

Specifications:
The EF 50mm f/1.2L USM is a peerless new standard lens featuring an ultra-large aperture for a narrow depth of field and soft background blur so loved by photographers everywhere. The EF 50mm f/1.2L USM is suitable for any shooting situation; its lens coating and construction are optimized to minimize the ghosting and flare that frequently occurs when lenses are used with digital cameras. This high-performance, weather-resistant lens delivers all the superb image resolution and contrast you expect in a Canon L Series Lens.

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Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 50mm f/1.2

Lens Construction: 8 elements in 6 groups

Diagonal Angle of View: 46° (with full-frame cameras)

Focus Adjustment: AF with full-time manual

Closest Focusing Distance: 1.48 ft. / 0.45m

Filter Size: 72mm

Max. Diameter x Length, Weight: 3.4 in. x 2.6 in./85.4mm x 65.5mm 19.2 oz./545g (lens only)


 


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mentelfoto
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Registered: Sep 3, 2013
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 3, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: One of the best lenses Canion have made. I always have i with me on a wedding shoot. Its expensive, but you will love it!
Cons:

De bruidsfotograaf van Nederland: http://www.mentel.nl

Sep 3, 2013
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John57
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Registered: Jun 13, 2003
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 53
Review Date: Jul 19, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, weight for an L lens. Compact size. Image quality. f1.2 sharp for me !
Cons:
None so far.

I rented a copy of this lens before I bought it. I figured £38 for a day was fair given the write ups on the internet from various users are a bit variable to say the least !

I enjoyed using the rented copy so bought one. I am using it on a 5D Mk 3 and am used to using numerous L lenses as the wife is a professional photographer. Has this lens lived up to expectations ? Err, yes - in fact far more than I expected !!

It is built solidly and it not too heavy. Yes, far heavier than a 50mm f1.8 but then you can't compare the two. One is a pro lens and the other, though a good lens ... is the cheapest 50mm Canon make.

I weighed up whether to try the 50 1.4 but having read a lot thought the extra contrast and detail from the 1.2L was worth a go.

The copy i have is made in 2013 and whilst I think most of the issues people have with this lens are down to either it's design or inexperience I also think Canon has upped their quality control for it in the last couple of years. People now seem to have less issues than the first year or so it was out - back in 2006.

I am aware of the 'focus shift' issues and using it close up at f1.2 is asking for trouble. I haven't bought it for that but tested my copy and found it OK at 1.2 unless at the min focusing distance. Anything over 5 feet and f1.2 was quite sharp ! In fact, far sharper than the hire lens from Calumet. At the min focusing distance issues are a bit hit and miss but f1.2 is truly shallow and your target easily missed hand held.

It gives good clear images with excellent contrast, sharpness and colour. It is a nice weight on a 5D and a good carry around lens to make you think more. I generally use a 24-70 f2.8 or 24-105 f4 ... but am now thinking use primes to stop being lazy. This is only the 2nd Canon prime I have used ... but plan to make more effort in taking photos and using a super hallow depth of field that this lens offers.

I would definitely recommend it but if worried do what I did and rent first. It will not be everyones cup of tea but if considering a lens of this price I guess you know what it is capable of Smile


Jul 19, 2013
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nelvayut
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Registered: Apr 26, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 104
Review Date: Jun 13, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Built, bokeh, f/1.2, sharp, color quality
Cons:
Weight, sometimes I experienced shift focus



Jun 13, 2013
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Nektario K
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Registered: Jan 5, 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 256
Review Date: Jun 8, 2013 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: not many..
Cons:
see original review

Can't seem to correct a review..in my Pros area..I meant to just write good Bokeh -
Cons is that it does not focus fast..at least not as fast as a 1.4.. So if your shooting kids in ambient light..you will need a faster focus - I can foresee how OOF my shots will be when I will be shooting baptisms and trying to catch baby in mom's arms as she walking with him/her etc.. This 1.2 is set for a real steady subject at least to shoot in the 1.2 1.4 range


Jun 8, 2013
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Nektario K
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Registered: Jan 5, 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 256
Review Date: Jun 8, 2013 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: slower than the 1.4 and I can see why..
Cons:
way over priced for this lens' purpose..

Got this lens this week..been shooting non stop with it..before I use it on my contract.. I'm not really impressed for the price I paid.. Sharpness pre-post is not amazing.. Good bokeh, good build but nothing that the 50 1.4 EF can't do at a fraction of the price.. $1600.00 for a red ring?? Not this one anyway...Its going back...Better spend your money (1500.00) on a 70-300 4L..now that is WOW glass...

Jun 8, 2013
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barnwellh
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Registered: Apr 26, 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 6
Review Date: May 29, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,450.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: image rendering, bokeh, color reproduction
Cons:
chromatic aberration

I specifically wanted to write this review for crop frame users who prefer the 50mm focal length that produces a compressed 80mm perspective on your sensor. I believe the key to using this tool is pre-visualization; and having an intricate understanding of where the “curved” plane of focus falls at apertures 1.2 – 3.2. (at various distances).

If you plan / reliant on using autofocus then this lens will present a challenge to you with missed / out of focus shots. Single point AF is your friend, if you’re shooting portraiture without a tripod then I recommend AI-Servo to compensate for subject & shooter movement.

The build quality of this tool, balances well on my Canon 60D. On a Rebel body it may be slightly imbalanced; but I recommend simply using your index fingers to prop up the lens at the end of the barrel / lens hood…Whitehouse principal photographer Pete Souza has a good technique that I’ve been emulating with my longer lens (eg. Canon 135mm L).

I was concerned that my lack of AF microadjustment would be an issue, alas that is not the case sharp at 1.2 and crisp at 1.8 – if you do encounter this issue your local servicing dealer and or Canon is available to adjust your lens to your body (i.e Rebel series and Canon 60D).

What about image quality and color rending?

Compared to my previous 50mm 1.8, 50mm 1.4 and even mechanically poor Sigma 35mm 1.4 this lens is on another level; am confused on why so many reviewers and posters believe there’s some type of parity with consumer glass?!? It’s simply not there – no comparison except for focal length…from my perspective this tool produces a superior image rendering that is de-mon-stra-tive of professional image output.

Conclusion & Negatives

Don’t let the “L” designation, your crop-body, or the price tag scare you off!! If you demand the best image output for your photography this is the lens for you. For me this is a great companion lens with my Canon 135mm f2 L and Canon 16-35mm f2.8 L II. My only gripe is the by-product of: chromatic aberration which is easily removed with your photography editing software. The lens I received was produced in 2013 (UB 0310), and it came with the new snazzy pinch cap – get this tool while the rebate is still available.


May 29, 2013
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Yudhi
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Registered: Apr 7, 2013
Location: Indonesia
Posts: 328
Review Date: May 9, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: f1.2, creamy bokeh, sharp, color
Cons:
none

best 50mm from canon ...f1.2 is magic
this lens make me smile all the time.....^^


May 9, 2013
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rater
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Registered: Mar 26, 2013
Location: Canada
Posts: 22
Review Date: Apr 26, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Build, F/1.2.
Cons:
Slow autofocus, expensive.

I love doing photos with a 50mm, and this lens have been always on my wish list. Coming from an EF 1.4, this lens for sure feels better build and glass looks nicer. Having said that, it will be harder to master this lens than the EF 1.4. Also, I have the sensation that autofocus is faster and better on the EF 1.4 version. I guess that the lower AF performance of the 1.2L is related to huge pieces of glass that needs to be moved in the lens.

So is it worth getting this lens over the 1.4? I guess that if I have to apply logical thinking my answer would be no. It is way more expensive, AF is not as good and you only get a half stop advantage. I am going to exchange back my 1.2 for an 1.4? No way, it feels too good having this lens and once you understand its limitations, is a top performer.


Apr 26, 2013
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kyerthenomad
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Registered: Nov 29, 2012
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 16, 2013 Recommend? | Price paid: $1,450.00

 
Pros: 1.2 f stop
Cons:
inconsistent focus on the mark ii

On my mark ii it was hard to focus it sharp under 1.8
With the mark iii (perhaps I should be reviewing the camera?!), it's brilliant. I have the 35L, 85, 135L and the 24-105L. The 50 1.2 is on my camera 50 percent of the time.


Feb 16, 2013
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lucas lumiere
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Registered: Feb 10, 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 229
Review Date: Feb 7, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Colour, Bokeh, Build, Size, Sharpness, Rendering
Cons:
Needs a good AF System, Good firmware installed between the ears.

I've owned the 50 1.8 II, then the metal mount 1.8, then the 50 1.4 and finally found a good deal on the 1.2L. I used to find it frustrating to use on my old 5dc, however, that could be said for a lot of lenses. When they worked, the images were amazing, but there were lots of out of focus frames.

You need a Full Frame camera with a top notch AF system to get the most out of this lens. It absolutely SINGS on the 5dIII.


Feb 7, 2013
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fingerling69
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Registered: Jan 24, 2013
Location: Australia
Posts: 8
Review Date: Jan 25, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: F1.2, Bokeh, Sharp.
Cons:
Price.

Wow, what a lense. Superb @ F1.2, Sharp @ F1.2 and the Bokeh, brilliant. Worth every cent.

Either it's user error or there is a variation in quality between copies, mine has no such issues. My new favourite lense.


Jan 25, 2013
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mttran
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Registered: Nov 3, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 6259
Review Date: Jan 1, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Just one knock behinds the legendary 50f1.0
Cons:
none



Jan 1, 2013
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Peter Kotsa
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Registered: Nov 1, 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 267
Review Date: Dec 14, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: 1.2, bright viewfinder and fast focus, excellent build.
Cons:
$$

You get what you pay for, this is a specialised lens for low light situations.
I use it mainly between f1.2 to f2, outstanding bokeh and colours.
Pricey lens but well worth it.


Dec 14, 2012
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kyerthenomad
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Registered: Nov 29, 2012
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 29, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: It's the lens that spends the most time on my camera. It's sharp. It's a great all around focal length.
Cons:
It's doesn't focus well in low light sometimes with my mark ii. I look forward to using it with a mark iii down the road.

Even though I've calibrated this lens, I've never seen it sharp at 1.2 or 1.4.
I also love the 35m mm 1.4 and it focuses well and it's consistently sharp even full open.
But the 50mm is a better all around focal length for photographing people (horizontal shots or vertical).
The 35mm 1.4 and 135mm 2.0 make a solid combination for shooting events.. but solo.. my 50mm 1.2 wins for me.


Nov 29, 2012
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Rob Holloway
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Registered: Oct 28, 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 28, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Glorious color, depth of field and bokeh to die for
Cons:
Takes time to learn how to get the best out of this lens. it's not Point and shoot at f1.2. Focus is not super fast.

This is a specialist lens that takes time to master. It's completely different to the f1.4.

I purchased this lens to shoot our rescue dogs for our website. It's been amazing how many people have commented about the shots. They can't explain why they like the shots but i repeatedly hear that it's like 3D

I started with the 50mm f1.8 which is great for $100. Then moved to the 50mm f1.4 which is great for $350. I had about focussing issues but simply love L primes.

Every time I review a set of shots I am in awe of 3 things. The color, blacks and bokeh. It's surreal. I am not sure I have taken a shot beyond f4.

All that said, there is a learning curve with this lens as the temptation is to immediately shoot at f1.2 - because it's there. You'll be frustrated at first.

If you're looking for lightning fast AF, this lens is again not the one for you. It's not slow, but it's no speed demon.

Every time I clip this lens onto my 5D2 I am as excited as hell. Every time I fire up Lightroom, I just smile.


Oct 28, 2012
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davidmarsh
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Registered: Oct 26, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 137
Review Date: Oct 27, 2012 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Clarity, quality, robust
Cons:
A lack of understanding of this product, but that is not the products fault!

I have posted this before but any Canon service agent will tell that the so called 'back focus' issue is not down to the lens, but the setup of the sensors within the camera. With lenses over f/1.8 you do not really notice this issue suntil you hit the f/1.2 range. The camera sensors are aimed towards the centre of the frame but will need adjusting for lenses with such a tiny depth of field. The principle is the same as the famous 'bouncing bomp' used in WW2. Many cameras are setup for the main lens product range but if you plan to use a low f/ stop on a regular basis, you need to visit a Canon service centre to have the sensors re-aligned. Alternatively you can run a series of tests to acertain where the camera sensors tend to focus and make the adjustments when shooting.

Oct 27, 2012
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Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
173 323496 Sep 3, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
81% of reviewers $1,420.40
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.39
7.03
8.7
ef50lusm


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