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Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
182 352991 Jan 11, 2017
Recommended By Average Price
81% of reviewers $1,399.44
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.33
6.93
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: 46į (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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KFG1
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Registered: Apr 13, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 2334
Review Date: Dec 18, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,599.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great IQ, Great build, Accurate AF in low light, Sharp @ 1.2,
Cons:
None - I'm happy with it.

I'm very happy with the real world shots that this lenses produces. It has much better AF in low light then the 50 /1.4, doesn't hunt for the subject, very accurate. I do think this lense may do the real world shot better then it tests on charts, box sides etc. Finally a 50mm that can make those magic shots. Highly Recommended!

Dec 18, 2006
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mbailey
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Registered: Apr 12, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 351
Review Date: Dec 18, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,443.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp even at low f numbers. Excellent construction. Fast and accurate focus. Awesome bokeh
Cons:
May miss focus at very short range (extensively discussed) Definitely into "diminishing returns" area of cost.

Iam very pleased with this lens. Like others I have compared with my 50f1.4 finding that the 50f1.2 is sharper than the 1.4 in the f range equal to and below 2 which is were I most need it. Above f2 I cant really tell any difference in center sharpness but the 50L still has an advantage in color/contrast imo.
I plan to use the lens for portraits. Since it is a little wider than the 85L, I can get full body shots or family sized groups easier in typical sized locations. Its exactly what I wanted but many will find its cost hard to justify since it is such a niche product.


Dec 18, 2006
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Photon
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Registered: Jan 18, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 10239
Review Date: Dec 11, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,599.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: High contrast and resolution across the frame (even at wide apertures), beautiful bokeh, consistent AF, flawless build quality and feel.
Cons:
Price, moderate AF speed.

After head to head testing against my 50/1.4, a bit of real world shooting, and comparison with my other L primes (24, 35, 85Mk2, 135), I'm ready to consider this lens a trusted part of my Canon arsenal. I've checked it out with the 1Ds and 1DMk2. Here are my basic findings:

Using the center AF point and a high contrast target at about 1.5 meters (~5 feet), the focus was dead on. Wide open, the images were sharp at center and pretty far toward the corners. Using an off-center focusing point, the focus was not as accurate. That could be a concern for vertical portraits, but in practice I found that the inaccuracy in AF was not as great as the difficulty of keeping an exactly stable distance to the subject when doing a hand held, close range portrait. In other words, don't rock if you expect to keep the paper thin DOF on the eyes at f/1.2! Working with this lens in that manner is much like using the 85L.

Autofocus is not quite as fast as the 50/1.4, though more consistent, and even quiter. It is about the same speed as the 35L, definitely faster than the 85LMk2, noticeably slower than the 85/1.8.

One minor nit about the AF: I find that at distances of 2 feet and under, the lens back-focuses slightly on either body. Minor, because when I'm that close, I'm going to stop down and/or use manual focus. At portrait distances, AF is acccurate and adequately fast for that use.

There is vignetting at f/1.2, which I consider no shortcoming at that aperture. The exposure in the central part of the frame is close to a half stop greater than that with the 50/1.4 wide open. That is, if (as some have complained) the 50L is not quite a true f/1.2 (I'm not equipped to measure the f/ ratio, as opposed to light transmission), it is at least faster than the 1.4 lens by an appropriate margin.

From an aesthetic standpoint, I love what I'm seeing in out-of-focus backgrounds. Bokeh is not a quantitative measure of "how blurry are the OOF areas", or "how perfectly round are the OOF highlights". Rather, it's a judgment about how prettily things are rendered. To borrow a phrase from Michael Reichmann, I like the way this lens "draws", both in focus and out. It is definitely priced on the high end of its worth, but since I only get fussier about images as I get older, I think I will be glad that I have it, especially when I can forget what I paid for it!


Dec 11, 2006
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Benny L
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Registered: Feb 4, 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 58
Review Date: Dec 7, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,737.05 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, L glass
Cons:
Price (But if you clos your eyes it doesn't hurt as much)

VERY sharp from f1.2 to f11, however it suffers a bit at f16. (Probably due to diffraction) works very nicely on the 1DS MKii.

Price is pretty steep but i believe in getting what you paid for...


Dec 7, 2006
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jaimo
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Registered: May 11, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 17
Review Date: Nov 6, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Had the opportunity last week to use a working, nonproduction 50mm 1.2 the other day at the Canon booth at Photo Plus Expo in NYC. Not as heavy on my 1DMark II as I expected. Think of a compact 35mm 1.4 or 70-300 DO. Clicked off several frames and the focusing was fast and the color/detail good. Build quality felt good
Cons:
on a 1:3 sensor it's a 65mm lens (kinda like no man's land). I'd rather continue to use my 35mm 1.4, though I prefer the 50mm's compactness (about half the length of the 35mm 1.4. The cost is the real stumbling block, unless there's a winning lottery ticket in my future.



Nov 6, 2006
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W.S.
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Registered: Jun 15, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 20
Review Date: Oct 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros: 1. Usable at wide apartures 2. Good colour and contrast rendition. 3. Solid L construction. 4. Excellent resistance to flare and purple fringing. 5. Weather and Dust proof
Cons:
1. Disappointment with no floating design 2. Moderate focus speed 3. Extremely expensive compare to 50mm f/1.4 4. Disproportion in Dolloar vs. Performance = poor value 5. Less sexy than 50mm f/1.0 ( sorry but cant resist)

My first impression on the lens when I got it from CPS is:
The glass it used was much less than I expected. Compare to 85mm f/1.2 it uses much less glass. Canon managed an excellent job to draws much of light only with relatively less glass. From engineering point of view it reduces the material and as well as the weight of the lens even though I still think its relatively heavy with 6group and 8 elements glass at 580g.

PROS:

The pros about this lens are its excellent resistance to purple fringing. I did some test and confirm it did an excellent job against purple fringing and flare. Secondly, this lens is an optically fast lens; however the focus speed is just moderate to me.

The lens is excellent optically, it's usable wide open at low light condition but still require to step down a bit to get sharper picture.

The weather and dust proof would greatly benefit journalist needs to carry around in various weather conditions in 1 series camera.

CONS:

No floating system design.
I am quite disappointed about Canon didnít consider apply such technique in its 50mm lens. Even though itís as fast as 85mm 1.2 but the bokeh in 85mm 1.2 will outperform at same aperture. So if you are looking for the specialized bokeh lens, you could have better choice.

The focusing speed is slightly faster than my 85mm 1.2 II L. However, the focusing speed is just moderate. Compare to 50mm 1.4 the focusing speed is similar at same aperture. I would expect much better performance at its price.

The dolloar vs. performation evaluation was poor due to itís cost was 4x times than the 50mm 1.4 lens but its optical speed is just less than half stop faster, focusing speed is similar to 50mm 1.4 as well. For a 50mm lens, I would consider this lens has a very poor value.

Conclusion: As I stated above with all my pros and cons comments about this lens and I gave it a overall rating of 6/10. Would I recommend this lens ? My answer is yes but only if the money doesnít come out from your pocket.


William S


Oct 28, 2006
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Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
182 352991 Jan 11, 2017
Recommended By Average Price
81% of reviewers $1,399.44
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.33
6.93
8.7
ef50lusm


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