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Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

Review Date: Sep 18, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: effect of narrow DOF combined with OOF bokeh, sharpness @large f's (if focussed correctly), overall build quality (weather sealing)
plastic filter thread & hood mount, some OOF CA, a bit pricey for a "normal"

after much debating due to the many negative reviews I decided to "bite the bullet" & buy one of these, coz I love the challenge of “normal” focal length on FF (5Dii) but hate the f1.4 version I had up to now. I was lucky to be able to choose the best one out of 3 copies (all UY code)

the razor thin DOF / sharpness @large apertures & the beautiful bokeh of this glass give pictures a unique, dreamy, 3 dimensional look which is absolutely amazing !

would like to share my experiences on the 2 hot topics I’ve read about so much here: “focus accuracy & -shift”:

I really needed to (re)learn how to focus with this lens: you gotta be extremely careful where to place the focus point (normally using the central one): I only get correct focus consistently if the highest contrast within the coverage of the focus point is also the part I want to have sharp in the picture. before realizing this I was “randomly” getting “back” or “front” focus shots !

I only experienced only slight focus shift, but it remains within the increasing DOF (when stopping down w/o refocusing)

concluding, I can only highly recommend this lens but you will need to work hard for top results ;-) !

PS: all three copies I tried out had the same focus behavior, only one needed +1 micro adjustment & there was a slight variation in sharpness between them (only visible in direct comparison)