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  Reviews by: hiro  

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Canon EF 50mm f/1.0L USM

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
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.