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Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
187 375124 Jan 30, 2022
Recommended By Average Price
82% of reviewers $1,378.25
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.34
6.98
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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talialaird
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Registered: Jan 29, 2022
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 30, 2022 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Bokeh, film like aesthetic
Cons:

My absolute FAVORITE lens! I am a hybrid film shooter and this lens allows me to shoot wide open and get that creamy film look with my digital camera

Jan 30, 2022
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dbolle
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Registered: Aug 12, 2019
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jan 12, 2022 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Creamy, dreamy bokeh. Great color rendition. really a "fine art" feel. Definitely need to know how to use it, but it gives excellent results - if you take your time.
Cons:
heavy, but not a big deal.

Definitely not a run and gun type of lens. take your time, and it'll give you good results. Very creamy - backgrounds disappear. Good heavy build quality. not a daily driver, so to speak, but beats the 1.4 hands down. Interesting sidenote: rediscovered this lens with the R6. focuses faster and more precisely through the convertor than it did through an ef body.

Got a great deal used. needed to have the filter ring replaced and the lens serviced. Inexpensive fix.


Jan 12, 2022
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RachelJordan92
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Registered: Nov 23, 2020
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 23, 2020 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Gorgeous skin tones, beautiful bokeh, such a creamy fine art look to this lens
Cons:
The chromatic aberration, especially at the low f-stops desired for fine art film emulation is very intense. Sometimes so much so that I can't clean it up all the way within lightroom.

This lens is attached to one of my cameras for every session. A beautiful lens that is a very versatile focal length and has fantastic fine art film emulation qualities. It's sturdy and well built- be prepared for some weight, but it's so worth it for the image quality. Overall I love this lens. My only complaint is the extreme chromatic aberration that comes with my lens... it's very intense sometimes.

Nov 23, 2020
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Dany333
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Registered: Nov 11, 2018
Location: United States
Posts: 48
Review Date: Nov 24, 2019 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Color rendition. Magical image look. Bokah. Awesome wide open.
Cons:
Maybe the price.

Got this used for 700. I always give people good deals when selling things so I guess what goes around finally has come around. Awesome lens. 50 is the best focal length IMO better then the 35 as you don’t get the facial distortion at close distance. Love this lens. Just looking at it turns me on. Something about the way pictures look from this lens.

Nov 24, 2019
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Diesel03
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Registered: Mar 22, 2015
Location: United States
Posts: 18
Review Date: Feb 5, 2018 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great low light performance.
Cons:
You have to know how to use it.

I love this lens. Use it for low light situations like inside a dim church where flash is not permitted. Great for portraits and street photography. Very shallow DOF at f/1.2.

Feb 5, 2018
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louisvillewedd
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Registered: Jan 11, 2017
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Review Date: Jan 11, 2017 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fairly sharp, even at 1.2, though it can look pretty dreamy. However, I like the dreamy look for a lot of portraits. Focuses fairly quickly. Works great for wedding photography and would highly recommend for wedding photographers as a good, all-around lens.
Cons:
Even after micro-adjustment, I've had inconsistent focus results when at large apertures. Also, switching between landscape and portrait can yield different issues with back/front-focusing, despite micro-adjustment. Wedding photographers shooting at large apertures will want to make they have this thing calibrated. Lastly, I sent our first one back in to Canon due to hexagonal bokeh. They said that it should be circular, so they sent me a replacement.

Overall, I highly recommend this for portrait and wedding photographers. It is one of my widely used lenses, and, if I was to shoot a whole wedding with only one lens, this would be it (although it might be tough with a Catholic ceremony!)

Jan 11, 2017
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peterstrong
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Registered: Dec 21, 2016
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 21, 2016 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros:
Cons:

I also shoot Leica and own both Leica's damned-close-to-perfection 50mm f/1.4 Summilux ASPH and an uncoated Carl Zeiss 5cm f/1.5 Sonnar made in 1937 with air bubbles in the glass. The Summilux is, by all measurable ways a vastly better lens than the Sonnar, but there is something magical about Sonnar portraits that causes people to hunt these lenses down and get them converted and adjusted to their modern Leica cameras. The Canon 50mm f/1.2 is not a Sonnar, but it is great for the same reasons the Sonnar is great.

Dec 21, 2016
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asiafish
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Registered: Apr 18, 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 516
Review Date: Jul 8, 2016 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,350.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Buy this for f/1.2, beautiful bokeh, sharp (in the center), excellent color, high build-quality, weather sealed, accurate focus.
Cons:
Strong chromatic aberrations, soft in the corners at most apertures, heavy, expensive.

This is a love it or hate it lens, and I just happen to love it. The Sigma 50/1.4 ART is a better lens in every measurable way except maximum aperture, but there are some lenses that excel in non-measurable ways. Those non-measurable things can be very important.

I also shoot Leica and own both Leica's damned-close-to-perfection 50mm f/1.4 Summilux ASPH and an uncoated Carl Zeiss 5cm f/1.5 Sonnar made in 1937 with air bubbles in the glass. The Summilux is, by all measurable ways a vastly better lens than the Sonnar, but there is something magical about Sonnar portraits that causes people to hunt these lenses down and get them converted and adjusted to their modern Leica cameras. The Canon 50mm f/1.2 is not a Sonnar, but it is great for the same reasons the Sonnar is great.

I've rented this lens about a half dozen times over the years and have always enjoyed using it for portrait and event photography. Auto focus is difficult wide-open unless you use the center point and then crop in post (focus recompose isn't a great idea, especially wide open or up close). That said, wide open or close to it there is magic in this lens. The bokeh is about the smoothest I've ever seen, every bit as good as the Leica Summilux and with the benefit of autofocus and much closer focusing than a rangefinder can. At wide apertures everything is so far out of focus that sharpness matters little (the center is very sharp when properly focused, even at f/1.2).

This is a specialty lens. When I travel with my 6D I usually bring just my 35/1.4, and MAYBE bring along the 100/2.8 Macro. This is not a travel lens, or a landscape or architecture lens. This is a PEOPLE lens, the one I would bring to an intimate jazz club or a wedding reception.

I would also like to mention focus shift and quality control. I've rented copies of this lens that had pretty severe focus shift between f/1.4 and f/2.8 at close distances (never had any problem at all beyond two meters), but newer copies seem to be better. I just bought this lens last week and after testing it for wide-open AF micro-adjust (none required) used it for an indoor event (Rotary club meeting) where I took a lot of low-light portraits and a few candids.

My event shots were all perfectly focused. After the event, I set up my focus target and tried slightly stopping down at a close distance (24 inches) and focus shift was present, but so minimal as to not matter to me as available depth of field still covered the area focused on. My lens has a date code of UE, meaning it was made in March of 2016. It would appear that Canon has solved some of the early focus shift issues and vastly improved calibration before shipping the lenses out from the factory.

I've wanted this lens for a few years, and with this, the 35/1.4 L II and the 100/2.8 L IS Macro feel that I have essentially a complete set of high-end Canon glass for the way I like to shoot with a DSLR. This 50mm is definitely the weak-link in the chain when it comes to all-around versatility. The 35 and 100 are as close to "perfect" as a lens in their category can be. This 50/1.2 is no Otus or even Sigma ART replacement, but it is a delightful lens that will return gorgeous images when used within its limitations.

If I didn't have the Summilux for my Leica, I would have gone for the Otus or the Sigma ART, and still may, but for the way I shoot, this lens is a good fit and while expensive for what it is, I really wanted f/1.2.


Jul 8, 2016
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Trevor Sowers
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Registered: Aug 14, 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 111
Review Date: May 25, 2016 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent ergonomics and focus
Cons:
Price

I just love this lens! I can nail focus under almost any conditions and it tracks in servo very well. I get beautiful and unique looking photos with this lens and it is one of my favourite lenses. Lots has been said about focus shift but in my experience that only occurs with focus distances under 1 meter. It's always with me and it's one of my best purchases.

May 25, 2016
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DesertFoxPhoto
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Registered: Sep 20, 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 57
Review Date: May 21, 2016 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,070.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Beautiful out of focus rendering style. Great build quality. Weather sealing is an added bonus.
Cons:
Somewhat soft image rendering when manual focusing wide open or stopped down. Autofocus can be challenging on center point even with in-camera adjustment.

This lens is fantastic for shooting subjects with an incredibly beautiful out of focus background and somewhat dreamy rendering style. Due to the character or the lens, the 50 1.2L USM is certainly a specialty tool and will not be the right choice for everyone.

There is a minimum focusing distance of roughly 1.5 feet which may make it tricky to shoot smaller objects close up. Due to this, the lens is really intended for portraits and street photography.

If you're a buyer looking for similar quality wide open to Canon's recent zooms such as the 24-70 2.8II or the 70-200 2.8 II, this lens won't compare unless you stop down the aperture significantly to 2.8 or 4.0. Even then, this lens doesn't quite have the pop or sharpness of the 24-70 2.8 II, but the background blur looks fantastic.

In the right hands, this lens can produce some incredible shots when the conditions are just right and no lens I have used has rendered images with a comparable out of focus background blur.

Overall, this is a specialty tool used to achieve a specific look for weddings and formal portraits where blowing out the background takes priority over absolute sharpness. If the unique, slightly hazy look is what you are going for, this may be the lens for you.


May 21, 2016
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Carles77
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Registered: Sep 19, 2012
Location: Spain
Posts: 5
Review Date: Nov 18, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $950.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Colours, contrast, "magic" in many photos
Cons:
Price and Many optical problems but...

This is a lens that you love and hate at the same time. This lens is the only one capable to extract magic from a photo that no other lens can, and in another make a very boring one... I think that this character makes the relation a little difficult but interesting.. Lens have many optical flaws but in some moments this gives the especial imatges that can produce. The price is too much for such a lens, but when some photo comes with magic it's really priceless for me. So this is a keeper!

Nov 18, 2015
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tcphoto
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Registered: Mar 29, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1515
Review Date: Nov 16, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: The 50L is truly my go to lens and creates beautiful images. I especially love the bokeh when shot between F1.4-2.0. Whether shooting portraits or product, I haven't been disappointed.
Cons:
It's priced at 3x the price of the Canon EF50/1.4.

I have never been disappointed with the results of shooting with this lens. You may be tempted to shoot wide open with it but will find that F1.4-2.0 to render quite beautiful results.

Nov 16, 2014
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aestiva
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Registered: Feb 17, 2009
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 12, 2014 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Sharp after f1.6 amazing built Beautifull bokeh, almost as good as the 85 1.2L II
Cons:
Price slow AF but fast enough for sport very soft at 1.2 - 1.4 Cheap lenshood

This lens is one of my favourite lenses. This lens has an amazing built and feels solid en professional.
Don't buy this lens if you want to use it on 1.2 of 1.4! Then the Sigma 50 1.4 art is a better choice. The Sigma has a better sharpness on open diafragmas and a fast AF.

Buy this lens if you also want to use it in the rain en if bokeh is important. I prefer this lens above the Sigma art because of the bokeh. It's far smoother! Almost as good as the 85 1.2L

See my page for a lot of samples http://facebook.com/totaalfotografie


Nov 12, 2014
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Dpedraza
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Registered: Jan 8, 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 1843
Review Date: Sep 4, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp; build quality; bokeh;
Cons:

I bought this lens to use on my 6d when I had it. I read all the negative reviews but still bought it regardless. In all honesty it lens is better than the review will lead on. It was quick to lock focus(even on the af of the 6d) was pretty nice wide open. It wasn't as bad as everyone made it out to be at least in my opinion. There was color fringing wide open which is easily fixed in post. The lens was pretty sharp by f2 but wasn't terrible at 1.2. With Ultra fast aperture lenses nailing focus is important and I think a lot of people weren't nailing focus which resulted in poor IQ. I had very little problem with this lens wide open even handheld. The size was very nice it felt very nice on the 6d. Honestly I'd say rent one before buying or skip this lens altogether and get a sigma 50mm 1.4 Art. If you're buying this lens you are probably buying for the character of the lens not so much über sharp images.

Sep 4, 2014
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Soulphoto2014
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Registered: Sep 3, 2014
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 3, 2014 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,120.00 | Rating: 3 

 
Pros: Model photographers use it for half body, but Sigma 50 1.4 Art is way better!
Cons:
Not sharp wide open, focus shift, too expensive

Good for half body modelshots, but buy the newer Sigma 50 1.4 Art instead, the Sigma is sharp wide open, no focus shift, best deal!!! Canon should stop producing this one and start an enhanced 50 1.2LII.

Sep 3, 2014
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Jim Heine
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Registered: Apr 9, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 321
Review Date: Aug 27, 2014 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: It's Canon's best 50, bokeh is fine, autofocus for center point is pretty good, decent flare resistance
Cons:
Using outer focus points doesn't really work well with this lens, focus/recompose doesn't work well either, not very sharp on the edges of the frame even at f2.8-f4, bokeh is decent but I don't love the overall rendering, focus shift is real, too heavy, CA, slow autofocus

I've tried all of Canon's 50mm lenses, including the macro. I've used 3 copies of the 1.2L. My latest copy is the best one.

I have a hard time loving this lens. It has problems, which I mentioned in the Cons above. It's still Canon's best 50mm lens in almost every regard. And I love this focal length.

The focus on the 50 1.2L is more accurate than the other Canon 50's, but that's not saying much. If you put your subject on the edge of the frame, you may have problems focus/recomposing or using outer focus points with this lens. Even if you can nail focus, it's just not sharp towards the edges of the frame at any aperture, really. There's also focus shift, which you can read about online. That said, the other Canon 50's aren't accurate focusers either. The 1.2 is the best of the evils.

The lens isn't that sharp at f1.2 even in the center. It's just abysmal in the corners at that aperture. Around f1.6 it becomes more acceptable. At F2 it's good in the center. At f2.8 it's great in the center. Unfortunately outside the center is "meh" even at f2.8.

I'm not sure I love the bokeh or rendering of this lens. Compare this lens to Nikon's 58 1.4. There's no contest. The bokeh is still very much better than the other Canon 50s.

This lens is mildly heavy. For some reason, it seems heavier than some other lenses of a similar weight (24L, 35L, 100L). Must be something with the balance. If you're carrying this around all day, you'll notice.

Most amateur photographers should probably get the f1.4 version, but professionals will be stuck getting the 50L for accuracy of focus, better bokeh, flare resistance, etc. It's not a lens without its flaws. Really praying to the photo gods that Canon releases the rumored 50mm 1.8 IS that's reasonably sharp, lightweight, and has accurate focus.


Aug 27, 2014
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Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
187 375124 Jan 30, 2022
Recommended By Average Price
82% of reviewers $1,378.25
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.34
6.98
8.7
ef50lusm


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