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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 29 Apr 2018 (Sunday) 08:03
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Canon 50mm 1.2 L

 
jhaywald
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Apr 29, 2018 08:03 |  #1

Is it worth it?

I've read in a couple corners of the internet that no one can use it above 1.8-2.0 aperture, because it's so hard to get in focus. If true, why not go with the 1.8 then?


Opinions, thoughts, concerns? And thank you.




  
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bildeb0rg
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Apr 29, 2018 14:21 |  #2

mine works fine. have a trawl thru the lens sample gallery...

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jhaywald
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Apr 29, 2018 14:44 as a reply to  @ bildeb0rg's post |  #3

Those colors seem to pop a lot more with that lens.




  
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JeffreyG
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Apr 29, 2018 20:11 |  #4

I owned the lens for a number of years. My experience never matched the various complaints that circle about the internet. In my extensive experience with the 50L, I found the lens was reasonably sharp, had excellent color, excellent flare resistance, and had the best AF performance of any 50mm prime lens in EF mount.

I tended to use the lens around f/2 more than any other aperture.

What people complain about is focus shift - specifically meaning that the lens plane of focus moves a little bit as the aperture is changed. This is actually common to quite a few lenses (and probably why the Sony A series cameras focus with the lens stopped down), but it was the 50L that came in for all of the internet's scorn.

I tested my lens for the shift issue, and I simply could not get it to do it to any kind of a degree that I could see, and that was with a careful test on a tripod. So....I have no idea.


My personal stuff:http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jngirbach/sets/ (external link)
I use a Canon 5DIII and a Sony A7rIII

  
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jhaywald
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Apr 29, 2018 21:29 as a reply to  @ JeffreyG's post |  #5

From what I've gathered, it was the 50mm 1.2 L that was manufactured from 2006 to 2009 that had that issue. From 2010 and on, no complaints about the focus shift.




  
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fordmondeo
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Apr 30, 2018 04:20 |  #6

Focus shift is inherent to the design of the lens.
I noticed it most at min focus distance and at f2.0.
By 2.8 and beyond the dof negated the issue.

In short, at the price, no I don't think it's worth it.

I eventually bit the bullet and bought the 85 1.2 which as far as I know is a floating element design and does not suffer from RSA.


Vaginator9000

  
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jhaywald
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Apr 30, 2018 07:21 |  #7

fordmondeo wrote in post #18616426 (external link)
Focus shift is inherent to the design of the lens.
I noticed it most at min focus distance and at f2.0.
By 2.8 and beyond the dof negated the issue.

In short, at the price, no I don't think it's worth it.

I eventually bit the bullet and bought the 85 1.2 which as far as I know is a floating element design and does not suffer from RSA.


Wait, are you saying you don't use a 50mm at all?




  
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fordmondeo
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Apr 30, 2018 07:28 |  #8

jhaywald wrote in post #18616518 (external link)
Wait, are you saying you don't use a 50mm at all?

Not any more.
In fact I don't have the 85mm 1.2 either. I traded it for the 85mm 1.4 as there is so much I liked about it.
Sure it doesn't have quite the same look as a 1.2 but for my uses it is ideal.


Vaginator9000

  
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jhaywald
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Apr 30, 2018 07:47 as a reply to  @ fordmondeo's post |  #9

Hmmmm, never even crossed my mind to NOT use a 50mm...not once. Thank you for the advice.




  
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bildeb0rg
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Apr 30, 2018 10:55 |  #10

I'm the same as Jeff, never had a focus issue in ten years of use even though it falls within the affected date of build. Even lent it to another local POTN member who tried reeeaally hard to find the shift and failed. We were both vilified at the time as heretics, unable to use the lens "correctly", as the lens design was clearly faulty. Bottom line is, if you want to pay a grand for what some think is a great bit of near esoterica, get the 50L. It produces real nice images, but that f1.2 aperture is wafer thin. I take at least half a dozen pics at a time and discard the ones i don't like/need




  
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fordmondeo
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Apr 30, 2018 13:01 |  #11

bildeb0rg wrote in post #18616669 (external link)
I'm the same as Jeff, never had a focus issue in ten years of use even though it falls within the affected date of build. Even lent it to another local POTN member who tried reeeaally hard to find the shift and failed. We were both vilified at the time as heretics, unable to use the lens "correctly", as the lens design was clearly faulty. Bottom line is, if you want to pay a grand for what some think is a great bit of near esoterica, get the 50L. It produces real nice images, but that f1.2 aperture is wafer thin. I take at least half a dozen pics at a time and discard the ones i don't like/need

Hate to burst your bubble but it is a function of the lens design.
Unless it has fundamentally changed since first launch, all canon 50mm 1.2 lenses will display RSA.


Vaginator9000

  
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JeffreyG
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Apr 30, 2018 14:39 as a reply to  @ fordmondeo's post |  #12

The issue probably isn't so much that it doesn't happen, but that it is really only detectable just about at the MFD.

In my detailed testing, the shift isn't even detectable at 1.5 meters or more. It's a non-issue in most real world shooting.

Seriously, I put my 50 on a tripod , focused with live view, and shot all apertures without refocusing. It is not possible to detect shift when focused at 1.5 meters or more.

Two possible scenarios:
People saw this at MFD and the internet ran with it. (My guess)
Or the degree to which this happens varies from lens to lens.


My personal stuff:http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jngirbach/sets/ (external link)
I use a Canon 5DIII and a Sony A7rIII

  
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dmead516
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Apr 30, 2018 14:50 as a reply to  @ fordmondeo's post |  #13

Hey fordmondeo: I test drove the 85 1.4 and loved it, but the price is a little high now. Someone turned me on to the 100 2.8 and I am looking at that one even though I have the 135 f2. The used 85 1.2 II are a little cheaper than the 1.4, so is there that big of a difference in your opinion and experience between the 2? I know the DOF is razor thin on the 1.2, and we have all heard horror stories of getting the thing to focus, and if the subject moved when you took the shot it was not sharp.


1DMK3, 1DMK4, 1NRS, 5DMK4, 16-35 4.0, 24-70 2.8, 70-200 2.8 II, 70-300 4-5.6L, , 17-85, 50 1.8, 18-200, 135L, Mamyia 645AF, Metz 60-Ct-1, Metz 58

  
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DaviSto
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Apr 30, 2018 17:09 as a reply to  @ dmead516's post |  #14

Well ... the DoF is extremely shallow on the 85mm F/1.2 but it isn't compulsory to shoot at F/1.2. That said, I nearly always do. It's the look that you get shooting sufficiently static subjects with the lens wide open that makes this lens for me.

For most purposes, the F/1.4 is going to be the better option, a lot more versatile and much less of a hassle to shoot with ... and F/1.4 still gives very shallow DoF at typical portrait camera-subject distances.

But I've yet to be persuaded that the F/1.4 can stand in for the F/1.2 at the thing that the F/1.2 is is really made for. I've not seen the photograph that would change my mind ... yet.


David.
Comment and (constructive) criticism always welcome.

  
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JeffreyG
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Apr 30, 2018 18:14 |  #15

There's only 1/3 stop difference from f/1.2 to f/1.4. I really doubt that you are going to be able to see much of a difference in the degree of blur between these apertures.

To me, the difference from the 85/1.2 to the 85/1.4 is more the aesthetic of the blur, and the characteristic of the image. The 85/1.2 is probably a little less sharp, but has a smoother blur. It's kind of a classic design that indulges in such tradeoffs. The 85/1.4L is a modern lens built to the tastes of most people now shooting with 50MP 35mm sensors. That is to say, it puts sharpness front and center.

It isn't that all the newer Canon lenses have bad bokeh or other characteristics. But I would say that Canon and everyone else now make lenses that are sharp as the first criteria. They know otherwise the lens will take a beating in reviews and reputation.

Indulging myself and wandering off topic, it was not so long ago that lenses like the 35L (I) and 85L (II) were a part of the 'holy trinity'....revered for their incredible sharpness. Now on the forums the 85L retains grudging acceptance and the 35L is regarded as acceptable for tasks like doorstop and paperweight. I can only assume it was a convergence of more pixels and higher resolving computer designed lenses that shifted this opinion.


My personal stuff:http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jngirbach/sets/ (external link)
I use a Canon 5DIII and a Sony A7rIII

  
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Canon 50mm 1.2 L
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