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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 17 Aug 2012 (Friday) 01:09
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Canon 50 F1.2 L Real World Results?

 
downhillnews
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Aug 17, 2012 01:09 |  #1

Hey all I am going to sell my 24-70 tomorrow and was planning on replacing it with a 50 F1.2 but after looking at the complaints in the sample section I am worried. Seems like it is not super sharp below F1.8?

If thats the case should I save $1K and get the 50 F1.4 instead..... or maybe the Sigma F1.4?

I shoot product studio images, sports MTB and MX and the rare portrait lifestyle images. I have a 70-200 F2.8 IS, a 16-36 F2.8 MKII.

Another option is a 35 F1.4..... I have a 1Ds II BTW.

HELP!!


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lancebroad
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Aug 17, 2012 01:11 |  #2

The 50L is what you make of it. Most of it is user error. The DOF focal plane is so razor thin at f1.2 a slight movement after focus results in stuff out of focus.

I loved my copy, but I couldnt have both the 85 and 50L.


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thestone11
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Aug 17, 2012 01:38 |  #3

lancebroad wrote in post #14869241 (external link)
The 50L is what you make of it. Most of it is user error. The DOF focal plane is so razor thin at f1.2 a slight movement after focus results in stuff out of focus.

I loved my copy, but I couldnt have both the 85 and 50L.

+1 the dof is super thin at wide open for the 50L. Using the center point for AF and recompose will almost guarantee miss the focus on the spot you want it to be. If you want a super sharp lens then go for the 35L, you will be happier. The 50L is not famous for its sharpness, is its bokeh that gets the attention.


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Nightdiver13
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Aug 17, 2012 01:59 |  #4

I just purchased one of these, and went into it with the same reservations you have. After reading about the focus shift issues, and lack of sharpness, I was prepared for the worst. Like any lens, there must be sample variation, and some people luck out and get a lens that works well with their camera body straight out of the gate.

lancebroad wrote in post #14869241 (external link)
The DOF focal plane is so razor thin at f1.2 a slight movement after focus results in stuff out of focus.

thestone11 wrote in post #14869290 (external link)
+1 the dof is super thin at wide open for the 50L. Using the center point for AF and recompose will almost guarantee miss the focus on the spot you want it to be.

I made sure to test the focus/recompose thing while trying out the lens, and posted below are examples of how sensitive the DOF is to recomposing. From center focus, I shifted the lens less than one full brick to the side. Both shots are wide open, SOOC, with no sharpening or other presets. The crops are 100% crops, again with nothing done to them.


Center focus (no recompose):

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Frame recomposed after center focus:

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100% crop of static shot:

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100% crop of recomposed shot:

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I was pretty blown away by the results, both in terms of how sensitive the thin DOF is, and how sharp the lens is wide open. Having owned all the other 50mm options, and several other fast primes, the only lens that was sharper wide open was the 100L macro, which I guess isn't really a fast prime in the same sense.

Having used the lens for a day of product photography, I'm so glad I went for it. Most of what folks say is true: CA can be pretty rough in high contrast areas until about 2.8 or so, and lots of vignetting wide open. I haven't experienced focus shift yet, but maybe I haven't shot the right combination of aperture and distance. I've had the same focus results when using center point and outer points, and of course the backgrounds this lens produces are just lovely.

I'll definitely be keeping this lens, and would endorse it fully. I must say that I would probably do the same even if the lens were softer wide open. I've seen the sample thread images and they're still great even when a bit squishy.

Neil

  
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maximus_73
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Aug 17, 2012 02:05 |  #5

Hi admin,
Can you make 2 sticky threads about 50L?
thread 1: 50L sucks because focus shift.
thread 2: 50L awesome because I manage to take excellence pictures.
:D :D :D

Nightdiver13 - Welcome to my club, so you just entered thread 2. :D :D :D

Here is another picture from 50L - focus on the eye, no recompose, it's just cropped

IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7128/7533195444_5d9f57514c_c.jpg
Here is 100% zoom on the eye
IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7265/7638425198_f1d9a545c7_z.jpg

Picture is more than a thousand words, and you judge it by yourself.

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kasey
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Aug 17, 2012 03:19 |  #6

maximus_73 wrote in post #14869337 (external link)
Here is 100% zoom on the eye
QUOTED IMAGE

Picture is more than a thousand words, and you judge it by yourself.

Indeed, you finally convinced us all...it does look a little soft...

Just kidding.


  
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Hippari
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Aug 17, 2012 03:27 |  #7

used it yesterday on a 5d3 and it's fantastic. if you're ready for 1.2, it's ready for you, but like anything, if your focus is off, it will be soft. =p


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downhillnews
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Aug 17, 2012 08:16 |  #8

Hippari wrote in post #14869453 (external link)
used it yesterday on a 5d3 and it's fantastic. if you're ready for 1.2, it's ready for you, but like anything, if your focus is off, it will be soft. =p


I had no problem using a friends 50 F1.4 wide open at 1600 ISO and 3 strobes in the trees of Santa Cruz shooting DH Mountain bikes late last year. It tracked fast and came out sharp I didnt go above F2.2

Does the 1.2 focus as fast or faster. I may just go for it ask BnH what I do if the copy I get is not to my liking I think.

Thanks!


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pdx_btk78
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Aug 17, 2012 08:50 |  #9

The 50L is definitely a less forgiving lens for me still. Its not so much issue with the lens itself but the settings I choose, or the position I was in when I took the shot causing soft image. However, when I have the settings right, the shots turns out amazing. Hopefully I will get some time this weekend to get some posted up. I was amazed at how some of the unprocessed shots turned out with this lens that I've never gotten before with any other lens I own, I had to make sure I was still shooting under "Standard" setting on my camera.

I compared the 50L to my co-workers f1.4 version, they both feel like it focus at about the same speed in ideal light condition. In some darker areas, I was able to get focus with the 50L, where as the f1.4 struggled for quite a bit before it acquires focus. So if you are going to use this lens for low light situations, definitely consider that too.


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Aug 17, 2012 10:45 |  #10

maximus_73 wrote in post #14869337 (external link)
Hi admin,
Can you make 2 sticky threads about 50L?
thread 1: 50L sucks because focus shift.
thread 2: 50L awesome because I manage to take excellence pictures.
:D :D :D

YES, some sticky threads are in order. Sticky #2 could just point to the 50L Sample Image Thread.

AlanU should be along any second now... :)


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downhillnews
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Aug 17, 2012 22:15 as a reply to  @ MatthewK's post |  #11

Seems like most issues with the lens can be based on error by user. I almost NEVER focus and recompose the shot unless in studio it's between F8-14 the whole time. Not sure.......man. Another option is the Sigma 50F1.5 and 100 L Is F2.8 Macro for the same coin....


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shinyknights
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Aug 17, 2012 23:05 |  #12

lancebroad wrote in post #14869241 (external link)
The 50L is what you make of it. Most of it is user error. The DOF focal plane is so razor thin at f1.2 a slight movement after focus results in stuff out of focus.

I loved my copy, but I couldnt have both the 85 and 50L.

Would AI-Servo help in this case? :)




  
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downhillnews
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Aug 18, 2012 02:22 |  #13

shinyknights wrote in post #14873085 (external link)
Would AI-Servo help in this case? :)


No but again a 17 MP is plenty big. Having 45 AF points I do not typically shoot this route. I had the 200F2 for about 2 weeks and had maybe 10 shoots that were OOF. I am guessing that 200mm at F2 is smaller than the 50 at F1.2 so not sure. I just want it to be at least as good as the 1.4 here is a shot with a borrowed 1.4 at F2.5 4 strobes he was going about 30MPH it is TACK sharp...

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billppw350z
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Aug 18, 2012 08:14 |  #14

Let me dispel three myths about the 50 1.2L with the following pictures taken with my copy with the date code UU10 (October 2006).

· The early 50L’s were bad and Canon did a “silent fix” to bring the image quality up
· The 50L is soft wide open
· The 50L focuses too slow for sports

1dsIII/50L @ f1.2

IMAGE: http://billppw350z.smugmug.com/Cars/2009-Blackhawk/047W0170/607095626_k6E9H-L.jpg


100% crop of above
IMAGE: http://billppw350z.smugmug.com/photos/616988817_MJ8Qs-L.jpg


1dsIII/50L@ f1.2 at MFD (2 feet)
IMAGE: http://billppw350z.smugmug.com/Cars/2008-Blackhawk/047W0029/325862784_8uMBf-L.jpg


100% crop of above
IMAGE: http://billppw350z.smugmug.com/photos/609679202_ktUEo-L.jpg


It focuses fast enough, even in bad light, for sports.
1dsIII/50L @ f1.2 in AI Servo, 1/5 of a second apart

IMAGE: http://billppw350z.smugmug.com/photos/942241327_RZsdB-L.jpg


IMAGE: http://billppw350z.smugmug.com/photos/942274255_WbzqY-L.jpg


IMAGE: http://billppw350z.smugmug.com/Other/2010-M-V-Memorial-Softball/047W1623/815422402_bcQYq-XL.jpg


As to “focus shift” –

While I’ve never had a real world picture ruined due to “focus shift,” I found out both my 50L and 85L “shift” using the center auto focus point at about the same apertures and distances when I adjusted the micro focus. It is the “nature of the beast” with fast lenses with great blur.

Hope this helps and good luck with your purchase.

Bill
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Aug 18, 2012 08:27 |  #15

Take a look at the image quality ISO crops for many of the f-stops.

http://thedigitalpictu​re.com …omp=0&FLIComp=0​&APIComp=0 (external link)


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