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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 23 May 2014 (Friday) 15:09
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50L still worth the premium?

 
wimg
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May 24, 2014 07:59 |  #31

As to focus shift: it only happens when stopping down, not wide open, and only up to about F/2.8, and between MFD and a few metres, and again, only if it hasn't been calibrated properly.

It is a magical lens indeed, and more than plenty sharp; it actually is very sharp, even does very well at macro distances with a few extension tubes.

Rendition and OOF blur behind the focus plane and in front of it are extremely good; I haven't found a lens that can match it bokeh-wise, although I haven't shot with any of the longer L-primes yet (200 F/2 L and up). Hmm, maybe some of the TS lenses do as good, but those require a different mode of shooting.

Do note that good bokeh in front of the plane of focus is contradictory to good bokeh behind the plane of focus from a theory POV. It si truly amazing Canon managed to get both right in a single lens.

I just love it - my main go-to lens.

Kind regards, Wim


5D Mk II & EOS 5 (analog) with a gaggle of primes & a solitary zoom, OM-D E-M1 Mk II, Pen-F & Panasonic GM5 with 11 primes, 8 zooms, 3 Metabones adapters/speedboosters​, and an accessory plague

  
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Elton ­ Balch
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May 24, 2014 08:08 |  #32

Staszek wrote in post #16925941 (external link)
That's mainly because people buy the lens, shoot at f/1.2, claim they have "focus shift" or "the lens is soft," sell it, and write a lousy review. It seriously takes time to use a 50L or 85L with good results. My first try at the 85L and 50L wide open were awful, but now I know their characteristics and can use that to my advantage, rather than badmouth the tool.

EXACTLY!!!!bw!


Elton Balch
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MatthewK
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May 24, 2014 09:38 |  #33

I was really let down by the 50L when I first shot wth it, as it was soft and shifty... Not to mention, I had an 85L II at the time, which is arguably the best lens Canon makes outside of the great whites, so I was expecting better.

Fast forward 3 years, and here I am still shooting the 50L. The 85L: sold long ago. Focal length considerations aside (which are paramount for me regardless of how awesome a lens is), the "black sheep L" has a character unto its own which I grew to love. Finding a good copy that works properly on your camera body is key for a happy relationship, otherwise you'll end up pulling your hair out.

Is it worth it though, $$$ wise? In all honesty, with the Sigma Art, not anymore. That lens looks to be absolutely diamond, and were I in the market today, I'd get it over the L. But since I'm lucky enough to have found a good copy of the 50L, and it's my favorite lens, I won't sell for the Sigma.


well that didn't last long...

  
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May 24, 2014 09:51 |  #34

I never thought the size and weight of my 50L would compare favorably to another 50mm lens, but from what I've read it's smaller than the Art. Maybe not important to some, but it's something to consider...

BTW, I love my 50L, even more so since migrating from crop to full frame. Take your time, wait for a good sale and/or rebate, and the pain to your wallet/purse won't be quite as bad as paying list. I got mine last winter for $1290.


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Bmwzimmer
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May 24, 2014 09:52 |  #35

I had the 50L and then got the 35 IS and then an 85L. I found I ended up using the 50 less and less and eventually sold it for $1100 to help pay for my 24-70 ii.

Since you already have a 35, you should consider an 85 rather than the 50


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Rittrato
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May 24, 2014 10:30 |  #36

MatthewK wrote in post #16926816 (external link)
I was really let down by the 50L when I first shot wth it, as it was soft and shifty... Not to mention, I had an 85L II at the time, which is arguably the best lens Canon makes outside of the great whites, so I was expecting better.

Fast forward 3 years, and here I am still shooting the 50L. The 85L: sold long ago. Focal length considerations aside (which are paramount for me regardless of how awesome a lens is), the "black sheep L" has a character unto its own which I grew to love. Finding a good copy that works properly on your camera body is key for a happy relationship, otherwise you'll end up pulling your hair out.

Personally, I feel the same way. I was underwhelmed by the 50L when I first got it, BUT that's because I was short sighted and was only looking at sharpness, which we all know the 50L isn't the best in that regards.


Fast forward, after virtually using every prime lenses from 24mm-135mm range in both Canon and Nikon mount, plus using Sigma's, I have fully realized the unique and great character the 50L possess. It's really an amazing lens if you look at the whole picture (no pun) the contrast, bokeh, colors (IMO the 50L offers the best along with the 135L) add the fact it's weather sealed and has the best AF among all 50MM mount (if you shoot Canon) then it's no surprise this lens ranks as one of the best from people who knows its strengths and weakness.




  
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mystik610
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May 24, 2014 11:57 |  #37

Owned the 50L for about year....sold it to fund my 70-200II

Picked up the Sigma 50 yesterday. Incredibly sharp wide open, and easy to shoot with (no focus shift).

Am not really blown away by the lens so far though....its technically a very good lens, but lacks the "character" of the 50L. Bokeh is smooth, but lacks that rich silky quality of the 50L (uncorrected spherical aberration). Also lacks the deep, rich color rendering of the 50L and 85L. There's something "cold" about the way both the Sigma 50 and 35 render.

Will give the Sigma 50 some time to see if it grows on me, but am still missing the 50L so far!


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May 24, 2014 13:00 |  #38

Snafoo wrote in post #16926850 (external link)
I never thought the size and weight of my 50L would compare favorably to another 50mm lens, but from what I've read it's smaller than the Art. Maybe not important to some, but it's something to consider...

BTW, I love my 50L, even more so since migrating from crop to full frame. Take your time, wait for a good sale and/or rebate, and the pain to your wallet/purse won't be quite as bad as paying list. I got mine last winter for $1290.

Good point! I expect a 50mm lens to be short. The zeiss otus and the sigma seem very long, in the pictures at least. The 50L on the other hand is a third of a stop faster and is significantly shorter (again just relying on pictures). It is like a cubic brick, making it (despite of its weight) reasonalby compact. It is a heavy lens but i guess that the 50 art or the otus are roughly the same, making it less good balanced in the hands. And as many will use a 50mm lens for everyday or street photography purposes it is not so irrelevant.


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Absolutely ­ Fabulous
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May 24, 2014 13:13 as a reply to  @ post 16925699 |  #39

I'm wondering if I tried the wrong 50L after reading this. The one I tried was nothing special. I am thinking of trying the zeiss 50. I have the 1.4 which is nothing special but light and gets the job done. the 50L just didn't wow be at all


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eye2i
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May 24, 2014 13:19 |  #40

mystik610 wrote in post #16927065 (external link)
Owned the 50L for about year....sold it to fund my 70-200II

Picked up the Sigma 50 yesterday. Incredibly sharp wide open, and easy to shoot with (no focus shift).

Am not really blown away by the lens so far though....its technically a very good lens, but lacks the "character" of the 50L. Bokeh is smooth, but lacks that rich silky quality of the 50L (uncorrected spherical aberration). Also lacks the deep, rich color rendering of the 50L and 85L. There's something "cold" about the way both the Sigma 50 and 35 render.

Will give the Sigma 50 some time to see if it grows on me, but am still missing the 50L so far!

Cold? I've always felt Sigma's give images a warmer cast. Canon 35L and 50L are closer to film like rendition.




  
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May 24, 2014 13:25 |  #41

davidfarina wrote in post #16925384 (external link)
Never regretted it. Yes, its definitely worth the premium

Ditto. And, there are some times when it is the ONLY lens to use. :cool:


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May 24, 2014 13:26 |  #42

Absolutely Fabulous wrote in post #16927191 (external link)
I'm wondering if I tried the wrong 50L after reading this. The one I tried was nothing special. I am thinking of trying the zeiss 50. I have the 1.4 which is nothing special but light and gets the job done. the 50L just didn't wow be at all

Zeiss = awesome, but, yeah, if you didn't get a result you thought was good from the 50L, something wasn't right.


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Absolutely ­ Fabulous
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May 24, 2014 14:10 |  #43

S.Horton wrote in post #16927207 (external link)
Zeiss = awesome, but, yeah, if you didn't get a result you thought was good from the 50L, something wasn't right.


I dont know, just didn't wow me. Blah bokeh too. Maybe I'm just too picky ;)

Not tried the sigma art or the zeiss. Hoping to find a less blah option than the 1.4


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Mashimaro
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May 24, 2014 15:26 |  #44

I miss having the 50L.

Rendering is nice and colours just popped on it sooc.

Shooting at 1.2 was only frustrating at MFD. Other than that, my copy very sharp at further distances wide open. Not as sharp as my 85L, but close enough.

I don't think you'll regret buying a 50L OP. I kinda miss having it so I may buy later again.


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mystik610
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May 24, 2014 18:21 |  #45

eye2i wrote in post #16927197 (external link)
Cold? I've always felt Sigma's give images a warmer cast. Canon 35L and 50L are closer to film like rendition.

Not cold in terms of color cast....cold as in "lifeless", whereas the 50L is very "rich"


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50L still worth the premium?
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