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Thread started 19 Apr 2007 (Thursday) 21:47
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Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM (2)

 
jwcdds
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Jun 07, 2016 23:57 |  #1381

IMAGE: https://photos.smugmug.com/Misc/Lens/Canon-50L/i-kWqkw27/0/XL/20160607-Canon%20EOS-1D%20X%20Mark%20II-1DX21218-XL.jpg

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jwcdds
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Jun 08, 2016 01:33 |  #1382

IMAGE: https://photos.smugmug.com/Misc/Lens/Canon-50L/i-Xfc7mZM/0/XL/20160607-Canon%20EOS-1D%20X%20Mark%20II-1DX21196-XL.jpg

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Jun 09, 2016 01:57 |  #1383

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IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/H48G​6W  (external link) Don't Pass Me By (external link) by Marquis Houghton (external link), on Flickr

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Jun 09, 2016 04:40 |  #1384

jwcdds wrote in post #18032667 (external link)
QUOTED IMAGE
QUOTED IMAGE
QUOTED IMAGE

Nice set, Julian!


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jwcdds
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Jun 09, 2016 10:31 |  #1385

Snafoo wrote in post #18033816 (external link)
Nice set, Julian!

Thank you, Jon.


Julian
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SereneSpeed
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Jun 09, 2016 23:39 |  #1386

I have one of these lenses right now, on test-drive from Canon. With zero AFMA, autofocus hit's nearly every time at f1.2 using the centre point. When I get to the outer corners (5DmkIII's) I get mushy nada pixels. Is this the "focus shift" I read about?

Also noticing that the AF performance falls off heavily as the light decreases. Is that normal?

Is that the tradeoff with this lens? Because wow, what wonderful images it produces when it hits.


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jwcdds
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Jun 10, 2016 10:24 |  #1387

SereneSpeed wrote in post #18034719 (external link)
I have one of these lenses right now, on test-drive from Canon. With zero AFMA, autofocus hit's nearly every time at f1.2 using the centre point. When I get to the outer corners (5DmkIII's) I get mushy nada pixels. Is this the "focus shift" I read about?

Also noticing that the AF performance falls off heavily as the light decreases. Is that normal?

Is that the tradeoff with this lens? Because wow, what wonderful images it produces when it hits.

No, the infamous focus shift with this lens usually happens (at least for me) from f/2.0-f/2.8, but mostly when shooting at or near minimum focus distance. While the DoF increase as you would expect it to by narrowing the aperture, the plane of focus shifts towards the back of the subject, instead of expanding both in front and behind the subject. I haven't tested this with live-view focusing, but I don't believe this is a problem with LV since it is based on the contrast info detected directly from the sensor itself.

As for the outer corners being "mushy"... are you saying you're using the outer focus points and it's off? Or are you just saying the outer corners are just less sharp/crisp overall? Because that's just how it is with this lens, and I think most lenses too when shooting wide open.


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SereneSpeed
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Jun 10, 2016 10:34 as a reply to  @ jwcdds's post |  #1388

Thank you for the reply.

It seems that the outer points are missing focus. They report a lock and allow the shutter to release, but are way off mark. It's not just a softening of the edges.

I have better than expected accuracy with the centre point, but the outer points only work accurately some of the time in good light and hardly ever in lower light.


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Jun 10, 2016 11:03 |  #1389

SereneSpeed wrote in post #18035079 (external link)
Thank you for the reply.

It seems that the outer points are missing focus. They report a lock and allow the shutter to release, but are way off mark. It's not just a softening of the edges.

I have better than expected accuracy with the centre point, but the outer points only work accurately some of the time in good light and hardly ever in lower light.


If you are asking about outer focus points and shooting at F1.2 - then yes, they are 'mushy' - why? - because this is an F1.2 lens designed over a decade ago and it is what it is. Even the center point at F1.2, never actually attains 'critical' sharpness at F1.2 - it gets close but never quite gets there - this is in contrast to the 85L II F1.2 which definitely attains 'critical' sharpness in the center at F1.2. There is a somewhat dramatic improvement at F1.4 for the 50L where the center does get to a point a being critically tack sharp. The other thing you have to get good at, just to get an acceptably sharp F1.2 50L picture is lots of practice and don't expect, even with god technique, that it can be done all the time - it can't - at certain distances, you are talking about extremely thin DoF and you are also running into the limits of what a DSLR can do repeatedly - as oppose to a mirrorless camera where MFA and a mirrorbox don't exist. If you want proof of this, go to a camera store, mount a 85L II on a metabones IV T on a Sony A7Rii, shoot 10 pictures at F1.2, 1/60th and zoom in 100% - every single picture will be tack sharp. Do the same with a 5DSR (not using liveview), place in on a Tripod if you wish, and your hit rate will NOT be 100% (making sure each time to defocus the lens). Shooting at F1.2 or full body portraits with the 85 L II works (because you are never asking if anything is tack / tack sharp - but it is sharp; shooting at F1.2, with the 50L, and asking if the eyeball is tack sharp when the model is at the rule of 3rds point in the frame will lead to failure 100% of the time. 50L 1.2 images are always going to have that softer look at F1.2 - always - at F1.4 you can, in the center, get it tack sharp.


Hockey and wedding photographer. Favourite camera / lens combos: a 1DX II with a Tamron 45 1.8 VC, an A7Rii with a Canon 24-70F2.8L II, and a 5DSR with a Tamron 85 1.8 VC. Every lens I own I strongly recommend [Canon (35Lii, 100L Macro, 24-70F2.8ii, 70-200F2.8ii, 100-400Lii), Tamron (45 1.8, 85 1.8), Sigma 24-105]. If there are better lenses out there let me know because I haven't found them.

  
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SereneSpeed
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Post edited over 3 years ago by SereneSpeed.
     
Jun 10, 2016 11:38 as a reply to  @ wallstreetoneil's post |  #1390

I understand thin DOF, DSLR limitations, and the rest. I am not concerned about "critical sharpness".

Perhaps I should rephrase my question...

I am simply wondering if this lens shows a greater difference in accuracy between the centre points and the outer points when compared to other lenses?

I'm counting eyelashes on the centre point in eight out of ten shots. Like I said, I find the centre point to be surprisingly accurate. But on the outer points, I am missing focus more than eight out of ten shots. I find that to be a shockingly large discrepancy between AF point accuracy. None of my lenses behave so differently as the AF point moves away from centre.

When reviewing my shots taken with outer points, it is easy to spot the ones where AF was accurate, versus the ones where AF missed. And - just to clarify this point some more - I am not talking about the softening of the edges that is to be expected when shooting wide-open. When the outer point is accurate, I am happy with the result. But, I cannot achieve that accuracy, as I would expect to, relative to my experience with other fast primes.

EDIT: I should also add that I had these issues between f/1.2 and f/2.8, but, most of my shots were taken between f/1.2 and f.1.8


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Post edited over 3 years ago by wallstreetoneil. (8 edits in all)
     
Jun 10, 2016 12:54 |  #1391

SereneSpeed wrote in post #18035142 (external link)
I understand thin DOF, DSLR limitations, and the rest. I am not concerned about "critical sharpness".

Perhaps I should rephrase my question...

I am simply wondering if this lens shows a greater difference in accuracy between the centre points and the outer points when compared to other lenses?

I'm counting eyelashes on the centre point in eight out of ten shots. Like I said, I find the centre point to be surprisingly accurate. But on the outer points, I am missing focus more than eight out of ten shots. I find that to be a shockingly large discrepancy between AF point accuracy. None of my lenses behave so differently as the AF point moves away from centre.

When reviewing my shots taken with outer points, it is easy to spot the ones where AF was accurate, versus the ones where AF missed. And - just to clarify this point some more - I am not talking about the softening of the edges that is to be expected when shooting wide-open. When the outer point is accurate, I am happy with the result. But, I cannot achieve that accuracy, as I would expect to, relative to my experience with other fast primes.

EDIT: I should also add that I had these issues between f/1.2 and f/2.8, but, most of my shots were taken between f/1.2 and f.1.8


Below F2, for all intent and purposes, there are no outer focus points on the 50L due to field curvature. At F1.6 to F1.8, you can use slightly off center AF points as the curvature is still small in these areas. If you never want to shoot center point, then you do have the ability to MFA the lens to the AF points that you do want to use (lets say rule of thirds) but your center AF point will now be significantly rear focused. To summarize - the 50L is NOT the new 35L II. It is best thought of as an artistic lens that is incredible at creating artistic photos - once you accept this, and I think you get it now, it is a tool that you have in your bag that can be used to give you what it is good at.

As an aside, I had a 50L for 2 years and sold it - I regret it but I sold it. The things that ultimately caused me to do so were varied but consisted of:
- I reviewed all my lenses once I purchased a 5DSR. I found SS too high for lenses without IS - ended up selling 50L, 85L II, 135L
- the longitudinal CA on the 50L is pretty bad - I saw it before but when I ultimately upgraded my 35L to the 35L II it blew my mind how bad it was
- I added a crop sensor 7D2 into my camera bag. Once I owned the 35L II, and saw the new Canon magic, I knew all Canon Primes were going to be upgraded and the 35L II has some of the 50L magic so I thought I could just put it on the 7D2 and be happy
- I purchased the 45 Tamron 1.8 VC - the VC allowed me to use it on the 5DSR at normal SS

Even with all the justification above, nothing about the 35L II or 45 Tamron produces the types of images the 50L does - if those are images that you need and want to produce, you need to stop looking at the negatives of the 50L and focus on the reasons why many own it - and then figure out the technique to use it.

It may however not be a lens for you and you may be a Sigma 50 type person - or you may want both.


Hockey and wedding photographer. Favourite camera / lens combos: a 1DX II with a Tamron 45 1.8 VC, an A7Rii with a Canon 24-70F2.8L II, and a 5DSR with a Tamron 85 1.8 VC. Every lens I own I strongly recommend [Canon (35Lii, 100L Macro, 24-70F2.8ii, 70-200F2.8ii, 100-400Lii), Tamron (45 1.8, 85 1.8), Sigma 24-105]. If there are better lenses out there let me know because I haven't found them.

  
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SereneSpeed
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Jun 10, 2016 13:03 as a reply to  @ wallstreetoneil's post |  #1392

Thank you for confirming that this is expected behaviour. That all makes sense to me.


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Snafoo
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Post edited over 3 years ago by Snafoo. (2 edits in all)
     
Jun 10, 2016 13:27 |  #1393

SereneSpeed wrote in post #18034719 (external link)
I have one of these lenses right now, on test-drive from Canon. With zero AFMA, autofocus hit's nearly every time at f1.2 using the centre point. When I get to the outer corners (5DmkIII's) I get mushy nada pixels. Is this the "focus shift" I read about?

Also noticing that the AF performance falls off heavily as the light decreases. Is that normal?

Is that the trade-off with this lens? Because wow, what wonderful images it produces when it hits.

By definition, focus shift cannot occur at f/1.2, because focus shift is the result of the change in lens optics between the focusing aperture and the aperture used to take the shot. Since the camera focuses at f/1.2, there's no difference between the focus aperture and the shot aperture at f/1.2, thus no focus shift. You can avoid focus shift at smaller apertures by manually focusing with the aperture stopped down. Of course, nobody does this because it's a pain in the rear.

My experience with the 50L is that the center focus point is, naturally, the most accurate by far. As you stray further from the center, accuracy suffers. But at f/1.2, sharpness also falls off dramatically from the center, so you're kind of screwed either way. At least with center focusing you know it's as good as it gets, even if not throughout the entire frame. Off-center AF is a crap shoot.


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Jun 10, 2016 13:40 |  #1394

SereneSpeed wrote in post #18035253 (external link)
Thank you for confirming that this is expected behaviour. That all makes sense to me.


No problem.

For the technically focused types of photographers, I think it should be almost required that they own, at least at one point, the 50L as it makes you understand what is happening, but it also hopefully afterwards forces you not to be so anally focused on the technical aspects of photography, which for that type of person is a good thing, and to force you into producing images that you may not naturally think are perfect. Some of the best pictures I have ever taken, not according to me but according to the people who I have given them to, are from the 50L.

This debate has resurfaced to some extent with the introduction of the Sony 85mm 1.4 G Master - a lens many would argue is a modern interpretation of a beautiful portrait lens - more focused towards pleasing rendering than micro contrast clinical digital perfection; and, unlike the 50L, but like the Canon 35L II, it has a near completely flat across the frame ability to get perfectly sharp infocus images at F1.4 yet when you see them they still appear beautiful yet in focus - i.e. what a portrait lens should do.

I think it is a pretty good guess that over the next 2 years, Canon will be updating the 50L and then possibly the 85L (maybe even the 135L) to modernize each in their own way. The 50L needs some magic blue coating to get rid of the CA, needs less field curvature but if they deliver a Sigma 50 it will be a failure in my opinion. The 85L II needs the blue coating magic for CA and not much else (except personally I believe they should add IS). The 135L. in my opinion, needs IS - once you get to that FL, and when cameras are going to 70 megapixels in a few years, if you don't have IS you are almost screwed. Since Nikon and Canon are not following Sony's IBIS strategy, they need IS in their lenses - thus the Nikon 24-70 F2.8 IS from Nikon. Rumours are now pretty solid that the 24-105 F4 IS is getting updated with the upcoming 5D4.


Hockey and wedding photographer. Favourite camera / lens combos: a 1DX II with a Tamron 45 1.8 VC, an A7Rii with a Canon 24-70F2.8L II, and a 5DSR with a Tamron 85 1.8 VC. Every lens I own I strongly recommend [Canon (35Lii, 100L Macro, 24-70F2.8ii, 70-200F2.8ii, 100-400Lii), Tamron (45 1.8, 85 1.8), Sigma 24-105]. If there are better lenses out there let me know because I haven't found them.

  
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jwcdds
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Jun 10, 2016 23:34 |  #1395

IMAGE: https://photos.smugmug.com/Misc/Lens/Canon-50L/i-z9Bg24V/0/XL/20160610-Canon%20EOS-1D%20X%20Mark%20II-1DX21263-XL.jpg

IMAGE: https://photos.smugmug.com/Misc/Lens/Canon-50L/i-sVV3F3t/0/XL/20160610-Canon%20EOS-1D%20X%20Mark%20II-1DX21271-XL.jpg

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