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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 04 Apr 2017 (Tuesday) 15:21
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The Canon 50mm 1.2 EF....

 
JohnnyLa
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Apr 04, 2017 15:21 |  #1

Folks, there has been an itch in my body to make a purchase for this lens... Currently I own the 135L, 85 1.8, and 50 1.4 shooting on a Canon 6D. I've been using the 50mm 1.4 for event shooting, and I can't seem to appreciate the quality of the images coming from this lens. Maybe I'm spoiled by the 135L. However, I am hearing that the 50L produces magical photos, and that is what I want. I've done a lot of research and reviewed plenty of photos online and I think it'll be the right choice. I'm thinking of permanently sticking with the 135L and 50L combo, and I was wondering if anyone else is doing the same? Any reason to talk me out of this purchase?


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3Rotor
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Apr 04, 2017 15:28 |  #2

I've been thinking of swapping out my 50 1.4 for the 50 1.2 as well. For the money though, the 1.4 for does great. I don't know if you have other lenses not listed but how are you doing on the wide end?


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JohnnyLa
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Apr 04, 2017 15:31 as a reply to  @ 3Rotor's post |  #3

I had originally thought of picking up a cheap 35mm just in case I need to do group shots, but I've yet to run into any issues just using a 50mm for group shots. So far I think a 50mm on a FF is pretty sufficient. However, I can't say in the future I won't run into an issue with tight spacing and large groups. Here's a shot I did with 50mm 1.4 and I think it worked well... but I did have ample space for this shot.


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Johnny La
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JohnnyLa
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Apr 04, 2017 15:35 |  #4

I even thought about picking up a Yongnuo 35mm for $90 as a "JUST IN CASE" lens for whenever I do events and/or weddings... :lol:


Johnny La
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welshwizard1971
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Apr 04, 2017 15:43 |  #5

Used to own a 6D, took it to the shop to try out a 50L 1.2 against the Sigma Art 50mm, took some test shots and went home to compare them, went back the next day and bought the Sigma with no hesitation whatsoever, I thought it was better in every regard, sharper, better contrast, better colours, sharper in the corners, and cheaper with no focus shift issues! Total no brainer for me........


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JohnnyLa
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Apr 04, 2017 15:46 as a reply to  @ welshwizard1971's post |  #6

I thought really hard about the Sigma 50A also... but from my understanding, a lot of owners report that it doesn't produce the "magical" photos that the 50L does. I'm also concerned about AF issues that have been brought up numerous times about this lens. Maybe I need to be more open about the 50A...


Johnny La
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CheshireCat
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Apr 04, 2017 22:33 |  #7

My very personal opinion is that the EF 50/1.4 is crap. I would not hesitate upgrading to the EF 50/1.2 or the Sigma Art.


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Apr 05, 2017 05:15 |  #8

50L is great, has a softer, less clinical look versus the current uber-sharpness-trend that's all the rage these days. The Sigma Art absolutely destroys it in head-to-head brick wall shooting.

Focus shift exists, but it's easily worked around, and it doesn't really affect things as much as the internet would have you believe.

Rent the 50L and take it for a spin. You'll know fairly quickly if it's the lens for you.


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Apr 05, 2017 10:43 |  #9

MatthewK wrote in post #18319911 (external link)
Focus shift exists, but it's easily worked around, and it doesn't really affect things as much as the internet would have you believe.

And most importantly, there is no focus shift when shooting wide open.


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Elton ­ Balch
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Apr 05, 2017 11:11 |  #10

MatthewK wrote in post #18319911 (external link)
50L is great, has a softer, less clinical look versus the current uber-sharpness-trend that's all the rage these days. The Sigma Art absolutely destroys it in head-to-head brick wall shooting.

Focus shift exists, but it's easily worked around, and it doesn't really affect things as much as the internet would have you believe.

Rent the 50L and take it for a spin. You'll know fairly quickly if it's the lens for you.


CheshireCat wrote in post #18320148 (external link)
And most importantly, there is no focus shift when shooting wide open.


I have owned this lens since 2008 and I have to say it's definitely a "love/hate" relationship. Now that I (more or less) understand the focus shift issues I am more comfortable using it but I would not have purchased it originally had I understood the implications. I am very happy using it wide open because there is no focus shift, but it severely limits use when using F1.4-F4 at close range and contributes to softness at greater distances because the lens is still slightly OOF. My copy is actually quite sharp when I manual focus using live view but that's a PITA. Obviously, Canon is not going to admit to this, but it's definitely a flawed product. Thanks to postings on this site I now understand what I'm dealing with and I'm sure Canon is hoping they don't get caught up in a class action suit about this easily verified issue.

Proceed with caution when contemplating a purchase, but I do like the results I get when putting in the effort required.


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JohnnyLa
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Apr 05, 2017 11:39 as a reply to  @ Elton Balch's post |  #11

After reading about this focus shift issue, it's certainly now weighing in as a factor on whether I should proceed or not... As suggested above, I may just decide to rent this first for a day to see how I feel about it. Thank you for bringing this issue up for my info.


Johnny La
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CheshireCat
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Apr 05, 2017 12:54 |  #12

Elton Balch wrote in post #18320177 (external link)
Obviously, Canon is not going to admit to this, but it's definitely a flawed product.

Well, it is and it isn't... :)
It was common for old wide-aperture designs to suffer from focus-shift. The amazing Noctilux 50 f/1 is another example.
Focus shift is caused by the same spherical aberration that makes the rendering so beautiful wide open. The EF 50/1.2 was always meant to be used mostly wide open and by pros (who should be well aware of focus shift when stopping down). So I think Canon decided to avoid correcting spherical aberration on purpose, in order to maximize artistic rendering qualities and keep production costs down (in that sense, it is the opposite of the previous 50L f/1.0 lens).

I wish Canon would publish clearer specs of their products. It would have saved a lot of time and misunderstandigs about this controversial lens.
And I find it funny that after all these years and 5 different designs, Canon still has to release a really great and solid 50mm EF lens. Coming soon ?


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FTb
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Apr 05, 2017 17:15 as a reply to  @ CheshireCat's post |  #13

If you want to make beautiful portraits, it's a great lens. It can render skin tones and textures in a way that is hard to achieve by other methods. Most artificial blur techniques don't quite measure up.

If your primary purpose is landscape, architecture or other things that require super sharpness, there are better options, particularly if you're going to be shooting at wide apertures where this lens is a bit soft. But those those applications usually benefit from being stopped way down, where this lens performs just fine.



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Apr 05, 2017 17:31 as a reply to  @ FTb's post |  #14

I intend to use the lens mainly for events, and possibly weddings. Normally I'm a fan of shooting around 2-2.2. I'm not looking to do landscape, so I probably won't be caring too much for extreme sharpness.


Johnny La
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FTb
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Apr 05, 2017 19:18 as a reply to  @ JohnnyLa's post |  #15

For those applications sharpness might be your friend. When I used to do wedding and events, there were always quite a few shots involving groups of people and full length stuff. In those cases, which are more distant than intimate portraits, I'd prefer a lens with good detail over one that has a soft rendering with some residual aberrations. As much as I like the Canon 50mm 1.2, for close portraits, if I were doing weddings and events I'd want to make sure I got clear, detailed images of everyone's facial expressions so I'd probably pick something sharper at wide apertures and with no or minimal focus shift.

My choices would be 1) Canon 40mm f2.8 (particularly if you're using flash cause its not a very fast lens) because its super light, sharp, quick to focus and no phase shift, 2) Canon 24-70mm f2.8 for versatility, good color and sharpness or 3) Art 50mm - sharp, better for low light, a little heavy and some reports of focus difficulties.



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The Canon 50mm 1.2 EF....
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