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Thread started 11 Sep 2009 (Friday) 09:01
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50mm f1.2 on 5d mk2 - advise please

 
buzzski
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Sep 11, 2009 09:01 |  #1

OK, so I am about to buy a used 50mm f1.2 and have read many of the comments re focus shift etc and understand and accept them. I have seen many fine pictures taken with this lens and am wondering if you can advise on how to best work around it's shortcomings. Are you manually focussing, have you worked out a distance/aperture formula that you stick to, are you auto focussing and making manual adjustments? Whatever you are doing to gleen the best from this lens I'd like to know. I appreciate that there will be no two copies identical and what may work for you may not for me but it'd still be interesting to find out. I'll be mounting it on a 5d mk2. Thank you in advance, Craig




  
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J-B
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Sep 11, 2009 09:17 |  #2

The best way is to not shoot subjects within 4-5 feet or so at an aperture of approx. f2-f5.6. It will backfocus. Some copies are worse than others.
At larger apertures it is fine. Beyond a few feet, all apertures are fine.
The only way manual focussing will work is using liveview or keeping the DOF preview button pressed while focussing.


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nicksan
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Sep 11, 2009 09:21 |  #3

buzzski wrote in post #8624510 (external link)
OK, so I am about to buy a used 50mm f1.2 and have read many of the comments re focus shift etc and understand and accept them. I have seen many fine pictures taken with this lens and am wondering if you can advise on how to best work around it's shortcomings. Are you manually focussing, have you worked out a distance/aperture formula that you stick to, are you auto focussing and making manual adjustments? Whatever you are doing to gleen the best from this lens I'd like to know. I appreciate that there will be no two copies identical and what may work for you may not for me but it'd still be interesting to find out. I'll be mounting it on a 5d mk2. Thank you in advance, Craig

My issues with the 50L is well documented.
However, I use the 50L quite often, don't avoid it, and honestly at the end of the day, I use it just like any other lens most of the times.

I think the lens on a FF camera is magical when things go right.

There are obviously some quirks with the lens and it'll take a little bit of time to figure out workarounds, etc. for your specific copy.

The best advice I can give you is to buy from a place with a good return policy and hope to get a "good" copy.




  
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Route246
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Sep 11, 2009 12:20 |  #4

I will also be purchasing one of these in the next few months. What do I need to do for shooting low-light, indoor shots such as displays at museums or even inside of rides like Pirates at Disneyland? I have a 5DMkII so I can crank the ISO but what else should I be aware of?

nicksan wrote in post #8624584 (external link)
My issues with the 50L is well documented.
However, I use the 50L quite often, don't avoid it, and honestly at the end of the day, I use it just like any other lens most of the times.

I think the lens on a FF camera is magical when things go right.

There are obviously some quirks with the lens and it'll take a little bit of time to figure out workarounds, etc. for your specific copy.

The best advice I can give you is to buy from a place with a good return policy and hope to get a "good" copy.


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Hermes
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Sep 11, 2009 12:52 |  #5

Best advice I could give is DO NOT focus-recompose at the apertures where the shift occurs (f2.2-4.5 when I measured mine)

The focus shift means that your subject will end up at the edge of the depth of field in an accurately-focussed shot (but still within it in my experience), but the slightest movement can easily ruin that.

My keeper rate also goes down dramatically using the off-centre points on the 5D, and the 5DIIs I've tried have been just as bad. Using the centre point in servo mode seems to net consistently good results even in low-light.




  
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buzzski
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Sep 11, 2009 13:15 as a reply to  @ Hermes's post |  #6

Thank you all so far. Good advice. I plan to buy second hand and if it seems I have a really rubbish copy then sell it on. I mostly focus/recompose using the centre AF point on my 5dmk2 so I guess I'll need to adopt a different technique there. Anyone using the ground glass screen for faster lenses? Lets also say I want a reasonably tight head shot. Is it cool to shoot below f2 or around f8 and not see the effect of focus shift too much? I know the greater depth at 8 would maybe help but you understand what I mean in principle (not using f2-f5.6) Thanks again, Craig




  
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nicksan
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Sep 11, 2009 13:29 |  #7

Hermes wrote in post #8625752 (external link)
Best advice I could give is DO NOT focus-recompose at the apertures where the shift occurs (f2.2-4.5 when I measured mine)

The focus shift means that your subject will end up at the edge of the depth of field in an accurately-focussed shot (but still within it in my experience), but the slightest movement can easily ruin that.

My keeper rate also goes down dramatically using the off-centre points on the 5D, and the 5DIIs I've tried have been just as bad. Using the centre point in servo mode seems to net consistently good results even in low-light.

Yes, oddly enough this works for me as well. In fact it works so well that I hardly notice the effects of focus shift.




  
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nicksan
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Sep 11, 2009 13:31 |  #8

buzzski wrote in post #8625879 (external link)
Thank you all so far. Good advice. I plan to buy second hand and if it seems I have a really rubbish copy then sell it on. I mostly focus/recompose using the centre AF point on my 5dmk2 so I guess I'll need to adopt a different technique there. Anyone using the ground glass screen for faster lenses? Lets also say I want a reasonably tight head shot. Is it cool to shoot below f2 or around f8 and not see the effect of focus shift too much? I know the greater depth at 8 would maybe help but you understand what I mean in principle (not using f2-f5.6) Thanks again, Craig

So you are going to buy it used and if it's not a good copy, you are just going to resell it and push the problem to someone else? This is something I wouldn't do unless there is FULL disclosure...

This is also the reason why I say buy it new so you can return it to the store and let them worry about it.




  
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nicksan
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Sep 11, 2009 13:33 |  #9

Route246 wrote in post #8625575 (external link)
I will also be purchasing one of these in the next few months. What do I need to do for shooting low-light, indoor shots such as displays at museums or even inside of rides like Pirates at Disneyland? I have a 5DMkII so I can crank the ISO but what else should I be aware of?

For museum shots, I tend to use something with shorter MFD, like my 24L.

That said, you'd more than likely want some DOF, so possibly stop the lens down a little bit?

But yeah, basically high ISO to get you hand holdable shutter speeds since you aren't concerned with stopping subject motion.




  
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buzzski
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Sep 11, 2009 13:45 |  #10

nicksan wrote in post #8625983 (external link)
So you are going to buy it used and if it's not a good copy, you are just going to resell it and push the problem to someone else? This is something I wouldn't do unless there is FULL disclosure...

This is also the reason why I say buy it new so you can return it to the store and let them worry about it.

Yes I am going to buy used due to budget restrictions. If it doesn't work for me I will sell it. I don't really see anything wrong with that. Lets face it, if I bought new from a store and returned it, they would sell that copy on and push the problem to someone else. I'd love to purchase new and have that safety net but funds do not allow that.




  
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nicksan
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Sep 11, 2009 13:51 |  #11

buzzski wrote in post #8626092 (external link)
Yes I am going to buy used due to budget restrictions. If it doesn't work for me I will sell it. I don't really see anything wrong with that. Lets face it, if I bought new from a store and returned it, they would sell that copy on and push the problem to someone else. I'd love to purchase new and have that safety net but funds do not allow that.

Just make sure you ask for some sample shots in the danger zone. I find that some folks don't even know about the issues so it's best to cover all ends.


I don't view returning to the store the same as reselling a lens with known "issues". It's up to the store to deal with returns. They are a business. But as individuals, we have more control over how we conduct business, especially in here. But sure, it's up to you and you have every right to sell anything you want. Didn't mean to go OP on you.

Hopefully you'll find a good copy so you don't have to worry about all that!




  
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buzzski
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Sep 11, 2009 13:57 |  #12

nicksan wrote in post #8626129 (external link)
Just make sure you ask for some sample shots in the danger zone. I find that some folks don't even know about the issues so it's best to cover all ends.


I don't view returning to the store the same as reselling a lens with known "issues". It's up to the store to deal with returns. They are a business. But as individuals, we have more control over how we conduct business, especially in here. But sure, it's up to you and you have every right to sell anything you want. Didn't mean to go OP on you.

Hopefully you'll find a good copy so you don't have to worry about all that!

Good advice re test shots, I'll certainly do that. I'm hoping to get a keeper too, it's taking long enough to find a decent copy in the UK or infact EU without the thought of having to sell it on. What I have noticed though is that most of the copies I've seen for sale have had a date code UV making them 2007 builds. Its maybe just coincidence. Thanks again, C




  
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wimg
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Sep 11, 2009 17:42 |  #13

buzzski wrote in post #8626195 (external link)
Good advice re test shots, I'll certainly do that. I'm hoping to get a keeper too, it's taking long enough to find a decent copy in the UK or infact EU without the thought of having to sell it on. What I have noticed though is that most of the copies I've seen for sale have had a date code UV making them 2007 builds. Its maybe just coincidence. Thanks again, C

Well, it seems to be the luck of the draw. I have a UV code 50L, and it is fine. The focus shift is well within Canon's specs for AF with a fast lens (maximum shift of 1/6 of DoF at worst, which happens to be F/2 for my specimen).

However, it took over a year, 5 different specimens, and two recalibrations of #5 (which originally had 2 cm of "standard" backfocus) to get it like this.

After seeing the results outside of the danger zone of specimen #1, I knew I had to get one without problems, which is why I persisted. It was worth it, it is my most used lens :D.

Kind regards, Wim


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merp
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Sep 11, 2009 18:28 |  #14
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hmm maybe I'll skip the 50mm, and just get the 85L =(




  
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50mm f1.2 on 5d mk2 - advise please
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