Or rather, what ARE the merits of the 50L, and is it really worth the $1000 premium over other 50s?
After using the 50L for some time, I've found that:
- It's "hazy" at 1.2 and 1.4, very much like a soft focus effect. Very soft all around at 1.2.
- The Sigma 50mm (non art) is sharper at 1.4 and beyond (I also own the Sigma)
- It is however, sharper than the Canon 1.4.
- The Sigma 50 ART is in another league of sharpness (which I also used for awhile), however, the 50Art is a brick and almost unusable for me on a daily basis due to its weight and size.
- Bokeh is amazing, but the quality is negligible compared to the Sigma 50mm (Non Art)
This being said, why is the 50L loved so much?
The takeaways for me are:
- The Sigma 50mm Non-Art is $350 right now, and is sharper, lighter, has faster AF, has similar bokeh, and is $1300 cheaper than the 50L.
- That extra $1300 is only paying for 1.2, and a soft, hazy 1.2 at that, at the cost of sharpness at 1.4 and beyond. The difference between 1.2 and 1.4 are so slim, it's hardly even worth talking aobut.
- I'm aware that sharpness isn't everything, but is that dreamy 50L look really worth the extra $1300 over a Sigma 50 that produces a very similar feel? Even then, wouldn't one prefer sharpness that can't be reclaimed over a hazy soft focus effect that can be reproduced easily?
Now granted, I did use a few copies of the 50L over the years, so I'm certain this is not a result of a bad copy of the 50L. Needless to say, I'm done with the 50L and will be sticking with my $350 Sigma.