« on: January 08, 2014, 08:47:21 AM »
The f/2.5mm is a Macro lens it is not a general purpose lens. The 40mm f/2.8 was Canon's entry into a super cheap STM prime for their STM initiative, the 50mm f/1.8 was just a super cheap lens to promote entry level photography with primes, and the 50mm L prime is horrible. The last version was so bad at f/1.0 that they dropped the entire idea, and the new version is equally horrible. At f/1.2 it has lower picture resolution than an iPhone 5. It also has image quality that has to be compared to lensbaby, a plastic lens made to be extremely horrible on purpose for visual effects. The 50mm f/1.2L is one of the worst lenses made by any manufacturer period.
Canon's only non-gimicky 50mm is the 50mm f/1.4. And actually it's a pretty decent 50mm, it actually has more resolution at f/2 than any other 50mm lens in the world released, prior to 2013. It is extremely hard to make a 50mm lens that is fast and most deliver extremely poor image quality. The Canon 50mm 1.4 actually beat out every other 50mm lens on the market at f/2, delivering what I would consider the fastest 50mm aperture with an average resolution of 2400 LPPH or more (which is the minimum resolution I consider acceptable), but it was disappointing to see such a poor focusing mechanism and such poor coatings because it wasn't updated for an extremely long time.
Just because you don't personally use or like a lens doesn't make it "gimmicky".
The original 50/1.0 lens, which you call "horrible", was almost unique in its time and still makes beautiful photos at f/1.0: http://www.jessicaclaire.net/index.cfm/postID/263
The 50/2.5 macro is for any purpose you want to use it, not just macro. It's cheap and sharp, though it has the old buzzy AF motor. Cheap + sharp + 1:2 macro = a good combination.
The 40/2.8 is a wonderful pancake lens and is a cheap way of shrinking your big dslr and still having really sharp photos. Brilliant and a joy to use. Cheap + sharp + very small = a good combination
You're right, the 50/1.8 is "just" a super cheap lens to promote entry level photography with primes. But wait, that's a good thing. What's wrong with that? That actually makes some people very happy.
The "horrible" 50/1.2L which you compare to a plastic Lensbaby has been used for a tremendous amount of professional work. It is good enough for David Burnett, Sebastiao Salgado and Mario Sorrenti, but not good enough for you? And this guy seems to make decent photos with it: http://www.flickr.com/photos/petezelewski/ ... not bad for using what you say is "one of the worst lenses made by any manufacturer period."
As for the Canon 50mm f/1.4 having more resolution at f/2 than any other 50mm lens in the world released prior to 2013 ... not exactly. That would easily have been the Leica 50/1.4 Summilux: http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/01/the-great-50mm-shootout
In the Lensrentals "Great 50mm Shootout", you'll note that both Canon 50/1.4 and 50/1.2L scored higher in resolution than any of the 50's from Nikon, Sigma or Zeiss. That's pretty good for lenses you consider gimmicky or not good. Leica scored higher, but Leica is in a much higher price category.
Moreover, just looking at lens in EF-mount, the Zeiss 50mm f/2 clearly beats the EF 50mm f/1.4 at f/2.