I'm having the same issues with softness and focusing wide open. I find this lens reliable only when stopped down to f/2.8, all brighter apertures can lead to missed / blurry shots.
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There's also the thing that Canon simply don't have the Sony Exmor technology. The big difference is that the ADC is on chip. Canon does not have that. Sony Exmor is a minor revolution (for low ISO). What you can expect from Canon is a gradual evolution. You'll certainly see "good enough" performance, but I'll (almost) eat my shorts if it will be world-leading.
We’ve heard along with others that the Canon EOS-1D X may be delayed until April or May, 2012.
I don’t think anyone is too shocked by that, as I think there is a lot of software tweaking going on with the camera. I have yet to hear any issues with manufacturing.
The camera has also disappeared on some store web sites when you search for it.
I use the 50 1.4 all the time on my 550d for candid portraits, often even at 1.4-1.6 to allow me the fastest shutter speeds. I found that it takes skill to properly nail focus at such a thin DOF, you need something well lit and good contrast such as eyes or other facial feature. Additionally my 550d has a slight front focus, so I use something to nail focus with that is a little further away, like the far eye, etc.
Great photos everyone...
@ nightbreath. The last pic [vultures] is incredible... One of the coolest photos Ive ever seen
You can send your body in to Canon and they will adjust it to spec. Wide aperture primes almost always need MA due to the extreme depth of field.
Out of curiosity, if you do set the Live View autofocus mode to Quick Mode and then focus in Live View, do you have the same problem?
Phase detect is the AF mode that the camera uses normally, when it's not in Live View. Contrast detect is the default Live View method (unless you switch it to "Quick Mode").
If you're using phase detect AF and selecting a single AF point, the camera is not going to focus somewhere else in the scene, it will use only that AF point. (Side note - even Spot AF uses an area a little bigger than the AF point representation in the viewfinder; regular AF is even larger relative to the little box.) So, if Live View on a particular spot consistently results in correct focus, and the phase detect AF is giving you about 80% front-focused shots, then your phase detect AF system needs calibration, and that's what AF microadjustment is for.