December 17, 2014, 11:16:21 PM

Author Topic: Review - Canon EF 50 f/1.2L  (Read 54059 times)

KyleSTL

  • Canon 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 420
    • View Profile
Re: Review - Canon EF 50 f/1.2L
« Reply #60 on: January 13, 2013, 12:18:26 PM »
Sorry for the pedantic comment, but the bokeh of the 1.8 is pentagonal (five-sided), not hexagonal (six-sided).

No, thanks! I can't make the edit myself though, so I'll just sound more like a tool.  :-X

One of my long time curiosities with the lens was will I upgrade from my 1.4? After 2 weeks with the 1.2 the answer is no - but I did *like* using it more than I do my 1.4, and maybe that counts for something?

Sorry, I'm an engineer, that's kind of how we roll.  I didn't mean it as an insult or anything.  I did enjoy reading your review on the lens, and I think everyone's experience with it is valid, and personal to some level.  Keep the reviews coming, and I will continue to read and enjoy what is written.  Thanks again for sharing.
Canon EOS 5D | Tamron 19-35mm f/3.5-4.5 | 24-105mm f/4L IS USM | 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 USM | 70-300mm f4-5.6 IS USM
15mm f/2.8 Fisheye | 28mm f/1.8 USM | 50mm f/1.4 USM | 85mm f/1.8 USM | 3x 420EX | ST-E2 | Canon S90 | SD600 w/ WP-DC4

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Review - Canon EF 50 f/1.2L
« Reply #60 on: January 13, 2013, 12:18:26 PM »

RS2021

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 720
    • View Profile
Re: Review - Canon EF 50 f/1.2L
« Reply #61 on: January 13, 2013, 01:56:40 PM »
Justin...for all of the hits you are taking here, about this review, I just want to say to you how GREAT and REFRESHING your reviews are!
You give us "real-world" reviews off the cuff AND you back up your take on whatever you are reviewing with SOLID photography...(many reviewers do not have that ability!).
The thing is...when you give us your input, I listen to what you have to say because your images give you credibility...so I listen when you talk. If people want a super-analytical, technical review from some dweeb who can't shoot...let them go elsewhere. Your discussions are relaxed, intelligent and informative.
Just keep doing what you are doing...You have brought new life to this website and I for one am enjoying your presentations here.

Thank you! You just made my morning ;)

Yes, keep the reviews coming.

And as an aside, with this particular lens you have to at least be "seen" as being even-handed in your review, which you clearly were.

If you hadn't, the 50L cult would have run you over with their trophy Hummers getting 3 miles per gallon. So, really smart call.  ;D
“Sharpness is a bourgeois concept” - Henri Cartier-Bresson

Matthew Saville

  • Power Shot G7X
  • **
  • Posts: 11
    • View Profile
Re: Review - Canon EF 50 f/1.2L
« Reply #62 on: January 13, 2013, 02:10:26 PM »
Sorry for the pedantic comment, but the bokeh of the 1.8 is pentagonal (five-sided), not hexagonal (six-sided). 

I do agree with the assessment that if Canon made a 1.4 with the build quality and wide-open image quality of the new 24mm, 28mm, and 35mm IS primes, the sales of the 1.2L would be greatly affected.  I like my 1.8 v. I, but I'm always on the lookout for a deal on a used or broken 1.4 because of the wider aperture, better (not excellent, though) build quality, and USM (though not Ring-USM).  Personally, I wouldn't consider the 1.2 for myself because of price alone, but the advantages over the 1.4 (build, weather sealing and Ring-USM) are obvious.  The image quality and focus accuracy are debatable.
THANK YOU!  Finally someone understands that I'm not just trying to be a Nikon troll, I'm trying to push Canon in a better direction with their more affordable offerings.  I'm not saying that the Canon 50 1.2 isn't the queen of bokeh. (The 85 1.2 being king, of course)  I'm just saying that Canon intentionally leaves their 1.4 at sub-par performance levels on purpose.

Canon could EASILY make a 50 1.4 with gorgeous bokeh and rugged build quality.  Sigma has already proven that this is possible for ~$500.  So my point is, if build quality and overall image rendition were identical, how many of you would still pay an extra ~$1,000 if the only difference was the 1/2 (?) of a stop?  Very, very few.  And Canon knows this.  That is why they haven't updated their 50 1.4. That is why Canon users should stop praising the 50 L and start asking for better glass across the board, down to even the affordable beginner lenses.

=Matt=

Zlatko

  • Guest
Re: Review - Canon EF 50 f/1.2L
« Reply #63 on: January 13, 2013, 03:08:58 PM »
I'm just saying that Canon intentionally leaves their 1.4 at sub-par performance levels on purpose.

They do ... until they don't.  Canon has been upgrading their small primes.  It's just a matter of time before the 50/1.4 gets upgraded.  But an upgrade also means a price increase.  Not just because they can, but also because better products generally cost more to build.  Lenses are built for a price point.  You want better optics — better bokeh, better AF, better durability, better close focus performance, better color, better flare resistance, etc. — every improvement adds to the cost.  Your wish for a lens with identical "build quality and overall image rendition" won't happen for $500.  Sigma didn't achieve that (although their 50 may be very fine). 

JVLphoto

  • Administrator
  • EOS M2
  • *****
  • Posts: 221
  • Whatever clicks
    • View Profile
    • JVLphoto
Re: Review - Canon EF 50 f/1.2L
« Reply #64 on: January 13, 2013, 05:09:02 PM »
Quote
I don't know how my opinion can be inaccurate, incomplete for sure, story of my life - literally. Thanks for reading!

It is inaccurate because it's your own opinion. To label an opinion "a review" is in itself misleading. I am sorry the lens did not perform to your expectations but I believe, based on your sample images and comments, you did not give it a fair chance in comparison to the 50mm 1.4 which you had owned and used for a while. Two weeks isn't enough time to test a lens in my opinion. Personally, I would like to see the "review" written by someone who uses the lens on a day to day basis.

Nevertheless, I appreciate the time and effort you'd put in Justin.

Fair enough, and you don't have to appologize, just as my "review" reflects my brief experience your opinion doesn't mean I hold you responsible for its strengths and weaknesses. I agree, it's a tool, and not easily quantified over a short period of time. As I build these "reviews" I also can't afford to own all the lenses. Some I do, some I don't. Some I have for a short period and they blow me away, some don't.

I'm sure the review you are looking for is out there, though I do appreciate you taking the time out to have a look at my words. I checked out your images and see you've put your lenses to great use, especially the 135 f/2 it seems.

I think there are other people, like me, who won't ever get a chance to use the lens unless they purchase it - a significant purchase no matter the use - and my brief experience may help them make a decision either way (a few people want it no matter what my experience is, especially with a more artistic flare).  I believe a "fair" shake on a top-of-the-line lens should reveal,itself Immediately. It did with the 24-70 f/2.8 l II, it certainly did with the 200mm f/2.0 L IS,  and it did on the 50 1.2. It's a well built lens, top of its class, with some quirks that many people won't like. My opinion, but one no less valid than your own experience.

Thanks for sharing your images, again, they help complete the review in ways I can not.

JVLphoto

  • Administrator
  • EOS M2
  • *****
  • Posts: 221
  • Whatever clicks
    • View Profile
    • JVLphoto
Re: Review - Canon EF 50 f/1.2L
« Reply #65 on: January 13, 2013, 05:12:58 PM »
Sorry for the pedantic comment, but the bokeh of the 1.8 is pentagonal (five-sided), not hexagonal (six-sided). 

I do agree with the assessment that if Canon made a 1.4 with the build quality and wide-open image quality of the new 24mm, 28mm, and 35mm IS primes, the sales of the 1.2L would be greatly affected.  I like my 1.8 v. I, but I'm always on the lookout for a deal on a used or broken 1.4 because of the wider aperture, better (not excellent, though) build quality, and USM (though not Ring-USM).  Personally, I wouldn't consider the 1.2 for myself because of price alone, but the advantages over the 1.4 (build, weather sealing and Ring-USM) are obvious.  The image quality and focus accuracy are debatable.
THANK YOU!  Finally someone understands that I'm not just trying to be a Nikon troll, I'm trying to push Canon in a better direction with their more affordable offerings.  I'm not saying that the Canon 50 1.2 isn't the queen of bokeh. (The 85 1.2 being king, of course)  I'm just saying that Canon intentionally leaves their 1.4 at sub-par performance levels on purpose.

Canon could EASILY make a 50 1.4 with gorgeous bokeh and rugged build quality.  Sigma has already proven that this is possible for ~$500.  So my point is, if build quality and overall image rendition were identical, how many of you would still pay an extra ~$1,000 if the only difference was the 1/2 (?) of a stop?  Very, very few.  And Canon knows this.  That is why they haven't updated their 50 1.4. That is why Canon users should stop praising the 50 L and start asking for better glass across the board, down to even the affordable beginner lenses.

=Matt=

I don't build lenses, but I think more should be expected as you say, people would pay twice what the L costs now, just make it amazing - it's really the only qualification. (It's basically a 1/3 stop... Nobody should care, ISO's are getting so good nowadays). I hope to get a copy of Sigma's 35 1.4, this is a line that interests me as true competition may be the only thing to make Canon shake things up a bit.

Zlatko

  • Guest
Re: Review - Canon EF 50 f/1.2L
« Reply #66 on: January 13, 2013, 05:55:21 PM »
Nikon has gone the opposite route:  Both their f/1.4 and f/1.8 50mm's are absolutely killer.
I haven't tried the Nikon 50/1.8, but the Nikon 50/1.4 is certainly not killer.  It's ok, but the Canon 50/1.2 draws better.  People look at the resolution numbers and seem to ignore the actual photographs.  To judge a lens properly, you have to look at the photographs it makes.  Resolution numbers can only tell you so much.  The Canon 50/1.2 has a very beautiful way of drawing pictures, especially in the f/1.6 to f/2.5 range.  I've gotten wonderful results from it that go beyond what the resolution numbers would tell me.  In that aperture range, there is no issue with focus shift.  And with the 5D3, focus is more reliable than with past camera bodies.  It seems to me that the lens designers had a certain artistic look in mind, and they succeeded brilliantly.  Sure, we all wish for a sharper 50, as good as the $4K Leica 50/1.4, but the Canon 50/1.2 has some very positive qualities.  And as for sharpness, the Canon 50/1.2 was among the sharpest lenses in LensRentals.com's "Great 50mm Shootout" - http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/01/the-great-50mm-shootout - sharper than Nikon, Sigma or Zeiss.

well then they are wrong or yours interpretation is wrong

http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/472-canon_50_12_5d?start=1

http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1000/cat/10

The LensRentals "Shootout" provides a direct numerical comparison across brands.  Photozone and SLRgear do not.  So those links are not as helpful.  Photozone states very explicitly "tests results are not comparable across the different systems!" and they emphasize that with an exclamation point.  On SLRgear you have to compare the colors of the blur index charts (I didn't find their resolution numbers), but the blur charts seem consistent with LensRentals results:  the Canon 50/1.2 looks a bit sharper than Nikon, Sigma or Zeiss 50/1.4 lenses.

the tests shows the difference between the middle and out against sides and corners
these links is more helpful than Lens Renthal, they also  (Photozone) shows CA, Bokeh etc compared to other lenses
here is a third test http://www.lenstip.com/257.11-Lens_review-Canon_EF_50_mm_f_1.2L_USM_Summary.html

To tell others that 50/1,2 is a very sharp lens is based on a myth compared to other 50mm and mounted on  a 24x36mm sensor.
50/1, 2 may have other strengths but not resolution

You've provided 3 links so far, and none of your links provides a direct comparison of the Canon 50/1.2 lens to any other lens.  Not one.  The LensRentals Shootout does.  It's easy to maintain that something is a "myth" without any direct comparison.  Sharpness is not the selling point of this lens, but its sharpness tests very well when there is a direct comparison to other fast lenses.  LensRentals shows this.  The blur charts on SLRGear also show this if you bring them up side by side:

you seem to have difficult to keep things apart, my answer was about resolution, nothing else.
and three different tests shows the same results, choosing a 50/1, 2 for resolution is a expensive and bad/poor choice
Photozones figures are based on 5dmk2  together with 50/1,2 and 50/1,4

I don't know what three different tests you're referring to.  LensRentals shows the Canon 50/1.2 and 50/1.4 as very close in resolution, and SLRGear shows the 50/1.2 as better.  Since you brought up SLRGear, let's look at their results, first with the 50/1.2 at 1.2 and next with both lenses at 1.4. 


canon rumors FORUM

Re: Review - Canon EF 50 f/1.2L
« Reply #66 on: January 13, 2013, 05:55:21 PM »

AmbientLight

  • Canon 7D MK II
  • *****
  • Posts: 493
    • View Profile
Re: Review - Canon EF 50 f/1.2L
« Reply #67 on: January 13, 2013, 06:30:40 PM »
According to the test data shown the f1.4 results go often into that red zone, while the f1.2 lens delivers nicely in that deep blue zone, which I believe is supposed to suggest reasonable resolution. Do you believe those charts to be showing the f1.4 to deliver far better resolution than the f1.2 lens? Do you also believe that the corners are consistently better than resolution at the center? I truly have difficulties matching what you describe with the results Zlatko posted. :o

Attached you can find a sample shot I took last December in Zurich. This is an f5.6 shot, so not even close to the apertures this lens is typically used for. Nevertheless I am not able to blame the lens for being soft in the corners or anything, so I think this lens has its uses beyond the more typical shallow depth of field shots.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2013, 06:56:19 PM by AmbientLight »

Zlatko

  • Guest
Re: Review - Canon EF 50 f/1.2L
« Reply #68 on: January 13, 2013, 08:22:18 PM »
I can now ad a fourth test of 50/1.2.
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-50mm-f-1.2-L-USM-Lens-Review.aspx
compare Canon 50/1.2 and 50/1,4  f-stop by f-stop
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=403&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=4&LensComp=115&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=3

 http://www.lenstip.com/257.1-Lens_review-Canon_EF_50_mm_f_1.2L_USM-Introduction.html
image - resource  http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1000/cat/10
 http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/472-canon_50_12_5d?start=1

The Digital Picture results look much like LensRentals' results, which showed that the two Canon 50s are very close in resolution.  Depending on whether you look at center, mid or corner, each outperforms the other at various apertures.

Lenstip's results also look roughly consistent with LensRentals' results:   the two Canon 50s are very close in resolution, with one edging out the other depending on where you look.  Which is better at which aperture may come down to sample variation.

Let's look at the LenRentals table:  the resolution top score bounces back and forth between the two Canon 50s, depending on the aperture and depending on whether you look at the center or the average.  Both of them out-resolve the other brands except for Leica and except when you get to f/4 where the Zeiss 50/1.4 takes the lead at center.  But even at f/4 both Canon 50s out-resolve the Zeiss on average.

Photozone is the only anomaly, showing the Canon 50/1.2 as much worse than the Canon 50/1.4.  I don't know why their results are so different.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2013, 08:28:36 PM by Zlatko »

Matthew Saville

  • Power Shot G7X
  • **
  • Posts: 11
    • View Profile
Re: Review - Canon EF 50 f/1.2L
« Reply #69 on: January 14, 2013, 12:12:07 AM »
I don't build lenses, but I think more should be expected as you say, people would pay twice what the L costs now, just make it amazing - it's really the only qualification. (It's basically a 1/3 stop... Nobody should care, ISO's are getting so good nowadays). I hope to get a copy of Sigma's 35 1.4, this is a line that interests me as true competition may be the only thing to make Canon shake things up a bit.

I just tested the Sigma 35 1.4 today, and it is indeed the new 35mm king.  Absolutely flawless sharpness, gorgeous bokeh, and built like a tank.  I'd love to own one!

=Matt=

r2lau

  • Guest
Re: Review - Canon EF 50 f/1.2L
« Reply #70 on: January 14, 2013, 12:21:02 AM »
I think what hasn't been discussed here is the poor quality control from Canon on the 1.2L.  I had to return a new 1.2L lens to B&H because of back focusing.  Read else where that this is extremely common with the 1.2L.  I think the 50mm line from Canon really needs a refresh.

GMCPhotographics

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 728
    • View Profile
    • GMCPhotographics
Re: Review - Canon EF 50 f/1.2L
« Reply #71 on: January 14, 2013, 04:28:38 AM »
The 50 f1.2 L is a good lens, just not a great lens. Optically, it's not much better than the 50mm f1.4 in terms of sharpness. But it's contrast is usable wide open, which the 50mm f1.4 needs a lot of post prod to correct....milky is the word I'd use for the 50mm f1.4...and fragile. It's not a professional grade lens and it's not built for the riggors of pro use. I've used a 50mm f1.4 until it fell apart and then I bought a 50L to replace it. It's bigger, heavier, better contrast, brighter (by a bit) and flares a lot less. It's weather sealed and can take a knock or two. But and here's the big "but", it should be sharper than this and in my opinion of using all of Canon's primes professionally, it's the softest of all the L primes and the weakest performer. As a consequence, it's the least used lens in my inventory...which is a pity. It's the best 50mm currently made, but it's far from perfect. It works well in a 24mm / 50mm / 100mm Macro three lens combo....but I prefer a 16-35 / 35mm / 85mm combo.

DigiAngel

  • Power Shot G7X
  • **
  • Posts: 22
    • View Profile
    • Dominic Schulz Fotografie
Re: Review - Canon EF 50 f/1.2L
« Reply #72 on: January 14, 2013, 06:48:43 AM »
MTF figures are one thing, optical quality in real photos is another story. the f1.2 is not razor sharp at 1.2, but you can happily use it for portraits etc. when there is no need to pixelpeep. it has nice colors and contrast even wide open.

the 1.4 on the other hand produces horrible halos around bright subjects wide open, theres are distinct lack in contrast and colors and the bokeh is just ugly. you dont see that in test charts, but you see it on real pictures under real natural light.

but true, the 50 1.2 is the worst L and not worth its price, but if you want usable pictures on f1.2/1.4 and the sigma 50 1.4 is not an option: you simply have to buy it. end of story.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Review - Canon EF 50 f/1.2L
« Reply #72 on: January 14, 2013, 06:48:43 AM »

birtembuk

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 116
    • View Profile
Re: Review - Canon EF 50 f/1.2L
« Reply #73 on: January 14, 2013, 10:01:34 AM »
MTF figures are one thing, optical quality in real photos is another story. the f1.2 is not razor sharp at 1.2, but you can happily use it for portraits etc. when there is no need to pixelpeep. it has nice colors and contrast even wide open.

I applaud to that !!! Emphasis is always on sharpness while it's only part of the equation of what makes a picture dull or stand out with an oomph. This refers to something like the personality or character of the glass. I'd call it the lens mojo. In fact, lots and lots of most real-life pictures are not that sharp because many factors are involved during the take. Some incredibly beautiful pictures are not that sharp, or even have been softened a bit. I don't think my mother in law would like a post-sharpened picture taken with the 85/II at f/5.6. I value contrast, color, depth, texture much more than sharpness. And discussion/opinions/rankings on the real personality of lenses is always a very elusive piece of information to skim from most reviewers.   

JVLphoto

  • Administrator
  • EOS M2
  • *****
  • Posts: 221
  • Whatever clicks
    • View Profile
    • JVLphoto
Re: Review - Canon EF 50 f/1.2L
« Reply #74 on: January 14, 2013, 10:39:53 AM »
For the record, when I first used the lens, I wasn't able to get the clarity I wanted, but after some rethinking, researching, and relearning how to shoot and focus correctly, I rarely get a soft image...and if I do, it's always user's error.

Absolutely, as I mention in my review, a lot has to do with how someone wants to achieve results, and I (in particular) am not very well suited to shooting wide-open.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2013, 11:37:21 AM by JVLphoto »

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Review - Canon EF 50 f/1.2L
« Reply #74 on: January 14, 2013, 10:39:53 AM »