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Author Topic: the future of 1.2 L lenses ?  (Read 10117 times)

steliosk

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the future of 1.2 L lenses ?
« on: September 17, 2013, 11:59:57 AM »
hi all

I've purchased 5D3 over the 6D, and the main reason was the accurate AF with fast lenses.

I've worked several crop bodies in the past but the FF world plus the accurate AF system delivers something way beyond and solves many many problems such as DOF and focus accuracy.

With that said, i've tested yesterday an EF 85mm f/1.8 at 1.8 on 5D3 and on some EOS Rebel bodies, where this lens failed focusing accurately on the rebels, but focused perfectly with 5D3.

However i'm building a new system and i want to add some lenses but i'm concerned about the age and the quality.
I'm talking about the 50L and the 85L where the price is way up in comparison to 50 1.4 and the 85 1.8 which can be focused VERY properly with 5D3, but however the 3D look of those L are unbeatable. I suppose that justify the cost.

Those L lenses are build somewhere in 2005-2006 i think, is there any word out there about replacements?
There are many complains about the 50L softness at 1.2 and the slow USM moter of 85L

Don't get me wrong, i know the idea of "if you need something now, get it now" but i'm not kinda in the rush.
I shoot weddings and this season is over for me so i was thinking about next year.

I just hate to make a move and buy one of them now and a new model like 50L II comes out soon and fixing the softness and stuff. That'll make me feel like an idiot.. who wouldn't?

thanks for your time.
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the future of 1.2 L lenses ?
« on: September 17, 2013, 11:59:57 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: the future of 1.2 L lenses ?
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2013, 12:12:00 PM »
Both lenses are pretty young for L-series lenses, so I would not expect replacements anytime soon. 
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Re: the future of 1.2 L lenses ?
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2013, 12:38:56 PM »
Do your homework and buy refurbished/used/new with rebate at a good price.  You can't control when new versions of lenses will come out or their prices (most likely higher) but you can control how much you would lose.  And if you lose $100 or less on buying/selling a lens, then it's well within the amount that it'd cost to rent it for a week, which isn't bad at all.

Eldar

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Re: the future of 1.2 L lenses ?
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2013, 12:55:03 PM »
If new versions come out, they will carry a much stiffer price tag. That has been the case with all their predecessors. The 2nd hand market will drop slightly, but not much. I also agree with Neuro. It is not likely that they will be replaced in the near future.
The two lenses you're listing are amongst my favourites. The 85 gets all the credit it deserves, but some make more noise about the AF speed than it deserves. It is very slow at close range, but OK when you get normal working distance. Optically it is stunning. The 50 and the 35/1.4L are often critizised for softness wide open. All I can say is; Look at the images that come out of these lenses. As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. I am confident that you will be very happy with them for many years.
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CarlTN

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Re: the future of 1.2 L lenses ?
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2013, 01:35:59 PM »
I just hate to make a move and buy one of them now and a new model like 50L II comes out soon and fixing the softness and stuff. That'll make me feel like an idiot.. who wouldn't?

thanks for your time.

You should have just bought a 6D.  It's newer than the 5D3, thus the 5D3 will become obsolete first.  Since you don't like your 50L anymore, you should consider renting it out or something.  Perhaps sell it.

Eldar

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Re: the future of 1.2 L lenses ?
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2013, 01:42:58 PM »

[/quote]

You should have just bought a 6D.  It's newer than the 5D3, thus the 5D3 will become obsolete first. ...
[/quote]

The 5DIII is a much better camera, especially when the issue is focus accuracy at f1.2. He made the right decision.
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CarlTN

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Re: the future of 1.2 L lenses ?
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2013, 01:51:46 PM »


You should have just bought a 6D.  It's newer than the 5D3, thus the 5D3 will become obsolete first. ...
[/quote]

The 5DIII is a much better camera, especially when the issue is focus accuracy at f1.2. He made the right decision.
[/quote]

At f/1.2 focus accuracy is only going to be so accurate.  There's not that much difference.  The 5D3 is not a much better camera, where image quality is concerned.  In fact it's less better.

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Re: the future of 1.2 L lenses ?
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2013, 01:51:46 PM »

spacetimeroger

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Re: the future of 1.2 L lenses ?
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2013, 02:03:43 PM »
The motors in the 50 Ls (going all the way back to the 50/1.0 L days), and 85 Ls have never been speed demons, and won't likely ever be - that's a lot of heavy glass to move around in there... The design(s) are also much older than you might think..."2005-2006" doesn't tell the whole story. The 85/1.2 I came out in 1989...the mk II came out more recently, but optically it's not very different - the motor is updated and the coatings are updated...that's really about it. Go back to the Canon FD days and the FD 85/1.2 isn't terribly different from the current EOS version given the amount of time that has elapsed since then.

I doubt we're going to see super-overhauls of these lenses for quite some time...if ever. There's only so much you can do with lenses this fast in terms of getting wide open sharpness or focusing speed.

Even the $10K Leica Noctilux 50/.95 isn't perfect, so it's pretty unlikely that you're going to see a major improvement to what are already very good lenses at a price that is anywhere in reach of a typical human being.

So no, they aren't perfect, and likely will never be - but if you buy one of the current ones, you'll have the best autofocus, 35mm frame-size 50mm f/1.2 and 85mm f/1.2 lenses ever made on planet Earth. So that's pretty good. (The Leica 50/.95, and the Zeiss 50/1.2 and 85/1.2 manual focus anniversary editions made for 35mm Contax might be slightly better...maybe.)
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takesome1

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Re: the future of 1.2 L lenses ?
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2013, 02:08:00 PM »
The 85mm L will not stop taking great pictures if a new version is released.

I wouldn't expect a replacement for several years. Even if announced today it might be a year or two away.

CarlTN

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Re: the future of 1.2 L lenses ?
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2013, 02:22:14 PM »
The motors in the 50 Ls (going all the way back to the 50/1.0 L days), and 85 Ls have never been speed demons, and won't likely ever be - that's a lot of heavy glass to move around in there... The design(s) are also much older than you might think..."2005-2006" doesn't tell the whole story. The 85/1.2 I came out in 1989...the mk II came out more recently, but optically it's not very different - the motor is updated and the coatings are updated...that's really about it. Go back to the Canon FD days and the FD 85/1.2 isn't terribly different from the current EOS version given the amount of time that has elapsed since then.

I doubt we're going to see super-overhauls of these lenses for quite some time...if ever. There's only so much you can do with lenses this fast in terms of getting wide open sharpness or focusing speed.

Even the $10K Leica Noctilux 50/.95 isn't perfect, so it's pretty unlikely that you're going to see a major improvement to what are already very good lenses at a price that is anywhere in reach of a typical human being.

So no, they aren't perfect, and likely will never be - but if you buy one of the current ones, you'll have the best autofocus, 35mm frame-size 50mm f/1.2 and 85mm f/1.2 lenses ever made on planet Earth. So that's pretty good. (The Leica 50/.95, and the Zeiss 50/1.2 and 85/1.2 manual focus anniversary editions made for 35mm Contax might be slightly better...maybe.)

Very interesting historical perspective, thank you!  Also glad to see someone mention the Leica Noctilux...

CarlTN

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Re: the future of 1.2 L lenses ?
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2013, 02:23:08 PM »
The 85mm L will not stop taking great pictures if a new version is released.

I wouldn't expect a replacement for several years. Even if announced today it might be a year or two away.

+1, and whenever there is a replacement, expect it to cost ~40% more.

Eldar

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Re: the future of 1.2 L lenses ?
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2013, 02:25:11 PM »
At f/1.2 focus accuracy is only going to be so accurate ...

That´s the main point. If you are looking to get the f1.2 lenses, you should have the best available AF, to cope with the very shallow DOF. And if you can´t afford the 1DX, then 5DIII is next in line.
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Re: the future of 1.2 L lenses ?
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2013, 02:31:31 PM »
.
I probably know (and care) less about these kinds of issues than anyone here. But two things would seem to preclude any near-term upgrade of these lenses:

1. They are satisfactory performers in almost every regard. Their optical characteristics, as OP has suggested, are well in line with current sensors.

2. Canon seems to have too much on its plate right now to fuss with things that are already going well enough. They're doing lenses for the M line. They're doing lenses for the cinema line. They're changing standard lenses over to STM for the consumer market. They are said to be looking at a medium format venture that will require new lenses. With all that going on, I'd say they'll be leaving the 50L and 85L alone for at least several years.

And, having said that, they'll probably announce upgrade to both lenses the day after tomorrow!

As I've said many time, looking into the mind of Canon is like staring at the sun hoping to see a single hydrogen atom. You'll never see that atom, and you'll go blind trying.
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Re: the future of 1.2 L lenses ?
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2013, 02:31:31 PM »

CarlTN

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Re: the future of 1.2 L lenses ?
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2013, 02:35:36 PM »
At f/1.2 focus accuracy is only going to be so accurate ...

That´s the main point. If you are looking to get the f1.2 lenses, you should have the best available AF, to cope with the very shallow DOF. And if you can´t afford the 1DX, then 5DIII is next in line.

The problem is, the best autofocus available is only going to do so much with such shallow depth of field.  If we were talking a supertelephoto lens at a daytime sporting event, then yes the 5D3 would very much be the better camera.  But for these slow AF portrait lenses, there's not that much advantage to having those 60 AF points.  One or more of them might pick something you don't want it to focus on...so if you're going to limit the points in use, on a stationary or slow moving subject (person)...then there isn't really an AF advantage with the 5D3, in my opinion.  Indeed there might be a disadvantage in very low light...and certainly there is no significant image quality advantage at low ISO, and really none at all at higher ISO.

He would be better off at least buying a 6D as his "second" camera, rather than worrying about f/1.2L lens obsolescence on his existing and highly compromised-IQ crop bodies...using them as his second body(s).  This whole thread is rather silly (L lens obsolescence).

CarlTN

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Re: the future of 1.2 L lenses ?
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2013, 02:38:45 PM »
.
I probably know (and care) less about these kinds of issues than anyone here. But two things would seem to preclude any near-term upgrade of these lenses:

1. They are satisfactory performers in almost every regard. Their optical characteristics, as OP has suggested, are well in line with current sensors.

2. Canon seems to have too much on its plate right now to fuss with things that are already going well enough. They're doing lenses for the M line. They're doing lenses for the cinema line. They're changing standard lenses over to STM for the consumer market. They are said to be looking at a medium format venture that will require new lenses. With all that going on, I'd say they'll be leaving the 50L and 85L alone for at least several years.

And, having said that, they'll probably announce upgrade to both lenses the day after tomorrow!

As I've said many time, looking into the mind of Canon is like staring at the sun hoping to see a single hydrogen atom. You'll never see that atom, and you'll go blind trying.

+1 and very well said.  Are the atoms that make up the glowing plasma on the sun's surface hydrogen?  I guess they are...sorry to get too literal, haha.

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Re: the future of 1.2 L lenses ?
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2013, 02:38:45 PM »