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Author Topic: Canon's f/1.2's: What is really going on?  (Read 7956 times)

YuengLinger

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Canon's f/1.2's: What is really going on?
« on: April 29, 2014, 05:50:45 AM »
I've spent time carefully looking through online sample images of the two Canon f/1.2's, the 50mm and the 85mm.  Consistently, the shots from the 85mm significantly outshine those from the 50mm in terms of sharpness and contrast.  In many cases, colors seem better rendered by the 85mm also.

I own and love the 85mm 1.2, and I feel I'm just starting to hit my stride and understand its wide-open capabilities. 

But, even before the latest Sigma anticipation, I've been craving something with a bit more room that allows me to step physically closer to subjects.  I've heard negative and positive things about the 50mm 1.2, but that is true about most lenses.

So, I found as many 50mm 1.2 online images as I could, and what I'm seeing is a consistent lack of sharp center focus.

What is really going on?  Is it a problem with the lens or the photographers?  Are the 85mm 1.2 images on, say, pixel-peeper, being taken by better photographers (because the lens costs more, and, with its several quirks, appeals to more experienced photographers)?

Is the 85mm 1.2 really that much better than the 50mm 1.2?  Because, from what I'm seeing in an overwhelming number of samples, the 50mm seems quite soft even dead center.  With portraits, I want the option of having sharp eyes without having to apply too much sharpening in post, and I can do this with my 85mm even at 1.2.

Thanks in advance for any insights.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2014, 05:54:08 AM by YuengLinger »

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Canon's f/1.2's: What is really going on?
« on: April 29, 2014, 05:50:45 AM »

Sporgon

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Re: Canon's f/1.2's: What is really going on?
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2014, 06:17:16 AM »
If you have been looking at images taken at f1.2 then I guess it is because the 85 is significantly sharper than the 50 at this aperture:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=403&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=0&LensComp=397&CameraComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0

Clearly the 85 is a much more expensive lens, but the 50 is hardly cheap. I presume on the 85 focal length it was possible to achieve excellent bokeh with more chromatic aberration correction than on a 50 focal length.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2014, 06:18:53 AM by Sporgon »

Menace

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Re: Canon's f/1.2's: What is really going on?
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2014, 06:40:58 AM »
I have both - if I had to choose between them, I'll take the 85L every time :)
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YuengLinger

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Re: Canon's f/1.2's: What is really going on?
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2014, 06:46:30 AM »
Thanks, Sporgon, for the link.  This is a resource I've overlooked many times--now I see how useful the comparisons are.

The focus charts do line up with what I've been finding.  I can see many instances of post sharpening being applied heavily to the 50mm 1.2 images, resulting in some crispy artifacts.

This 100% puts me back in waiting mode for more Sigma reviews and sample images.

TheAshleyJones

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Re: Canon's f/1.2's: What is really going on?
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2014, 07:38:28 AM »
I have both.  Utterly love the 85, but the 50 goes almost unused.  I am going to look at the new Sigma when it's available.

I had and loved the Canon 50 F/1.4 and had great hopes for the F/1.2 but it is so much less everything than the 85.
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Sporgon

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Re: Canon's f/1.2's: What is really going on?
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2014, 08:34:40 AM »
I have both.  Utterly love the 85, but the 50 goes almost unused.  I am going to look at the new Sigma when it's available.

I had and loved the Canon 50 F/1.4 and had great hopes for the F/1.2 but it is so much less everything than the 85.

I think the 85/1.2 can be regarded as a (££ substantial ) upgrade to the 85/1.8. However the 50/1.2 isn't intended to be an 'upgrade' to the 50/1.4, at least not in a general use sense. I know a few photographers who purchased them in '06 and ended up howling. It's a specific lens for a specific type of image. If it wasnt I'd have purchased one years ago as 50mm is my staple diet lens.

YuengLinger

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Re: Canon's f/1.2's: What is really going on?
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2014, 08:36:41 AM »
One thing telling, an excellent portrait/wedding photographer in our area, can easily afford any gear.  She uses the ef 50mm 1.4 for some fill-in shots of guests and details at weddings.  I asked her why she didn't go with the L version as she did with every other lens (including the 85mm), and she said she had tried it and decided it just wasn't reliable enough for what she was doing with a 50mm.

She mainly uses the 24-70mm f/2.8 II, the 85mm f/1.2,II  and the 70-200mm /f2.8 IS II.  And you should see how she holds a lens between her knees when swapping out!  Changes lenses faster than anybody I've ever seen.

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Re: Canon's f/1.2's: What is really going on?
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2014, 08:36:41 AM »

Dylan777

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Re: Canon's f/1.2's: What is really going on?
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2014, 09:24:23 AM »
I have both - if I had to choose between them, I'll take the 85L every time :)

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sdsr

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Re: Canon's f/1.2's: What is really going on?
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2014, 11:06:05 AM »

But, even before the latest Sigma anticipation, I've been craving something with a bit more room that allows me to step physically closer to subjects.  I've heard negative and positive things about the 50mm 1.2, but that is true about most lenses.


This doesn't answer your question, but: What sort of subjects are you trying to get closer to, and what sort of effect are you after?  Depending on the answer, you might want to consider a 100L (macro) or 135L.  Even when not using it as a macro lens, the former allows a remarkable combination of proximity, sharpness and out-of-focus blurring, for instance.

kaihp

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Re: Canon's f/1.2's: What is really going on?
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2014, 11:35:23 AM »
she said she had tried it and decided it just wasn't reliable enough for what she was doing with a 50mm.

It should be noted that the f/1.2L has a focus-shift when shooting in f/1.4 to f/4 range. This is a deliberate design choice, but it can really catch people out.

See this excellent explanation by Neuro.

mackguyver

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Re: Canon's f/1.2's: What is really going on?
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2014, 12:33:39 PM »
They are similar but different beasts.  The 85L is quite a bit sharper wide open, but it's big & heavy, focuses slowly, and is sometimes too tight for indoor use.  The 50L is small, relatively light, focuses faster (not 2.8 zoom fast, but pretty quick) and allows you to include more of the background.  Both lenses have great contrast, color, and bokeh, and both give a unique look.

I own both and will choose the 85L every time for headshots and head & shoulders shots.  If I'm in a studio or larger area, I'll use the 85 for 3/4 and full-length shots as well.

I take the 50L when I want to shoot more than one person, or when I'm going someplace that may or may not have enough room for the 85.  I also like to use it when I plan to include the background (i.e. at night with defocused lights in the background or if the model is in an interesting setting like architecture or trees).  It's also better when time is of the essence or the subjects are moving (kids & pets) because of the AF speed.  I also like to take it with me as a general lens as I can shoot wide open or stopped down, and the 50mm focal length is more versatile than the 85 when it comes to other subjects.  When I travel but don't want to bring the 24-70, the 50L is usually the lens I choose.

kbmelb

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Re: Canon's f/1.2's: What is really going on?
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2014, 01:17:12 PM »
The 85 1.2 is sharper than 50 1.2 but I find the 50 to sharp enough to consider sharp. Way sharper than my 24-702.8 I.

I have always had great results with with the 50L. My copy was manufactured in 2010 which is after the debatable possible production change. I also AFMA to outer points, not the center, as I NEVER use the center point.

I have noticed slightly better results on my PRO bodies (1DsII and 1DsIII) than on my 5DmkII. The 5DIII might be on par with the 1DsIII

gary samples

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Re: Canon's f/1.2's: What is really going on?
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2014, 01:22:13 PM »
I have the 85 1.2 and love love it
 and I also have the 24/70 II 2.8 With those two you will have it going on LOL

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Re: Canon's f/1.2's: What is really going on?
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2014, 01:22:13 PM »

East Wind Photography

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Re: Canon's f/1.2's: What is really going on?
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2014, 01:54:35 PM »
I have the 85 1.2 and love love it
 and I also have the 24/70 II 2.8 With those two you will have it going on LOL

I was not very happy with several copies of the 24/70 II 2.8.  I found it very soft at 70mm and the AFMA was not linear across the focus distance which made it extremely difficult to get consistent focus with.  I've seen this issue with some fixed lenses like the 24 F1.4 II but it's a bigger problem on a zoom.

I returned them all and kept my 24/70 I 2.8...which has it's own issues but so far so good.

I've never used the 50 1.2 but the 85 1.2L II gets the most use out of all of my lenses.  600 F4 is #2.  ;)


gary samples

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Re: Canon's f/1.2's: What is really going on?
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2014, 02:37:09 PM »
I have the 85 1.2 and love love it
 and I also have the 24/70 II 2.8 With those two you will have it going on LOL

I was not very happy with several copies of the 24/70 II 2.8.  I found it very soft at 70mm and the AFMA was not linear across the focus distance which made it extremely difficult to get consistent focus with.  I've seen this issue with some fixed lenses like the 24 F1.4 II but it's a bigger problem on a zoom.

I returned them all and kept my 24/70 I 2.8...which has it's own issues but so far so good.

I've never used the 50 1.2 but the 85 1.2L II gets the most use out of all of my lenses.  600 F4 is #2.  ;)
I seen a small number say that but mine is so sharp it will cut your eyes it looks almost 3D THE 85 1.2 & THE 24/70 II Will never be sold l I Die with them   they are that good !
« Last Edit: April 29, 2014, 03:02:33 PM by gary samples »

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Re: Canon's f/1.2's: What is really going on?
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2014, 02:37:09 PM »