Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

drmikeinpdx

Celebrating 20 years of naughty photography!

I haven't used my 50mm F/1.2 L for a while, but for this recent shoot I was very glad I had it with me. I was shooting for this client on city streets at dusk and had her sit at a sidewalk cafe. The light was pretty much gone by that time, just enough to focus. Wish the 5D3 would illuminate the focus point!!

ISO: 1600, F/1.2, 1/160th

When she turned her head a little more, I could not keep both eyes in acceptable focus. Fortunately, I took lots of shots at this location! Doing close portraits at F/1.2 does not give you a high keeper rate, that's for sure.

The blurred shapes behind the subject are a group of people sitting at a table just behind her. As someone once said, F/1.2 doesn't blur the background, it obliterates it. So true! And so convenient sometimes.
 

Jerryrigged

CANON EOS R & 5D IV
Jul 15, 2016
18
2
California
wickidwombat said:
RLPhoto said:
RS2021 said:
Well with a 35L/85L II combo I felt owning a 50L is just a tad redundant and got rid of it....but some of you are tempting me to get this back in my collection.

P.S. you will be doing me a favor if you tell me it is redundant and totally unnecessary.
It would be redundant in your prime setup. You chose the 35mm as your standard lens, having a 50mm isn't needed.
ditto

my sigma 35 and 85 are my main goto lenses now oh also the 135 f2L for more reach
these are my holy trinity of primes
A little bit different take on this...

I have the 35mm f/1.4L II at the wide end (not super wide, I know) and at the long end, I have the 100mm f/2.8L Macro and the 70-200 f/2.8L IS II. I really want the 135mm f/2 at some point, but I'm already pretty well set at the long end for now. I used the 50mm f/1.2 for a weekend wedding not long ago and LOVE it! There is a profound difference between my 35mm f/1.4L II and the 50mm f/1.2L. The 35mm is bleeding edge sharp! It has beautiful color and can give a nice 3D pop to images. However, it is NOT dreamy like the 50mm. The 50mm f/1.2L seems to give a much more artistic, moody affect to the images. Of course, I don't think I shot it stopped down any more than maybe f/1.8... and most were wide open at f/1.2. I was lucky that the copy I had required ZERO micro-focus adjustment. As soon as I can afford it, I will be getting the 50mm f/1.2 and I think it will complement my 35mm nicely.
 

jd7

EOS 7D MK II
Feb 3, 2013
694
79
Jerryrigged said:
wickidwombat said:
RLPhoto said:
RS2021 said:
Well with a 35L/85L II combo I felt owning a 50L is just a tad redundant and got rid of it....but some of you are tempting me to get this back in my collection.

P.S. you will be doing me a favor if you tell me it is redundant and totally unnecessary.
It would be redundant in your prime setup. You chose the 35mm as your standard lens, having a 50mm isn't needed.
ditto

my sigma 35 and 85 are my main goto lenses now oh also the 135 f2L for more reach
these are my holy trinity of primes
A little bit different take on this...

I have the 35mm f/1.4L II at the wide end (not super wide, I know) and at the long end, I have the 100mm f/2.8L Macro and the 70-200 f/2.8L IS II. I really want the 135mm f/2 at some point, but I'm already pretty well set at the long end for now. I used the 50mm f/1.2 for a weekend wedding not long ago and LOVE it! There is a profound difference between my 35mm f/1.4L II and the 50mm f/1.2L. The 35mm is bleeding edge sharp! It has beautiful color and can give a nice 3D pop to images. However, it is NOT dreamy like the 50mm. The 50mm f/1.2L seems to give a much more artistic, moody affect to the images. Of course, I don't think I shot it stopped down any more than maybe f/1.8... and most were wide open at f/1.2. I was lucky that the copy I had required ZERO micro-focus adjustment. As soon as I can afford it, I will be getting the 50mm f/1.2 and I think it will complement my 35mm nicely.
I agree that 35 and 85 often make a nice combination, but I agree with Jerryrigged that 35 and 50 are quite different. I've read a lot of comments on the internet implying they are close to interchangeable, but I think they make quite different photos. 50 is more of a "definite subject" lens (be that a single person or a couple or whatever) while 35 is more useful for "environmental" shots (including environmental portraits), for want of a better description. In fact, I think 50 shares more in common with 85 (in terms of the types of shots it is useful for) than with 35.
 

jolyonralph

Kodak Brownie
Aug 25, 2015
1,052
253
49
London, UK
www.everyothershot.com
I've recently bought the 50mm f/1.2 and yes, it's not a forgiving lens.

I first really discovered my love of photography on Canon (especially portrait photography) with the 50mm f/1.8 II - a lens that I still own because it's still a great lens especially when thrown on an adaptor on the EOS M3.

Just before the birth of my son I invested in the Canon 50mm f/1.4 thinking that it was likely to be a good companion to my much loved 85mm f/1.8 - but after a while I realised that I didn't really find anything that I loved about this lens. Yes, it was better than the 50mm 1.8 in most cases, but there was nothing that made me really want to use it. It laid mostly unused in my lens bag until I sold it recently.

Earlier this year I decided to treat myself to the lens I'd always wanted - the 85mm f/1.2L II - and of course was blown away with how amazing it was. I then started to wonder about the 50mm f/1.2L - I knew from everything I read that this was not something to compare with the 85 1.2L, this was a lens with a very mixed reputation. And then one came up on offer on Facebook at a price I could not refuse (a very recently made one too with the silvery box and the center-pinch cap) so I took the plunge.

I do not regret this for one moment. The 50mm f/1.2 can be frustrating compared to the 85 1.2, but it does have a unique character to it that the 1.4 doesn't. Looking at some of the photos already posted here you can see it.

I am still far from mastering it, but it is nowhere near as bad as some people have made out.

If they can do a 50mm f/1.2L II USM that's as good as the 85mm f/1.2L then Canon will of course have a winner. but until then, there's a lot of life left in this lens.
 

YuengLinger

EOR R
Dec 20, 2012
2,234
252
Southeastern USA
jolyonralph said:
I've recently bought the 50mm f/1.2 and yes, it's not a forgiving lens.

I first really discovered my love of photography on Canon (especially portrait photography) with the 50mm f/1.8 II - a lens that I still own because it's still a great lens especially when thrown on an adaptor on the EOS M3.

Just before the birth of my son I invested in the Canon 50mm f/1.4 thinking that it was likely to be a good companion to my much loved 85mm f/1.8 - but after a while I realised that I didn't really find anything that I loved about this lens. Yes, it was better than the 50mm 1.8 in most cases, but there was nothing that made me really want to use it. It laid mostly unused in my lens bag until I sold it recently.

Earlier this year I decided to treat myself to the lens I'd always wanted - the 85mm f/1.2L II - and of course was blown away with how amazing it was. I then started to wonder about the 50mm f/1.2L - I knew from everything I read that this was not something to compare with the 85 1.2L, this was a lens with a very mixed reputation. And then one came up on offer on Facebook at a price I could not refuse (a very recently made one too with the silvery box and the center-pinch cap) so I took the plunge.

I do not regret this for one moment. The 50mm f/1.2 can be frustrating compared to the 85 1.2, but it does have a unique character to it that the 1.4 doesn't. Looking at some of the photos already posted here you can see it.

I am still far from mastering it, but it is nowhere near as bad as some people have made out.

If they can do a 50mm f/1.2L II USM that's as good as the 85mm f/1.2L then Canon will of course have a winner. but until then, there's a lot of life left in this lens.
Fair enough! Some of your samples would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!
 

Pookie

Don't forget to gargle private...
Nov 29, 2014
960
143
Santa Cruz, California
www.flickr.com
YuengLinger said:
Clearly the 50mm 1.2 L has run its course. Despite some outliers who get consistently adequate results, occasionally pleasing,

WE NEED AN UPDATE, CANON!!!
Hahaaaa.... the only outliers here are photographers that can actually use this lens. Always easier to blame your equipment than yourself isn't it?
 

YuengLinger

EOR R
Dec 20, 2012
2,234
252
Southeastern USA
Pookie said:
YuengLinger said:
Clearly the 50mm 1.2 L has run its course. Despite some outliers who get consistently adequate results, occasionally pleasing,

WE NEED AN UPDATE, CANON!!!
Hahaaaa.... the only outliers here are photographers that can actually use this lens. Always easier to blame your equipment than yourself isn't it?
You're in a mood, aren't you? ::)