First look: Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L USM Image Quality

stevelee

FT-QL
Jul 6, 2017
1,290
311
Davidson, NC
This one, yes!
For a little slice of the image, mainly. With the background so blurry, that should make the part in focus seem sharper. I have a 55mm f/1.2 for my film camera. I must have got it with the body to start off with. I haven’t used it in so long that I don’t recall any particulars about it or how I used it.
 
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CanonFanBoy

EOS 5D SR
Jan 28, 2015
4,327
1,935
Irving, Texas
I was a little concerned that only 35mm difference between this and the 85mm didn't justify having both. I'm so happy I was wrong! Very different uses and feel, both great, from my experience. Enjoy!
I'm interested to see how that feels. I never pay attention to what focal length I am at with the zooms. I have some old 50mm - 58mm vintage MF lenses, but rarely have I used them. In fact, there's a friend in Chicago that has about 20 of my old lenses he's trying out. I'm hoping he buys the whole box.
 
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mkamelg

I'm New Here
Feb 1, 2015
19
7
Poland
I bought it. I still have also the EF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens so I did a little comparison:

https://1drv.ms/u/s!Asmd3i9rvqAblxG0b-pMSWuit8wl?e=1xnuhq

These are my first photos taken with this lens:


Do I have any conclusions?

Stay away from Christmas lighting, where LEDs give cold light. Why? Becaue in this case this lens generates horrible onion bokeh in full de-focus mode.


Giant onion Christmas tree:

https://1drv.ms/u/s!Asmd3i9rvqAblzEcYx7t8KExcfWS?e=eveYK5

I know, I know, it's a similar story like with Zeiss Otus lenses http://www.verybiglobo.com/zeiss-milvus-851-4-vs-zeiss-otus-851-4-vs-zeiss-planar-851-4-comparative-lens-review-2/7/ so we should be happy, right?

In my opinion, the weakest point of this lens is its housing. Why?

Look at your copy of the lens. In my copy you can see the joining of two fragments of the housing (this is probably one of the places where the material is welded, second two are located on both sides of the switches). When you squeeze the casing in a specific way (as shown in one of the pictures posted below), you will hear a click type sound.

I hope this is not a factory defect. :unsure: Do you have joining of two fragments of the housing in the same place as me, different place or you don't have it at all?

Generally the part of the housing below the MF ring is very flexible and bends under stronger finger pressure. In the EF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens housing is definitely more solid.

 
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CanonFanBoy

EOS 5D SR
Jan 28, 2015
4,327
1,935
Irving, Texas
I bought it. I still have also the EF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens so I did a little comparison:

https://1drv.ms/u/s!Asmd3i9rvqAblxG0b-pMSWuit8wl?e=1xnuhq

These are my first photos taken with this lens:


Do I have any conclusions?

Stay away from Christmas lighting, where LEDs give cold light. Why? Becaue in this case this lens generates horrible onion bokeh in full de-focus mode.


Giant onion Christmas tree:

https://flic.kr/p/2hVpAfA
I know, I know, it's a similar story like with Zeiss Otus lenses http://www.verybiglobo.com/zeiss-milvus-851-4-vs-zeiss-otus-851-4-vs-zeiss-planar-851-4-comparative-lens-review-2/7/ so we should be happy, right?

In my opinion, the weakest point of this lens is its housing. Why?

Look at your copy of the lens. In my copy you can see the joining of two fragments of the housing (this is probably one of the places where the material is welded, second two are located on both sides of the switches). When you squeeze the casing in a specific way (as shown in one of the pictures posted below), you will hear a click type sound.

I hope this is not a factory defect. :unsure: Do you have joining of two fragments of the housing in the same place as me, different place or you don't have it at all?

Generally the part of the housing below the MF ring is very flexible and bends under stronger finger pressure. In the EF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens housing is definitely more solid.

The flex behind the focus ring doesn't bother me. I do not have that line on my housing. I would think the part is molded and not joined there.

I see what you are saying about the onion bokeh on the tree, but the telling part for me is that I don't see it in the other lights. I have three models to shoot on Sunday night in Dallas. I will pay close attention to see whether or not I get the onion bokeh, but it really doesn't bother me either. Most of my shooting is during the day. ;) I am very happy with all three lenses. I'll post photos from Sunday night here. I'll be using the 50mm exclusively.

Still waiting for a 135mm or 70-135mm f/2 zoom. No rush though. I'm all tapped out for the next year or two. I'm 56, so these will be the last lenses I buy in my life should the RF mount survive the next 20+ years. :)
 

mkamelg

I'm New Here
Feb 1, 2015
19
7
Poland
"I do not have that line on my housing."

Thank you so much for your quick reply. After the weekend I send the lens back to the store where I bought it for refund.
 
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YuengLinger

EOS 5D MK IV
Dec 20, 2012
2,739
891
Southeastern USA
I bought it. I still have also the EF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens so I did a little comparison:

https://1drv.ms/u/s!Asmd3i9rvqAblxG0b-pMSWuit8wl?e=1xnuhq

These are my first photos taken with this lens:


Do I have any conclusions?

Stay away from Christmas lighting, where LEDs give cold light. Why? Becaue in this case this lens generates horrible onion bokeh in full de-focus mode.


Giant onion Christmas tree:

https://flic.kr/p/2hVpAfA
I know, I know, it's a similar story like with Zeiss Otus lenses http://www.verybiglobo.com/zeiss-milvus-851-4-vs-zeiss-otus-851-4-vs-zeiss-planar-851-4-comparative-lens-review-2/7/ so we should be happy, right?

In my opinion, the weakest point of this lens is its housing. Why?

Look at your copy of the lens. In my copy you can see the joining of two fragments of the housing (this is probably one of the places where the material is welded, second two are located on both sides of the switches). When you squeeze the casing in a specific way (as shown in one of the pictures posted below), you will hear a click type sound.

I hope this is not a factory defect. :unsure: Do you have joining of two fragments of the housing in the same place as me, different place or you don't have it at all?

Generally the part of the housing below the MF ring is very flexible and bends under stronger finger pressure. In the EF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens housing is definitely more solid.
Regarding the lens construction, thanks for the heads up. I just checked mine, the issue does not exist at all. Feels like one very solid tube, and it seats firmly in the mount.

Did you get yours new? From an authorized dealer? Was it delivered to you? And have you though of sending it to Canon for inspection? *

As for the onion-ring with certain LED lights in the distance, I haven't tried this lens with such a background, though the RF 85mm is clean and smooth. I might have to cave to family wishes and get a Christmas tree after all--just to try. But I can tell you natural light bokeh is buttery smooth.

I remember past discussions and reading online that onion ring can be caused by a lens, by the light source, and by a combination of both. I'm curious how many other lights catch your attention like these.

Ok, boys, I'll post my own bokeh-balls ASAP!

*Just saw we posted simultaneously. Glad you decided to send yours back. Sounded odd! But I'm still curious about my own bokeh-balls now, and will post 'em soon!
 

CanonFanBoy

EOS 5D SR
Jan 28, 2015
4,327
1,935
Irving, Texas
f/1.2 vs f/4 The black jacket in the second photo was affected by something I did in post. The f/4 image is a massive crop. Incredible detail.

Edit: I did use a preset I created for an earlier shoot so photo #2 might have had some sharpening added, but I am not sure. In any event, this lens is razor sharp.
 

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YuengLinger

EOS 5D MK IV
Dec 20, 2012
2,739
891
Southeastern USA
I rarely order onion rings, but I love French fries. Well, not only did I find out that the rf 50mm f/1.2L IS has onion-ring bokeh, but I ended up buying a tree. Here's a shot, hurriedly taken while the kids were climbing shelves at the home-improvement store. Somethings you learn after you've lived with a lens for a while...Otherwise no complaints!

Reminds me of the "Nobody's perfect!" reply at the end of Some Like it Hot.


Onion Rings.jpg
 
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jd7

EOS 7D MK II
Feb 3, 2013
763
132
I rarely order onion rings, but I love French fries. Well, not only did I find out that the rf 50mm f/1.2L IS has onion-ring bokeh, but I ended up buying a tree. Here's a shot, hurriedly taken while the kids were climbing shelves at the home-improvement store. Somethings you learn after you've lived with a lens for a while...Otherwise no complaints!
FWIW my understanding is onion ring bokeh is at least largely related to aspheric elements and where they sit in the optical path in a lens.

This, from a few years ago now, may be of vague interest

I actually prefer the bokeh of the Canon 24-70 f/4L IS over the 24-70 f/2.8L II because of the onion ring bokeh which the 2.8 produces, which I've always put down (correctly or incorrectly) to the fact the f/2.8 has an extra aspheric element and presumably the aspheric elements it has are in different place in the optical path. (Well, in some situations the extra blur the f.2.8 can produce may swing me to favour it. But subject to that I prefer the bokeh from the f/4.)

Of course, aspheric elements have their benefits eg in helping reduce spherical aberrations. However, as usual with photography, there's no free lunch!
 
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YuengLinger

EOS 5D MK IV
Dec 20, 2012
2,739
891
Southeastern USA
FWIW my understanding is onion ring bokeh is at least largely related to aspheric elements and where they sit in the optical path in a lens.

This, from a few years ago now, may be of vague interest

I actually prefer the bokeh of the Canon 24-70 f/4L IS over the 24-70 f/2.8L II because of the onion ring bokeh which the 2.8 produces, which I've always put down (correctly or incorrectly) to the fact the f/2.8 has an extra aspheric element and presumably the aspheric elements it has are in different place in the optical path. (Well, in some situations the extra blur the f.2.8 can produce may swing me to favour it. But subject to that I prefer the bokeh from the f/4.)

Of course, aspheric elements have their benefits eg in helping reduce spherical aberrations. However, as usual with photography, there's no free lunch!
jd7, you deserve the prize for most informative and on-point link of the year here on CR! Thank you! "Vague interest?" No: INTENSE INTEREST! :geek: :geek: :geek:
I've started noticing onion-rings in background lights on TV now! Last night it was in an episode of Jessica Jones (season 2). (A lot of tavern settings in this series, so lots of background lights over bars.)

Maybe this could be a new drinking game in our photo club! Spot the rings, have a shot!

Happy holidays!
 
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jd7

EOS 7D MK II
Feb 3, 2013
763
132
jd7, you deserve the prize for most informative and on-point link of the year here on CR! Thank you! "Vague interest?" No: INTENSE INTEREST! :geek: :geek: :geek:
I've started noticing onion-rings in background lights on TV now! Last night it was in an episode of Jessica Jones (season 2). (A lot of tavern settings in this series, so lots of background lights over bars.)

Maybe this could be a new drinking game in our photo club! Spot the rings, have a shot!

Happy holidays!
I think onion ring bokeh is one of those things you just can't unsee once you've seen it :) I'm always noticing it on TV and in movies these days too!
 
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Sporgon

5% of gear used 95% of the time
FWIW my understanding is onion ring bokeh is at least largely related to aspheric elements and where they sit in the optical path in a lens.

This, from a few years ago now, may be of vague interest

I actually prefer the bokeh of the Canon 24-70 f/4L IS over the 24-70 f/2.8L II because of the onion ring bokeh which the 2.8 produces, which I've always put down (correctly or incorrectly) to the fact the f/2.8 has an extra aspheric element and presumably the aspheric elements it has are in different place in the optical path. (Well, in some situations the extra blur the f.2.8 can produce may swing me to favour it. But subject to that I prefer the bokeh from the f/4.)
Interesting link: I have always thought that lenses with the expensive ground glass aspherical elements produced an image with more brio. Years ago I used to have the EF 20-35 f/2.8 and that had a massive ground glass aspherical element in it and produced beautiful glassy images - corners notwithstanding.

Surprised on your comment on the 24-70 f/2.8 L II compared with the 24-70 IS. I suppose the other two aspherical in the f/2.8 are moulded which might dilute the effect of the ground element. Another reason to by the 24-70 f/2.8 mark 1 ;)

Somewhere Canon had stated that moulded could only be produced up to a certain size and beyond that they still had to use the grinding and polishing method.
 

Viggo

EOS 5D SR
Dec 13, 2010
4,291
884
I don’t dislike the onion so much so that I want the 24-70 mk1 over the mk2 even slightly. It’s almost insane to me, lol:ROFLMAO:
 
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