Review: Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L USM

Canon Rumors Guy

EOS-1D X Mark II
Jul 20, 2010
7,051
57
Canada
www.canonrumors.com
#1
The-Digital-Picture has completed their review of the brand new Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L USM. The first L prime for the Canon EOS R system. It’s big, it’s expensive and it’s pretty, but does it perform?
Bryan seems to think so:
A great 50mm prime lens has been high on the want list for many photographers and with the RF 50mm f/1.2L USM Lens, Canon has delivered big. While the price may keep such a lens on the want list for those with a tighter budget, many serious amateurs and professionals are going to find this lens to be an essential part of their kit.
The 50mm focal length has great general purpose utility and the ultra-wide aperture extends this lens’ versatility to ultra-low light levels. Just having an ultra-wide aperture does not mean that the wide-open image quality will be adequate for your needs, but there is no worry when using this lens at f/1.2. The resolution and contrast are great, far better than any...
Continue reading...
 
Last edited:
Aug 26, 2015
278
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#2
Great lens. Although some may get disappointed, that with the release of this lens, Canon is basically skipping answering people's enquiries about a new 50mm EF lens.
 
Likes: criscokkat
Jul 31, 2018
296
106
#5
yep, strange. Ahsanford went AWOL ... last activity Sep. 12 ???

also, what about Neuro ... last activity Oct. 10 ? Too busy, on vacation, temporarily banned or left?
 
Jul 26, 2011
257
1
#8
I wish Canon would share their future intentions. Will any EF lenses still be made? Should one even bother investing in the EF system any more? All the lenses I would have wanted for my EF system are becoming available for the RF mount. I understand that every now and then things will change, but a road map would be nice. I just bought a 5DIV and a EF 85 1.4. Was waiting for a EF 24-70L 2.8 IS to replace the 24-70 2.8 L Mark I. But at this point, I will hold off on any further purchases and wait and see.
 
Sep 1, 2018
14
8
#9
I wish Canon would share their future intentions. Will any EF lenses still be made? Should one even bother investing in the EF system any more? All the lenses I would have wanted for my EF system are becoming available for the RF mount. I understand that every now and then things will change, but a road map would be nice. I just bought a 5DIV and a EF 85 1.4. Was waiting for a EF 24-70L 2.8 IS to replace the 24-70 2.8 L Mark I. But at this point, I will hold off on any further purchases and wait and see.
The EF 85mm 1.4 L IS is unbelievable on the Eos R too, you'll do well if you stick to that one!
 

Hector1970

EOS Rebel T7i
Mar 22, 2012
886
23
#11
Great review as usual. The lens looks very big but maybe that's because the camera is small. Bryan needs to spell check the article though. I see some typo's which is unusual of him. I think the lens will drive the EOS-R
 

dtaylor

EOS Rebel T7i
Jul 26, 2011
926
70
#12
In any case, wasn't one of his main things a 50 with IS? Which this does not have, so probably still grumpy.
Anyone who wants a 50 IS should look at the Tamron 45 f/1.8 VC. Sharp to the corners wide open, weather sealed, good VC implementation, quick and accurate AF, and good bokeh. It does have some CA wide open (easily fixed in post) and only goes to f/1.8 (a bit less background blur), but is excellent in every other respect.
 
Likes: pj1974

dtaylor

EOS Rebel T7i
Jul 26, 2011
926
70
#13
I wish Canon would share their future intentions. Will any EF lenses still be made?
We will see new EF lenses. That said, I expect most new lenses will be RF because the EF mount is filled out while the RF mount is brand new and in need of native glass if it's going to succeed.

I also expect Canon will play up the "RF mount advantage" with lenses that have some edge over their EF counterparts, the 28-70 f/2L being the perfect example of that.

Should one even bother investing in the EF system any more?
If you hate the idea of an adapter and plan on going mirrorless as soon as possible, then no, you shouldn't buy any more EF glass. If the adapter doesn't bother you and/or you're not buying an R anytime soon then buy EF lenses.

I'm not thrilled with an adapter. I would have preferred an EF mount FF mirrorless that accepted retro focus mirrorless only lenses. Which probably would have let Canon do everything they're claiming they can do with the R mount. But that's not the way it went and I can live with an adapter when I add an R series body.

Having said that, I won't be adding an R body any time soon. I spent a good amount of money building my 'dream FF kit' this past year and am back at a point where my equipment exceeds what I'm producing. I can do anything photographically that I want right now at an IQ level far beyond what was available to me when I started in film nearly two decades ago. For me personally it's time to shoot more and stop worrying about what Canon or anyone else may/may not do.

I may add an M5 to upgrade my lightweight kit though. Other than that....
 

Viggo

EOS 5DS R
Dec 13, 2010
3,479
117
#14
I still can’t believe that 4 stop vignetting... and the weird part is that I don’t see anywhere near four stops in the images I shot either...
 
Likes: YuengLinger
Apr 1, 2014
21
4
#15
Great review as usual. The lens looks very big but maybe that's because the camera is small. Bryan needs to spell check the article though. I see some typo's which is unusual of him. I think the lens will drive the EOS-R
If you still see spelling errors in the article, please let us know. Bryan inadvertently loaded a version of the review just before announcing its publication that was authored prior to proofreading. We've since replaced that version with a more polished review (unfortunately, the updated comparison photos that corrected the Sigma 35mm Art being shown still haven't propagated through the servers).
 
Oct 6, 2015
161
56
#16
I still can’t believe that 4 stop vignetting... and the weird part is that I don’t see anywhere near four stops in the images I shot either...
I don't know exactly how Bryan measures vignetting, but I would suspect that his process, at some point, applies a tone curve profile to the resulting file. So the results could be inconsistent between cameras. It would interesting to see the 50mm EF tested on the R vs. the RF version.

Another explanation is that vignetting can vary with focusing distance (just like the real focal length - you can see in this test that the RF has quite a lot of focus breathing, ie the focal length changes with focusing distance). I'm not sure but I believe that this is particularly the case with lens designs which focus by moving the entire lens, like the 50mm RF I think. In general it's stronger at longer focusing distances.

I wouldn't bother exactly about the number of "stops" as lots of variables can affect that. What I would worry about is the effect on blur quantity and quality. Vignetting causes, in effect, the effective aperture of a lens to be smaller off-centre.

The problem with the RF's vignetting is that it's sufficiently strong to make the design of the lens partially pointless. You're paying for f1.2 worth of engineering, manufacturing costs, etc. but at some focusing distances you're not getting anything any better than a well corrected f1.4 lens throughout most of the frame, for example, as the Aspen trees series demonstrate (when vignetting is corrected, the f1.2 and f1.4 shots are nearly identical) :

f1.2 vs f1.4.jpg
 
Nov 2, 2016
219
62
#17
Loyd Chambers (digiloyd) also thinks this is a great lens. Considering his long term annoyance with Canon, that’s a very big endorsement.
 

Viggo

EOS 5DS R
Dec 13, 2010
3,479
117
#18
I don't know exactly how Bryan measures vignetting, but I would suspect that his process, at some point, applies a tone curve profile to the resulting file. So the results could be inconsistent between cameras. It would interesting to see the 50mm EF tested on the R vs. the RF version.

Another explanation is that vignetting can vary with focusing distance (just like the real focal length - you can see in this test that the RF has quite a lot of focus breathing, ie the focal length changes with focusing distance). I'm not sure but I believe that this is particularly the case with lens designs which focus by moving the entire lens, like the 50mm RF I think. In general it's stronger at longer focusing distances.

I wouldn't bother exactly about the number of "stops" as lots of variables can affect that. What I would worry about is the effect on blur quantity and quality. Vignetting causes, in effect, the effective aperture of a lens to be smaller off-centre.

The problem with the RF's vignetting is that it's sufficiently strong to make the design of the lens partially pointless. You're paying for f1.2 worth of engineering, manufacturing costs, etc. but at some focusing distances you're not getting anything any better than a well corrected f1.4 lens throughout most of the frame, for example, as the Aspen trees series demonstrate (when vignetting is corrected, the f1.2 and f1.4 shots are nearly identical) :

View attachment 181438
The thing is; I don’t see 4 stops in my shots, it’s more like the 85 L IS.

I want to know why. And I tried both long and short focus distances, and I tried to get the same result because I knew Bryan showed the 4 stops, and four stops is a crazy amount ....
 
Oct 6, 2015
161
56
#19
The thing is; I don’t see 4 stops in my shots, it’s more like the 85 L IS.

I want to know why. And I tried both long and short focus distances, and I tried to get the same result because I knew Bryan showed the 4 stops, and four stops is a crazy amount ....
To make it short : stop focusing about how many stops. Too many variables to take into account.
 
Likes: eyeheartny
Apr 1, 2014
21
4
#20
The thing is; I don’t see 4 stops in my shots, it’s more like the 85 L IS.

I want to know why. And I tried both long and short focus distances, and I tried to get the same result because I knew Bryan showed the 4 stops, and four stops is a crazy amount ....
Please don't be offended when I ask, but are you certain that Peripheral Illumination Correction (found in the Lens Aberration Correction menu) is turned off in-camera as well as your RAW converter? By default, it's enabled on the EOS R. If it's enabled, you won't be seeing the natural vignetting of the lens.