Review: The stellar Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L USM

AlanF

EOS 5DS R
Aug 16, 2012
4,233
454
#1
OpticalLimits has completed their review of what appears to be the best 50mm lens that Canon has ever produced, the RF 50mm f/1.2L USM.
I’ve been using the RF 50mm f/1.2L USM for a couple of weeks now and I am extremely impressed by it. 50mm isn’t my focal length of choice, but the RF 50mm f/1.2L USM is forcing me to get used to it because it’s so good.
From OpticalLimits:
Let’s start with a disclaimer: Any verdict has to be very preliminary at this stage – it’s our first review using the EOS R after all. Also, keep in mind that the 30-megapixel sensor is rather average in terms of resolution today.
That all being said, it is quite obvious that the Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 USM L is an awesome lens … with a similar awe-inspiring price tag. In relation to other lenses in this class, the performance is already superb at f/1.2. Yes, the outer image region is not truly stellar but it’s impressive nonetheless. The image quality is extreme at medium aperture settings – across the image...
Continue reading...
 
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Likes: Berowne

Mt Spokane Photography

Spends too much time on this forum
Mar 25, 2011
14,823
266
#2
Every review I've read is gushing praises for this lens. DPR is using it for their tests of the R, and it will likely be the standard until a 85mm 1.4 or 1.2 RF lens comes out.

I do not generally use 50mm, or I'd find a way to get this lens. I also have a 5D MK IV, so I use EF lenses because they work on both cameras.
 

Larsskv

Enthusiast with Canon related GAS
Jun 12, 2015
635
45
#4
I’ve had the RF 50L for two weeks now. I am very impressed and satisfied with it. It has the sharpness of the 35LII and the rendering and bokeh of the 50L and 85LII. AF is extremely accurate, even with my daughter moving around fast and unpredictably. If I needed to, I would choose this lens over my 35LII, 50L (which I have already sold) and 85LII. I cannot recommend this lens enough.
 
Jul 14, 2018
89
32
#5
They say it 'eats up' the 30MP sensor, so I guess we'll have to wait for a higher MP version of the EOS R to really test it. Otherwise, for those with deep pockets, it looks great.
 

Del Paso

M3 Singlestroke
Aug 9, 2018
117
99
#8
Really really bad news for me: I wanted to have it, now I MUST have it with a second EOS R high resolution body.
Got to sell my wife's car, my son's downhill bikes or rob a bank. Life is getting hard for fanboys...
But it seems Canon made the right (lens) choices!
 

Viggo

EOS 5DS R
Dec 13, 2010
3,533
150
#10
I can just nod along with this, it’s truly stellar and it instantly became one of my top three all stars, knocking the 35 L II down to forth and pushing the Zeiss 100 f2 to third place, it’s only bested for me by the 200 f2.0 for image quality only.

Canon stepped it up for reals....

If I could own only one lens forever it is no question...
 
#11
From a sharpness standpoint, the lens is truly magnificent - I expected this and am still impressed.

50mm is my most commonly used prime focal length as a walk around and detail lens. But I can't get on board the "bokeh train" when it comes to this lens. I'm really on the fence. I see images where the background melts away and then I see images where it's a busy, distracting mess with football bokeh balls everywhere. Unfortunately, the latter seems to be happening a lot in sample images and it's honestly not something I have with my 50mm Art.

The Sigma is a great lens, but it's my only non-Canon glass I have, and that bothers me from a weather sealing and professional service standpoint. Sigma repairs are well communicated, but slow and they don't offer a loaner program at this time. I want to want this lens - if that makes sense....but I really need to rent one and decide if it will work for me and I need to experience just how bad the bokeh is. Because right now I'm not really seeing the insanely beautiful bokeh the 50mm f/1.2 was previously known for. This is almost like a Canon "Helios 44-2" 50mm f/1.2! haha

Again, just my opinion based purely from samples online. I plan to rent this lens and get a better feel for it.
 

Del Paso

M3 Singlestroke
Aug 9, 2018
117
99
#14
It's too big, too heavy, too expensive, and no IS.
I'm hoping that they will release an everyday, reasonably priced RF 50 f/1.4 IS. That would probably push me into the RF world.
Quality comes at a price
Too big? Look at the 1,4 (only)Sigma.
Too heavy? Look at the 1,4/85 Sigma.
Too expensive? What about the Leica M 1,25/75mm (GAAAASP!)
There is certainly a huge market for a lighter and less expensive RF 1,4/50, but I'm convinced, the 1,2/50 is a very interesting offer, and worth its price.
 
Likes: pj1974
#15
Quality comes at a price
Too big? Look at the 1,4 (only)Sigma.
Too heavy? Look at the 1,4/85 Sigma.
Too expensive? What about the Leica M 1,25/75mm (GAAAASP!)
There is certainly a huge market for a lighter and less expensive RF 1,4/50, but I'm convinced, the 1,2/50 is a very interesting offer, and worth its price.
I agree though. I own it because it's awesome. If they follow up with a great f/1.4 IS I'm going to for sure trade this in for that. If I was putting together a studio this would be the first lens I bought though, my god is it huge for a 50 prime though.
 

RGF

How you relate to the issue, is the issue.
Jul 13, 2012
2,803
30
#16
another technology wonder piece. Not useful me (wild life shooter) but nice to see what canon can do ..
 
Likes: Rockskipper

Larsskv

Enthusiast with Canon related GAS
Jun 12, 2015
635
45
#17
From a sharpness standpoint, the lens is truly magnificent - I expected this and am still impressed.

50mm is my most commonly used prime focal length as a walk around and detail lens. But I can't get on board the "bokeh train" when it comes to this lens. I'm really on the fence. I see images where the background melts away and then I see images where it's a busy, distracting mess with football bokeh balls everywhere. Unfortunately, the latter seems to be happening a lot in sample images and it's honestly not something I have with my 50mm Art.

The Sigma is a great lens, but it's my only non-Canon glass I have, and that bothers me from a weather sealing and professional service standpoint. Sigma repairs are well communicated, but slow and they don't offer a loaner program at this time. I want to want this lens - if that makes sense....but I really need to rent one and decide if it will work for me and I need to experience just how bad the bokeh is. Because right now I'm not really seeing the insanely beautiful bokeh the 50mm f/1.2 was previously known for. This is almost like a Canon "Helios 44-2" 50mm f/1.2! haha

Again, just my opinion based purely from samples online. I plan to rent this lens and get a better feel for it.
I think you will be satisfied with the bokeh once you try it. I’ve never had better bokeh with a 50mm lens, and I have tried most of the available options for the EF mount.
 

jd7

EOS Rebel SL2
Feb 3, 2013
641
45
#18
From a sharpness standpoint, the lens is truly magnificent - I expected this and am still impressed.

50mm is my most commonly used prime focal length as a walk around and detail lens. But I can't get on board the "bokeh train" when it comes to this lens. I'm really on the fence. I see images where the background melts away and then I see images where it's a busy, distracting mess with football bokeh balls everywhere. Unfortunately, the latter seems to be happening a lot in sample images and it's honestly not something I have with my 50mm Art.

The Sigma is a great lens, but it's my only non-Canon glass I have, and that bothers me from a weather sealing and professional service standpoint. Sigma repairs are well communicated, but slow and they don't offer a loaner program at this time. I want to want this lens - if that makes sense....but I really need to rent one and decide if it will work for me and I need to experience just how bad the bokeh is. Because right now I'm not really seeing the insanely beautiful bokeh the 50mm f/1.2 was previously known for. This is almost like a Canon "Helios 44-2" 50mm f/1.2! haha

Again, just my opinion based purely from samples online. I plan to rent this lens and get a better feel for it.
I agree with you about the bokeh from the RF 50L. It’s obviously a sharp lens even at f/1.2 but I’m yet to be convinced about the overall rendering given the price/size/weight. I'm not saying it's bad of course, but I'm just not seeing anything which makes me think it is fantastic. To be honest, even if I had an R, I wouldn’t have any burning desire to get the RF 50L based on what I’ve seen so far (especially given price, I think I'd lean towards the Sigma 50 Art or EF 50 f/1.2L). I noticed the Optical Limits review rated the bokeh as decent but not fantastic, as impressed as they were with the lens in most other respects.
 
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Likes: LSXPhotog

Del Paso

M3 Singlestroke
Aug 9, 2018
117
99
#20
Here’s a quick shot at 1.2, very close background and I really like the pop, a different world than what I got with the Sigma. And I love the super smooth background, but as with EVERY lens you can get poor bokeh.
Your picture shows some of the best bokeh I can think of, wonder what can be criticized about it ?????
Very nice pict!