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

Oct 19, 2018
7
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#23
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!
Rob the bank, use the wife's car as the getaway car, ditch the car, then get the insurance money for the "stolen" car. A fool-proof plan!
 
#25
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.
The 3D effect this lens delivers is certainly real! My buddy has shared some really awesome photos that display what this lens can do. I plan to reserve judgement until I actually use the lens myself. But from what I saw in photos with busy trees and highlights, the lens can struggle in some photos. As you said, all lenses can struggle with bokeh rendering. Looking forward to seeing it side-by-side with my Art.
 

Viggo

EOS 5DS R
Dec 13, 2010
3,533
150
#26
At least you didn't make her smile and look at the camera this time. She probably tolerated it a little better?
Haha, I think she enjoys smiling a lot more, at least she almost never stops doing it, but for pictures, that’s a bit tougher yeah. She hates having her picture taken so I showed her and my boy lots of pictures from recent past and some from when they were much younger and they enjoyed it a lot! So I told them, how are we supposed to see pictures from today in 5 years if you won’t let me take a single shot? I think that helped, they are kinder to me now, lol.
 
Apr 12, 2016
834
116
ethanzentz.com
#27
Haha, I think she enjoys smiling a lot more, at least she almost never stops doing it, but for pictures, that’s a bit tougher yeah. She hates having her picture taken so I showed her and my boy lots of pictures from recent past and some from when they were much younger and they enjoyed it a lot! So I told them, how are we supposed to see pictures from today in 5 years if you won’t let me take a single shot? I think that helped, they are kinder to me now, lol.
Good. I know you've had that challenge in the past ;)
 
Likes: Viggo

Del Paso

M3 Singlestroke
Aug 9, 2018
117
99
#29
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 suggest that you take a look at Optical Limit's test of the EF 1,2/50, they found out that, under some conditions, even its bokeh could be pretty busy!
The always perfect bokeh simply doesn't exist, not even in a Leica Noctilux which cost 4 times the price of the Canon ER 1,2/50.
But, most of the time, these lenses deliver!
 
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Likes: YuengLinger

YuengLinger

EOS 6D Mark II
Dec 20, 2012
2,089
116
Southeastern USA
#30
I suggest that you take a look at Optical Limit's test of the EF 1,2/50, they found out that, under some conditions, even it's bokeh could be pretty busy!
The always perfect bokeh simply doesn't exist, not even in a Leica Noctilux which cost 4 times the price of the Canon ER 1,2/50.
But, most of the time, these lenses deliver!
Many, many times I have been tempted to just get the EF 50 mm 1.2. The most recent time this week, when B&H had it for just over $1,000 new. But then I look at sample shots around the web and I see how many focus problems it has and how generally soft and hazy it looks, and how easy it is to get lousy bokeh with it. I got a bad copy of the Tamron 45 mm, so I was itching again, but once more gave it a pass.

Now I am waiting for a better version of an RF body. the first lens I will buy for it will be the RF 50 mm 1.2 L.
 
Oct 6, 2015
166
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#33
Could this be the reason for sometimes busy bokeh? The part electronic shutter is set On as default.
That's a very good point but I think that it only explains some findings but not all. The EFC problem arises only if the shutter speed is fast enough, and this video suggests that it varies depending on the shutter design and implementation. In that shot taken at 1/3200 from DPreview, the bokeh balls are cut at the bottom, similarly to Optical limits's bokeh balls test : https://2.img-dpreview.com/files/p/sample_galleries/4037492029/6069143499.jpg
in that one taken at 1/2000, they're kind of not : https://2.img-dpreview.com/files/p/sample_galleries/4037492029/7748663598.jpg
So if you still find some ground for criticising that lens' bokeh below 1/2000th of a second or so (personally I do), I think that in these situations it's 100% the lens' fault. Above 1/2000th any shot taken with EFC on may skew the results and make it difficult to distinguish the lens from the EFC impact.
 
Dec 13, 2010
3,533
150
#35
I was considering not buying this lens because of the vignetting I saw in the TDP test, but I didn’t see anything remotely as bad in the test shots I took when I tried one. So I bought it anyway and the vignetting hasn’t showed in any way to this extent, and I’ve shot only wide open. So yeah, it looks bad in that test and the picture above MUST have some vignetting added or something because it just isn’t that bad. And chances are if it’s in ONE shot and not the others, that’s not what you’ll see in every shot, I certainly haven’t...
 
Oct 6, 2015
166
56
#36
I'm pretty certain that the parrot shot hasn't had any added vignetting, that's not Optical Limits' way. However vignetting, expressed in brightness, can be affected by profiles tone curves. It also varies with focusing distance.
The 50mm RF has so much of it that it makes its f1.2 physical aperture somewhat pointless, at least past a certain focusing distance. It's better to consider it a f1.4 lens under most situations. This can be seen in mirror lessons' video, among other examples : https://www.mirrorlessons.com/2018/11/29/canon-rf-50mm-f-1-2-review/
The difference in terms of DOF (or brightness for that matter) between the f1.2 and f1.4 shots are negligible.
Screenshot 2018-12-02 at 14.58.45-2.jpg
Screenshot 2018-12-02 at 15.00.58-2.jpg
 
Dec 13, 2010
3,533
150
#37
I'm pretty certain that the parrot shot hasn't had any added vignetting, that's not Optical Limits' way. However vignetting, expressed in brightness, can be affected by profiles tone curves. It also varies with focusing distance.
The 50mm RF has so much of it that it makes its f1.2 physical aperture somewhat pointless, at least past a certain focusing distance. It's better to consider it a f1.4 lens under most situations. This can be seen in mirror lessons' video, among other examples : https://www.mirrorlessons.com/2018/11/29/canon-rf-50mm-f-1-2-review/
The difference in terms of DOF (or brightness for that matter) between the f1.2 and f1.4 shots are negligible.
View attachment 181927
View attachment 181928
I saw the same thing said when I considered the 200 f2 against the 70-200 f2.8, “why pay for that huge and heavy monster when they are practically identical.” Yeah, they are not even close ...

All the above shot shows me is that if you want a lens to look bad it’s an easy task to achieve, know how to get the most out of it and you will.

In any case, if you don’t like, don’t buy it:LOL:
 
Likes: Del Paso
Oct 6, 2015
166
56
#38
In any case, if you don’t like, don’t buy it:LOL:
It isn't a case of liking or not. Just that its vignetting has consequences on its DOF. There will be no noticeable difference with that lens between f1.2 and f1.4 past a certain focusing distance.
If vignetting is meant to be corrected for x shot and you're shooting in bright light past a certain focusing distance, with ample shutter speed freedom, it's a good idea to shoot at f1.4 instead of f1.2 with that lens.
 
Dec 13, 2010
3,533
150
#39
Here’s an example that shows it very well, lamp in the middle which the exposure is leaning towards and plain white surface that light fades from the lamp into the corners so it’s darker in the corners even with absolutely no vignetting, still this isn’t anything to worry about. Non corrected directly from camera. Please open the picture, looking at the thumbnail it looks pretty bad, lol.
 

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Likes: Del Paso
Dec 13, 2010
3,533
150
#40
It isn't a case of liking or not. Just that its vignetting has consequences on its DOF. There will be no noticeable difference with that lens between f1.2 and f1.4 past a certain focusing distance.
If vignetting is meant to be corrected for x shot and you're shooting in bright light past a certain focusing distance, with ample shutter speed freedom, it's a good idea to shoot at f1.4 instead of f1.2 with that lens.
Ah, I see, yeah I thought you meant get a 1.4 lens instead, but you meant stop this down to f1.4, I agree. All lenses have a sweet spot where it shows the most pop and separation at wide open aperture, so using this lens from 20-40 meters and beyond it doesn’t show what I can do in regards to pop, use it between 1-6 meters and it’s superb.
 
Likes: Del Paso