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I lent Dustin my copy of the Canon EF 50mm f/1.0L to review, as we both figured it’d be fun to take a look at one of Canon’s most collectible lenses. The EF 50mm f/1.0L was introduced in September of 1989 and was the fastest SLR lens available during its production run, which ended in 2000.
This lens isn’t an amazing optical performer, but as someone mentioned on Twitter recently, if you want a unique look, use a unique lens and the EF 50mm f/1.0L fits the bill.
Canon didn’t make this lens (in quantity) for long, but it was a shot across the bows of Nikon, Pentax, and others that said, “Look what we can do!” The technologies (and lens body) pioneered in this lens were implemented into the far more practical (yet still extreme) EF 85mm f/1.2L, and seven years later evolved into the EF 85mm f/1.2L II lens; one of the most prized portrait lenses in the world. The burst of creativity and advanced engineering that resulted in this lens enabled Canon to create more accessible and successful autofocusing f/1.2 lenses (50mm and 85mm), a feat that no one else is replicating even in 2016. It is worth noting that still today Canon is the only one producing autofocusing lenses with an f/1.2 maximum aperture. Read the full review
I now have the lens back in my possession and look forward to shooting with it on the new EOS-1D X Mark II.