- Large f/1.2 Aperture
- Excellent Background Bokeh
- Fast, Quiet AF
- Super Spectra Coatings
The EF 50mm f/1.2L USM is a peerless new standard lens featuring an ultra-large aperture for a narrow depth of field and soft background blur so loved by photographers everywhere. The EF 50mm f/1.2L USM is suitable for any shooting situation; its lens coating and construction are optimized to minimize the ghosting and flare that frequently occurs when lenses are used with digital cameras. This high-performance, weather-resistant lens delivers all the superb image resolution and contrast you expect in a Canon L Series Lens.
The lens is suitable for any shooting situation; its lens coating and construction are optimized to minimize the ghosting and flare that frequently occurs when lenses are used with digital cameras.
This high-performance, weather-resistant lens delivers all the superb image resolution and contrast one can expect in a Canon L Series lens.
Large f/1.2 Aperture
A large maximum aperture of f/1.2 provides outstanding speed for shooting in low light conditions, without the need for flash. The large aperture also provides fine control over depth of field.
Excellent Background Bokeh
A circular aperture helps to create attractive, even background bokeh; ideal for isolating subjects at large apertures and for compelling portrait photography.
Fast, Quiet AF
A Ring-type USM (Ultrasonic motor) uses ultrasonic frequency vibrations to drive extremely rapid auto focus with near-silent operation. A high-speed CPU and improved AF algorithm contribute further to AF speed. Good holding torque stops the focusing lens group without overshoot. Full time electronic manual focus override is available without having to switch out of AF.
Super Spectra Coatings
Super Spectra lens coatings and lens element shaping suppress flare and ghosting – more prone to occur with digital cameras due to reflection off the image sensor. Coatings also help achieve true colour balance and increase contrast for vivid hi-fidelity images.
Passes Distance Information to E-TTL II
The lens passes distance information back to the E-TTL II flash system of compatible EOS cameras to ensure optimal flash metering.
The Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 USM L is a specialty lens for those requiring the maximum in depth-of-field capabilities. At large apertures the lens produces the beautiful, buttery bokeh which can be expected from such a lens. Technically the resolution results are very good to excellent but not really superior to its cheaper cousin – the EF 50mm f/1.4 USM. The center performance is generally stellar but the borders can´t quite follow although they remain easily in very good territory beyond f/1.2. The vignetting is quite high at maximum aperture and CAs are unusually pronounced for a fix-focal. The build quality of the lens is exceptional and the AF speed is very fast for such a lens.
This is the sharpest 50mm high-speed lens I’ve ever used, when it’s in perfect focus.
I’m not all that hot on this 50mm f/1.2 lens because I didn’t get proper autofocus results 100% of the time. I’m used to that on my Nikons.
If you can get over that, or you have better luck with autofocus or focus manually with a special screen, go get one!
If you’re a newsman and want a fast 50mm, go get one today. This is a tough little lens which handles and focuses much better and faster than any 85mm f/1.2L II. Just be sure that you can get solid, consistent focus. I got more consistent results with the slower-focusing 85mm.
If you’re an astronomer you’ll prefer the insane flat-field and corner performance of the 85mm f/1.2L II over the merely very good performance of this 50mm f/1.2, and you won’t mind the slow AF of the 85mm. The 85mm f/1.2L II autofocuses more accurately than this 50mm f/1.2L and is even better optically, although the 85mm is a pig to use and carry.
If you’re a collector, or just want the best lens regardless of practical application, spend the extra $300 for the 85mm f/1.2L II which doesn’t cost much more, but is in a completely different optical and mechanical class. The 85mm uses a ground aspheric element while the 50mm uses a molded one, and the huge 85mm uses a lot more metal in its construction.
If you’re a regular photographer like me, personally I rarely use middle focal lengths and prefer the convenience of a zoom. I prefer wider lenses. I want to try the Canon 35mm f/1.4L and 24mm f/1.4L, which can be hand-held at even slower speeds because of their lower magnification.
If you’re on a budget, I haven’t tried Canon’s 50mm f/1.4 ($310) or 50mm f/1.8 ($80) yet, but I doubt you’d notice any difference in actual use. If you’re on a budget, you’ll be happy to know that the extra $1,200 you spend on the f/1.2 version goes towards resistance to weather and better performance f/1.2, where it’s unlikely you’ll ever get to see that performance in real photos.
The Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM Lens is going to be purchased by those who want the best image quality they can get from f/1.2 to f/2, by those needing a more-pleasing background blur quality than the other two 50s deliver, by those requiring the least amount of lens flare in their results or by those who need/want the best quality (build) lens they can get. I can’t say that the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM Lens is a good value, but I do think it is worth the price to serious photographers who need what it can deliver.