Originally Posted by tony lockerbie
I am hoping the 50 1.2 L will be hugely unpopular despite amazing performance so the price comes down I think it is too high at present regardless! Looks pretty big tho....I am bowled over by my 135L and 70-200 f4 and would love the 50 to offer an alternative to the fast 35 85 L combo.
Re the last post, none of the film bodies seem to have had compatibility issues with the newer (digi dominated era) lenses, so all it takes is a 1 series or eos 3 owner who has used it (no test required) to comment subjectively on how they find it. Seems like none have bought this lens tho!
Although this doesn't answer your original question at all, I'll say it just the same...
Originally Posted by Tom Stanworth
When I made my choice between the 50 1.8, 50 1.4 and 50 1.2L, I chose for the 1.4. The 1.8 is dirt cheap, which is on one hand good, but it is just too much plastic, not even a distance scale... The 1.2L on the other hand was just too expensive for me.
Ever since I bought the EF 50 f/1.4 (about half a year ago), I have barely had another lens on my EOS (on some occasions, the 100 mm macro). It's a beauty.
Then again, I guess if you can or want to afford it, the 1.2L should be better still
-- A sinister little midget with a bucket and a mop / Where the blood goes down the drain --
I may well go for the 1.4 as it is a good lens. The 50 1.2 is said by some to be appreicably sharper at 1.2-f2 than the 1.4 is at comparable apertures, which sounds great. I suppose I need to shoot a few test frames with both, on film, print and see whether it matters to me. Certainly the smaller size of teh 1.4 (and cost!) is appealing. I would be shooting it mostly wide open so would want it to be good at those apertures, whichever lens I end up with (eventually). My 24-60 EX 2.8 sigma is barely OK wide open and I would dearly love to have a 50 that would allow for wide open portraits ot be sharp. At 50-60mm and 2.8, my sigma is not as sharp as I would want it nor do I get the background blur I am after.
Cheers for your comments, all!
For anyone interested this may catch one up if they have missed some of the hubbub on the topic of this lens. It is the one review site that I both enjoy (for the lack of hype and worship) and respect (for the uniformity and scientific basis applied) when it comes to reviews on equiptment.
I personally think that most of the problem is that many of the digital masses in canon land believe firmly that an "L" on the box and a red stripe on the rim means for certain that the lens is the work of the gods. It then confuses them or makes them very bitter to find that at 400 percent magnification on their thirty inch screens it is apparent that even these lenses fall under less godly realities.
Was it not once plainly understood that no matter how much one paid for speed on the ridiculous end of extreme apertures that there were tradeoffs?
I've seen this with several lenses when I was with canon. The most telling was the mythical 85 f 1.2. Sorry (and I had two copies in my time) but except under 1.8 the images were indistinguishable from the affordable 85 f1.8. Now, if you want to get a bunch of canon shooters stirred up like hornets ... try saying that out loud. Most of the time a very fast lens is not as sharp as a slower lens. That is just the way it is in the world of trade-offs I believe.
My 85 f1.2 was almost useless to me wide open unless I was on a tripod and focused manually. Heck, if you simply breathe while hand holding... you are out and might as well be crossing your fingers. Auto focus is also not as precise as people seem to need to believe when they spend thousands of dollars.
It all makes me want to go back to the seventies somehow.
So I believe that the 50 f1.2 is an extreme lens that is great within the limits of what can be engineered. It is not perfect (duh!) and if one goes in with the right expectations one should be satisfied. If one however reads too many posts (at other forums) about the sublime perfections of .... well, then what do you expect. The currents situation. Users, out a lot of dough, angry that the gods have failed them yet again!
So, where can I get a good manual focus prism for my underused F100?
To find the answers .... Question them!
I agree that accurate focus would be tough a such an aperture with the 85, but should be a whole lot less trouble with a 50. I have a 135 f2 and there is nothing mythical about the performance of that lens. I take your point however about being realistic about gains when moving to an L. That said, my 70-200f4L kicks the crap out of my previous eperience with conventional consumer lenses too. Those who reads widely would know that the 85 1.8 is pretty well neck and neck with the 1.2 above 1.8 as many convincing reviews deal with this topic specifically. Seem to be a good few who find the canon 50 1.4 a touch soft wide open (tho not bad) and this seems to be an area where the 50 1.2 is appreciably better. This is why I amn resolved to shoot test frames to se whether it would matter to me.
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I suspect the usual problems with such a lens:
1. Residual spherical abberation which fools the AF. AF focusses through an opening of about 5.6 caused by the AF-optics. Lenses with residual spherical abbereation do not have the same plane of focus when wide open and when stopped down to f5.6. This is a known problem for a handfull of fast lenses.
2. Improper use of AF, i.e. case of bad craftsman blaming his tools. Those user experiencing problems should really take the time and manually focus on a ruler from a 45° angle to see where the focus-indicator leads them to and to compare where they end up using AF. Nobody buys an expensive tennis racket and expects he doesn't need any lessons or at least some time for getting used to it. With cameras this seems to be the usual attitude.
I used to use the Nikkor 1,2/50mm Ais with a Nikon F100. Using the focussing aid, focus was always spot on, even handheld but you had to be very carefull not to move after setting the focus. With a FE2 and screen E3 getting the focus right is more difficult.
If I had the amount of dough to afford the 50mm 1.2L, I would rather put it towards Canon's new version of the 85mm 1.2L. The 50mm I have looks great on a 1.6x digital crop body, but on a 1.3x or full-frame camera it's too wide. The 85mm would be a great lens for portraits on a film or full-frame digital body. I wouldn't trust the camera's auto-focus system on any apperture larger than F2.
Hi Tom, I managed a camera store when the FDn range of lenses were current, and was able to try all the 50mm lenses that Canon made before I bought one, and came to the conclusion at the time that the best buy aperture for aperture ( since I had no need to photograph black cats in coal cellars) was the 50mm 1.4 FDn, that was about twenty years ago, and I have never regretted it
Originally Posted by Tom Stanworth
I too have been wondering about this lens on a film body, specifically the 1V. I googled "50mm f1.2 1V" and got a few snippets of interest, several of which are saying that the lens is working fine on this camera. Perhaps the AF of the higher end bodies is going to have better luck? That's my hope.
I've never worked at f1.2 but it does seem like a rather challenged amount of dof for AF to accurately throw, at least in closer proximities. Otherwise, flip the switch and turn the ring yourself.
What would Dziga Vertov do?
Had I kept my order for this lens, I would have used it mainly on my Elan 7 and 1N-HS. But I read too many complaints about the lens and I ended up not getting the cash for it, so I cancelled my order. They brought the lens in anyway, and I did take a few shots with it on a XTi. For fun I should go back with a film body and retest it again. I got a good deal on the price ($1620 Canadian), but it wasn't good enough for me to actually get the cash for it.