1.2 Worth It?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by nathanlegiehn, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. nathanlegiehn

    nathanlegiehn TPF Noob!

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    Hey,

    Firstly I just want to inform that the type of shooting I do is a whole lot of people (Lifestyle, Portrait, and Wedding). So I'm going to add a 50mm lens to my line-up for my 5D Mark II and I was wondering if anyone can help me. Im looking at the Canon 1.4 and the 1.2. For anyone who does not know, the 1.2 is considerably more expensive than the 1.4 and I was wondering what I should do. Is it worth it to invest about $1,600 in the 1.2 or should I just go for the 1.4 which is going for about $400.

    Any input or help would be appreciated.

    THANKS!
     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I considered buying the lens some time ago, but the thorough technical reviews made me realize I didn't want what the lens had to offer. I think you'd do well to spend the $1200 price difference on some more-valuable equipment

    Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 USM L (full format) - Review / Test Report
    "Vignetting:Vignetting is a delicate topic for ultra-large aperture lenses used on full format DSLRs and, yes, the EF 50mm f/1.2 USM L has its share of problems here as well. At f/1.2 we're talking about more than 2.7EV - this is extreme and somewhat disappointing regarding the very large diameter of the front element. The situation does only marginally improve when stopping down to f/1.6 and it requires f/2 in order to reach acceptable levels here."

    "MTF (resolution): Technically the EF 50mm f/1.2 USM L is a mediocre performer with respect to its resolution characteristic. The center resolution is quite fine even at f/1.2 but the border quality is very poor till at least f/2. At f/2.8 the center quality is boosted to excellent levels whereas the border quality remains fairly low and you need to stop down to f/4 in order to achieve good quality results here. The peak performance is reached at f/5.6."
    "All-in-all one of the weaker MTF curves that we've seen here. To be fair - the lens is simply designed to produce usable results at ultra large apertures and in this focal length class this is obviously only possible by compromising the peak performance. If you do not believe our findings here feel free to check the original Canon MTFs for this lens - they suggest a similar characteristic here."

    "Lateral Chromatic Aberrations (CAs): The EF 50mm f/1.2 USM L is quite prone to lateral chromatic aberrations (color shadows at harsh contrast transitions) - an average CA pixel width around 2px is unusually high for a prime lens."

    "Verdict:SNIP> However, when looking at the whole image frame the results are generally less than thrilling. The border resolution as well as the vignetting is rather poor from f/1.2 till f/2. The situation isn't all that bad at f/4 and beyond but if you're looking for superior -technical- quality levels this is simply not the place to be. The level of distortions and lateral CAs is also not overly impressive for a prime lens. It is tricky to judge the quality of the bokeh. The lens is surely capable of producing an exceptional "cream" at very large apertures - more so than most lenses thanks to f/1.2 of course - and the bokeh is also technically perfect near in center of the image field. However, in critical situations the border and corner bokeh can be very nervous. It's not a show-stopper but you've to know what you're doing here (keeping a pronounced focus spread between your main subjects and border structures). The build quality is fantastic and it's a joy to play with the lens out there but at the end of the day its the image quality that counts and there're some question marks where the global performance is in line to the rather hefty price tag."

    Sooooo, please note that in the review, the reviewer wrote; "The result of this review will probably cause some "friction" in the community. Canon L lenses are some sort of holy grail and criticizing such lenses is usually not overly well perceived." So, be prepared for fans of the lens to come to its defense. Those who love to put a little red "L" after every lens listed in their profile often own this lens, which does have a high status among Canon users.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    In this case, I think that the general consensus is that it's not worth it for moist people. The 50mm F1.4 is already such a good lens, and at such a good price, that you would really need the F1.2 in order to justify it.

    I'm not 100% on this, but I think I remember someone talking about the weird focusing on the 50mm F1.2. Something about a shift that happens when you stop it down, which may affect the focus. And/or it's very slow to focus as well.

    Now if you're talking about the 85mm F1.2, then you might be onto something. This lens seems to be much more popular for those in the market for a Canon F1.2 lens.
     
  4. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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  5. I've not shot with the 1.2, thouhg I have virtually every other Canon L prime. The 1.4 is such a phenomenal lens, and has a wonderful, unique and beautiful way that it draws the image that I cannot see how the 1.2 could be much better. You're in Toronto, a big city, go find a place and rent the two lenses for a day.

    Vistek seems to have one.
     
  6. Oh, why look, they have the other one, too....

    Now go make a deal that applies the rental cost to any purchase...
     
  7. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    I couldn't justify the cost of the 1.2 myself. I do own the 85L mkII f/1.2 that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world. I do own the 50 1.4 and am happy with the results. In fact, I just used it 2 days a go on my 5DII for a senior portrait session involving 2 girls and all their cheerleading "gear". Other than instances like that, I rarely find a need for a 50mm lens when doing portraiture. Its usually too wide for the studio, or too long for environmental portraiture.
     
  8. iolair

    iolair No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  9. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    F/1.2 falls into the borderline art category. It does not magically make portraits beautiful. It also does not let in considerably more light than any other 50mm prime, barely half a stop infact.
    It can be easily lumped into a category with the 5:1 macro, a fisheye lens, a 1000mm mirror lens, and a lensbaby. The depth of field at f/1.2 is so incredibly hair thin that you won't get an entire face in focus, or from a distance away more than one person in focus. Which kind of means the photos that come from them have their own artistic nature but also an effect that gets very old very quickly in my opinion.

    That said it is a gorgeous lens.
     
  10. lamergod

    lamergod TPF Noob!

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    I'd rather have a 85f1.2 if you're going into portrait.Better DOF and works well on FF and APSC,while some may say 50mm on FF is kind of wide for portrait
     
  11. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

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    Dry people have found the lens quite enjoyable. King Tut claims it as his favorite lens.
     
  12. mom2eight

    mom2eight TPF Noob!

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    HaHa, he types like me. I saw that too and cracked up!
     

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