Canon 50mm f/ 1.0?


No longer a newbie, moving up!
Sep 30, 2006
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Both canon and Leica have made f1 lenses. Neither is very good optically so there is a noticeable tradeoff between image quality and speed. My experience with the f1.2 50's has been fairly negative as well but at least image quality is acceptable if not ideal and certainly better than with the f1's.

The lens manufacturers seem to do just fine with the f1.4 lenses and that is usually the fastest 50mm lens aperture you want for excellent image quality.

But if speed is the issue then..........

Helen B

TPF Noob!
Sep 16, 2007
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Hell's Kitchen, New York
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wow...i didn't even know they made f1.0.

Now I that I know they exist, I just need to find that elusive 10-500mm/F1.0-1.2 for less than $100.

You can get one bundled with the Nikon D3 for $399.95 from the guy on the corner in the sheepskin coat. You give him the cash and he'll send you the gear.

Serously though, you can get a 16-44 mm f/1.1 zoom - I have one. It doesn't quite cover APS-size sensors though. It covers 16 mm film. There are some f/0.7 lenses that will cover larger formats. f/0.5 is the theoretical limit, but as far as I know nobody has made a photographic lens of that aperture. Cine lenses of f/0.9 and f/0.95 are more common, and once you are up to f/1.1 or f/1.2 they are as common as muck. The fastest I have is an f/0.9 Kern Switar. Angenieux f/0.95 25 mm and 50 mm lenses were fairly popular - one of my films was shot entirely on an f/0.95 Angenieux at f/0.95 (and EI 640, 16.667 fps, for those who are interested). Stanley Kubrick famously shot Barry Lyndon with an f/0.7 lens.

The Leica 50 mm f/1 Noctilux is something of a cult lens. It is still in production. It is designed for the kind of photography that requires ultimate speed. This was taken at 1/15 second, f/1 and EI 2500:



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