Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 USM L (full format) - Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (Full Format)

Sample Shots

Ok, finally here're some sample images taken with the EOS 5D II and converted via Adobe ACR 5.5.

Click on a thumbnail to view the original file (opens in a separate window). Please note that the originals are FULL SIZE samples (=several megabytes) thus requiring a significant amount of bandwidth so please take care of the limited resources here.

Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 50.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/800s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 50.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/1000s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 50.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/1000s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 50.0mm
Aperture: f/1.2
Exposure 1/2500s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 50.0mm
Aperture: f/1.2
Exposure 1/2500s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 50.0mm
Aperture: f/1.2
Exposure 1/6400s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 50.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/320s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 50.0mm
Aperture: f/1.2
Exposure 1/3200s

Verdict

The Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 USM L left rather mixed feelings here at Photozone. It was able to convince in the APS-C scope but on a full format DSLR its weaknesses became much more obvious. The good news is that the center resolution is generally fine across the board so shallow depth-of-field lovers may not be disappointed. 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.

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. However, it is our primary task to evaluate the technical performance of a lens, less so the creative potential - that's up to you and your idea of your specific target applications. If you simply require that extra "cream" potential of the f/1.2 aperture @ 50mm there'll be no way around this lens no matter what.

Optical Quality:    
Field Quality: (Low Light/Shallow Depth-of-Field Photography)
Mechanical Quality:
Price/Performance:
      
   What does this mean ?
 



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