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

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published November 2009

Special thanks to Rainer Temme for providing this lens!


Released back in 2007 the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 USM L is the successor of the legendary EF 50mm f/1.0 USM L - the fastest mass production SLR lens ever ... and one of the most expensive around. Surprisingly Canon decided to give up two thirds of an f-stop (f/1.0 - f/1.1 - f/1.2 - f/1.4 in case you wonder) but the good news about this is the substantially lower price tag of around 1400 €/US$ so the lens is now within the financial reach of normal mortals. Typical applications for this ultra-large aperture lens are portrait and available-light photography.

As to be expected from a Canon L grade lens the EF 50mm f/1.2 USM L has an exceptional build quality thanks to a tightly assembled combination of high quality plastics and metal parts. A sealing against dust and humidity as well as the the very smooth focus ring completes this positive impression. The lens has a constant physical length but the inner lens tube moves a little during focus operations. The front element does not rotate of course.

The ring-type USM AF drive is very fast and virtually silent. The AF accuracy was generally fine except for a hint of focus shift around f/2. Full-time manual (FTM) override in one-shot AF mode is naturally also available.

Optical construction8 elements in 6 groups inc. 1x aspherical elements
Number of aperture blades8 (circular)
min. focus distance0.45 m (max. magnification ratio 1:6.7)
Dimensions86 x 66 mm
Weight590 g
Filter size72 mm (non-rotating)
Hoodbarrel-shaped, bayonet mount, supplied
Other features-

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