DXO & Lensrentals pick Canon 50mm 1.4 as best

Started Oct 14, 2012 | Discussions thread
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chironNYC Senior Member • Posts: 2,336
DXO & Lensrentals pick Canon 50mm 1.4 as best

This thread begins with a post that came from another thread in the 5d forum that is about two months old, that got buried, and that I thought there might be some interest in discussing further, especially here in the lens forum. One of the reasons I thought this might be interesting is that many people seem to be thinking about a standard lens purchase and Canon may replace their 50mm 1.4 soon, according to the rumor sites. I own the Canon 50mm 1.4, with which I am happy.

DXO and Lensrentals have picked the 50mm 1.4 as the best standard lens for Canon. DPReview, which is about to begin cooperating with DXO in lens reviews, did not pick the Canon 1.4 as best but preferred the Sigma 50mm 1.4. The Canon 50mm 1.2 has also been part of these tests.

Here is the original post :

Burton Randol wrote:

I don't own the Canon 50mm 1.2 and don't plan to do so, and therefore cannot knowledgeably comment about it. I do, however, own the Canon 50mm 1.4 and the Sigma 50mm 1.4.

Although it may be due to copy variation, I have gotten consistently good results from the Canon 50mm 1.4, including photos at 1.4, although I rarely use it at this aperture. My copy of the Sigma, although not a bad lens , exhibits considerable green fringing when stressed, and I no longer use it. The following example is a typical uncropped shot taken with a Digital Rebel in 2004 with the Canon 50mm 1.4 wide open, at 1/50 sec., ISO 400. I don't remember the light source, but my recollection is that is was an incandescent desklamp in an office, with eye-dropper white-balance on the background blackboard. In general, the color fidelity of my copy of the lens is excellent, although from the point of view of color quality, my copy of the Canon 85mm 1.2 II is somewhat superior.

chironNYC wrote:

Some well-done test results agree with you. There are two sophisticated omnibus comparisons of 50mm fast lenses that I am aware of. One was a multiple comparison done at lensrentals, and the other was a comparison done by DXO. Both of them agree that the Canon 50mm f/1.4 is the lens of choice over the Canon 1.2 and over the Sigma 1.4. These tests include an emphasis on shooting wide open, which is probably the main reason to have one of these lenses.

Here are the links:



DXO wrote:

"Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Let’s make it clear: this lens is the best 50mm choice among our 4 Canon-mount competitors, no matter the sensor size. It has the best definition of all the lenses displayed in these pages. Mounted on a 1Ds MkIII, it climbs to 63 lp/mm. No other lens-body couple listed here can outperform this. Moreover, this 50mm shows a very good MTF and has a very constant definition on the whole picture field. Vignetting is quite visible when fully opened, but almost disappears 2 stops later. Its only weakness, as with all the Canon lenses listed here, are that its chromatic aberrations are more noticeable than those for other brands.

In summary:

The Canon EF 50 mm f/1.4 USM is the 50mm to have if you have a Canon body, no matter the sensor inside. It is a very sharp lens."

At Lensrentals, Roger Cicala's table of results highlights the best performance at each aperture, with the Canon 1.4 winning overall at the 1.4 setting and generally performing extremely well against the other lenses.

Perhaps oddly, dpreview's reviews of the Sigma and the Canon 1.4, written by Andy Westlake who moderates this forum, disagrees with these two reviews by DXO and by Lensrentals. He favors the Sigma. But in this case I find the DXO and Lensrentals reviews pretty convincing. Should be interesting when DXO and dpreview are doing joint reviews. I think there are many cases where they have disagreed pretty dramatically in the past (e.g., Canon 70-200 2.8 II L IS).

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