EOS R , RF 50 1.2 and bokeh issue in general

Started May 2, 2019 | Discussions thread
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Patlezinc Regular Member • Posts: 256
EOS R , RF 50 1.2 and bokeh issue in general
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Hi all.

I am a lucky man : I could afford the RF 50 1.2 some days ago.

Lovely lens (but heavy) with stunning sharpness at 1.2

I am used to do some close distance nature shots with my lens, as I do with the 85 1.4 L IS for instance.

So yesterday I went to the fields to try this out.

When I reviewed my shots , I was a bit surprised by the bokeh at 1.2.

1/5000 f1.2

I already found that the bokeh was a bit unusual, with not really rounded out of focus flowers in a field shot.

Well, it is my first 1.2 lens so... perhaps a normal thing.

But the blurred flowers shot above were weird enough to make me search on the web some infos about that. Perhaps my lens has a problem?

After some search, I found the OpticalLimits review. There is a part explaining that with a note :

Note: You may spot that the highlights have a graduated inner zone at f/1.2 and, a bit less so, at f/1.6. That's a flickering effect from the light source. At f/1.2, the shot was taken at 1/4000sec.

1/4000 f1.2

So I decided to find more examples. I came at DPR to check :

1/3200 f1.2 (crop)

Ok, my lens is ok, it is the same as other ones...

But something sounded weird in my mind. OpticalLimits said it was light flickering from the light source.

Hmmm, a flower is not a light like the one used at OL... So it is not that.

If you look at the first shot, it seems there is a kind of sweep, in one direction. As far as I know, all is round in a lens, why one direction? Than I remember some shots showing curtain issue with flash. Curtain is going from top to bottom in lanscape mode and from the left to right in my shot. Here we have our direction!

But I also noticed that inside my house, there were no bokeh issue and with a creamy effect.

1/125 f1.2

I started to think it was speed related. There is something with the curtain here and the speed of it.

I was not far to send my 50 back, I dont spend so much money for a weird bokeh at 1.2. But perhaps there is something to understand first.

This morning I have tried something : trying to change the way the curtain works, so only one thing in fact : change silent modes.

There are 4 modes :

  • silent 1
  • silent 2
  • silent off
  • totally silent (electronic shutter)

I will not show you the 4 : silent 1 and 2 give the same. Silent off and totally silent give the same.

1/6400 f1/2

So I tried with my 85 L IS.

1/6400 f1.4 85 L IS

I dont remember this issue in live view mode with my 5D4 but... Not sure.

So, the conclusion : there is something happening with silent modes 1 and 2. It destroy the bokeh but only when speed inscreases. I have made some tests and the issue start from 1/1600th.

So, if you want nice bokeh, you need to move to no silent or totally silent mode when you are outside. If you are inside, there is a good chance your speed is low and you will not have issues.

I dont know if it is fixable by firmware, I doubt. But if you want your beautiful bokeh back when you are outside, shoot totally silent

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 Patlezinc's gear list:Patlezinc's gear list
Canon EOS R Canon EF 135mm F2L USM Canon EF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.5 1-5x Macro Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM +1 more
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