50mm 1.2L or 1.4?

Started Dec 18, 2008 | Discussions
EvilNeil Forum Member • Posts: 58
50mm 1.2L or 1.4?

I am thinking of buying the 50mm 1.2L but is it really worth the price? Or is the 50 1.4 more of a value? Obviously there is a huge price difference.. I will be using it on the 5dII.. If I get the 1.4 I can afford to get the 15mm Fisheye to which is pretty tempting for videos and still comes out cheaper than just the 50 1.2L... Anyone have these lenses? Id like to see some shots from 50 1.2 and 1.4 on full frame, even some 15mm fisheye would be cool..

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mattramos Regular Member • Posts: 344
Re: 50mm 1.2L or 1.4?

If you're gonna do it, do it right..... the 1.4 is a great lens don't get me wrong, but the 1.2 is simply amazing and is worth the extra money..... I'd go for it, you will not regret it!
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ffabrici Senior Member • Posts: 1,181
Consider Sigma 50mm 1.4 before making a decision

In my mind, the New Sigma has to be considered as well. I find its performance between the two Canon lenses mentioned and within a price range where you can get two great lenses for the price of the Canon 1.2, which is state of the art but so is the price.

wolfpuppies3 Senior Member • Posts: 1,747
+1 to Mr. ramos comment

I have the 50 f1.2L and love it. Unlike my other L lenses, it is quite compact.
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Photography at the speed of sound.

healer Regular Member • Posts: 391
50L

I have the 50 1.4 and love it but if I had the money to get the 50 1.2L I would get it... but first i would get the 85L

Everyone who has the 50L absolutely loves it. Im sure you will love it too if you get it

desmo101
desmo101 Contributing Member • Posts: 835
Re: 50mm 1.2L or 1.4?

hey,

I have the 50 1.2 and find the focus to be quite unreliable up close, which is what I like to shoot most. If you are on a FF body this lens is better.

if you don't shoot up close at apertures between 1.8 and about 3.5 I'd say this lens is really amazing, but if you like up close portraits don't even think about it. you will be frustrated.

try it first to see if it fits your shooting style before you shell out the money.

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Seaclam Senior Member • Posts: 1,703
Re: Consider Sigma 50mm 1.4 before making a decision

I am also considering a 50mm lens. For me, the Sigma seems to be the middle ground. It is apparently much sharper at f/1.4 than the Canon, although I don't know how much one would use f/1.4 with a 50mm, but it's a plus anyway. The Sigma suffers from inaccurate focusing issues like the Canon 50L though. I think they may just be autofocus issues though on the Sigma, but again, like the 50L it doesn't have the rear floating element. It's a tough decision. The build quility on the Canon 1.4 is low and it wide open performance is low. But then again, I haven't seen a lot of sharp 50L 1.2 shots either. So either way, I'm lead to believe that I will not get the same very sharp results wide open as I get from my 85L and 35L. But again, how often does one use a 50mm wide open?Unfortunately, there seems to be no real standout in the 50mm market: A lens you know is so unamously well spoken of. You see that in the 35L and the 85L, but not the 50L. Will the Sigma play well with the 5D2? It's very frustrating to shop for a focal length and not have the perfect choice like I did with lenses like the 35L, 85L and 135L.

ffabrici wrote:

In my mind, the New Sigma has to be considered as well. I find its
performance between the two Canon lenses mentioned and within a price
range where you can get two great lenses for the price of the Canon
1.2, which is state of the art but so is the price.

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bionet Senior Member • Posts: 1,133
the Sigma is nice with my 5D2

Seaclam wrote:

The Sigma suffers from inaccurate focusing issues
like the Canon 50L though.

It's fairly accurate now that I have used micro adjustment, although I haven't checked the spherical aberration focus shift.
Center sharpness wide open is extremely good.

Seaclam Senior Member • Posts: 1,703
Re: the Sigma is nice with my 5D2

You were actually able to use the micro adjustment on a non canon lens? I though that wasn't possible? Interesting. I'm basically stuck between the 50L and the Sigma. To me both lenses seem problematic, which again to me seems like a sad state of affairs. Very hard to pick, knowing your trying to choose the lesser of two evils.

bionet wrote:

Seaclam wrote:

The Sigma suffers from inaccurate focusing issues
like the Canon 50L though.

It's fairly accurate now that I have used micro adjustment, although
I haven't checked the spherical aberration focus shift.
Center sharpness wide open is extremely good.

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JackM
JackM Veteran Member • Posts: 8,902
maybe the Zeiss 50?

I've had the Canon 50/1.8 and 50/1.4, and I've sold them both because they were just too unreliable next to my 17-55/2.8IS. I think the high ISO of the 5D2 will render the 50/1.4 obsolete for all but micro-DOF shots.

Now the Zeiss 50 might be a nice change of pace. Manual focus can be fun, and you still get the camera's focus confirmation.

http://www.dpreview.com/news/0809/08091501Zeissforcanon.asp

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turbo2ltr Regular Member • Posts: 103
Re: 50mm 1.2L or 1.4?

I have the 50 1.4 and if you're looking to drop that kind of money, I'd look at the 85L before getting the 50 1.2.

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Samuel Gao Regular Member • Posts: 438
Re: 50mm 1.2L or 1.4?

i hear the 50 f/1.4 is SHARPER than the 50 f/1.2L. However, the saturation and micro-contrast is better in the 50L. Perhaps maybe with 50mm and a paper thin f/1.2 aperture value (even 1.4), focus is hard to achieve unless you're on spot focusing. Remember, the 5D2 has these special focus sensors JUST for f/2.8. anything about that, well good luck is properly the proper term! (you can always use the micro-adjustments for focus)

fooddude Contributing Member • Posts: 540
Re: 50mm 1.2L or 1.4?

ive owned the 24L twice, the 35L, the 50 1.4 twice, the 50L, 85L and the 135L twice. Out of all those lenses the only one i'd never ever buy again is the 50L. The 50L has great color and contrast, but for paid gigs it is too risky maybe having that one perfect shot oof once you view it on a computer. The 50 1.4 never let me down.

Jamie H. Senior Member • Posts: 2,793
I had a friend ask me this the other day...

And here is what I told him, verbatim:

The 50/1.2 is a controversial lens. When used in its "weak zone" it can be viewed as non impressive. Since thats more or less the only negative aspect of the lens, I'll hit those points first.

1. When shooting very close to minimum focusing distance, its a bit soft close to wide open. All 50mm lenses are like this, but if youre looking to shoot semi-macro at F1.2, you'll be disappointed. However if you push the aperture down to F1.8 or so, its just fine at all subject distances.

2. At close to mid subject distances, there is a very slight focus plane shift between the apertures of F2.8 and F4. Canon chose to go with a fixed rear element design with the 50/1.2 (the 35/1.4 and 85/1.2 have floating rear elements). This has several advantages - one being better bokeh. One disadvantage is that without the floating element correction, the focus plane shifts ever so slightly when stopping down substantially. Bottom line is that if you are looking to use this lens at F2.8 and smaller at relatively close distances, understand there will be a slight focus shift that might be an issue. One correction for this is to use the outer AF points. Its been regularly demonstrated that using the peripheral AF points, the focus shift all but vanishes.

Now, the good news is that the above issues only really apply to lens testers, forum measurebators, and people who generally dont focus on practical usage of the lens. People who are trying to find issues with the lens will be able to find things they think are "wrong" with it.

In my experience, I have been very happy with this lens. I use it primarily as a

wedding/portrait lens at very large apertures (wider than F1.8 usually). At these

apertures, it is substantially better than the 50/1.4. At medium to long subject

distances, it is very good wide open at F1.2 while the 50/1.4 is fairly bad wide open.

The bokeh is fantastic and very smooth. The color fidelity and contrast are excellent. There is some CA, but it controls it much better than the 50/1.4. The CA on the 50/1.2 tends to be red/green. In my experience, this is a little less offensive than the bright purple CA on the 50/1.4. It should also be worth noting that the only real optical difference between these lenses show up at apertures F2.0 and lower. If you stop down past F2, you wont see a difference in these lenses.

Focusing is extremely picky with this lens and I can already tell you it is a handful on

the 5D. The center AF point is very accurate, even at F1.2, but all of the other focus points are a total cr@p shoot. Use with caution. On the 1DII, focusing performance is much more sure footed. I also just got my 5DII in and from very quick 'round the house' tests, focusing is greatly improved with the 50/1.2. The outer AF points seem to lock on and stay - unlike with the original 5D where they would seem to "lock", then "jitter" a little, and ultimately wind up just out of focus.

I was pretty scared when I bought this lens. I took to heart a lot of the negative

comments in the forums and I almost didnt buy it. But after shooting a few weddings and being extremely happy with the images from it, I'm glad I did buy it. Its a difficult lens to use (especially on the original 5D), and it has some caveats. In practicality,the caveats almost never effect me and my style of shooting though.

If youre looking for a great 50mm, it cant be beat by anything. Its really expensive

relative to the 50/1.4, but if you need the performance, its the only game in town.

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Jamie H. Senior Member • Posts: 2,793
And with that in mind...

If I already had the 50/1.4 and was looking to drop $1000 on a new lens, I would buy a used 85L version I.

EvilNeil wrote:

I am thinking of buying the 50mm 1.2L but is it really worth the
price? Or is the 50 1.4 more of a value? Obviously there is a huge
price difference.. I will be using it on the 5dII.. If I get the 1.4
I can afford to get the 15mm Fisheye to which is pretty tempting for
videos and still comes out cheaper than just the 50 1.2L... Anyone
have these lenses? Id like to see some shots from 50 1.2 and 1.4 on
full frame, even some 15mm fisheye would be cool..

-- hide signature --

Amateurs worry about sharpness
Professionals worry about sales
Photographers worry about light

http://archive.jamiehowell.net

bionet Senior Member • Posts: 1,133
Re: the Sigma is nice with my 5D2

Seaclam wrote:

You were actually able to use the micro adjustment on a non canon
lens? I though that wasn't possible? Interesting. I'm basically stuck
between the 50L and the Sigma. To me both lenses seem problematic,
which again to me seems like a sad state of affairs.

They're only problematic for pixel peeping. I haven't done any prints with it yet but I bet that even the unsharp corners at open aperture aren't much of a problem in real world use.

Also remember that most of what's unsharp with the Sigma is not even part of the image with the Canon, because the Sigma is a bit wider than 50mm (which is also a nice plus I think, I love the Rokkor 40/1.7 on my Minolta 7SII rangefinder).

Yes, micro adjustment is possible with any CPU lens. I also adjusted my Sigma 15-30.

fooddude Contributing Member • Posts: 540
Re: the Sigma is nice with my 5D2

..another suggestion is getting a lens close to the FL of that 50L, like a 35L an 85L, a 45 tse or 50 1.4. All of these lenses are going to satisfy you and give you no headaches like the 50L does.

peter Forum Member • Posts: 67
Re: 50mm 1.2L or 1.4?

Here is a 100% crop from my 50mm 1.4 on the 5d markii. You can see the full images here: http://www.pbase.com/monhegan/5d_ii but be warned that something ugly happened to the colors on the full images when they were uploaded to Pbase. I don't have the time or patience right now to upload them again. The crops are truer to the actual color of the shots.

photoshutter Contributing Member • Posts: 748
Re: 50mm 1.2L or 1.4?

1.2 very good lens if not perfect.
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canon_lover Regular Member • Posts: 138
Re: 50mm 1.2L or 1.4?

if you want to do it right, do it right where it matters and thats the wallet.
as far as 50's goes, the 1.2L is not worth it, i got one and wish i got the 1.4.

sure, i looks good, built, feel, etc but by the end of the day, none of those matters, only the IQ matters and the 50L is not a king on that, so why spend that much when there's a 1.4 that is as good as a fraction of the price.
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