Keep my new 50LF1.2 or return it for a 50mmArt ?!?

Started Jul 1, 2014 | Discussions
iShootWideOpen
iShootWideOpen Regular Member • Posts: 358
Re: Keep my new 50LF1.2 or return it for a 50mmArt ?!?

No way am I trading in my Canon for the Sigma. The color and bokeh of the 50L is outstanding!

50L @F/2

50L

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mu55 Senior Member • Posts: 1,403
Re: Keep my new 50LF1.2 or return it for a 50mmArt ?!?

Bokeh from the sigma looks fine to me - f1.4
Plenty of pop to the photos too

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(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 5,590
Re: Keep my new 50LF1.2 or return it for a 50mmArt ?!?
2

As others have probably already said, Canon (as do probably many other lens companies) compute most of their lens designs for optimum performance at 'normal' working distances. What is normal? Well that depends on the lens but for a 50mm (not Macro) it is generally in the region of 10ft to infinity. For a long lens it will be further of course.

That's not to say that lenses can not focus closer than these distances but performance will generally suffer to some degree. When designing the 50mm f/1.2 L the designers considered what typically the lens would be used for. Which was not really for photographing a test chart or test scene at 3 or 4 feet at f/1.2 but unfortunately some of us will try this.

The danger is that as some of us start to accept lens tests such as DxO and Imatest, where lenses are often tested at much closer distances than ideal for the focal length, because of the limitation of the size of lens test charts and the size of rooms to do the tests in, and take these tests as gospel, then manufacturers may start to fine tune their designs to do well in such tests. Which would be a pity since this is not how most of us use them in real life.

Should this interest you then Roger Cicala has written an interesting article on the subject - "There is no perfect lens test, either." - http://petapixel.com/2013/10/11/perfect-lens-test-either/

DFPanno
DFPanno Veteran Member • Posts: 5,512
My 50L was "soft" until….

… a sent it to Canon and had it calibrated to my 5D3.

It came back a whole different lens.

With the right artistic intentions in mind it is a fantastic lens.

I would not replace it with a sharper lens with rougher bokeh. I have a 50 f/1.4 for that.

Steve W Veteran Member • Posts: 4,715
Re: My 50L was "soft" until….

DFPanno wrote:

… a sent it to Canon and had it calibrated to my 5D3.

It came back a whole different lens.

With the right artistic intentions in mind it is a fantastic lens.

I would not replace it with a sharper lens with rougher bokeh. I have a 50 f/1.4 for that.

Thought about doing this as well. Did it come back with them working with an AFMA setting of zero or with some +/- setting. Did they adjust just the lens, the body, the AFMA setting, or some of each. Reason I ask is that I really can't afford to do all my lenses so I don't know how this would impact how the other lenses I own.

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DFPanno
DFPanno Veteran Member • Posts: 5,512
Re: My 50L was "soft" until….

Steve W wrote:

DFPanno wrote:

… a sent it to Canon and had it calibrated to my 5D3.

It came back a whole different lens.

With the right artistic intentions in mind it is a fantastic lens.

I would not replace it with a sharper lens with rougher bokeh. I have a 50 f/1.4 for that.

Thought about doing this as well. Did it come back with them working with an AFMA setting of zero or with some +/- setting. Did they adjust just the lens, the body, the AFMA setting, or some of each. Reason I ask is that I really can't afford to do all my lenses so I don't know how this would impact how the other lenses I own.

They adjusted the body and it did not involve a change in AFMA; it was zero !

They adjusted some other module but I never got a full explanation.

The lens went from being unusable to perfect.

I thought I was just dealing with the challenges of the 50L.  Wish I sent it sooner.

Al Downie Senior Member • Posts: 1,393
Re: My 50L was "soft" until….

DFPanno wrote:

Steve W wrote:

DFPanno wrote:

… a sent it to Canon and had it calibrated to my 5D3.

It came back a whole different lens.

With the right artistic intentions in mind it is a fantastic lens.

I would not replace it with a sharper lens with rougher bokeh. I have a 50 f/1.4 for that.

Thought about doing this as well. Did it come back with them working with an AFMA setting of zero or with some +/- setting. Did they adjust just the lens, the body, the AFMA setting, or some of each. Reason I ask is that I really can't afford to do all my lenses so I don't know how this would impact how the other lenses I own.

They adjusted the body and it did not involve a change in AFMA; it was zero !

They adjusted some other module but I never got a full explanation.

The lens went from being unusable to perfect.

I thought I was just dealing with the challenges of the 50L. Wish I sent it sooner.

This is very interesting! Can I ask if it was universally 'soft' before you sent it off? Or was the centre point OK at most distances? When you contacted Canon, how did you describe the problem? And.. now that it's back, is it equally sharp with all focus points on the 5D3 at wide open? And.. finally, has the repair had any impact on the performance of any other lenses you use?

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l_d_allan
l_d_allan Veteran Member • Posts: 5,087
Re: My 50L was "soft" until….

DFPanno wrote:
They adjusted the body and it did not involve a change in AFMA; it was zero !

It's possible that they did adjust the AFMA, but reset so that it appeared as zero on your camera.

That seem especially likely if the camera + lens originally had a fairly extreme AFMA number, like +15 or -15.

To repeat from an earlier post in this thread ... consider using MagicLantern's "auto dot tune".

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bronxbombers4 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,387
sigma

No text.

keithinmelbourne
keithinmelbourne Contributing Member • Posts: 952
Re: My 50L was "soft" until….

DFPanno wrote:

Steve W wrote:

DFPanno wrote:

… a sent it to Canon and had it calibrated to my 5D3.

It came back a whole different lens.

With the right artistic intentions in mind it is a fantastic lens.

I would not replace it with a sharper lens with rougher bokeh. I have a 50 f/1.4 for that.

Thought about doing this as well. Did it come back with them working with an AFMA setting of zero or with some +/- setting. Did they adjust just the lens, the body, the AFMA setting, or some of each. Reason I ask is that I really can't afford to do all my lenses so I don't know how this would impact how the other lenses I own.

They adjusted the body and it did not involve a change in AFMA; it was zero !

They adjusted some other module but I never got a full explanation.

The lens went from being unusable to perfect.

I thought I was just dealing with the challenges of the 50L. Wish I sent it sooner.

I had similar thoughts of buying the Sigma, but I MA'd my 50L a couple of years ago on my 1DsMkIII, and it was very sharp. On my newer Canon bodies it has not needed adjustment, so my 50L has been a reliable performer. The Sigma does have some appeal, but it is big and heavy  and may not have any 'native' sharpness with Canon bodies.

For instance, I recently bought the Sigma 18-35 f1.8 and it has been really difficult to achieve accurate focus, even using Sigma's dock, whereas my recent Canon lens purchases have not needed MA on my 6D, 70D & 100D bodies. So, I'm bit shy about Sigma lenses.

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RedYeti Regular Member • Posts: 273
Re: Keep my new 50LF1.2 or return it for a 50mmArt ?!?

Nicollino wrote:

2) the slightly faster lens(F 1.2 vs F1.4 - I love shooting below F2)

Bear in mind that there is virtually NO practical difference between f/1.2 and f/1.4 on a digital sensor, so I wouldn't use the f-stop as a reason for choosing one over the other.

Have a read of this: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/an_open_letter_to_the_major_camera_manufacturers.shtml

Also there was a discussion about wide apertures on here recently, here: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3688973

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OP Nicollino Junior Member • Posts: 31
Re: My 50L was "soft" until….

Wooow that may sound the way to go really.

May I ask you how much you pay and how much time did it take to get it sent, fix and reship to you? Also did you have to send your 5D as well?!?!? Id be nervous to have these 2 babies out there in the wild...mmmmmmmm

....But the result does seem nice.

I followed the advices I got on this thread and operate a AFMA setting at different distance sensor/subject but in the end, I found that the factory setting was the best compromise...sometime -10 seemed the right choice, some other time +10 seemed sharper so i figured 0 would be the most sensitive (best???) call.

However if you think that Canon can make a better work, why not ?...

Also after 2 weeks debate I decided to keep my 50L. I do know that the 50A is sharper but i decided to stick with my first motivations that pushed me to go for the 50L, mainly its "artier" (call me old fashion) look

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Just another Canon shooter
Just another Canon shooter Veteran Member • Posts: 4,691
Re: Keep my new 50LF1.2 or return it for a 50mmArt ?!?

RedYeti wrote:

Nicollino wrote:

2) the slightly faster lens(F 1.2 vs F1.4 - I love shooting below F2)

Bear in mind that there is virtually NO practical difference between f/1.2 and f/1.4 on a digital sensor, so I wouldn't use the f-stop as a reason for choosing one over the other.

Have a read of this: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/an_open_letter_to_the_major_camera_manufacturers.shtml

Actually, this shows that there is, something like EV 0.2-0.25. Is that visible, or no - play with the exposure slider in LR to get an idea.

There have been reports here that the Sigma is visibly darker than the Canon - somebody mentioned 3/4 stops. I have measured about 0.3 difference when the Canon is at f/1.4 on RAWs posted by other people. What we do not know if the Canon bodies boost the ISO for the Sigma, as well.

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RedYeti Regular Member • Posts: 273
Re: Keep my new 50LF1.2 or return it for a 50mmArt ?!?

Just another Canon shooter wrote:

RedYeti wrote:

Nicollino wrote:

2) the slightly faster lens(F 1.2 vs F1.4 - I love shooting below F2)

Bear in mind that there is virtually NO practical difference between f/1.2 and f/1.4 on a digital sensor, so I wouldn't use the f-stop as a reason for choosing one over the other.

Have a read of this: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/an_open_letter_to_the_major_camera_manufacturers.shtml

Actually, this shows that there is, something like EV 0.2-0.25. Is that visible, or no - play with the exposure slider in LR to get an idea.

Hmm, where do you get the 0.2-0.25 figure from? If it's from the last chart, that's showing the amount Canon is digitally boosting the signal at a given f-stop. So in fact the EV is increased by a further 0.2+ stops digitally between f/1.4 and f/1.2 to make up for the lack of extra light being caught by the sensor even though the aperture increased in size. That gain happens to be about the difference in EV between f/1.4 and f/1.2 anyway, which reinforces the point that there's virtually no difference in light captured between those two aperture sizes. Or am I missing something?

There have been reports here that the Sigma is visibly darker than the Canon - somebody mentioned 3/4 stops. I have measured about 0.3 difference when the Canon is at f/1.4 on RAWs posted by other people.

That's interesting indeed. If true it's a good example of why t-stop would often be more useful to know than f-stop when comparing lenses for large aperture shooting.

What we do not know if the Canon bodies boost the ISO for the Sigma, as well.

I think we do know that - it has been discussed in the Magic Lantern forums, among other places. Remember that Canon are using digital gain to make up for light loss at the sensor due to high incident angles. It doesn't matter who manufactures the lens, the problem is the same. You can test it yourself by holding the DoF button and partially unscrewing your lens before taking a photo since that will prevent the f-stop being reported and hence will disable the digital gain.

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Just another Canon shooter
Just another Canon shooter Veteran Member • Posts: 4,691
Re: Keep my new 50LF1.2 or return it for a 50mmArt ?!?

RedYeti wrote:

Just another Canon shooter wrote:

RedYeti wrote:

Nicollino wrote:

2) the slightly faster lens(F 1.2 vs F1.4 - I love shooting below F2)

Bear in mind that there is virtually NO practical difference between f/1.2 and f/1.4 on a digital sensor, so I wouldn't use the f-stop as a reason for choosing one over the other.

Have a read of this: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/an_open_letter_to_the_major_camera_manufacturers.shtml

Actually, this shows that there is, something like EV 0.2-0.25. Is that visible, or no - play with the exposure slider in LR to get an idea.

Hmm, where do you get the 0.2-0.25 figure from? If it's from the last chart, that's showing the amount Canon is digitally boosting the signal at a given f-stop. So in fact the EV is increased by a further 0.2+ stops digitally between f/1.4 and f/1.2 to make up for the lack of extra light being caught by the sensor even though the aperture increased in size. That gain happens to be about the difference in EV between f/1.4 and f/1.2 anyway, which reinforces the point that there's virtually no difference in light captured between those two aperture sizes. Or am I missing something?

I think you are right. BTW, I can see some slight change in the background blur between f/1.2 and f/1.4 - so something does change there visibly.

There have been reports here that the Sigma is visibly darker than the Canon - somebody mentioned 3/4 stops. I have measured about 0.3 difference when the Canon is at f/1.4 on RAWs posted by other people.

That's interesting indeed. If true it's a good example of why t-stop would often be more useful to know than f-stop when comparing lenses for large aperture shooting.

What we do not know if the Canon bodies boost the ISO for the Sigma, as well.

I think we do know that - it has been discussed in the Magic Lantern forums, among other places. Remember that Canon are using digital gain to make up for light loss at the sensor due to high incident angles. It doesn't matter who manufactures the lens, the problem is the same.

So, it boosts the ISO for 3rd party lenses as well?

You can test it yourself by holding the DoF button and partially unscrewing your lens before taking a photo since that will prevent the f-stop being reported and hence will disable the digital gain.

I have done it but I have only Canon lenses. I get about 0.25 EV difference with the 35L wide open which is less than what DXO claims. I have not done it with the 50L yet.

BTW, the DXO T-stop is measured in the center. Some lenses (see TDP) have a distinct bright spot in the center (different vignetting), and they will appear much brighter than others in testing. Vignetting can affect a lot the overall brightness as well. So I do not take the DXO t-number measurements seriously as a measure of how bright the lens is.

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RedYeti Regular Member • Posts: 273
Re: Keep my new 50LF1.2 or return it for a 50mmArt ?!?

Just another Canon shooter wrote:

So, it boosts the ISO for 3rd party lenses as well?

I don't have any non-Canon lenses to test this with myself either, but as I understand it and have seen discussed elsewhere, yes the boost still exists. It makes sense given it is primarily a sensor rather than lens issue that Canon are trying to compensate for so I have no reason to doubt it (I suspect the Canon firmware decides how much to boost purely by the reported f-stop, nothing else).

BTW, the DXO T-stop is measured in the center. Some lenses (see TDP) have a distinct bright spot in the center (different vignetting), and they will appear much brighter than others in testing. Vignetting can affect a lot the overall brightness as well. So I do not take the DXO t-number measurements seriously as a measure of how bright the lens is.

Indeed, the vignetting can vary a lot between lenses at these apertures, and you make a good point about the t-stop too. That's really what I was trying to convey to the OP - that other more significant factors are at play that can outweigh the apparently simple difference between f/1.2 and f/1.4, so it's not a good idea to make a purchasing decision on that fact alone.

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