Review Canon RF 50mm 1.2 (Digital Picture)

Started 2 months ago | Discussions
Fog Maker Senior Member • Posts: 2,727
Review Canon RF 50mm 1.2 (Digital Picture)
4
 Fog Maker's gear list:Fog Maker's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Canon EF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM
OP Fog Maker Senior Member • Posts: 2,727
Re: Review Canon RF 50mm 1.2 (Digital Picture)
3

A few highlights:

“This is the Canon 50mm lens you have been waiting for”

“Note that you will need an RF-mount camera (the EOS R-series) to mount this lens on, but ... this lens is good enough that buying an RF-mount camera just to use it on makes perfect sense.”

“With this lens, you get what you want. F/1.2 results are very sharp, showing strong resolution and good contrast across the entire full frame image circle, including extreme corners. Stopping down to f/2 produces a slight increase in sharpness and very slightly more can be seen at f/2.8. I have not hesitated to use the RF 50 f/1.2 wide open and ... haven't stopped it down very often.”

 Fog Maker's gear list:Fog Maker's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Canon EF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM
Thoughts R Us Senior Member • Posts: 2,678
Re: Review Canon RF 50mm 1.2 (Digital Picture)
10

Fog Maker wrote:

https://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-RF-50mm-f-1.2L-USM-Lens.aspx

I keep saying this over and over, because gear sites and reviewers tend to concentrate more on the camera bodies, but it is lenses that make the system.  Canon is showing off what its RF mount can do.  We have the 28-70 f2 to look forward to as well as that new 35.

After that it's rumored to have some other very unique and fast lenses, along with a super tele DO lens...great times ahead.

Nikon for now will be the only company that may be able to match Canon...Sony will not due to its smaller lens mount, no matter what they say.

Canon may have already won the mirrorless wars without most gear obsessed reviewers noticing it, because they pay more attention to the camera bodies.

MayaTlab0
MayaTlab0 Senior Member • Posts: 2,701
Re: Review Canon RF 50mm 1.2 (Digital Picture)
12

The aspen trees series is a pretty good demonstration of that lens' major, big problem IMO : it's got so much vignetting that at least at medium to long focusing distances it's not really a f1.2 lens. Outside of the very central area, there is practically zero difference whatsoever in terms of bokeh quantity, and probably quality as well, between the f1.2 and f1.4 shots when these are corrected for vignetting.

It seems to me that a lot of effort had to go into making a physically f1.2 lens (aperture stop, focusing system, weight, size), that you can't benefit from anyway. It's difficult to see the point of making that 50mm a f1.2 in the first place other than for marketing reasons and to ask a higher price for it.

J R F Forum Member • Posts: 80
Re: Review Canon RF 50mm 1.2 (Digital Picture)
3

MayaTlab0 wrote:

The aspen trees series is a pretty good demonstration of that lens' major, big problem IMO : it's got so much vignetting that at least at medium to long focusing distances it's not really a f1.2 lens. Outside of the very central area, there is practically zero difference whatsoever in terms of bokeh quantity, and probably quality as well, between the f1.2 and f1.4 shots when these are corrected for vignetting.

It seems to me that a lot of effort had to go into making a physically f1.2 lens (aperture stop, focusing system, weight, size), that you can't benefit from anyway. It's difficult to see the point of making that 50mm a f1.2 in the first place other than for marketing reasons and to ask a higher price for it.

Nice observation, BUT I don't think this lens was intended for taking pictures of trees outdoors, during daytime.

MayaTlab0
MayaTlab0 Senior Member • Posts: 2,701
Re: Review Canon RF 50mm 1.2 (Digital Picture)
12

J R F wrote:

Nice observation, BUT I don't think this lens was intended for taking pictures of trees outdoors,

Then replace the trees with a person in your mind.

during daytime.

If you think that this lens' nominal aperture is going to give you a significantly brighter image outside of the small circle in the centre above, you'll be disappointed.

joenj Regular Member • Posts: 148
Re: Review Canon RF 50mm 1.2 (Digital Picture)

Thoughts R Us wrote:

After that it's rumored to have some other very unique and fast lenses, along with a super tele DO lens...great times ahead.

What is the super tele rumored?

Thoughts R Us Senior Member • Posts: 2,678
Re: Review Canon RF 50mm 1.2 (Digital Picture)

joenj wrote:

Thoughts R Us wrote:

After that it's rumored to have some other very unique and fast lenses, along with a super tele DO lens...great times ahead.

What is the super tele rumored?

A 600 or 500 DO.  Maybe even f4.

gimp_dad Senior Member • Posts: 1,322
Re: Review Canon RF 50mm 1.2 (Digital Picture)
3

MayaTlab0 wrote:

J R F wrote:

Nice observation, BUT I don't think this lens was intended for taking pictures of trees outdoors,

Then replace the trees with a person in your mind.

during daytime.

If you think that this lens' nominal aperture is going to give you a significantly brighter image outside of the small circle in the centre above, you'll be disappointed.

Your key points are helpful for those who are considering a 50mm prime for general use. For that case a high quality 50-ish F1.8 lens would probably be just right (unfortunately, the 50/1.8STM isn't the greatest unless really stopped down). The price tag alone should be a guide for many to look at other options rather than the RF50/1.2L.

Those of us who did buy or are considering an F1.2 lens like this one in the normal tele range probably 1) understand the vignetting and DOF points already, 2) do actually care about the case you are trivializing, 3) are informed enough to know the difference, 4) are not a typical user. For those of us who spent $2300 for the lens that doesn't mean we ignore value or don't understand where the lens shines.

I agree that if there were an F1.4 50mm lens with the sharpness of the 50 Art (I own this lens) and the rendering, contrast, OOF quality, AF speed of the RF50/1.2L there are probably many of us who would seriously consider that lens even though a half stop difference isn't trivial and notwithstanding the fact that (like virtually every modern wide aperture lens made) the Tstop does not equal the max aperture value. This is no revelation.

J A C S
J A C S Forum Pro • Posts: 12,876
Re: Review Canon RF 50mm 1.2 (Digital Picture)

MayaTlab0 wrote:

The aspen trees series is a pretty good demonstration of that lens' major, big problem IMO : it's got so much vignetting that at least at medium to long focusing distances it's not really a f1.2 lens. Outside of the very central area, there is practically zero difference whatsoever in terms of bokeh quantity, and probably quality as well, between the f1.2 and f1.4 shots when these are corrected for vignetting.

The vignetting is disappointing, indeed.

It seems to me that a lot of effort had to go into making a physically f1.2 lens (aperture stop, focusing system, weight, size), that you can't benefit from anyway. It's difficult to see the point of making that 50mm a f1.2 in the first place other than for marketing reasons and to ask a higher price for it.

Well, then f/1.4 lenses may not be so f/1.4 either. An f/1.2 one could be more f/1.4 than an f/1.4 one. Having said that, the Sigma 50A has less vignetting even at f/2 or f/2.8.

MayaTlab0
MayaTlab0 Senior Member • Posts: 2,701
Re: Review Canon RF 50mm 1.2 (Digital Picture)
9

gimp_dad wrote:

Those of us who did buy or are considering an F1.2 lens like this one in the normal tele range probably 1) understand the vignetting and DOF points already, 2) do actually care about the case you are trivializing, 3) are informed enough to know the difference, 4) are not a typical user. For those of us who spent $2300 for the lens that doesn't mean we ignore value or don't understand where the lens shines.

I agree that if there were an F1.4 50mm lens with the sharpness of the 50 Art (I own this lens) and the rendering, contrast, OOF quality, AF speed of the RF50/1.2L there are probably many of us who would seriously consider that lens even though a half stop difference isn't trivial and notwithstanding the fact that (like virtually every modern wide aperture lens made) the Tstop does not equal the max aperture value. This is no revelation.

Mmmm that's being optimistic. You'd like to think that you're informed, but here's a bit of information : that 50mm f1.2 is only a third of a stop faster at f1.2 than at 1.4, and of course only in the very dead centre of the frame. It's the "f1.2" of the 1/3 stop scale, not the "f1.2" of the half stop scale, at least at most commonly used focusing distance :D.

J A C S wrote:

Well, then f/1.4 lenses may not be so f/1.4 either. An f/1.2 one could be more f/1.4 than an f/1.4 one. Having said that, the Sigma 50A has less vignetting even at f/2 or f/2.8.

I would be careful evaluating lenses on that site between different bodies. The profile's tone curve may mess up the comparison. Besides for the same reason I don't really like to express vignetting in terms of brightness stops. As far as I'm concerned it's more a case of what the OOF areas look like at various apertures and at which aperture does it actually start to change from the wider one, and where in the frame. Or perhaps more simply when the corners reach maximum illumination and no longer brighten ?

I don't like doing this because it's nowhere near as rigorous as it should be, but here are two very quick and dirty shots taken at f1.2 and f1.4. The hall's lighting changed a bit unfortunately, so concentrate on the bokeh "balls" size instead. I moved a bit so re-framed them a little. These shots are quite coherent with the Aspen trees shots above, ie only a very small circle in the centre of the frame actually benefits from the f1.2 aperture, and in a proportion that's frankly negligible. BTW, the f1.2 shot was taken at 1/640 vs 1/500. 1/3 of a stop indeed. And the most important : the focusing distance was at around 1,5m (so not exactly that far away - this is just me but I don't have Plato's talent as a valid excuse to shoot up close and would rather shoot people at a longer focusing distance).

You're absolutely right to mention that all lenses are affected by vignetting. But what I would expect of a €2500 f1.2 lens, is that it has the same vignetting at f1.2 as a good f1.4 lens at f1.4 (you mentioned the Sigma and it looks like it's quite well behaved in terms of vignetting indeed ?). I don't think that's the case here. It isn't vignetting per se that's the issue, it's the degree of it. Let's just say that it's disappointing to see that in exchange for something like, let's say, €800 more than what Canon would have priced this lens had it been an f1.4 lens, a higher weight, slower and more cumbersome AF drive, possibly worse optical performance, you're kind of getting... not much in return ? Canon doesn't have a sharper 50mm lens at wider apertures so it's understandable that it's the one to choose if you're after that sort of performance, but let's just say that most photographers would have been better off had this lens been an f1.4 one, even for the ones who want an f1.2 lens, since they're not getting much of it anyway with that lens in most situations.

J A C S
J A C S Forum Pro • Posts: 12,876
Re: Review Canon RF 50mm 1.2 (Digital Picture)
1

MayaTlab0 wrote:

You're absolutely right to mention that all lenses are affected by vignetting. But what I would expect of a €2500 f1.2 lens, is that it has the same vignetting at f1.2 as a good f1.4 lens at f1.4 (you mentioned the Sigma and it looks like it's quite well behaved in terms of vignetting indeed ?). I don't think that's the case here. It isn't vignetting per se that's the issue, it's the degree of it.

BTW, I have seen direct comparisons with the EF 50/1.2 and the bokeh "balls" look more or less identical. This somehow contradicts the TDP numbers.

You are right that the tone curve could be a factor. Bryan uses DPP but DPP can and does treat different bodies differently. DXO measure the RAW vignetting but I have some doubts about their data.

Let's just say that it's disappointing to see that in exchange for something like, let's say, €800 more than what Canon would have priced this lens had it been an f1.4 lens, a higher weight, slower and more cumbersome AF drive, possibly worse optical performance, you're kind of getting... not much in return ? Canon doesn't have a sharper 50mm lens at wider apertures so it's understandable that it's the one to choose if you're after that sort of performance, but let's just say that most photographers would have been better off had this lens been an f1.4 one, even for the ones who want an f1.2 lens, since they're not getting much of it anyway with that lens in most situations.

They can make exactly the same lens and not let the diagram open all the way - voila, an f/1.4 lens. The problems is - it vignettes more than the Sigma, and I do not think that this particular comparison is so much affected by the tone curves since you can see at even at f/2.8 where the differences are small and the tone curve in the shadows/highlights would not be much of a problem.

MayaTlab0
MayaTlab0 Senior Member • Posts: 2,701
Re: Review Canon RF 50mm 1.2 (Digital Picture)
1

J A C S wrote:

BTW, I have seen direct comparisons with the EF 50/1.2 and the bokeh "balls" look more or less identical. This somehow contradicts the TDP numbers.

Is it by any chance Cameralabs' review ? The comparison was shot at quite a close focusing distance unless I'm mistaken, while TDP's vignetting tests are done at infinity I believe. I don't know if that's the case with all lenses, but all the ones I've used have different vignetting at different focusing distances.

gimp_dad Senior Member • Posts: 1,322
Re: Review Canon RF 50mm 1.2 (Digital Picture)

MayaTlab0 wrote:

gimp_dad wrote:

Those of us who did buy or are considering an F1.2 lens like this one in the normal tele range probably 1) understand the vignetting and DOF points already, 2) do actually care about the case you are trivializing, 3) are informed enough to know the difference, 4) are not a typical user. For those of us who spent $2300 for the lens that doesn't mean we ignore value or don't understand where the lens shines.

I agree that if there were an F1.4 50mm lens with the sharpness of the 50 Art (I own this lens) and the rendering, contrast, OOF quality, AF speed of the RF50/1.2L there are probably many of us who would seriously consider that lens even though a half stop difference isn't trivial and notwithstanding the fact that (like virtually every modern wide aperture lens made) the Tstop does not equal the max aperture value. This is no revelation.

Mmmm that's being optimistic. You'd like to think that you're informed, but here's a bit of information : that 50mm f1.2 is only a third of a stop faster at f1.2 than at 1.4,

Fair point. It is like the other F1.2 Canon lenses I own vs their F1.4 counterparts so I have the proper experiential reference even if I misspoke about the fact that it is really one third stop faster aperture than their F1.4 lenses.

and of course only in the very dead centre of the frame. It's the "f1.2" of the 1/3 stop scale, not the "f1.2" of the half stop scale, at least at most commonly used focusing distance :D.

Understood. The vignetting factored into my equation for owning the lens. Not saying it doesn't matter just that it isn't a revelation since a fair number of Canon's newer high quality lenses make this trade off so it is relatively well known. It's the same reason to buy the EF 50/1.2L vs e.g. the 50 Art except the RF 50/1.2L distinguishes itself a lot more in overall image quality, sharpness, color, etc. and delivers surprising AF performance anywhere (almost) in the frame for an F1.2 lens. It's surprisingly sharp wide open too.

J A C S wrote:

Well, then f/1.4 lenses may not be so f/1.4 either. An f/1.2 one could be more f/1.4 than an f/1.4 one. Having said that, the Sigma 50A has less vignetting even at f/2 or f/2.8.

I would be careful evaluating lenses on that site between different bodies. The profile's tone curve may mess up the comparison. Besides for the same reason I don't really like to express vignetting in terms of brightness stops. As far as I'm concerned it's more a case of what the OOF areas look like at various apertures and at which aperture does it actually start to change from the wider one, and where in the frame. Or perhaps more simply when the corners reach maximum illumination and no longer brighten ?

I don't like doing this because it's nowhere near as rigorous as it should be, but here are two very quick and dirty shots taken at f1.2 and f1.4. The hall's lighting changed a bit unfortunately, so concentrate on the bokeh "balls" size instead. I moved a bit so re-framed them a little. These shots are quite coherent with the Aspen trees shots above, ie only a very small circle in the centre of the frame actually benefits from the f1.2 aperture, and in a proportion that's frankly negligible. BTW, the f1.2 shot was taken at 1/640 vs 1/500. 1/3 of a stop indeed. And the most important : the focusing distance was at around 1,5m (so not exactly that far away - this is just me but I don't have Plato's talent as a valid excuse to shoot up close and would rather shoot people at a longer focusing distance).

You're absolutely right to mention that all lenses are affected by vignetting. But what I would expect of a €2500 f1.2 lens, is that it has the same vignetting at f1.2 as a good f1.4 lens at f1.4 (you mentioned the Sigma and it looks like it's quite well behaved in terms of vignetting indeed ?). I don't think that's the case here. It isn't vignetting per se that's the issue, it's the degree of it. Let's just say that it's disappointing to see that in exchange for something like, let's say, €800 more than what Canon would have priced this lens had it been an f1.4 lens, a higher weight, slower and more cumbersome AF drive, possibly worse optical performance, you're kind of getting... not much in return ? Canon doesn't have a sharper 50mm lens at wider apertures so it's understandable that it's the one to choose if you're after that sort of performance, but let's just say that most photographers would have been better off had this lens been an f1.4 one, even for the ones who want an f1.2 lens, since they're not getting much of it anyway with that lens in most situations.

I don't disagree with your point here about a high quality F1.4 lens and most people probably choosing it if it were available. Still, I would expect a modern Canon F1.4 50mm lens (if it were designed as a high end L) to probably vignette a lot. Great correction, sharpness and contrast seems to result in strong vignette for their latest fast aperture lenses. I don't actually know why.

If they did hypothetically build one of each, I am sure the F1.4 would far outsell the F1.2 (assuming reasonable pricing differences). I probably would have still bought the F1.2 version though since it has so few of the downsides of their other F1.2 lenses (which were designed a long time ago). I don't tend to use 50mm as a general purpose lens. I'm glad they built the one they did but I also don't tend to be the typical lens buyer.

J A C S
J A C S Forum Pro • Posts: 12,876
Re: Review Canon RF 50mm 1.2 (Digital Picture)

MayaTlab0 wrote:

J A C S wrote:

BTW, I have seen direct comparisons with the EF 50/1.2 and the bokeh "balls" look more or less identical. This somehow contradicts the TDP numbers.

Is it by any chance Cameralabs' review ?

I believe so but I do not have it now.

The comparison was shot at quite a close focusing distance unless I'm mistaken, while TDP's vignetting tests are done at infinity I believe. I don't know if that's the case with all lenses, but all the ones I've used have different vignetting at different focusing distances.

I agree that the distance would be a factor. Too many testers do this - they focus too close. Also, how large the bokeh "balls" are is a factor, too.

MayaTlab0
MayaTlab0 Senior Member • Posts: 2,701
Re: Review Canon RF 50mm 1.2 (Digital Picture)

J A C S wrote:

I agree that the distance would be a factor. Too many testers do this - they focus too close. Also, how large the bokeh "balls" are is a factor, too.

And we're forgetting focus breathing as well, unless I'm mistaken ? As you said, lots of variables.

Which is why I think I'm more comfortable sticking to comparing the 50mm RF with itself for now. That said since the R makes it a breeze to adapt EF lenses...

OP Fog Maker Senior Member • Posts: 2,727
Re: Review Canon RF 50mm 1.2 (Digital Picture)

Anyway, this is the best 50mm Canon has ever made. And it renders beautifully.

And personally I find the vingetting on the 24-70 2.8 in a sense much worse for such a relatively small aperture

 Fog Maker's gear list:Fog Maker's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Canon EF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM
MayaTlab0
MayaTlab0 Senior Member • Posts: 2,701
Re: Review Canon RF 50mm 1.2 (Digital Picture)
5

Fog Maker wrote:

Anyway, this is the best 50mm Canon has ever made.

It's the sharpest at wide apertures, no doubt about it.

I have a feeling that as usual with Canon's newer primes, Lensrentals will show that it's very well made and very consistent copy to copy, and that it will prove to be a reliable workhorse. Possibly its most salient quality, actually.

As far as best is concerned, I'm not sure. I already know someone who's going to keep his EF 50mm f1.2 L because of how it renders background OOF areas around f2-f4.

And it renders beautifully.

I wouldn't call shots like these "beautiful" : https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/61833238

More like "the marketing department told us to make a f1.2 50mm lens that was super mega sharp wide open, but less than 1kg and less than 11cm in length and 9cm in diameter, no matter the vignetting, so we did the best we could as far as OOF areas are concerned" kind of rendering.

Thoughts R Us Senior Member • Posts: 2,678
Reference Lens
3

According to Lloyd Chambers, the RF 50 is so good it is a reason to buy the system.

Some lenses are so good that you just buy the necessary camera. The Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L is a lens you buy, then look around for the accessory to shoot it on (the Canon EOS R).

https://diglloyd.com/blog/2018/20181107_1335-Leica50f_095Noctilux-vs-CanonEOSR-CanonRF50f1_2L.html

dpr4bb Senior Member • Posts: 1,314
Re: Reference Lens
5

Thoughts R Us wrote:

According to Lloyd Chambers, the RF 50 is so good it is a reason to buy the system.

Some lenses are so good that you just buy the necessary camera. The Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L is a lens you buy, then look around for the accessory to shoot it on (the Canon EOS R).

https://diglloyd.com/blog/2018/20181107_1335-Leica50f_095Noctilux-vs-CanonEOSR-CanonRF50f1_2L.html

Hyperbole...

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads