Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM lens

Started 5 months ago | Discussions
jwpnyc Junior Member • Posts: 47
Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM lens

I recently bought a Canon 50mm f/1.2 lens, but the lens is terrible. Please see the attached image. For comparisons, I used my Canon 85 f/1.4 to shoot the same chart. I really like to have a 50mm and want the 50mm which is made by Canon. I am not sure if it is me or the lens. The top of the image 85mm. The bottom of the image is 50mm. FYI. The camera is 5D IV.

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Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Canon EF 24-70mm F2.8L II USM Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM Canon EF 35mm F1.4L II USM +1 more
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
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J A C S
J A C S Forum Pro • Posts: 18,063
Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM lens
1

It is not the best lens for charts when it is wide open.

tcphoto1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,176
Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM lens
2

Mine is one of my best performers and favorites in my bag. My first thought was yours might have been dropped or elements misaligned. I would consider having it evaluated by a reputable vendor.

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Sittatunga Senior Member • Posts: 2,885
Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM lens
2

Are you sure it's exactly in focus at that point on the chart?  That magenta fringing could pass for longitudinal chromatic aberration from a lens focussed just beyond the chart.  I know that when focussing on stars with some of my lenses they change from green-tinged to magenta tinged as the focus goes past infinity.  That lens will have a tiny depth of focus and it won't have the flat field that a macro lens has.

gnet158 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,084
Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM lens

I think somethings wrong with your lens, maybe send it in?

-- hide signature --

I got to get out and shoot more.

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Scriv
Scriv Contributing Member • Posts: 931
Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM lens

Did you use manual focus or auto focus? If auto focus did you use live view or the viewfinder? I ask because I get much better af performance with this lens using live view. My copy just won't cooperate when I use af through the viewfinder, no matter how much micro adjustment I've applied.

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OP jwpnyc Junior Member • Posts: 47
Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM lens

Scriv wrote:

Did you use manual focus or auto focus? If auto focus did you use live view or the viewfinder? I ask because I get much better af performance with this lens using live view. My copy just won't cooperate when I use af through the viewfinder, no matter how much micro adjustment I've applied.

I used autofocus with the viewfinder. I have decided to return the lens and bought a Sigma 50mm. It is really a shame. I really want the Canon 50 mm work even higher price. I paid for the Canon almost two times higher than the Sigma.

 jwpnyc's gear list:jwpnyc's gear list
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J A C S
J A C S Forum Pro • Posts: 18,063
Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM lens
1

jwpnyc wrote:

Scriv wrote:

Did you use manual focus or auto focus? If auto focus did you use live view or the viewfinder? I ask because I get much better af performance with this lens using live view. My copy just won't cooperate when I use af through the viewfinder, no matter how much micro adjustment I've applied.

I used autofocus with the viewfinder. I have decided to return the lens and bought a Sigma 50mm. It is really a shame. I really want the Canon 50 mm work even higher price. I paid for the Canon almost two times higher than the Sigma.

It does work but it is not great on charts.

tcphoto1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,176
Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM lens
3

I don't know who you bought it from but I'd at least give them a chance to fix it, give a partial refund so you can have it looked at but I'd chose the 50L over the Sigma without hesitation.

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OP jwpnyc Junior Member • Posts: 47
Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM lens

I just got my Sigma 50mm f/1.4 today and did some tests. Here are the results. The top of the image was done without updating the firmware while the bottom image was with the firmware update. It seems to me that updated firmware reduces chromatic aberration a bit. I am usually reluctant to buy 3rd party lens for Canon, but it looks fine to me so far. I bought the lens from BH. It comes with a USB dock and a 77mm UV filter for free.

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J A C S
J A C S Forum Pro • Posts: 18,063
Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM lens
3

The firmware does nothing to the optical behavior of the lens. What you see most likely is the effect of the different plane of focus. A slight backfocus would create PF, a slight frontfocus would create a green fringing.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 USM L (full format) - Review / Test Report - Analysis (opticallimits.com)

This is rarely visible directly in normal shooting conditions bit LoCA can be very visible in the bokeh.

Jean P71 New Member • Posts: 20
Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM lens
3

The EF lens has different priorities than pixel sharp wide open. It's all about look and render.

It's the wrong lens for brick walls or landscape sharp side-to-side wide open.

With mirrorless it really focuses well. With EVF, microadjust is essential to check and don't focus & recompose.

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Arthur Stanley Jefferson Contributing Member • Posts: 710
50mm F1.2 EF looks typical...
2

..personally I think the 50L you have looks like that at f1.2, try it at F2 and it will be razor sharp. Most of my older lenses are optimum at 2/3 of a stop down from full open.

....I know nowadays most demand a F1.2 lens to be sharp wide open... (and the RF lenses are for a price)... but your chart looks typical for that lens wide open.

I had the Sigma Art 50 F1.4, but returned it, as although it was amazingly sharp, it was often totally missing focus at various apertures, this was on a tripod on static subjects.

It was random and erratic on both my 5D mk3s. I had the dock and tuned it many times. It would work perfectly, then start missing randomly again.

As a point of reference I had the Canon 50 F1.4 for years which was good from F2 and never missed, but dropped it on a marble floor and retired it.

I bought a Canon 35mm F1.4 mk2 after my time with the Sigma. Now that lens is phenomenal wide open.

Good luck

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Pocket Lint Senior Member • Posts: 1,312
Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM lens

That’s an excessive amount of purple fringing in my opinion. I have this lens and although yes it does have a lot of CA and LoCA, it’s not nearly this much, I would get it checked by Canon.

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OP jwpnyc Junior Member • Posts: 47
Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM lens

First, thanks for everyone's help!

Although I bought Sigma 50mm f/1.4, which is much sharper and has less chromatic aberration than the Canon 50mm f/1.2, I still missed the look and feel of Canon 50mm f/1.2. So, I decided to get a different copy of Canon 50mm f/1.2. The new Canon 50mm is much better than the previous one. However, I found it is hard to get the autofocus correctly. I took about 350 photos today and there are about 10-15% missed autofocus, especially at f/1.2-1.6. I used single-point autofocus on a 5D IV all the time through the viewfinder. I don't know if I need more practice or chose the wrong settings.

 jwpnyc's gear list:jwpnyc's gear list
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dmartin92
dmartin92 Senior Member • Posts: 2,272
Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM lens

jwpnyc wrote:

First, thanks for everyone's help!

Although I bought Sigma 50mm f/1.4, which is much sharper and has less chromatic aberration than the Canon 50mm f/1.2, I still missed the look and feel of Canon 50mm f/1.2. So, I decided to get a different copy of Canon 50mm f/1.2. The new Canon 50mm is much better than the previous one. However, I found it is hard to get the autofocus correctly. I took about 350 photos today and there are about 10-15% missed autofocus, especially at f/1.2-1.6. I used single-point autofocus on a 5D IV all the time through the viewfinder. I don't know if I need more practice or chose the wrong settings.

Do you look at the focus points the autofocus has chosen before you take the picture ?

If you don't look what it has chosen, and are merely unhappy with what was chosen, later, when you look at the images on your computer screen, that's different.

"especially at f/1.2-1.6" ... well that is no big surprise. You are not going to be seeing any problem with autofocus at f/8.

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Pocket Lint Senior Member • Posts: 1,312
Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM lens

jwpnyc wrote:

First, thanks for everyone's help!

Although I bought Sigma 50mm f/1.4, which is much sharper and has less chromatic aberration than the Canon 50mm f/1.2, I still missed the look and feel of Canon 50mm f/1.2. So, I decided to get a different copy of Canon 50mm f/1.2. The new Canon 50mm is much better than the previous one. However, I found it is hard to get the autofocus correctly. I took about 350 photos today and there are about 10-15% missed autofocus, especially at f/1.2-1.6. I used single-point autofocus on a 5D IV all the time through the viewfinder. I don't know if I need more practice or chose the wrong settings.

That’s better then most, I’d call it a win and call it a day! I think that’s a good hit rate considering the DoF and this lens!

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J A C S
J A C S Forum Pro • Posts: 18,063
Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM lens

A few things to consider:

If you test it by focusing too close, you will get unsatisfactory results.

The 5D4 has some AF points that are worse (f/5.6 I think) than the others. It matters which one you chose.

I had some inconsistency with the most left/right AF points and the ones close to them with this lens.

If you prefocus and then you take the shot, you may move a bit. What I did was to release the shutter and fire right after it.

tcphoto1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,176
Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM lens

Good to hear, I would also suggest a micro adjustment to bring it to it’s optimal performance. I have done this with my 50L and 100LIS Macro with good results.

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Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Canon EF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM +10 more
Igor Sotelo Regular Member • Posts: 451
Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM lens

jwpnyc wrote:

I recently bought a Canon 50mm f/1.2 lens, but the lens is terrible. Please see the attached image. For comparisons, I used my Canon 85 f/1.4 to shoot the same chart. I really like to have a 50mm and want the 50mm which is made by Canon. I am not sure if it is me or the lens. The top of the image 85mm. The bottom of the image is 50mm. FYI. The camera is 5D IV.

The EF 50mm 1.2L is from 2006 and was designed for film, to get dreamy very soft backgrounds at large apertures and to be very sharp from 2.8.

The result of those considerations are chromatic aberrations and subpar sharpness wide open. Till newer +10 elements designs appeared, like the Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art, all 50/55/58mm 1.2/1.4 lenses were quite soft wide open.

Fast 85mm lenses are far sharper wide open, even the old EF 85mm 1.2L from 1989 with simpler optical design is very sharp, though it shows a lot of chromatic aberrations, as it was designed for film.

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