LensTip.com

Lens review

Canon EF 50 mm f/1.2L USM

10 August 2010
Szymon Starczewski

6. Distortion

As long as we work with small APS-C sensors the distortion won’t bother us at all. In the case of the Canon 50D, belonging to our editorial office, we noticed a barrel distortion amounting to –0.62%. The problems are noticeably more serious when we pass to the full frame. The distortion increases to a visible level of –1.81% there. On the one hand this value is lower than of the Canon EF 1.4/50, which had the result of –1.98%, and also lower than for the Nikkor AF-S 1.4/50, with the level of –2.01%. On the other hand, though, the difference in favour of the L series device is so small that once again we can’t help wondering why we must pay such a huge amount of money for it.

Our cup of bitterness is filled to the brim when we compare the tested lens with the Leica D Summilux 25 mm f/1.4, which gives the same angle of view as the 50L on a small 4/3 sensor. Because of implementing short focal lengths the 4/3 system is more prone to distortion problems but the Leica has somehow managed to correct it to the level of –0.97%. However, the most painful argument was left till the very end. Comparing the 50L with the Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D it turns out the Canon is simply knocked out because the Nikkor’s distortion on full frame amounts to just –0.49%. Is there anything left to say?


Canon 50D, 50 mm
Canon EF 50 mm f/1.2L USM - Distortion
Canon 1Ds MkIII, 50 mm
Canon EF 50 mm f/1.2L USM - Distortion


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