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Canon EF 50 mm f/1.2L USM

Manufacturer Canon
Model EF 50 mm f/1.2L USM
Lens style Normal
Focal length 50 mm
Maximum aperture f/1.2
Angle of view 46.8 o
Closest focusing distance 0.45 m
Maximum magnification 1:6.67
Minimum aperture 16
Number of diaphragm blades 8
Auto focus type Ring USM
Lens Construction 8 elements / 6 groups
Filter diameter 72 mm
Macro No
Available mounts Canon EF
Dimensions 85.5 x 65.5 mm
Weight 580 g
Additional information Super Spectra coatings
Average rating (5 owners reviews)
Build quality
Optical quality
Value for money


3.93 Average
Owners reviews (5)
  1. Michael Shea
    Michael Shea 3 March 2023, 15:45
    Build quality
    Optical quality
    Value for money


    IP 90.202.x.x
    Owner since: 1 month
    Price: £734
    User profile: Amateur

    Cons: Expensive to buy and soft wide open. Visible chromatic aberrations. Admittedly not lightning fast to focus but fairly reliable.

    Pros: Excellent build quality; solid and well balanced on 5D series of cameras in particular. Outstandingly beautiful and unique (in my experience) background blur can be obtained at wide apertures. Colour rendition is wonderful, especially in the red tones. It\'s an old lens, but still fantastic for portraiture and its focus hit rate, especially with a shallow depth of field, would be improved considerably on a mirrorless camera, if you can live happily with an adapter.

    Summary: This lens was never meant to be valued in terms of its critical sharpness, any more than its f/1.0 predecessor was. The whole point of owning an f/1.2 lens is to achieve stunning results by opening the aperture to somewhere close to its maximum, typically on headshots of people or animals. I must correct an earlier contributor who referred to the manual focus function as \"by wire\". It isn\'t, which is obvious from turning the focus ring to refocus when your camera is turned off. To be honest, I would have expected someone who also claims to be a professional photographer to know that.

  2. james
    james 23 February 2023, 10:10
    Build quality
    Optical quality
    Value for money


    IP 24.135.x.x
    Owner since: 2 years
    User profile: Professional

    Cons: Another fabled prime, another burst bubble. Wide open its quite soft, paying this much money for an f/1.2 lens, one would expect it to be at the very least usable wide open. Suffers from slow AF and focus by wire MF. I find myself using Samyang XP f1.2 primes, seems they too optics much more seriously than canon.

    Pros: Not much, the 85mm f1.2 was unique to canon EF unlike this. There are optically far superior and less obnoxiously expensive alternatives to this lens.

    Summary: The 85/1.2 g2 I can recommend, to some people. This I cannot.

  3. Hannu
    Hannu 23 February 2015, 16:16
    Build quality
    Optical quality
    Value for money


    IP 80.223.x.x
    Owner since: 3 years
    Price: about 1300
    User profile: Amateur

    Cons: High chromatic aberration. Not very sharp. Strange bokeh at some geometries.

    Pros: Very beautiful bokeh under most conditions. Nice colors. Build quality. AF is accurate and fast enough for purpose of this objective, however this is not an action glass. Huge aperture. Feeling.

    Summary: Nice objective for feeling photography, but unfortunately not as perfect optical performance as I expected at this price level. If you know that you want it, buy it, but if you have to ask, consider some cheaper alternatives.

  4. keithinmelbourne
    keithinmelbourne 12 October 2011, 08:06
    Build quality
    Optical quality
    Value for money


    IP 211.30.x.x
    Owner since: 1 year
    Price: $1800 AUD
    User profile: Semipro

    Cons: None

    Pros: Sharpness, colour and contrast, bokeh, Build, AF accuracy and speed, results

    Summary: Since I purchased it, the 50L has become my 'go to' lens. It's always on one of my camera bodies. I was surprised at the responsiveness and accuracy of the AF, having read so many negative reviews. The 50L is a big leap up from my 50 f1.4, which I keep but use much less. The results from the 50L are exceptional, especially if you're shooting into the sun. This is my favourite Canon lens.

  5. Critical
    Critical 15 April 2011, 23:56
    Build quality
    Optical quality
    Value for money


    IP 83.226.x.x
    Owner since: 6 months
    Price: $1600
    User profile: Amateur

    Cons: Indescrete. Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG is almost as good.

    Pros: Very sharp. Colours.

    Summary: It's funny how the reviews for EF 35mm f/1.4L and EF50mm f/1.2L differ. The MTF50 charts for the image resolution shows 50L is as sharp in the edges and much sharper than 35L in the centre, but in 35L review it gets praised for it's sharpness while in 50L review, the image quality is weak.

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