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Canon f1.2 50mmL lens

RubyRuby Member
edited May 2013 in home
Would this lens be a good one for portrait work and the odd landscape? Has anyone used it? Ruby.


  • By all accounts it's an astonishing lens, though I've never used it. For full-length portraits a 50mm is fine, though personally for anything less I would use nothing less than 70mm on a full frame. Just me though.
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    50mm on a full-frame camera is too wide to give a pleasing perspective with a head-shot, though it does work for an environmental portrait.

    Be aware that this lens exhibits focus shift for a specific aperture range (f/2 to f/4)
  • RubyRuby Member
    Thanks guys for your thoughts........great to get other views before spending money. Thanks
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    I wouldn't put any money towards a different Canon 50mm lens than this one.

    But whether it is a focal length that makes sense to you ... that's up to you.
  • CorojoCorojo Member
    kinda useless on 5D & 1D frames (1.3 or FF crops) for 3/4 work. Maybe OK on the 1.6 croppers - alot of issues w/this lens. I'd pop for the 85mm F1.8.. Ed K.
  • jhilgersjhilgers Member
    edited May 2013
    My first recommendation would be the EF85mm f/1.2L II USM however, most people do not want to cough up the price tag that is associated with it. I have heard great things about the 85mm 1.8, but I have not tried it myself.

    My second choice would be the 135mm f2.0L:


    It is a very affordable lens and I have to admit, I do prefer it over the 70-200mm F/2.8L II IS USM zoom lens for portraiture. It is a short lens and does not weigh a lot either which makes it a lot easier to hold for a long time.

    The sharpness of images from the 135mm are incredible; the Bokeh is delicious! In a lot of instances I found the images this lens produces are sharper than those from the 70-200 lens.

    Obviously because of the versatility and quality, I would say the 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM is a close second place choice.

  • I have the 85mm 1.8 and use on a crop body. It's fast enough for indoor high school sporting events, but it works well for portraits. This was shot wide open at 1.8, background about 3 feet away with bounced flash.
  • jhilgersjhilgers Member
    edited May 2013
    Yep, that reminds me of the Bokeh of the good old 85mm; that's a nice shot. Really there is only one downfall to shooting at f1.2 - the depth of view is so shallow, I have to be careful because I miss the shot and end up with blurry eyes on a portrait. I normally check after each one by zooming in all the way on my LCD screen and check. Sometimes I just use an aperture of 1.4 or 1.6 which seems to eliminate most of the issues.
  • Thank you. You are right. There's not a lot of room for error at those f-stops. For the money, I think this is a pretty good lens.
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