Canon 50mm f 1.2l

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Canon 50mm f/1.2L USM

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The Canon 50mm f/1.2L USM

The Canon 50mm f/1.2 L lens has been somewhat controversial. Perhaps the most accurate review is that of Bryan Carnathan, who claims that it is better than other lenses in this range from f/1.2 to about f/2.8 and has superb bokeh. If you’ll be shooting stopped down past f/2.8, you may be better served by the Canon 50mm f/1.4, but for wide aperture shots, this lens is the choice.

Roger's Take

Well, we could talk about this for hours: this is one of the most controversial, irritating, and spectacular lenses in the lineup. I won’t pretend to know what you’ll think of it, but our customers are evenly divided with “I love it” and “I hate it.” Here are a couple of pointers:

If you’re not used to working with very narrow depth-of-field (f/1.2 close up is NARROW), this lens will take some practice. Use one autofocus point only or it will focus where it pleases, not where you want.

The plane of focus is not flat; it’s slightly curved. Focus-recomposing will guarantee you an out-of-focus shot. Just don’t do it.

The 50 f/1.2 L exhibits focus shift for near-distance shots, meaning that when shooting objects a few feet away between f/2 and f/4, the lens will probably not autofocus accurately. At f/1.2 it’s accurate, and by f/5.6 the depth of field is wide enough that you won’t see the effect.

The 50 f/1.2 L is camera-specific: a copy that is wonderful on one camera may back focus on another. For that reason, it's best used on cameras with focus adjustment like the 1D series or the 5D MkIII. If you don’t use autofocus adjustment, your images are likely going to be back or front focused.

The bottom line: when this lens is right, the shots are spectacular and the background blur is awesome, just like the 85 f/1.2. But it’s more finicky and more difficult to get those shots with this lens.

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We offer a 3-day inspection period on all sales, during which time you may return the item for a refund of the purchase price, not including shipping.

On this item, we include a LensAuthority 90-day limited warranty. This warranty covers damage that arises from normal use of the item. It does NOT cover accidental or intentional damage. More details are available in our FAQ section.

In addition to the standard 90-day warranty, you may have the option to purchase an extended warranty. If we're able to offer an extended warranty on this item, you'll see a checkbox to add that warranty - see the area just above the "Add to Cart" button.

If you select the extended warranty, you'll get additional protection from Consumer Priority Service ("CPS"). The CPS warranty will take effect after our 90-day warranty ends. However, the CPS warranty term would begin on the date of purchase. For example, if you buy an item with a 2-year extended warranty today, your coverage would end two years from today. Click the link below for all the details:

Extended Warranty Details