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Canon 50mm f/1.2 L, talk me out of it.

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 

I've had the priviledge of using the 50mm L twice in past year (a friend had rented it to shoot a video).  It's been 3 weeks since I last used it, and I'm still thinking about it.  I have the means to get it, but it's so expensive.  $1000 more than the f/1.4 (a lens I haven't used).  A family member is willing to "help me out" so it's somewhere between a gift and $1400 of my own money.

 

I'm an amateur with a 40d and Canon 35mm Elan II.  I'm interested in doing more studio photography, but not as a career.  Though I'm consistently getting better, I'm not especially good either.  I've own/owned the 28-135mm, 17-50mm Tamron, and 50mm 1.8.  And I've shot with a friend's10-22mm and 100-400mm L a few times.  None of them compared.

 

The color, the bokeh, the sharpness (even at 1.2!!!), the super fast AF, everything blew me away. Was it placebo?  I could always sell it for minimal loss.  Maybe the 24 or 35 L would be a more useful focal length. Should I buy and test the 1.4? Or buy what I know is a fantastic lens?...

 

What should I do?

 

Wyatt

 

post #2 of 48

I would personally buy a used 1.4 (or find one to borrow) and use that for a while and see if it was worth it to me to get the 1.2, and then sell it (since you can sell used>used at the same price) if I decided the 1.2 was really worth the extra cash.

 

And of course they didn't compare. Any zoom lens won't match the beauty of a good prime  (IMO, of course)

post #3 of 48

If I had the money I would have the f/1.2 L as well.  It's an awesome lens although I would feel like I was wasting it mounted to my 40D.  If you aren't using the film camera much, the 24 or 35mm lenses would probably be more useful in the long run.

 

In any case, like you said, they hold their value.  If you decide it's not worth having or you don't like it, you can sell the lens for minimal loss... maybe even a profit.

post #4 of 48

Don't think. Just buy it.

post #5 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by wnewport View Post

I've had the priviledge of using the 50mm L twice in past year (a friend had rented it to shoot a video).  It's been 3 weeks since I last used it, and I'm still thinking about it.  I have the means to get it, but it's so expensive.  $1000 more than the f/1.4 (a lens I haven't used).  A family member is willing to "help me out" so it's somewhere between a gift and $1400 of my own money.

 

I'm an amateur with a 40d and Canon 35mm Elan II.  I'm interested in doing more studio photography, but not as a career.  Though I'm consistently getting better, I'm not especially good either.  I've own/owned the 28-135mm, 17-50mm Tamron, and 50mm 1.8.  And I've shot with a friend's10-22mm and 100-400mm L a few times.  None of them compared.

 

The color, the bokeh, the sharpness (even at 1.2!!!), the super fast AF, everything blew me away. Was it placebo?  I could always sell it for minimal loss.  Maybe the 24 or 35 L would be a more useful focal length. Should I buy and test the 1.4? Or buy what I know is a fantastic lens?...

 

What should I do?

 

Wyatt

 


Sell all your gear and buy Nikon.

post #6 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by mierenneuker View Post




Sell all your gear and buy Nikon.


Don't even get me started.

 

 

*cough* Pentax...

post #7 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mierenneuker View Post




Sell all your gear and buy Nikon.


If I hadn't gotten a sweet deal on a 40d 2 years ago, I'd be sitting fat with good AF and superior high iso performance.  Oh well,  I'll probably, marry, divorce, and remarry before I could decide to jump the Canon ship.

post #8 of 48

You should at least try out the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 to see if the jump to the Canon 50mm f/1.2L is worth it for you.

post #9 of 48

This is a really, really overpriced underperforming lens.

 

Get the 35L or the 85L if you insist on spending lots of money.

 

The 50 is terribly soft wide open.

post #10 of 48

I shoot Nikon, but all of my friends shoot Canon. The friends that have the f/1.2 have never quite convinced themselves that it was worth it.

 

Similarly, I recently got the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 G. I had the f/1.8 before and I really can't say with certainty that it was worth the extra money. Part of the problem is that for portrait work, f/1.4 isn't that practical and I typically shoot around f/2.8 - f/4 anyway. The only substantial benefit for me has been the increased focusing speed and accuracy.

 

I know that's not the lens you're looking at, but maybe that gives you something to think about.

post #11 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomek View Post

This is a really, really overpriced underperforming lens.

 

Get the 35L or the 85L if you insist on spending lots of money.

 

The 50 is terribly soft wide open.

 

x2.  I've used the 35L a few times and when I finally bite the bullet and buy a full frame camera, a 35L will be in the box with it. 

 

I've never been a fan of 50mm lenses.  To me, they are just a compromise, not wide enough and not long enough.  I could make due with two lenses, a 35mm and a either a 85 or 135mm.
 

post #12 of 48

Quote:

Originally Posted by jchandler3 View Post
Part of the problem is that for portrait work, f/1.4 isn't that practical and I typically shoot around f/2.8 - f/4 anyway. The only substantial benefit for me has been the increased focusing speed and accuracy.

 

Not true. Yes, it depends on your shooting style, but for a lot of people, wide open is all they use to shoot. For portraits, I use most of my lenses wide open. I only stop down when the background matters a lot, or when i am shooting landscape.

 

AF speed and accuracy is all that matters. You can claim you have the sharpest lens with the best bokeh, but if you miss the shot, you missed the shot.

 

I am a Nikon user. If I am not so deep in, I would switch to Canon because it is much cheaper to own their top gear.

post #13 of 48

Will you be using the 50mm f/1.2L for studio purpose? Reason I ask this is because most of the time you will set the F down to f/8, 11 or more when used in studio. I don't find really big aperture lenses useful to be used in studio. Unless you need them for low light purposes, then it's not worth the money you are going to spend.

post #14 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by wnewport View Post

I've had the priviledge of using the 50mm L twice in past year (a friend had rented it to shoot a video).  It's been 3 weeks since I last used it, and I'm still thinking about it.  I have the means to get it, but it's so expensive.  $1000 more than the f/1.4 (a lens I haven't used).  A family member is willing to "help me out" so it's somewhere between a gift and $1400 of my own money.

 

I'm an amateur with a 40d and Canon 35mm Elan II.  I'm interested in doing more studio photography, but not as a career.  Though I'm consistently getting better, I'm not especially good either.  I've own/owned the 28-135mm, 17-50mm Tamron, and 50mm 1.8.  And I've shot with a friend's10-22mm and 100-400mm L a few times.  None of them compared.

 

The color, the bokeh, the sharpness (even at 1.2!!!), the super fast AF, everything blew me away. Was it placebo?  I could always sell it for minimal loss.  Maybe the 24 or 35 L would be a more useful focal length. Should I buy and test the 1.4? Or buy what I know is a fantastic lens?...

 

What should I do?

 

Wyatt

 

Based on the way you described yourself as a photographer, I honestly don't think it's worth the investment unless it's not really an investment.  But clearly it is since you posted this thread.  1.2 vs 1.4 is the last thing you should worry about unless you are doing something really specific or need the extra light.  As far as the bokeh look, if your pictures are going to be that much better because of 1.2 vs 1.4 then you've got to be more creative and make more interesting pictures.  You've also got to be really good at focusing to use 1.2 if there's any kind of movement or action at all. 

 

I don't mean any offense in any of that.  I just mean to say that lenses aren't that big a deal.  the 50 1.4 is plenty sharp and there's heaps of incredible photographs made with that lens. 
 

post #15 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by choka View Post

Not true. Yes, it depends on your shooting style, but for a lot of people, wide open is all they use to shoot. 


I know that. That's why I was describing MY shooting habits. That's why the largest possible aperture lens isn't necessarily worth it for me. My point is, not everyone needs to spend the extra bucks for a stop or two. 

 

wnewport, Look at what you've typically shot at in the past. Are you always shooting all of the way open? If most of your shots on your f/1.8 are shot at f/1.8, then definitely consider getting the f/1.2. But a couple more things to think about...

 

You said you want to do more studio work. That's mostly what I do, and as wsoelivan said, you'll be stopping wayyyy down for studio work, rendering the f/1.2 useless in most scenarios. 

 

More importantly, really think about if you need this lens or not. You admitted that you're "not especially good." Can your talent really harness the utility of a $1,500 professional lens? Spend more time improving your skill with what you have. Don't buy new equipment expecting to create better pictures. Better photos will come from experience, not a big checkbook. 

 

Sorry if that sounds harsh... I just learned the hard way and I want to help you avoid that. If I would have spent the last 15 years improving my photo skills instead of agonizing over equipment, I would be a much better photographer than I am now.

 

 

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