|Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM Specifications|
|Lens Construction (groups)||6|
|Lens Construction (elements)||8|
|No. of Diaphragm Blades||8|
|Closest Focusing Distance||0.45m (17.7")|
|Maximum Diameter x Length||85.4mm x 65.5mm (3.4" x 2.6")|
There's little doubt that if we ignore the price then the Canon EF 50/1.2L USM is Canon's best 50mm lens. It's sharp, fast, well built, weathersealed and supports E-TTL II flash operation. The only question is one of value rather than cost. If you're a photographer who doesn't use a 50mm prime all that often, and when you do you tend to shoot at f2.8 or smaller apertures then you probably don't need the EF 50/1.2 USM.
Being a 50mm with a maximum aperture of f1.2 this lens has plenty of background blur but more importantly the bokeh or the quality of that background blur is excellent. One of the reasons you want to be buying this lens is for its bokeh. It is creamy, buttery, smooth and out of focus highlights at f1.2 are elliptical while at smaller apertures they turn into lovely eight point stars.
The Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 USM L left rather mixed feelings here at Photozone. It was able to convince in the APS-C scope but on a full format DSLR its weaknesses became much more obvious. The good news is that the center resolution is generally fine across the board so shallow depth-of-field lovers may not be disappointed.
Peter Kun Frary
I bought the EF 50 1.2L USM during Spring 2008 and rarely remove it from my 5D. It's so good I don't care to use anything else. It's the ultimate walkaround for full frame cameras and I love the ready for any light potential of the F1.2 aperture. I didn't like it nearly as much on my 50D. On a crop camera the view is too tight for walkaround.
This is a special purpose lens for people who need to shoot at large apertures. It's special purpose because it's big, heavy and expensive and doesn't do anything more than any other 50mm lens unless you're using it at wide apertures of f/2.8 and faster.
The Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM Lens is going to be purchased by those who want the best image quality they can get from f/1.2 to f/2, by those needing a more-pleasing background blur quality than the other two 50s deliver, by those requiring the least amount of lens flare in their results or by those who need/want the best quality (build) lens they can get.
The superbly built EF 50mm f/1.2L lens provided modestly sharper images with better out of focus blurring (bokeh) at f/1.4 and f/2 and was much more resistant to flare and internal reflections than the EF 50mm f/1.4 lens. This improved performance comes at the cost of increased size, weight and a greater than 5-fold higher purchase price.
This is a lens for folks that need to shoot in the dark, and can't afford to trade ISO or shutter speed, and use a lens that is 1/5th the price, Canon's 50mm f/1.4. No doubt, it can produce great photographs, and many folks, including lens connoisseurs, will benefit from this glass.