Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 USM L - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (APS-C)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published March 2007

Special thanks to Johan Grandin for providing this lens!


The Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 USM L is the brand new successor of the almost legendary EF 50mm f/1.0 USM L - the fastest mass production SLR lens ever. Surprisingly Canon decided to step down a little regarding the max. aperture but the good news about this is the substantially lower price tag of around 1300 €/US$ so the lens is now within the financial reach of normal mortals. On an APS-C DSLR the field-of-view resembles a 80mm full-frame equivalent. Regarding the ultra-large aperture the lens typical applications are portrait and available light photography but naturally the scope is not limited to that.

The optical construction is made of 8 elements in 6 groups inc. one aspherical elements. The lens features 8 circular-shaped aperture blades. The filter size is 72mm. The minimum focus distance is 0.45m resulting in a max. object magnification of 1:6.7. Regarding its ultra-large aperture it is naturally a very fat (86x66mm) and comparatively heavy (590g) lens.

Typical for most L grade lenses the EF 50mm f/1.2 USM L has an exceptional build quality with a dust and moisture proof outer shell and a very smooth focus ring. The lens has a constant physical length but the inner lens tube moves a little during focus operations. The ring-type USM drive is very fast. The AF accuracy is just Okayish on the EOS 350D but that´s surely more a fault of the camera´s rather mediocre AF rather than the lens. According to Johan (the owner) the lens is spot on when used on the EOS 5D. Full-time manual (FTM) override in one-shot AF mode is naturally also available.

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