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Old June 30th, 2009, 04:48 PM   #1
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Canon 50mm 1.2

Is this lens overkill for video? I can get the regular 50mm 1.4 less than $500, but I wanted some opinions first.
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Old June 30th, 2009, 05:12 PM   #2
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Don't have any experience with the 1.2, but I do own the 1.4 and it is an amazing lens!
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Old June 30th, 2009, 05:26 PM   #3
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It depends on your shooting goals and the other lenses you will use with it. If you will shoot in the lowest light situations, and will shoot with other fast L primes, go for it. If you'll be cutting with non-L glass and will typically be stopping down, get the 1.4.

It all depends on the context...
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Old June 30th, 2009, 05:39 PM   #4
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It would be the only L lens I owned. I might just get the 24mm 1.4 and the 50mm 1.4. This is my first jump into lenses and it was a bit overwhelming at first. Thanks for the help.
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Old June 30th, 2009, 07:23 PM   #5
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If you want to save money the 50mm 1.8 works quite well for video and its' only about $90. On stills it is not the equivalent of the 1.4 or 1.2 but you don need as much resolution for video. On the down side you can't manual focus while it is in autofucus mode - then agin you won't be doing this while shooting video.
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Old June 30th, 2009, 08:47 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Jim Miller View Post
If you want to save money the 50mm 1.8 works quite well for video and its' only about $90. On stills it is not the equivalent of the 1.4 or 1.2 but you don need as much resolution for video. On the down side you can't manual focus while it is in autofucus mode - then agin you won't be doing this while shooting video.
Ironically the "nifty fifty" (f1.8) you are referring to is one of the sharpest of the 50mm lenses at a large range of settings. I recommend it to all new DSLR users.

I wouldn't use it for video for these reasons:

1) The old non-usm motor buzzes loudly. You'd hear it on even a remote mic if you turned on AF.

2) The manual focus ring at the end of the lens is so tiny it is mostly unusable.

3) It is so tiny (both the lens itself and its focus ring) that no focus follower could ever work with it.
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Old June 30th, 2009, 08:57 PM   #7
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I have the 1.2, and I bought it after extensive growsing over which of the canon lenses to buy. the 1.4 IS a great lens...but it has two things about it that I don't like. First the focusing mechanism...the focusing ring is narrow and close to the body...too close for my fat hands...and it's a gritty gear-y kinda thing that feels like its broken from the very first day. The 1.2 has a generous old-school ring and old-school butter smooth drag to the manual focusing and I wouldn't have it any other way.

apparently the flare characteristics of the 1.2 are better as well. On the down side, you'll probably see more chromatic abberation up to about f2.5 with the 1.2...after that, it can't be beat...

Barry
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Old June 30th, 2009, 11:17 PM   #8
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Thanks for all of the help. Picking out lenses is obviously very new to me. I'm using the camera for weddings. Mostly for the Bridal Prep, but I'm sure I will be using it for receptions (dark) as well. I don't mind buying what I need, but I don't want to waste money on something that isn't worth it. Obviously the 50mm 1.2 is going to be great in low-light, but it probably isn't something I would be able to shoot a crowd with. At 1.2, it has to have an extremely shallow dof, right? I'm not sure where I would be able to use that, other than some close ups of the bride getting ready and for those shots, light isn't usually a big issue.
I am also considering the Canon 24mm 1.4, but I can't find it anywhere other than Ebay.
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Old July 1st, 2009, 03:50 AM   #9
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I just shot a wedding reception with a Nikon 35mm 1.4 that did a great job. Fully open the colors are amazing but the DOF is too shallow unless both subjects are in the same plane (standing side-by-side). I don't mind manual focus so an old manual Nikon or Canon are something to consider. I wouldn't recommend shooting people with a really wide lens as the perspective distortion may not be flattering to faces. There is a reason 85mm lenses are called "portrait" lenses. I won't even use a 28mm to shoot individual people and the 35mm is not good for close shots. A 50mm stopped to F2 might be just right for wedding two-shots (like dances) in low light.
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Old July 1st, 2009, 04:37 AM   #10
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I have both the 50mm F1.2L & the 24mm F1.4L Both are great lenses & of course the low light performance of both is exceptional (we are talking filming in a cellar by candlelight here:-). I did purchase used from eBay but they were still pretty expensive. If I were purchasing now I think that I might save a little & gain some flexibility by going for the 50mm F1.4 & the 24-70mm F2.8L zoom. The low light capability of the camera is so exceptional that it is quite possible to crank the gain up to really high levels without noticeable grain especially now the new firmware gives us proper control.
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Old July 1st, 2009, 06:49 AM   #11
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I want to get the 50mm f1.2 myself. I already have a Nikon 50mm f1.4 and it is a fine lens.

I have done a lot of low light shooting with it and my 17-40 f4, 24-105 f4, 70-200 f2.8.

The mkII is so good in low light that there really is no huge reason for a superfast lens, IMHO, for most shots.

Like you said when you shoot people in a dynamic scene a moderate f stop is really easier to work with. I shoot at f 5.6 a lot even in fairly low light. Now stopped down the f 1.2 and the "L" lenses mentioned below have very nice boketh even stopped down. A cheaper lens does not have circular diaphragm so the out of focus parts can be rather ugly, not smooth round shapes but harsh hexagonals.

The reason I want the 1.2 is for those really special shots when you want very shallow DOF at say 8-10 feet out with a normal lens, in the 2-4 foot range f 1.4-4 is really OK. I like to use the 70-200 for shallow DOF at 10 feet or so. I also use my 100-400 f4.5-5.6 and used at longer end even f8 has very shallow DOF.
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Old July 1st, 2009, 07:29 AM   #12
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I've owned pretty much every Canon and Nikon 50mm lens at some point and I personally I would stay away from the 50mm f1.4 As others point out it has poor manual focus and not so nice bokeh in comparison to the 50mm f1.2L. The 1.4 also has pretty bad barrel distortion in my experience but you milage may vary.

If you have the money the 1.2 is great, if not look at a Zeiss 50mm f1.4 in either ZE, ZF or Contax fit for video use and perhaps a Canon 50mm f1.8 for stills. Another great budget alternative is the Nikon fit Voigtlander 58mm f1.4. All of these have nice damped manual focus which I prefer to the Nikon manual lenses.

Dan
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Old July 1st, 2009, 10:06 AM   #13
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I have a sample clip of the 50mm f1.4 in action. Let me apologize about the extremely sloppy edit in advance, I still need to fully edit this footage. My partner and I went out for a night on the town to test the 5D in low light and this is what we came up with:

http://www.rpmproductions.info/videos/messin.mov

All of these shots were done with the 50mm 1.4 and the light that was available was nearly non existent! I was rather pleased with the performance of the lens when paired with the 5dII. The focus ring has a tendency to feel a little clunky, but it still performs as it should.
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Old July 1st, 2009, 12:12 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Dan Chung View Post
...I would stay away from the 50mm f1.4 As others point out it has poor manual focus and not so nice bokeh in comparison to the 50mm f1.2L. The 1.4 also has pretty bad barrel distortion in my experience...
I agree about the barrel distortion, which is really sad in a "normal" lens. To me a 50mm lens on a full frame camera is all about getting the camera out of the picture. It's an unexceptional angle of view that should give the viewer the feeling of being there. Barrel distortion distracts from that normal view, and is unattractive on people's faces and bodies.

I'll also add that the CA is pretty bad. Just aim the lens at a white fence and defocus a bit. You'll see what I mean.

On the other hand, I really like the EF 85mm f/1.8. For people, it's an excellent lens. And it pairs perfectly with the EF 28mm f/1.8. Some photographers dis the 28 for corner sharpness and flare, but I find it good for video and the perfect companion to the 85. It has the same speed, similar mechanics, and same generation of coatings for similar color. And, of course, they're both EOS lenses, so they can do double duty for stills and video.

I'm thinking of selling both my 50/1.4 and my 35/2.0 and just using our Nikon AI 50/1.8 for mid range video. I can always rent the 50/1.2 when the need arises...
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Old July 1st, 2009, 12:34 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
I agree about the barrel distortion
Is there a way to correct this distortions in post??

A couple of weeks ago I saw some pictures taken with a digital Leica and a Leica lens, there was one of a bed and the bed was so fully undistorted that I couldn't believe it!!! Pretty sad thing to be touched by! ;-DD
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