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Canon EF 50mm f/1.0L USM 35mm Primes
The world’s fastest interchangeable SLR lens with a super large maximum aperture. It has two aspherical lens elements and four elements with a high refractive index. Outstanding delineation with minimal flare even at the maximum aperture.
Submitted by Tim Champion a Expert
Date Reviewed: August 17, 2012
Strengths: Wonderful lens when you know how to use it, you can create a dreamy bokeh round the subject with practice. Needs lot of practice and trial and error, but with digital who cares! depth of field needs careful consideration and planning to get the best from the lens. This lens is not about clarity, its about creating a dreamy shot that softens everything.
Weaknesses: None but the photographer's expectations of an easy shot, this is a lens that rewards planning. Don't expect a great keeper rate but you will be rewarded with some outstanding shots that no other lens can give you.
For those special occasions you need a special lens, this lens can deliver superb results with extra planning,
Type of photography: People
Submitted by Luther a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: January 5, 2010
Strengths: Excellent bokeh.
Great for portraiture.
Excellent in low light situations.
Great build quality.
Rare and historically significant.
Weaknesses: High Price. Be prepared to pay $3500 - $4500 or more for a lens in the 8 - 10
High learning curve.
Heavy: 985 g
The Canon 50 MM 1.0 L is no longer made by Canon. I use it in low light situations. The last time I used it was New Years eve 2008 during the 1st Night festivities in Monterey California. These images were mostly handheld images and a few were made with a monopod.
The pictures for that night are of people and street scenes. Most poeple complain about how difficult the lens is to use, because of its shallowl depth of field and slow AF. I learned through trial and error how to use this lense. First I read about how to use the lense, then went out in the field and took pictures with it. I have decided to keep my 50 mm 1.0 L. It is a perfect example of this rare lense and I have learned to use it. Besides being a perfect eample of this rare lense, it has practiical value for me.
The lense produces a great bokeh. It is not a lense for the casual photographer, who does not want to spend some time learning her tools. You have to spend some time with this lense, if you are going to use it well. I shoot with a first generation Canon 1 Ds and I love the quality of the pictures that I get when I use this lense.
Duration Product Used: 21+ years
Price Paid: $2800.00
Purchased At: Ebay
Similar Products Used: Canon 85 MM f 1.2 L
Type of photography: Fine Art
Submitted by apeshift a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: February 12, 2005
*impressive size, if that counts
*very slow AF
*big and heavy (I really didn't mind though)
*manual focus use is beyond me with this lens (electronic by wire and only when shutter button is half depressed)
*oh yeah, PRICE
I've been drooling over this lens eversince I read about it. Couple of months back someone from photography forum said he owned the lens, so for some time we switched lenses. He said the lens had some fungus when he bought it, but he had Canon service clean it up and check it.
The lens was a major disappointment. I cannot stress 'major' enough. Pretend MAJOR is written in size 200 bold underlined capital letters on fire.
First you have to understand this lense should only be used from f/1.0 to f/1.2 since at f/1.4 there is another 50mm lense that makes much sharper images at that aperture and much less $. To add, at f/1.2 the use of it is already questionable.
This lens actually IS usable, for low light portraits, it WILL create great images, because softness of the lens has always been flattering to human complexion, especially if the subject is a middle-aged woman. Other than that, I would pretty strongly disadvise you this lens.
However, if you really like to hunt images in pretty much nonexistent light at highest ISO possible, this is the lens to go. I've made pleasing shots with my 10D at ISO 1600, f/1.0 and 1/45s, so, no other Canon compatible lens would be even near of making a handheld shot at that situation. Now the question arises; is it better to have a really soft shot, or no shot at all?
My advice: if you already have all the lens that you need and have the SLR body you want... AND really NEED a faster lense than 50mm 1.4, then get this one, otherwise, forget about it.
BTW. I had no chance to try it out, but everywhere I read the 85 f/1.2 is a whole differend story sharpnesswise.
Duration Product Used: 2-5 years
Similar Products Used: none
Type of photography: Outdoor
Submitted by dony a Professional
Date Reviewed: August 22, 2004
Strengths: Photos are possible that I could not even consider with any other lens. Take hand-held photos by a single candle! Portraits must be seen to be believed. I have had portrait subjects (especially 50-something women) tell me these are the best portraits of them they have ever seen. This you can take to the bank. Concerts and other events pose no problems. Interior church shots without flash but with incredible clarity and a shallow depth of field are easy. CS easily takes care of any low contrast issues. Outdoor shots are clear with great color gradation. Absolutely better than the 1.4 and 1.8 lenses.
Weaknesses: Heavy lens and shallow depth of field. This is not a lens for everyone. It takes practice to understand its strengths and weaknesses (as does every lens and camera I have ever used).
This is a superb lens. Low light photos (for example side-lit window photos, photos with low ambient light and a few candles, a cabin, wooded stream, etc.)are better quality then any I get with other lens. The mood of the occasion and the participants is easily seen. For weddings, bride and groom, portraits, children and so on, this lens is unequalled. I now shoot only digital. I always use the appropriate tool for the specific task at hand. This lens has a permanent place in my equipment for these uses.
Duration Product Used: 21+ years
Price Paid: $1500.00
Purchased At: Camera Store in San
Similar Products Used: At this time, I own and use the following. All lenses are Canon: 50 mm f/1.0 L and f/1.8.; 20 mm f/2.8; 28-70 f/2.8 L; 80-200 f/2.8 L; 300 f/4.0 L and I have used the 1.4 and several others.
Type of photography: People
Submitted by pentax-user a Professional
Date Reviewed: May 12, 2004
Strengths: f1.0 aperture, gets sharp when stopped relatively far down, but then you wonder why you paid 1000 bucks for it if it isn't sharp at the apertures that make it so expensive...
Weaknesses: Not as sharp as much cheaper or even outdated lenses from competing manufacturers when compared side by side at f1.4.
Overpriced for what you get. I guess for a 1.0 aperture its fairly sharp, but like another reviewer noted, it's much less sharp stopped down to competing lenses apertures even if it does open up to 1.0. I have almost all of the Pentax 50mm lenses available ranging from the screwmounts to the newest FA lenses... I can tell you that for fifty to a hundred bucks you can get a Pentax lens that will put this expensive Canon out to pasture in terms of sharpness, contrast, and resolution at f1.4. Another reviewer mentioned that it sharpened up when you stopped down, well stopped down to f1.4 the Canon is not as sharp as my Pentax SMC-F 50 1.4, or as sharp as the newer FA 1.4. The newer FA lens is available for 300 bucks brand new... It's tempting to think that this Canon L costing 1,000 dollars should be sharper than a lowly ole Pentax, but it isn't. Overall, this lens is a waste of money when you consider what it does. There are better normal lenses out there period, and for the money it's just not an option, don't buy this lens unless you want an expensive gimmick. Don't get me wrong, the lens isn't bad, but for a thousand bucks, you might as well say f*** it to the f1.0 aperture and get a normal "normal" lens and spend the money elsewhere.
Duration Product Used: 6-10 years
Similar Products Used: Takumar 50/1.4, Takumar 55/1.8, SMC-M 50/1.7, SMC-A 50/1.4, SMC-A 50/2.0, SMC-F 50/1.4, SMC-FA 50/1.4, SMC FA 50/1.7
Type of photography: Other
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