Canon EF 50mm f/1.0L USM 35mm Primes

Available At:
EF 50mm f/1.0L USM

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.

User Reviews (11)

Showing 1-10 of 11  
Tim Champion   Expert [Aug 17, 2012]
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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,

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Available At:
Luther   Intermediate [Jan 05, 2010]
Strength:

Excellent bokeh.

Great for portraiture.

Excellent in low light situations.

Great build quality.

Rare and historically significant.

Weakness:

High Price. Be prepared to pay $3500 - $4500 or more for a lens in the 8 - 10

High learning curve.

Slow AF.

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.

Customer Service

I bought this lense in new condition and have no customer service experience with it. Canon no longer manufactures this lense

Similar Products Used: Canon 85 MM f 1.2 L
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
apeshift   Intermediate [Feb 12, 2005]
Strength:

*f/1.0 *build quality *precise AF *impressive size, if that counts *practical hood

Weakness:

*SOFT! *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.

Similar Products Used: none
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
2
Available At:
dony   Professional [Aug 22, 2004]
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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.

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.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
pentax-user   Professional [May 12, 2004]
Strength:

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...

Weakness:

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.

Customer Service

Not used.

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
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
1
Tom Just Olsen   Intermediate [Aug 14, 2000]
Strength:

The enormous aparture; 1:1. No 'low light' can stop you. Makes pictures from clear daylight to light from a candle in the evening. Hand held without flash!

Weakness:

Expensive and heavy. Short depth of field at aparture 1,0 (law of physics!)

A very speical lense for the very special occations. Like the tender light at a late evening meal, or a portrait of somebody glancing into the fireplace, flowers north of the Polar Cirle lit by midnight sun. Hand held, mind you! You will take pictures with this lense you will not even try at with any other.

Customer Service

Expensive (Norway, Sweden)

Similar Products Used: 28-70/2,8 17-35/2,8 300/2,8 200/2,8
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jeff Greenberg   Professional [Jul 19, 2000]
Strength:

Its a ticket to the wonderful world of f1.0

Weakness:

heavy; $2500 new; need to overexpose about 1 stop when shooting E100VS at dusk or inside to put detail into shadowy areas

If ever condemned to using only one lens & one f-stop, this is it.

Customer Service

have Canon bodies, lenses, for about 3 years now -- no service needed yet.

Similar Products Used: none
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
Kai Pin   Professional [Mar 01, 2000]
Model Reviewed: EF 50mm f/1.0L USM
Strength:

Its f/1.0L aperture! No other standard 50mm lens' picture quality at maximum aperture (f/1.8~f/1.2)can stands up to it.

Weakness:

AF too slow when comapred to ohter USM Canon EF lenses but no problem with focus tracking

Not many people will appreciate the beauty of an f/1.0 aperture lens, maybe because of the price. Once (in 1991) I had to cover a stage show where flash was not allowed. The light was so dim that an exposure with an ISO 1600 film requires 1/15 sec. at f/1.0! I was the only photographer that managed to get some shots, the others weren't lucky because they were not EOS users then.

Customer Service

Not needed

Similar Products Used: EF 50mm f/1.4 USM, EF 50mm f/1.8II, FD 50mm f/1.2L, FD 50mm f/1.4, Noct-Nikkor 50mm f/1.2
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Roger Melen   Intermediate [Nov 18, 2000]
Strength:

Excellent lens for basketball and indoor sporting events. F1 means you can use a moderate ASA200 indoors without flash. Great lens for shots with shallow depth of field. The lens sharpness is very good to excellent even wide open indoors at low light. Stopping down the lens increase the lens sharpness is lens tests, but I have not seen any sharpness problems even wide open.

Weakness:

The lens is big, bulky and heavy. A real hunk of glass. To use the power of the lens you must use the f1 feature which is useful for applications that can benefit from a shallow depth of field.

Excellent lens for shallow depth of field and for low light shots. There is nothing better. It is useful for indoor sports shots, due to it's extreme speed even at very low light levels.

Similar Products Used: 50mm f1.4, 28-70mm f2.8 are good but they are not f1.0 and that matters a lot at low light and where you really want shallow depth of field.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
wo   Intermediate [Aug 05, 2001]
Strength:

f/1.0

Weakness:

price, weight, AF speed

when open at f/1.4 or smaller, it is not as good as both nikon 50/1.2 or 58/1.2; the nikon 58/1.2 is the best buy but it has been discontinued

Similar Products Used: nikon 50/1.2, 58/1.2
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
Showing 1-10 of 11  

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