Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 L USM Review & Rating

    The Canon RF 50mm F1.2 L USM ($2,299) is a significantly good prime lens for photographers with critical budgets. It’s an up to date tackle a lens that could be a favourite for a lot of a Canon SLR proprietor, the EF 50mm f/1.2L USM. This new model is larger and higher optically, and whereas it is also costlier, we prefer it sufficient to name it our Editors’ Choice. If you are shopping for an EOS R, the 50mm F1.2 L ought to be in your brief listing.
    The f/1.2 Tradition
    Canon programs have historically included an extra-bright 50mm choice. Its SLR collection has the aforementioned EF 50mm f/1.2L USM, and the 1960s-era Canon 7 rangefinder had each f/0.95 and f/1.2 lenses within the 50mm focal size. The newest iteration, designed for the corporate’s full-frame mirrorless digital camera system, is the RF 50mm F1.2 L USM.

    It’s a giant lens, about 4.3 by 3.5 inches (HD), and heavy at 2.1 kilos. It helps 77mm entrance filters, and features a delicate carrying case, a reversible lens hood, and entrance and rear caps. The rear cap is a bit of odd—it’s essential line it up correctly earlier than attaching it, and there is just one means to take action. Typically rear caps are designed to allow them to connect at two or three completely different factors.
    The lens consists of safety from mud and splashes, as you’d count on from one which bears the Canon L designation. The EOS R digital camera physique can also be sealed, though not extensively in accordance with a report from Lensrentals. But even so, the pair ought to serve you nicely when photographing in inclement climate. The entrance and rear parts are coated with fluorine, so when you do get them moist or fingerprinted you may clear them simply—fluorine repels each moisture and grease, so it wipes proper off the glass.

    There are two management rings on the barrel. The bigger is the handbook focus ring, which affords digital focus with or with no linear response. The former modifications the speed at which focus is adjusted primarily based on how shortly you flip it, whereas the latter ties focus to the gap the ring travels, which is a giant plus for videographers who will need to pull focus throughout pictures.
    The 50mm additionally has a programmable management ring. It clicks with each flip—a giant plus for photographers because it permits for small changes with the boldness of tactile suggestions. It’s very straightforward so as to add a third-stop of EV compensation utilizing the ring, in distinction to the lenses for the Nikon Z collection, which make the most of handbook focus controls for the same operate. If you do plan on utilizing the lens for video, the ring could be de-clicked at a Canon service middle for a price. It’s a disgrace the corporate could not determine to make it a user-changeable characteristic.

    Focus is managed by the AF/MF swap, on the facet of the barrel. Canon would not embody optical stabilization on this lens, nor does it embody sensor-based stabilization within the EOS R. This does restrict your capability to make use of it for handheld video, though the EOS R does supply some digital stabilization for video. Most of Canon’s rivals supply cameras with in-body stabilization, and whereas I would not say the corporate won’t ever undertake the expertise, I would not maintain my breath for a future RF digital camera physique with the characteristic both.
    Close focus is accessible to 15.7 inches (0.4-meter). It’s not a macro vary by any means—at finest the lens magnifies topics at 1:5.25 life-size. But it is a stable working distance for what ought to be an all-around lens. Thanks to the brilliant aperture, you should have no downside blurring out background particulars when taking pictures vast open, even when your topic is not that near the lens. There is a spotlight limiter swap, so you may set the lens for distance focus solely to hurry up acquisition, however I discovered the autofocus to be fairly quick, even when searching over your entire vary.
    Edge-to-Edge Clarity
    I examined the RF 50mm with the 30.3MP EOS R, the one digital camera with which it’s appropriate at press time. It delivers superb sharpness at f/1.2—2,789 strains on a center-weighted analysis. It’s notably higher than the two,000 strains we need to see at a naked minimal, and you may count on very regular decision from middle to edge. This offers you the liberty to border your topic in any space of the body, with out sacrificing decision.

    There is slight enchancment at f/1.4 (2,838 strains). At f/2 the lens enters glorious territory, resolving 3,314 strains, and delivers excellent readability at f/2.8 (3,548 strains), f/4 (3,610 strains), and f/5.6 (3,505 strains). Diffraction begins to detract from decision at f/8 (3,386 strains), and additional intrudes at f/11 (3,060 strains) and the minimal f/16 (2,786 strains) aperture. In all circumstances, edge decision is simply as robust as on the middle.
    See How We Test Digital Cameras
    Distortion can also be a nonissue. The lens has about 0.5 p.c barrel distortion, which is completely negligible for all however essentially the most vital replica work. You could also be turned off by the heavy vignette the lens displays, though it may be seen as a profit for portrait photographers, because it provides a pure body to additional isolate your topic.

    If you shoot in JPG format the EOS R applies vignette correction by default, however the RF 50mm nonetheless reveals darkened corners at f/1.2 (-2.6EV) and f/1.4 (-1.9EV). At smaller f-stops the vignette is imperceptible. If you’re employed in Raw format, or flip off in-camera correction for JPGs, the vignette is far heavier—we see -5.6EV at f/1.2, -5.2EV at f/1.4, -3EV at f/2, -2EV at f/2.8, and -1.5EV at f/4 and smaller settings. The impact could be compensated for fairly simply utilizing Adobe Lightroom, though chances are you’ll discover that it introduces some extra noise when you’re compensating for the vignette in a photograph captured at a excessive ISO setting.
    A Phenomenal 50mm Prime
    Canon has an extended historical past relating to vivid 50mm lenses, and the RF 50mm F1.2 L USM is the most effective try its needed to date. It has the crisp look you count on from a contemporary lens, with the newest anti-reflective and protecting coatings, unique lens parts, and safety from the weather. If the RF system beneficial properties traction with occasion and portrait photographers, this will probably be one of many first lenses many purchase, and with good purpose.

    There are, after all, alternate options. If the value is simply too excessive to abdomen, you may actually use the EF 50mm f/1.2L USM, together with an adapter, with the EOS R. You may also go third-party and attain for the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art, or the stabilized Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD when you’re keen to stay with out an f/1.2 aperture.
    But if taking pictures at f/1.2 is your need, and also you’re shifting in with Canon’s full-frame mirrorless system, the RF 50mm F1.2 L USM is the lens to get. Its optics are sharper than the EF model, and its match and end are additionally extra trendy. It’s our Editors’ Choice.

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