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Canon 50mm f1.2 LTM
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:00 pm    Post subject: Canon 50mm f1.2 LTM Reply with quote

Hi,

how sharp would you consider this lens WO compared to other 50/55mm f1.2 vintage lenses (especially the Nikon one)?

Thanks.


PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try doing a search here on the topic. You should get hits, I'm thinking. I seem to recall seeing images taken with this lens shown here at mflenses. Also, I'd suggest you go to flickr.com and do a search there on this lens. You should get hits, and chances are there should be enough to answer your questions.


PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went ahead and did a search here because I was also curious. I found some threads.

All the opening photos in this thread were taken with the lens wide open at f/1.2:
http://forum.mflenses.com/canon-50mm-1-2-ltm-fuji-x-e2s-t77594,highlight,%2Bcanon+%2B50mm+%2B1+%2B2+%2Bltm.html

Another thread with some more shots at f/1.2:
http://forum.mflenses.com/the-fat-boy-canon-rf-50mm-f-1-2-ltm-t38063,highlight,%2Bcanon+%2B50mm+%2B1+%2B2+%2Bltm.html

Dang, it sure looks like a keeper to me!

Back in a former life when I was a camera dealer, I had one of these lenses that was inventory, that is, not for me personally. Back then, Canon rangefinder optics were considered to be just okay, nothing special. As a result, that lens wasn't worth much. I think I got maybe $100 for it. Sure wish I would have kept it.


PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends on which Nikon one you're talking about, the early 55/1.2 isn't in the same class as the later AIS 50/1.2, the early 55/1.2 has pronounced glow wide open.
IMO the Canon S 50/1.2 LTM is quite good wide open, not the best, and definitely not the worst.
http://forum.mflenses.com/the-fat-boy-canon-rf-50mm-f-1-2-ltm-t38063.html


PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks sharper than dreamlens, even though if sharpness is what you after ,WO 1.2 is not really a winner. I've only seen that 1.2 50's are sharper at 1.4 than other 1.4 lenses . Is it usable at 1.2? Depending on subject and type of photography ,yes. I do have fun with soft lenses WO , in fact , they are my favorite for family portraits , most of the times I use em wo or one stop . The question is,are they worth the extra money comparing 1.4 lenses? Is it true that longer 58mm 1.4 (like Topcor) would have the same OOF like 50 1.2? Never had a 1.2 lens, if they would go cheap, surely would buy some.


PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose it depends on the mount and what your definition of "cheap" is. The Canon 50/1.2 LTM is pricey because it is a Canon LTM lens. But if you don't have to have a rangefinder optic, you can save a lot of money. For example, you can find the Canon FL and FD 55mm f/1.2 lenses for less than $200 on eBay. I own a 55mm f/1.2 FL and a 55mm FD f/1.2 SSC. I'm pretty sure they have the same optical formula. I bought my FL 55 as a package deal with 3 other lenses, paid about $80 for it as part of the package price. I bought my FD 55 as a package deal also, with a heavily worn Canon F-1, although the lens was in nice shape. The owner wasn't aware of the value of the lens, so I was able to buy the outfit for the value of the F-1 alone. I sold the F-1 for more than I spent on the outfit, thus winding up money ahead. I just love it when I can pull off deals like that.

As far as performance goes, I've found both these 55s to be quite sharp wide open with very well controlled CAs. Shooting wide open with one of these lenses can be a real challenge, though. If your subject is fairly close, depth of field will be razor thin. I've found that I have to pay attention to my own body's movement. I cannot move forward or backward at all when shooting at somewhat close distances. This is something of a challenge because I usually don't have to think about my own movement when I'm shooting. But with a 1.2 lens wide open, it is critical.


PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cooltouch wrote:
I suppose it depends on the mount and what your definition of "cheap" is. The Canon 50/1.2 LTM is pricey because it is a Canon LTM lens. But if you don't have to have a rangefinder optic, you can save a lot of money. For example, you can find the Canon FL and FD 55mm f/1.2 lenses for less than $200 on eBay. I own a 55mm f/1.2 FL and a 55mm FD f/1.2 SSC. I'm pretty sure they have the same optical formula. I bought my FL 55 as a package deal with 3 other lenses, paid about $80 for it as part of the package price. I bought my FD 55 as a package deal also, with a heavily worn Canon F-1, although the lens was in nice shape. The owner wasn't aware of the value of the lens, so I was able to buy the outfit for the value of the F-1 alone. I sold the F-1 for more than I spent on the outfit, thus winding up money ahead. I just love it when I can pull off deals like that.

As far as performance goes, I've found both these 55s to be quite sharp wide open with very well controlled CAs. Shooting wide open with one of these lenses can be a real challenge, though. If your subject is fairly close, depth of field will be razor thin. I've found that I have to pay attention to my own body's movement. I cannot move forward or backward at all when shooting at somewhat close distances. This is something of a challenge because I usually don't have to think about my own movement when I'm shooting. But with a 1.2 lens wide open, it is critical.


Thank you for the info.
I am after the bokeh of this lens, and to my eye the LTM version has a unique one. The other Canon lenses you mention do have a nice bokeh too but it is different in my opinion.


PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cooltouch wrote:
I suppose it depends on the mount and what your definition of "cheap" is. The Canon 50/1.2 LTM is pricey because it is a Canon LTM lens. But if you don't have to have a rangefinder optic, you can save a lot of money. For example, you can find the Canon FL and FD 55mm f/1.2 lenses for less than $200 on eBay. I own a 55mm f/1.2 FL and a 55mm FD f/1.2 SSC. I'm pretty sure they have the same optical formula.


Keep in mind that the diagrams may look the same, but the actual geometry may be different, ie. the radius of the surface may differ by a mm or two to improve performance.

FL 58/1.2 is 7E/5G
https://global.canon/en/c-museum/product/fl106.html
https://global.canon/en/c-museum/product/fl107.html


FL 55/1.2 is 7E/5G
https://global.canon/en/c-museum/product/fl105.html


FD 55/1.2 is 7E/5G
https://global.canon/en/c-museum/product/fd157.html

FD 55/1.2 AL is 8E/6G
https://global.canon/en/c-museum/product/fd158.html


FD SSC 55/1.2 AL is 8E/6G
https://global.canon/en/c-museum/product/fd160.html

FD SSC 55/1.2 is 7E/5G
https://global.canon/en/c-museum/product/fd159.html


FD SSC 55/1.2 Aspherical is 8E/6G
https://global.canon/en/c-museum/product/fd161.html

New FD50/1.2 is 7E/6G
https://global.canon/en/c-museum/product/nfd207.html


New FD50mm f/1.2L is 8E6G
https://global.canon/en/c-museum/product/nfd208.html



http://www.marcocavina.com/articoli_fotografici/Canon_FD_50_1,2_L/00_pag.htm


Interestingly, the Nikkor 55/1.2 is nearly identical to the SSC 55/1.2 .


Yashica 55/1.2 ML


OM 55/1.2


For the fun of it, a few more 58mm lenses to compare with the FL 58mm:
Rokkor 58/1.2


Noct-Nikkor 58mm f1.2


And some fast RF glass:

Canon S 50/0.95 is 7E/5G
https://global.canon/en/c-museum/product/s43.html


Canon S 50/1.2 is 7E/5G


Fujinon 5cm/1.2 LTM


Last edited by Lightshow on Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:35 am; edited 4 times in total


PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you! Lightshow Thank you!


PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

About the Nikkor 1.2/55mm

http://forum.mflenses.com/nikkor-55mm-f1-2-s-c-auto-t45644,highlight,%2Bnikkor+%2B55mm+%2Bf1+%2B2.html

http://forum.mflenses.com/nikkor-55mm-f1-2-s-c-auto-some-more-t45822,highlight,%2Bnikkor+%2B55mm+%2Bf1+%2B2.html

http://forum.mflenses.com/nikkor-s-c-auto-55mm-f1-2-t45582,highlight,%2Bnikkor+%2B55mm+%2Bf1+%2B2.html


PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a "user" Canon 50mm f1.2 in LTM which I got cheaply as it had a few cosmetic scratches on the body and its front element had a myriad of tiny superficial scratches due, I can only surmise, to poor cleaning habits by a previous owner. (Note to self do NOT clean lenses with a pot scourer or a handful of sand). At first I thought it was too low contrast but then I found that by stripping the lens down to sort out and clean its internal elements (an easy job - this lens opens up a treat) which seem to fog up repeatedly and hence require this treatment periodically and by using a lens hood to help with the front element issues I could improve things substantially. Incidentally I undertook the above with good grace because I never felt cheated - I knew what I was getting into when I bought this lens and besides I think i only paid $160 Australian (maybe $100 US).

I still find the lens to be rather soft and very "glowy" when shot wide open but do not think this is necessarily objectionable - the effect is not unpleasant with certain types of photo. But when it is stopped down to even just f2, things begin to improve considerably and by perhaps f4 - f5.6 there is not much to distinguish it from its slower siblings . And in any event its overall low contrast at around f2 to f4 and more especially wide open is of course easy to fix in Lightroom if that is what is needed with a given image. Though the wide open glow is not fixable as I said it can produce a nice effect. And I hasten to add that low contrast itself can be beneficial too.

Now I am even more glad of my cheap fast Canon lens but I do find that it is best reserved for certain imagery. I would not be inclined to shoot against strong backlight for example but is otherwise good in higher contrast situations where benefit can be found in its low contrast rendering especially when shooting digital.

In the photo below, from the look of the background this was not shot wide open but it gives a good idea of its rendering shot at (I think) around perhaps f2 - f2.8 (it was quite dark in the market and I could not have taken the shot if I were further stopped down and besides the in focus areas of her face and body indicate a narrow field of focus consistent with that range of f stops). I rather like the pastel result.

Those Eyes - Color by Life in Shadows, on Flickr

The B/W conversion is equally nice I think.

Those Eyes by Life in Shadows, on Flickr


PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of all you've mentioned, I would choose the Nikkor 50/1.2. Below ƒ/2, spherical aberrations add atmosphere to what is still is a high resolution image. Coma galore, glow but the image is quite sharp beneath the effect. By ƒ/2, haze is gone and it is a tack-sharp lens with great color until ƒ/8. As sharp or sharper than present-day Nikon 50's. Best is that you can still buy one new.