View Full Version : Opinions on Canon Lenses 50/1.2 & 50/1.8
I Recentlly got back my first shots with a 50mm lens (VC 50/1.5) I have only ever shot wides and ultrawides. I am very pleased with the results and was looking to get a small 50/2 and a fast 50/1. Trying to stay away from leica glass and looking at Canon alternatives I was wondering if anyone here could commment on the 50/1.8 (later black version) and the 50/1.2. Is the 50/1.8 as sharp as a Summicrom as some people say? Should I save for a leica 50mm or are the Canons just as good? Would appreciate your thoughts and example pics?
Of the 2 Canon lenses you ask about, I only have the black 50/1.8. Yes, I would say that it is as sharp as my roughly contemporaneous 50/2 Summicron (late 1950's "rigid" version). I've read that the Canon 50/1.8 & the 50/2 Summicrons have similar optical designs, but don't know if that's true. What I do know is that while they produce similar results (typical 1950s high res, low contrast), the Canon is @ least $100 US cheaper here in the States.
The 1.8/50 is a very usable lens. I had one coming with my first Canon-P (later black series), this was very sharp but missing contrast due to fungus (looks like fogging) which could not be completely removed. It seems that this kind of "fogging" appears very often at this particular lens-type. Now I have a earlier chrome version, clear as a star and much better mounting. The chrome outline keeps better over the time. As far as I know the optical design is the same. The first slides look very auspicious. Attention to flare with side-light. All these 1950's 1960's lenses performs better with a hood. If you are common with Voigtländer modern coated glass you will notice that straylight is no problem for them. For Canon's it is!
The 1.8/50 chrome has virtually the same compact size and weight as the Canon 1.5/50 (Sonnar type), my favorite allround lens (same filter -40mm- too). It's seldom I really go for the high speed hammer Canon-7 &0.95/50 lens... it usually stays in the showcase and looks imposingly.. ;)
I'm not familiar with the 1.2/50 but I would suggest it's not an allround lens either: weight/size, shading the finder, more difficult to focus. This was the first Canon Planar design with 7 elements/ 5 groups from 1956. The 1.8/50 (6/4) will tend to much less flare. From stories I heard, I wouldn't expect a better performance at f/1.2 than with the later (1961) 0.95/50 wide open, which was build with newer glass-sorts. I think for the price (the 1.2/50 goes for less than a 1.4 or 1.5) it's an excellent lens.
Canon 50mm F0.95 (For Canon 7 Only, some modified for Leica M: EXPENSIVE)
Canon 50mm F1.2 (Can be used with LTM-M adapter)
Canon 50mm F1.4
Canon 50mm F1.8 (Joe owns this lens now, traded to him)
I like them all.
I have both the Canon 1.2 and 1.8. The 1.2 is usable and has a nice quality to the out-of-focus areas, but if you want modern-style contrast and sharpness, the 1.8 is a better choice.
It is noticeably better at 1.8 than is the 1.2 when stopped down to 1.8.
The only contemporary Leica lens I have ever owned was a 50/1.5 Summarit, and the 50/1.8 Canon is substantially better.
I can't compare it to the Summicrons of the same vintage since I've never had one of those. (If someone would like to lend me one for a few months, I'd be happy to snap some comparison shots!)
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