Canon EF 50mm F/1.2 L USM Review

Canon EF 50mm F1.2 L USMCanon EF 50mm F1.2 L USM

Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM – Overview

The Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM has been around for some time. Most amateur photographers believe that the time of the lens ended with the decline of SLRs.

However, professionals are proving them wrong with some of the most beautiful photographs using the 50mm lens. If you, too, are interested in knowing more about this before buying the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM, then you’ve come to the right place.

The EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM brings the high quality you would expect from Canon. The lens optics are top-notch and produce crisp images. The lens is also extremely durable and ideal for use in varied weather conditions and terrains. The price is remarkably affordable if you prioritize all-around quality.

Let’s take a detailed look at some of the important aspects of the lens.

Specifications of Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM Lens

  • Focal Length – 50 mm
  • Max Aperture – f/1.2
  • Lens Design – 8 elements in 6 groups
  • Diagonal Angle of View – 46° (with full-frame camera)
  • Focus Adjustment – Auto-Focus with full-time Manual
  • Closest Focusing Distance – 1.48 ft. / 0.45 m
  • Filter Size – 72 mm
  • Max Dimensions (D x L) – 3.4 inch x 2.6 inch / 85.4 mm x 65.5 mm
  • Weight (lens only) – 545 grams / 19.2 oz.

Features of Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM

Similar to its predecessors from the EF lens range from Canon, the 50mm f/1.2 can be used with APS-C sized and 36 x 24 mm sensors.

It delivers its dedicated 50 mm focal length with the APS-C-sized sensor and provides 80 mm lens capabilities with the latter, especially with Canon’s entry-level DSLRs.

When you compare it with a zoom lens, the EF 50mm f/1.2 has a simpler lens design – 8 elements in 6 groups. A single non-spherical element is integrated to reduce common aberrations.

The lens is covered with Super Spectra coating to successfully prevent ghosting and light flare. The shape of the lens element has been selected to suppress the reflections off of the image sensor and produce sharp and high-contrast images.

The metal and high-quality polycarbonate give the lens barrel its durability. It has a sleek semi-matte finish and a signature narrow red ring to identify the L-series lens.

The red ring is marked just in front of the 14mm wide focusing ring, which also comes with a ridged rubber grip for efficient handling in wet and moist conditions.

The lens barrel also has an Auto-Focus/Manual-Focus switch on the left rear of the distance scale, which is located beneath the transparent window.

The distance marks are in meters and feet, with seven steps starting from 0.45 to infinity. In addition, an engraved depth-of-field scale can be seen on the lens barrel behind the distance scale.

Besides, the lens is also unique in the way it has infinity compensation and infrared compensation marked on its barrel.

The infinity marks help to adjust focus for small shifts that develop with temperature fluctuation. Ideally, the infinity mark aligned with the vertical line on the L-shaped mark is suited for a normal temperature range (up to 30° Celsius).

For higher environment temperatures, you can use the manual focus through the viewfinder when capturing distant objects.

The infrared index adjusts focus when shooting with monochrome infrared films. This is especially useful if you use SLRs.

As opposed to other DSLR lenses, the minimum aperture of this lens is f/16 and not f/22. The minimum aperture also helps prevent diffraction restrictions at small aperture settings as compared to other lenses.

The Auto-Focus is powered by a ring-type ultrasonic motor (USM), which utilizes high-frequency vibrations to focus the lens swiftly, almost silently.

An in-built CPU and advanced Auto-Focus algorithm help accelerate the AF speed and avoid focus over-shooting simultaneously.

Although the lens does not sport an in-built stabilization system, it offers excellent handling and max wide aperture to capture stunning shots with slow shutter speed in dim lighting without the risk of a camera shake.

The eight diaphragm blades come together to a circular aperture and produce an impressive bokeh effect.

The Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM lens works incredibly well with EOS 40D and EOS 5D bodies but you may find it heavier with light, entry-level camera bodies. The specific lens design makes it incredibly balanced with a wide-enough focus ring that operates with near-silent smoothness.

Applications and Uses of Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM

The Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM is a must-have for every professional photographer. It is an ideal prime lens and is considered an excellent choice for varied situations.

You can use this lens for portrait photography, family outings, weddings and events and landscape and wildlife photography.

This lens proves its worth as a primary lens and is advisable as part of the necessary accessory for every serious photographer.


The Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM is an incredibly efficient accessory for almost all types of photography.

This lens replaces numerous other lenses and is significantly better than many in its class. We recommend you buy the EF 50mm f/1.2 from Canon if you are looking for an affordable yet good-quality DSLR lens.

See Also

Canon EF 24 70MM

Best Sony Lens for Landscape

Best Cameras for Astrophotography

Camera Polarizer Lens

Follow us

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.