Canon 50mm F1.2 LTM lens Review
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I am a big fan of large aperture lens and bokehliciousness images. Since I already have possession of the Schneider Xenon 50mm F0.95 lens that I could not justify spending another 3k on the Canon 50mm F0.95 lens. Alternatively, I had my eye on a similar Canon offering: the Canon 50 F1.2 lens. This is was introduced by Canon in 1956 and it was the fastest mass market lens available in Leica Thread Mount at that time. This lens is less than a stop slower than the Canon's famous big brother and the prices is only about a quarter of the F0.95 lens.
Size and Build Quality
There are two chrome versions of this lens and also a limited completely black version made specifically for Black rangefinders. The lens in this review is the version one of this lens imprinted "CANON CAMERA CO. Japan" on the front of filter thread.
The Canon 50mm F1.2 LTM lens is much smaller and lighter than the Canon 50mm F0.95 lens, it weights at 323grams compared to 605grams of the F0.95 lens. The Canon 50mm F1.2 LTM has similar build quality to the F0.95 lens and built with Canon's signature black and satin chrome finish. Overall, the lens feels well built and feels solid in the hands.
Image Quality and Rendering
The Canon 50mm F1.2 LTM lens is comprised of 7 elements in 5 groups and with aperture range from f/1.2 to f/22. There are 11 aperture blades with a minimum focusing distance of 1 meter. The filter size thread on this lens is 55mm and filters may be applied accordingly.
The rendering of images is very similar to the Canon 50mm F0.95 lens. Certain photographers buy that lens because they love the bokeh produced by it. In this case, the Canon 50mm F1.2 lens does not disappoint in this regard and offers that typical Canon bokeh. The Canon 50mm F0.95 is also well-known for its "softness" when shot wide open, which has the reputation for been a "perfect" portrait lens. In terms of wide open performance, the F1.2 lens surpasses its bigger brother and offers higher resolution and sharper images when shot at F1.2. When stopped down, the sharpness of image progressively increases and peaks at F8. The best resolution is provided at F4 and in terms of sharpness this Canon lens can compete with other lens brands in Leica LTM mount to produce very detailed images when stopped down.
The Canon 50mm F1.2 lens is in Leica Thread Mount (LTM) and can be mounted on
any traditional Leica Screw Mount camera. To use this lens on the Leica M mount then an adapter is required to convert from LTM to Leica M mount. It is a simple type of adapter and there are many offerings but to allow the lens work flawlessly with great calibration then a well-machined adapter is necessary. I highly recommend buying the genuine Voigtlander or Novoflex LTM to M adapter as they are extremely well-built and will not incur any "loose play" like the cheaper eBay adapters.
It is an amazing lens that can be had for a relatively cheap price that works like a charm on any Leica rangefinder camera. Most importantly, it is a fun lens to shoot withand offers a very unique rendering.