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Canon 55mm f1.2: Slow afternoon with a fast lens

Discussion in 'Street, Documentary, and Portrait' started by Luckypenguin, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. Yesterday I decided to take my Canon FD 55mm f1.2 S.S.C. (non-aspherical) into the city with me. It's something that I would rarely do since the lens is so big and heavy. Given that the fast aperture is the main reason to use this lens I fitted it with a circular polariser (I don't have an ND filter) to reduce the light transmission through the lens and allow me to open it up. It's a great lens, but if I'm honest I'd say that I'm glad that I didn't pay market value for it because the difference between it and a 50mm f1.4 or even f1.8 lens is fairly minimal. f1.2 has a definite glow which means that the usable aperture starts at the half-click between f1.2 and f2. It has a nice "character" to it, but then so does my OM Zuiko 50mm f1.8 (which I would use at f1.8).

    So on a value for money or performance for weight basis it doesn't score very high, but it's still hard not to like it.

    All images shot with an E-PL1










    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 4
  2. KVG

    KVG Banned User

    May 10, 2011
    yyc(Calgary, AB)
    Kelly Gibbons
    Nice set :) 

    I found the same kinda thing with the 58mm 1.2 (massive heavy lens) I just sold. I never used it because using a super tak was way more user friendly. I still like the 20mm way better anyways :^)

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 App
    • Like Like x 1
  3. weaselnoze

    weaselnoze Mu-43 Rookie

    Oct 1, 2011
    Can you share your post processing technique? I love the color of these captures!
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  4. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    Love #1, #5 and #8 :smile:

    I agree with your comments with regard to the 50mm f1.4 and f1.8... My experience in Pentax-land is that there is very little, if any, difference in sharpness from f2 onwards between the 50/f1.2, 50/f1.4 and 50/f1.7 - in fact I'd probably say that the f1.7 is sharpest of the lot stopped down...

    You buy an f1.2 for f1.2, and you're wasting your money if you buy it for anything else :wink:
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Yep. Autofocus, right? You convince yourself that you don't need it, but when it's there you don't know how you lived without it.

    Hi, thanks!. These were processed using a combination of Nik Silver Efex 2 and Color Efex 3. The B&Ws I tend to overexpose using the (aptly named) "Overexposed (EV +1)", or otherwise "Fine Art (high key)" to get a bit more texture. I then bring the shadows back down to a pure black by adjusting the tone curves in photoshop. The tinted B&Ws have also been taken into Color Efex and had one of the "Cross Processing" filters applied at varying strength depending on how strong I want the tint. Subtle seems to work the best.

    Thanks mate. This lens either matches of perhaps even beats the smaller FDn 50/1.4 and 50/1.8 for sharpness when stopped down, but when it is opened up it has more of a "vintage" look whereas the newer 1.4 and 1.8 lenses look a bit more clinical.

    Incidentally, this is a picture of the rig used above (including polariser and hood)...


    ...but perhaps it isn't so big after all

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