How good is the quality of the new FD 50mm f1.2L : LUSENET : Canon FD : One Thread

I've been trying to find out about the optical quality of the FD 50mm f1.2L as compared with the new FD 50mm f1.4. The extra speed is not important to me and I am mainly concerned with f2.0 and above. Thanks


-- Dennis O. Larsen (, February 05, 2002


Dennis, If you're not bothered by the extra speed why not just go for the f1.4? It's known as the benchmark FD lens, held in extremely high regard. And it's much cheaper and lighter than the f1.2. Having said that, being an "L" lens I'm sure the 1.2 is bound to be a top performer, especially when stopped down to 1.4 or 1.8. Not the most technically advanced answer, but it's a start.

Best wishes, Steve

-- Steve Phillipps (, February 06, 2002.

Thanks Steve, I have discussed this with a pretty reliable source, and the opinion was the new FD 50mm f1.4 is a better performer than the earlier FD 55mm f1.2L. The new FD 50mm f1.2L had some significant design changes, and I'm interested in how quickly the corner sharpness picks up, and the overall contrast and freedom from flare of the newer design. Thank you. Dennis

-- Dennis O. Larsen (, February 06, 2002.

I've posted an informal comparison of the "New" FD 50/1.2L, 50/1.4, and 50/1.8, each shot at f:4 at:

I liked the 1.2L and 1.4 over the 1.8 for color rendition, perhaps because the 1.8 is single coated, while the others are multicoated. The cheap 1.8 is arguably at this magnification the sharpest in this particular bunch, and is also the most compact and lightweight. The 1.2L has the most rugged build quality. The 1.4 and 1.2L have a floating-element design, so they should be sharper than the 1.8 at close distances.

Ultimately, I sold off all my various 50mm lenses except the 50/1.2L, because I sometimes want that extra half stop and the wider maximum aperture lets me place the plane of focus more precisely than the others. I always use it with a hood, since that big front element can invite flare.

-- David Goldfarb (, February 11, 2002.

I have had the "L" lens and I have a couple 1.4 S.S.C lenses. Both are very good. I did not like the quality of the 1.8 lens I had. I could not justify keeping the "L" lens for what it cost me as I did not see a huge difference in the quality of the photographs. On my EOS camera lenses I do see a difference in my 70-200 "L" lens. The photos almost appear 3-D and sharp as a tack (even better than my 28-70 "L". Enjoy, jerry

-- Jerry Waid (, March 16, 2002.

That link I posted above no longer works. You can see the comparison shots now here:

-- David Goldfarb (, March 19, 2002.

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