Canon EF 50mm 1.2 First Impressions

Photo B&H.com

Photo B&H.com

Although I intend on putting together a more intensive review of the 50mm 1.2, after I put it through its paces, I though it would be fun to write an initial post based on my first impressions of the lens. First of all the thing is beautiful, as we speak it is sitting on the desk bedside my computer and I can not stop staring at it. I feel like the creepy little teenager eyeballing his crush at the jr high dance, it's just that beauty. In the past I have shot with its big brother the 85 1.2 so I knew before purchasing it that the lens would be quality in regards to its build and feel. It is a tank, weighing in at almost a pound and a half, not something that would impressive the weight conscience mirrorless crowd but who asked them anyway eh? There is just something about the feeling of a beast of a lens that fits in the palm of your hand that makes my giggle, just a little. To pack that much high quality glass into such a small package is simply amazing. After a closer inspection of the front and back elements you really notice the quality and thickness of the glass that gives the lens its weight. The body of the lens is a sleek yet rugged looking metal that is wrapped with a rubber focussing ring. This ring is supple and moves very fluidly throughout the focusing range. Although the lens does not extend or retract through the focusing stages, it does move slightly inside the lens barrel therefore I will be purchasing a clear filter in the near future to help with added protection from the elements. I am not a huge proponent of uv filters but with glass like this I will be using one when I am out shooting outdoor adventure type stuff, where the elements can at times sneak up on me. I once filled my 17-40 f4 up with dust after shooting a heli take off and landing a number of times. Since then I have decided why not throw that extra protection on in times when it is needed. In a more controlled environment, like a portrait sessions or wedding, I will leave the filter in the bag because I really don't like putting a cheap piece of glass in front of $1600's worth of glass. Anyway, enough about my opinions on uv filters. The lens also comes with a nice stout hood and Canons signature velvety lens pouch. 

As far as my initial thoughts on the performance of the lens, I am giddy. The bokeh is drool worthy at 1.2 as well as at smaller apertures but honestly I bought this lens to shoot it wide open. I want that look that the 1.2 provides and in my opinion if you are going to shoot smaller than wide open you should just stick with the 1.8, because for $100 it is an incredible lens. I know, because that is what I upgraded from. On a full frame body shooting wide open you are bound to miss now and again, with a razor sharp DOF this is just something you just have to come to terms with. As far as the focusing goes it is relatively fast. For such a fast lens it performs well. I can say for certain that it definitely out performs the 85mm 1.2 in the fast focus game. 

As far as my initial reaction to the lens I am super impressed. Great build quality, and so far no issues with performance. I am excited to get it out working for me and when I do I will put together a more meaty review.