With the launch of full frame mirrorless camera EOS R a few months back, Canon, almost after 30 years after introduction of EOS and EF mount, brought in a new lens mount – RF mount exclusively for R system cameras.
What’s new in RF Mount
In terms of technology, the diameter of mount remains the same at 54 mm but the distance between the mount and sensor plane has come down to 20 mm which in future will help in designing better quality compact lenses with wider aperture like f 1.0. Also, there is significant elevation of the electronic communication in the new interchangeable lens-camera system increasing the number of contact pins from eight (current EF) to twelve.
Like any other camera company, Canon is also planning to make a big impression in the mirrorless cameras which will rule the photography profession in times to come.
Image Source: Canon USA
When it comes to choosing a lens, 50mm focal length is a very versatile range which produces a “normal” perspective and field of view similar to the way our eyes see a scene. The images with 50mm appear more natural, without any optical distortion, as compared to photographs clicked with focal lengths which are higher or lower than 50mm. A fixed 50mm lens is ‘must have’ piece of glass in a photographer’s kit bag.
The fixed lenses have another advantage of offering a much wider aperture as compared to zoom lenses where there is a limitation to maximum aperture.
Canon RF 50mm F1.2 L USM lens is one of the lenses which was simultaneously launched with EOS R. Though the previous versions of Canon’s 50mm (f1.2, f1.4, f1.8) can be used with EOS with an adapter, RF 50mm has certain advantages over its predecessors.
One of the major feature is the programmable “Control Ring” built in the lens which allows change of exposure settings. There is an option to set the ring to change Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO besides exposure compensation. It helps in clicking the exact photograph as seen in the viewfinder.
Bokeh and Star Burst
RF 50mm has 10 diaphragm blades as compared to 8 blades in EF 50mm f1.2L USM lens which makes a difference when it comes to aesthetics in photography. The bokeh produced with 10 blades is more artistic and more round which adds to the whole feel in the scene the camera captures.
Shutter Speed 1/64 Aperture f1.2 ISO 200
Shutter Speed 1/64 Aperture f1.2 ISO 100
Not only the bokeh, the star burst is also more artistic with this lens when the aperture is smaller.
Shutter Speed 1/125 Aperture f16 ISO 100
Shutter Speed 1/640 Aperture f14 ISO 100
Minimum focussing distance
The minimum focussing distance of 40cm in RF 50mm which is 45 cm in EF 50mm F1.2L USM.
Shutter Speed 1/125 Aperture f2.2 ISO 100
Shutter Speed 1/80 Aperture f9 ISO 640
Ultra wide aperture
The ultra wide aperture is not only helpful in low light conditions, allows shooting at lower ISOs, it also creates a nice background blur (shallow depth of field).
Shutter Speed 1/64 Aperture f1.4 ISO 640
Shutter Speed 1/640 Aperture f1.8 ISO 100
Shutter Speed 1/80 Aperture f1.2 ISO 160
Shutter Speed 1/3200 Aperture f1.2 ISO 100
Shutter Speed 1/2656 Aperture f1.2 ISO 100
Edge to edge sharpness even at f1.2 with strong resolution and good contrast
The lens is impressive here with edge to edge sharpness in the frame at different apertures including f1.2, the resolving power and contrast are undoubtedly excellent.
Shutter Speed 1/640 Aperture f1.2 ISO 100
Shutter Speed 1/64 Aperture f5.6 ISO 125
Shutter Speed 1/640 Aperture f7.1 ISO 100
Excellent rendering of colours
Canon cameras and lenses are known for reproducing accurate and pleasing colours and this lens is no exception. Even with minimum editing of jpeg files, the colours have been depicted very nicely.
Shutter Speed 1/1600 Aperture f1.2 ISO 100
Shutter Speed 1/2656 Aperture f2.2 ISO 100
Versatile lens for various genres of photography
This is one lens where Canon has really worked hard and the result is a masterpiece, one of the best lenses the company has manufactured. Though heavy weight wise considering the fact that it is built for mirrorless EOS R system, but it fits well on the body in terms of ergonomics and balance. In terms of quality, this lens will surely give the competition a run for their money.
The lens features ASC (Air Sphere Coating) which improve image quality when shooting into backlight to reduce lens flare or ghosting and also come with Fluorine coating on foremost and rearmost lens surfaces to repel dust particles, moisture and water droplets. The coating also makes smears and fingerprints easy to remove without using any lens cleaning fluid.
From portraits to product, landscape and nature, street and travel, wedding, this extraordinary lens is extremely versatile for all kinds of light situations. The fast autofocus(USM), brilliant resolution, ultra-wide aperture, weather-sealing makes the lens a forerunner in this category.
Shutter Speed 1/80 Aperture f1.2 ISO 100
Shutter Speed 1/2000 Aperture f1.2 ISO 100
Shutter Speed 1/80 Aperture f3.5 ISO 160
Shutter Speed 1/64 Aperture f7.1 ISO 1600
Shutter Speed 1/80 Aperture f3.5 ISO 500
Shutter Speed 1/64 Aperture f3.5 ISO 400
Shutter Speed 1/80 Aperture f11 ISO 1600
Angle of view (horzntl, vertl, diagnl)
40°, 27°, 46°
Lens construction (elements/groups)
No. of diaphragm blades
Closest focusing distance (m)
Maximum magnification (x)
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