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Canon 50mm f/1.2 L
FD Aspherical (1980-1988)

Intro   Specs   Performance   Recommendations   More

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Canon FD 50mm f/1.2 L

Canon 50mm f/1.2 L (FD mount, 52mm filters, 13.3 oz./377g, 1.6'/0.5m close focus, about $700 used). enlarge. My biggest source of support is when you use any of these links, especially this link directly to them at eBay (see How to Win at eBay), when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Thanks! Ken.

September 2016   Canon Reviews   Canon FD   Canon Lenses   All Reviews


Introduction         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Recommendations   More

Adorama pays top dollar for your used gear.

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I use these stores. I can't vouch for ads below.

This Canon 50mm f/1.2 L Aspherical Floating-Element lens is the most optically advanced 50mm manual-focus lens ever sold anywhere.

It's got more technology in it than anything from Nikon or LEICA, who have never put aspherics and floating elements in any of their 50mm f/1.2 lenses.

This was one of Canon's flagship lenses before the entire FD line was trashed in 1987 in favor or the EOS autofocus system.



There was only one version of this lens in Canon's "New FD" mount.

Beware: there are many Canon FD 50mm f/1.2 lenses, but only some of them are the superior aspherical L version shown here. Look for the "L" and red band.



This 50/1.2L works on all Canon FD-mount cameras, from early cameras like the FTb of 1971 up to the newest AE-1 Program and New F-1 and T90 of the 1980s.

There is no way to adapt this lens for use on EOS 35mm or digital cameras. The problem is that the back focus is too short, so there's no way to make an adapter that lets an FD lens focus to infinity.

Yes, there most likely are adapters to junk formats like micro 4/3, and junk adapters that use compression optics to mount on EOS, or to let you use the lens only in the closer focus ranges on EOS. Those don't count, which is why this superb lens sell for such little money today.


Specifications         top

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8 elements in 6 groups.

One aspheric element.

Floating-element design for exquisite performance at every distance.




8 blades.

Stops down to f/16.



1.6 feet.

0.5 meters.


Maximum Reproduction Ratio





BS-52 plastic bayonet.



2.5" (65.3mm) by 2.0" (50.5mm) long.



13.285 oz. (376.6g).

13.880 oz. (393.45g), with caps.

14.395 oz. (408.0g), with caps and hood.

18.106 oz. (513.3g), with caps and hood in case.

Case: 3.710 oz. (105.2g).

BW-52A hood: 0.515 oz (14.6g).

Canon specifies 13.4 oz. (380g).



October 1980.



1988, after The Birth of EOS in 1987.



August 2016: about $650 used.

August 2012: about $700 used.

I paid only $321 for this beautiful sample in 2012, complete with hood, caps and case, because I know How to Win at eBay.


Performance         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Recommendations   More

Performance is flawless.

It's sharp and contrasty at every setting.

The biggest limitation is ensuring perfect focus at f/1.2. To my pleasant surprise, my Canon T90 and other cameras work quite well for this. On my T90, it's dead-on at f/1.2 at 3 ft and 10 ft.

Bokeh is fair to poor at 3 ft and 10 ft. Foregrounds are good, but not backgrounds. This is typical for aspheric lenses.


Recommendations         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Recommendations   More

Got and FD camera? You gotta get one of these. These exquisite FD lenses are most of the reason to shoot an FD camera.

If you've found all the time, effort and expense I put into researching and sharing all this, this free website's biggest source of support is when you use these links, especially this link directly to them at eBay (see How to Win at eBay), when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Thanks! Ken.


More Information         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Recommendations   More

50/1.2 L at Canon Museum.


© Ken Rockwell. All rights reserved. Tous droits réservés. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.


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Mr. & Mrs. Ken Rockwell, Ryan and Katie.


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August 2012