Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 USM L - Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (Full Format)

Sample Images

Click on an image for downloading the full-size variant.

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R
ISO Speed100
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/1.2
Exposure1/200s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R
ISO Speed250
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/1.2
Exposure1/60s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R
ISO Speed125
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/1.2
Exposure1/60s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R
ISO Speed100
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/1.2
Exposure1/500s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R
ISO Speed100
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/1.2
Exposure1/640s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R
ISO Speed200
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/8.0
Exposure1/640s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R
ISO Speed200
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/1.8
Exposure1/8000s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R
ISO Speed200
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/2.8
Exposure1/3200s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R
ISO Speed100
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/1.8
Exposure1/8000s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R
ISO Speed100
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/1.2
Exposure1/4000s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R
ISO Speed100
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/1.2
Exposure1/8000s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R
ISO Speed200
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/8.0
Exposure1/500s

Competition

As of the time of this review, there are only a handful of native RF lenses available so competition doesn't really exist. If you really want to go down the dreadful route of using a converter for using Canon EF lenses, you could use all/most of these lenses albeit this remains cumbersome as all adapter solutions. You could also use the already mentioned Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 USM L but you shouldn't go there really. The Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 USM L is a magnitude better really. From a value perspective, the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 HSM DG ART may be interesting but then again - what's the point of using an even bigger lens on a smallish camera. That would somehow defy the purposes of choosing a mirrorless system in the first place. If you haven't decided to go Canon R yet, it is, of course, worth to take Sony into account. Sony/Zeiss are offering no less than 5(!) 50mm(-ish) lenses for Sony E mount by now. The Zeiss FE 50mm f/1.4 is a little slower but it's also a magnitude more affordable than the Canon lens. We haven't tested this one yet but we heard good things about it.

Visual comparison courtesy of camerasize.com.

Verdict

Let's start with a disclaimer: Any verdict has to be very preliminary at this stage - it's our first review using the EOS R after all. Also, keep in mind that the 30-megapixel sensor is rather average in terms of resolution today.

That all being said, it is quite obvious that the Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 USM L is an awesome lens ... with a similar awe-inspiring price tag. In relation to other lenses in this class, the performance is already superb at f/1.2. Yes, the outer image region is not truly stellar but it's impressive nonetheless. The image quality is extreme at medium aperture settings - across the image frame that is. Low lateral CAs contribute to the very high image quality perception. Image distortions are generally no issue. Vignetting is though - at least in its uncorrected state. There is some heavy light-falloff at f/1.2 and f/1.6 but to be fair - that's to be expected. Most users will not (should not?) buy the lens for its sharpness but for its shallow depth-of-field capabilities. While not truly exceptional, the bokeh is very good with a smooth rendition in the focus transition zone. Out-of-focus highlights are nicely rendered in the image center, less so towards the image corners. However, that's a physical limitation really. We were also very impressed by the very low bokeh fringing. Yes, you may spot some traces at f/1.2 but it's not really relevant anymore from f/1.6 onward - and that's a very rare characteristic. Thumbs up for that.

In terms of mechanical qualities, there are no real weaknesses. The lens is built to professional standards including weather sealing. The AF is surprisingly fast thanks to Canon's dual-pixel AF and the Ring-type USM drive in the lens. You won't really miss a DSLR in this respect (in this specific case at least). Unlike on DSLRs you also don't need to worry about AF accuracy anymore. You may think that the additional control ring at the front of the lens is a bit of a gimmick but it has grown on us during our field trip.
Given its optical and mechanical qualities ... as well as its uniqueness in the EOS R system ... it is, of course, easy to highly recommend the Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 USM L ... assuming that you can afford it at least.

Optical Quality:    
★★★★★
Mechanical Quality:
★★★★★
Price/Performance:
★★★★★