Workaday Lenses

I have too many lenses in my bag. Time to work out which ones are keepers, which ones go on ebay. The longer lenses aren’t represented here, but it’s chilling to see the difference 3 stops makes on the Canon 50 1.2. At f2.8, it’s a stunning bit of glass, but it’s up against the formidable Nikkor 17-55mm and the ‘almost L’ Canon 17-55 with IS – both starting at f2.8 and performing well.

However, the Canon 50mm f1.2 actually AT f1.2 is very disappointing. The whole point of getting a 1.2 is to use it as wide as possible. and at 1.2 and 1.4, there’s an odd double-image. Compared to the Sigma 50mm 1.4, it just isn’t happening. The Sigma starts well, but gets uninspiring after 2.8 (not on this video – but I’ve experienced this on my DSLR). There are better lenses at this aperture, so it’s only useful for that small window between 1.4 and 2.

This was a very rushed test as the model was very expensive. It cost me a whole bag of crisps to hire him for a brief interlude between Lego sessions. Hence, no separate white set for Vari-ND – hence green cast – and bungled attempts to test for parfocal performance (holding focus whilst zooming).

The Sony Kit Lens converts an FS100 into a pretend EX1 with its very wide range, and previous tests demonstrate that f8 on this lens is equivalent to a respectable f2.8 on a half-inch sensor camera – ‘just enough’ DoF.

What’s missing is the longer end: from 80mm to 200mm – I’ll need to compare the Sony Kit Lens with my Tokina 80-200 f2.8 (which really needs support that I don’t have yet) and my Canon FD 135mm f2.5. But it’s gone all rainy today, so that will have to wait.

In conclusion, the Canon 50mm f1.2 will probably go, usurped by the lesser Sigma 50mm f1.4.

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