Canon EF-50mm f1.2 Lens Question

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by IGregory, Dec 24, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502a


    Does anyone know how to check the manufacture date on the reference lens? I just received the lens today from B&H. The reason for my query is during my research of the lens I read where the early version, 2007/8 there abouts, some photographers were having problem with the lens but the later version of the lens corrected the problem. I can't find the date of manufacturer in the literature nor on the lens. I trust that my copy is a later version being it is 2012. Just curious. Thanks :D
  2. Kebabselector, Dec 24, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2012

    macrumors 68020


    The lens has a code stamped on the rear, the first letter indicates the factory

    U = Utsunomiya, Japan
    F = Fukushima, Japan
    O = Oita, Japan

    The second letter, is a year code that indicates the year of manufacture. Canon increments this letter each year starting with A in 1986 and prior to that, A in 1960 without the leading factory code. Here is a table to make things simple:

    A = 2012, 1986, 1960
    B = 1987, 1961
    C = 1988, 1962
    D = 1989, 1963
    E = 1990, 1964
    F = 1991, 1965
    G = 1992, 1966
    H = 1993, 1967
    I = 1994, 1968
    J = 1995, 1969
    K = 1996, 1970
    L = 1997, 1971
    M = 1998, 1972
    N = 1999, 1973
    O = 2000, 1974
    P = 2001, 1975
    Q = 2002, 1976
    R = 2003, 1977
    S = 2004, 1978
    T = 2005, 1979
    U = 2006, 1980
    V = 2007, 1981
    W = 2008, 1982
    X = 2009, 1983
    Y = 2010, 1984
    Z = 2011, 1985

    My 17-40 L has a code UU0407 which is 2006, sounds about right for when I purchased it.
    My 200 f/2.8 L has the code UA0627 - which I'm assuming is this year (as it's a new lens and I had to wait for it to come in to stock).

    Links: - this link might help if the rear code is missing.
  3. IGregory, Dec 24, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2012

    macrumors 6502a


    Thanks, I located the code, UA0909. In my description I left off the letter L. The correct description is EF 50mm f/1.2L USM. I noticed your list has 2012 to the letter A. If that is correct I presume my lens was manufactured in 2012 based on the two links.

    The problem with the Internet is one can do to much research. Sometimes, the information is confusing.
  4. macrumors 68030


    Any reason you went for the ƒ/1.2 over the 1.4? Just curious....I was surprised to see that sharpness wise the 1.2 isn't a huge gain unless you need other L lens features.
  5. macrumors 6502a


    Well, I can't give you an expert analysis as I am just beginning take up photography as a hobby. I've spent several months reading reviews and consulting with others who have canon cameras and lenses. The 1.2 was recommended. I am aware the 1.4 and the 1.8 are very good lenses. I have a tendency to spend more than I should on toys and my choice of camera and the camera setup are examples.
  6. macrumors 65816


    Your kit choice doesn't match your skill of photography.

    But it's your money.

    BTW, 50 1.2L requires a higher level of experience to shoot, not just point and shoot.

    Have fun shooting!
  7. macrumors 6502a


    True, but I have taken some fantastic shots so far. :)
  8. macrumors 6502

    I have the 50f1.2L and love it.
  9. macrumors 68030


    Oh no doubt! I don't see how you could hate it. I was actually thinking of renting the rarer 50mm ƒ1.0L just to play with extreme low light shots and bokeh. Although the two lenses are very similar in sharpness from what I've heard (when stopped down fast ƒ2.8).
    Well its good that you researched but if you ever have any doubts theres nothing wrong with maybe selling off the 1.2 because you can buy several non-L lenses that are VERY nice. I own the 50 1.8, its sharp but I wouldn't recommend it, I gotta baby it and its very much plastic. But something like the 85 1.8 is truly an amazing lens. My point is you could get several nice prime lenses or say maybe a 70-200 with the money you spent on a prime. Generally I like to say expensive primes are for when you realized you've fallen in love with a certain focal length and/or you've got some experience at the focal length or need ultra high speed lenses. The 5D Mk.III is a great choice, some might say its a bit overkill for a new guy but I say its a rock solid investment that will last a long long time over something like a Rebel (no reason to spend money twice!) BUT prime lenses are a bit different, you do often get what you pay for but sometimes its hard to tell unless you really know what your doing. Of course it is your money but just because you can doesn't mean you should when theres other options. That said I don't think you'll be disappointed ;) I like to think you gotta pay to play!
  10. macrumors member

    My favorite nifty fifty is the Sigma 1.4. Great lens, and excellent value for money. Beats the canon L by a country mile if value for money is the only consideration.

    But I have to agree with a previous poster. The 85mm 1.8 is one of the best lenses in my kit. Even better than some of the L series I own.
  11. macrumors 65816


    Benefits of the 50 f/1.2 include:

    Build quality and DW-R
    Auto-focus accuracy
    Damped focusing ring instead of the Micro USM of the 50 f/1.4
    The f/1.2 aperture that exhibits none of the color fringing of the 50 f/1.4
  12. IGregory, Jan 1, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013

    macrumors 6502a


    Thanks, for me when I am not sure about something that I want I buy I buy the best that I can afford. I was swayed by all the positive comments on B & H. The way I see it, I can't take it with me.
  13. macrumors 6502

    To add to Arogge's comments, Canon's L lenses are much more rugged than their non L glass. I have seven Ls, four non Ls, and one lone Sigma not including my non autofocusing Canon primary lenses for my film bodies.
  14. macrumors 6502a

    I heard that Canon is planning on releasing a new 50mm f/1.4 IS edition. similar to the optically reformulated builds 24 f/2.8,28 f/2.8 and 35 f/2 IS lenses.

    Looks like the entire prime line up is being optically reformulated with new coatings, aspherical lenses, better aperture design and IS, USM and nice focusing rings.

    50mm 1.4 IS would be a sweet lens.
  15. macrumors member


    This is a bit rich IMHO. He may be a newbie to photography, but his skill level may far exceed some old time photogs. I know some teens who make incredible images far exceeding my 20+ years in photography.

    As for the 50L, I owned one a few years ago, sold it, and just bought another one. And yes, I've owned and shot the 1.4 version too. There's little comparison between the two apart from the focal length. The 50L is one of the great lens. Quirky? Yes, but worth every effort spent to master it.
  16. macrumors regular

    I totally disagree. Buy the best glass and trust your research.

    You don't have to be a pro to use good glass.

    I am not at all impressed with nzed's advice to you. Take a look at nzed's photos. He is no pro.

  17. macrumors 65816


    I never did mention I was a pro did I? I'm a newbie as you can get.
    Im giving MY advice to IGregory, not you. If you disagree, fine, its your opinion. But dont come around and be a smart A**. Because youre not.
  18. macrumors 6502a

    +1 Sigma is a great lens for the money, most reviews suggest sharper and cheaper than canons 1.4, but not quite as contrasty, and colours maybe a tiny bit flatter...which is a 2 sec fix in LR

    I had the 1.8 and it was soft soft soft, sold in on, I bought my copy 2nd hand again most reviews suggest it be sharp so i think i might have got a bad copy, it wasnt even as sharp as my 55 250 at 80 mm at the same aperture :(

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