A New Generation of Lenses RF 50mm f/1.2L USMRavi Dhingra | Canon Photomentor

Category: Tips & Tricks | 09 April 2019

After 30 years of EOS and EF mount DSLRs, Canon launched their first full frame mirrorless camera – EOS R a few months back. With this launch, Canon introduced 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, i.e., 54mm but the distance between the mount and sensor has come down to 20mm. This, in future, will help in designing better quality compact lenses with a wider aperture like f/1.0. Also, there is a significant elevation in the electronic communication between the new interchangeable lens and camera system, which is possible due to the increased number of contact pins from eight (8) in current EF lens to twelve (12).

Like any other camera company, Canon is also planning to make a big impression in the mirrorless cameras segment which will rule the photography profession in times to come.

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 a ‘must have’ piece of glass in a photographer’s kit. Fixed lenses have another advantage, they offer a wider aperture as compared to zoom lenses where there is a limitation to maximum aperture.

Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens is one of the lenses of the RF system which was launched with EOS R. Though the previous versions of Canon’s 50mm (f1.2, f1.4, f1.8) can be used with EOS R using an adapter, the RF 50mm lens has certain advantages over the EF & EF-S lenses.

One of the major feature of these lenses is the in-built programmable “Control Ring” which allows change of exposure settings. There is an option to set the ring to change Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO besides exposure compensation. It helps in clicking the exact photograph as seen in the viewfinder.

Bokeh and Star Burst

RF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens has 10 diaphragm blades as compared to 8 blades in EF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens, which makes a difference when it comes to aesthetics in photography. The bokeh produced with 10 blades is more artistic and round, which adds to the whole feel in the scene captured.

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

Minimum Focusing Distance

The minimum focusing distance of 40cm in RF 50mm f/1.2L USM which is 45 cm in EF 50mm f/1.2L USM.

Shutter Speed 1/125 Aperture f2.2 ISO 100

Ultra-Wide Aperture

The ultra-wide aperture is not only helpful in low light conditions, that allows shooting at lower ISOs, it also creates a nice background blur (shallow depth of field).

Shutter Speed 1/3200 Aperture f1.2 ISO 100

Edge to edge sharpness even at f/1.2 with strong resolution and good contrast

The lens is impressive with edge to edge sharpness in the frame at different apertures including f/1.2, the resolving power and contrast are undoubtedly excellent.

Shutter Speed 1/640 Aperture f1.2 ISO 100

Excellent Rendition 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 are depicted beautifully.

Shutter Speed 1/1600 Aperture f1.2 ISO 100

Versatile lens for Various Photography Genres

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. Considering it is built for mirrorless EOS R system, the lens is heavy, but it fits well on the body in terms of ergonomics and balance. In terms of image 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. The Fluorine coating on foremost and rearmost lens surface repels 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, and weddings, this extraordinary lens is extremely versatile for all kinds of light situations. The fast autofocus (USM), brilliant resolution, ultra-wide aperture, and weather-sealing make the RF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens forerunner in this category.

Technical Specifications

IMAGE SIZE: Full Frame

ANGLE OF VIEW (HORZNTL, VERTL, DIAGNL): 40°, 27°, 46°

LENS CONSTRUCTION (ELEMENTS/GROUPS): 15/9

NO. OF DIAPHRAGM BLADES: 10

MAXIMUM APERTURE: f/1.2

MINIMUM APERTURE: 16

CLOSEST FOCUSING DISTANCE (M): 0.40

MAXIMUM MAGNIFICATION (X): 0.19


Ravi Dhingra

Ravi Dhingra is a Delhi based Lifestyle photographer specialising in Interiors, Food, People and Product photography. He has been associated with leading publications, advertisement agencies and corporate clients. His work has been widely published in various books, magazines, brochures and on Web. He is a Canon Photo Mentor and also a visiting faculty for photography at various leading Institutes.