The Canon EOS 5Dmk3 and Canon 50mm f/1.2 L combo

I will be honest… When I was using the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM Lens on my Canon EOS 7D, I was suffering! Focusing was a problem & especially at narrow apertures between f/1.2 & f/2.0, it was quite problematic. Basically the lens will back focus when the subject is near & at times front focuses at infinity. This can drive a sane photographer nuts especially when missing those crucial shots!

For this reason I can never shoot a photo at f/1.2 without reviewing or chimping after the shot. Over time I learned to work around the problem & be patient with shooting wide open especially on a lens which has such a large opening that it felt like shooting with a black hole attached to your camera! I soon learned after scores of similar issues by other users this is something I may have to live with if I wanted to shoot with this lens. Despite the difficulties I hung on to this lens because of the scores of great photos I achieved with it over the past year or so. You can view my 50mm album on FLICKR if you like.

When I first attached the 1.2L on the Mark 3, I wasn’t expecting much difference in the way of my photography workflow. I was expecting to chimp as usual for each shot I took & nothing made me thought otherwise. How wrong I was!

For some reason the 1.2L on the Mark 3 was awesome! Perhaps it is the lateral color fringing correction or perhaps Canon did something to the Mark 3’s focusing system but it seems that all my focusing problems were solved! I mentioned before that 61 AF points didn’t really appeal to me. Give me 9 points I can trust & I will be satisfied. This time however we get 41 AF cross-type points on the Mark 3. Still a tad too many for my liking but I’ll take it. The Mark 3 & 1.2L combo is so good now even at f/1.2, I nail my focuses every time! The only way you can miss is if your subject is moving faster than your shutter speed can handle or it’s basically your fault!

I was out with a bunch of mates doing some group street photography last Saturday & I was able to shoot candid photos of people moving tact sharp even at f/1.2… Something I would never have been able to do on the 7D or my old 5Dmk2. I set the AF to the area focusing & placed it right in the middle & the camera was fast enough to shoot from the hip or at eye level, whichever. I was even cocky enough to challenge my friends to a no chimping street walk! Boy did I get a bunch of very usable shots!

If focusing speed & accuracy is something you look for in a Canon DSLR, this is the camera for you. If you shoot L primes, this is the camera for you. Heck if you shoot Canon…. well…. I won’t continue!

I leave you with some photos taken during my group street photography event. You can view the entire album HERE.


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