Canon 50mm 1.2 versus 1.4
SAMUEL (QUESTION): What do you think of the Canon 50mm 1.2L?
PHILLIP VAN NOSTRAND (ANSWER): Samuel, that is a fantastic lens. It’s an L series lens, which means it is durable, weather resistant (don’t be afraid of some rain!), and has higher quality glass than other lenses. BUT! Ken Rockwell has an interesting review on the Canon 50mm 1.4, which is the lens that I have, and costs about 1000 dollars less. You should check out a few different review sites that compare those two lenses. Do a Google search for “Canon 50mm 1.2 versus 1.4.” The 1.4 actually focuses faster, and is much lighter and more portable. The only thing that it’s missing is that beautiful red band around the lens.
Is the 1.2 worth the extra thousand bucks? I think not. If you have the money to spend and want to have the best, top gear, then go for it! I would still check out Craiglist like I mentioned in my last post.
What you own doesn’t make you a great photographer. Learn how to be great with what you have. Once you feel the limits of your equipment, save and upgrade. If you don’t know or appreciate the difference between a Canon 50mm 1.8 and 1.4 then stick with the 1.8. It will give you great images. If you really must have the best, buy used. Lenses don’t depreciate in value (camera bodies do!). A Canon 50mm 1.4 that you buy now, you could sell for about the exact same price in five years. I know this for a fact, because I still see the 50mm 1.4 selling for exactly what I bought it for about five years ago.