The Canon 50mm f/1.0 was the fastest SLR lens in production before it was discontinued in 2000 and replaced with the f/1.2. There aren’t too many copies of this lens floating around on the used market, so photographers who want to use the ridiculous aperture it offers must pay a hefty premium in order to purchase one; the lenses commonly sell for two or three times the original retail value.
When reader Bryan Soderlind switched from film to digital a while back, he decided to splurge and go “all the way” by buying a 50mm f/1.0 for a little over $3,000 — a relative bargain. The lens was in “impeccable shape” and was in focus even when using the razor sharp depth of field at f/1.0. Here are some of his thoughts on what it’s like to use the lens, and some sample photos from his shoots.
Canon is reportedly working on a followup to its popular 50mm f/1.4 lens. Canon Rumors reports that it has received tips on the lens being tested in the wild and published on some equipment price lists. Unlike the reasonable ~$370 price tag found on the current version, this new lens will reportedly hit shelves at a price of $849. Hopefully that price is a typo though, or thrifty fifty diehards won’t be upgrading to it anytime soon.
(via Canon Rumors)
Canon’s 50mm f/1.8 Mark II is a terrific lens for its price, but its build quality definitely leaves something to be desired. Do a quick search, and you’ll find legions of broken-hearted Canonites who had their ‘Nifty Fifty’ split into two pieces after accidentally bumping or dropping it. Flickr user tastygiant is one such Canonite, but he subsequently discovered an awesome use for the broken lens:
Being a geek, I figured I could use the broken pieces in the future, so I shelved it and bought a new 50mm 1.8 Canon lens. One day, while taking shots around my apartment, I stumbled across the broken lens again and decided to reverse the “barrel assembly” onto the front of my intact 50mm. Everything was blurry of course, but I noticed if I got very close to an object the detail came into view. After adjusting the aperture to around f5.6, I had a clear image.
It’s important to note that you should switch to Manual focusing and rotate the focusing ring to “infinity”.
Here’s something you’ve probably never seen before: a white “L” version of the cheap Canon 50mm f/1.8 (AKA the “nifty fifty”). No, it’s not an uber-rare and expensive special edition. It’s a custom paint job by Clubsnap forum member nntenzo. After painting the lens with paint mixed from three $1 tubes, he used a laser printer and decal paper to add the lettering and decals back onto the lens. The resulting lens is one that will definitely befuddle any Canonite who happens to catch a glimpse of it… It’s a conversation starter for sure.
50mm f1.8 L (white colour) (via DigitalRev)
Shortly after startup lens maker Noktor went out of business, a company called SLR Magic decided to acquire the brand and continue the Noktor project. Now, the company is planning on launching a 50mm f/0.95 “HyperPrime” lens for the Leica M mount. It’ll be a 6-bit coded lens that’s significantly cheaper than the Noctilux lenses offered by Leica.
(via Steve Huff Photos)
Who says you need a heavy and expensive lens to capture a beautiful shuttle launch photograph from far away? After the Space Shuttle Endeavour blasted off yesterday on its final mission, one of the photographs that went viral was shot from an airplane using an iPhone. Another was this stunning photo made by Trey Ratcliff using a Nikon 50mm prime lens while thousands of photographers around him were holding massive lenses.
Even though I had my Nikon D3X set up on a tripod with my 28-300 lens, I actually shot this picture with my 50mm prime lens on my Nikon D3S! Everything did go according to plan, and I had run through the routine a few times before the launch. The plan was to fire away on my main body during the first 15 seconds or so. At that point, the D3X starts to have bufferring problems, so I switched to my Chewbacca-bandolier D3S. I pulled it up into a vertical orientation and rapid-fired just as the shuttle tore into the clouds. [#]
You can read more about the shot over on his website here.
Image credit: Photograph by Trey Ratcliff and used with permission
After being accidentally leaked on Nikon’s website a couple weeks ago, Nikon’s new AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G lens was officially announced today. The lens — compatible with both DX and FX DSLRs — features an unusual aspherical element that typically isn’t found in lenses like this. It will be available starting June 16th for $220, which includes a lens hood.
Looks like Nikon has a new 50mm lens primed for announcement. Earlier today a AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G product page appeared on Nikon’s website, but was quickly pulled — but not before it was already widely reported (here’s a screenshot of the page). The lens features a Silent Wave Motor for quiet focusing, and a “newly developed optical system employing an aspherical lens element”. It will be compatible with both DX and FX format cameras. No word on when this lens will become official or how much it will cost.
(via Nikon Rumors)
Darren Chan recently attached his $6,500 Leica Noctilux 50mm f/1 lens to his Sony NEX-5 camera using an adapter in order to test out the unique combo. As you might expect, the combo is great for creamy bokeh and doing nighttime street photography in areas with low light.
Some years ago Canon offered a f/1.0 version of its 50mm L lens. They’ve since stopped manufacturing lenses faster than f/1.2, and US-based company Noktor thinks there’s an opportunity for relatively affordable “hyperprime” lenses.
Today, it announced the Noktor HyperPrime 50mm f/0.95, a manual focus lens designed for Micro Four Thirds cameras. The $750 lens will begin shipping on April 15th, but the company is accepting preorders on their website. In addition to Micro Four Thirds, the company has a poll asking which mount it should design lenses for next.
Here’s a photograph shot with the lens showing its low light performance:
One of the problems with having such a large aperture is that the resulting depth-of-field is so shallow. The lens, being more than a stop faster than an f/1.4 lens, could be very difficult to focus correctly for shots were precision is needed. It was one of the complaints people had against the Canon 50mm f/1.0, though that lens was autofocus.
It’s interesting to see another lens company pop up for a specific type of lens, just like Lensbaby and its creative focus lenses.
P.S.: Various sources are saying the lens is almost identical to the Senko 50mm f/0.95 C-mount CCTV lens.