Canon RF 50mm f/1.2mm Lens Review

Canon RF 50mm f/1.2mm Lens Review

In the Canon world, one of the most legendary lenses has always been the 50mm f/1.2 L.

It has earned that reputation by being the "standard" focal length flagship that the engineers have obviously always put a lot of work into.

The new RF 50 f/1.2mm is no exception, and from my time with it, it's obvious that the legend lives on.

Let me get something out of the way first: this lens is heavy. At just over two pounds, you can feel it in the bag and on the lens. One of the great things about the R system is that you get full frame in a smaller and lighter package than possible before... yet this lens doesn't really care about being small or light.

But the images that come out of this lens, and the versatility of having a low-light 50mm lens that can blur backgrounds like this far outweighs any of the cons involving size and weight.

Tulip by Jerred Zegelis

This is simply one awesome lens.

First, on the Canon R6, the focus was very fast and extremely accurate. You simply tell the camera what to focus on, and the lens is able to keep up with whatever you can throw at it. It's not a completely silent focusing lens, but it's also not as loud as, say, the much older and cheaper 50mm f/1.8.

Secondly, the background blur that's possible by shooting at f/1.2 is just so much fun to play with. It's not a macro lens, but allows for such blur that it almost seems like a macro at times (and it has strong close-focusing distance of 15.7", which is very good for this type of lens.)

Finally, the images that come from the 50mm f/1.2 and the R6 that I tested it with are just outstanding. The photos needed very little editing in post processing and were sharp and detailed where I wanted them to be.

This lens isn't cheap, but it's one of the best lenses you could possibly purchase. It can make a difference in your final photos and has all the features pros want as well (weather sealing, for instance).

So is it worth the steep price tag? Come in and give it a try in the store and I’m pretty sure you will answer, like me, that “yes,” this lens is worth it.


Blossoms by Jerred Zegelis

Sometimes it's okay to embrace the chaos of a scene! I struggled at first trying to isolate the one flower in the photo, but I realized the photo was more about the overall scene of beautiful, soft colors. So I got back a bit farther and included more of the color into the edges of my frame. Canon R6 with RF50mm f/1.2.


Wild grasses by Jerred Zegelis

What common things do you find beauty in? There's not much more common than this scene in the midwest. With the RF 50mm 1.2, however, the way the background blur renders adds a bit of magic to every day things.


Flowers by Jerred Zegelis

How do you use color in your photographs? Yellow and purple are on the opposite sides of the color wheel, making them perfect to use together. When you see them in the same seen, that's reason enough to take the photo! Photographed here with the Canon R6 and RF 50mm f/1.2, you can also cut out background noise by shooting at extremely wide apertures, making the distracting building in the background less of a problem.


Traffic cones by Jerred Zegelis

What have you stumbled upon in the world that has made you smile? The maintenance crew who set these cones up certainly had a sense of humor. By getting low and using lower depth of field with the Canon RF 50mm f/1.2, it's easy to get your viewer to look at what you want them to by blurring the background.  

Sculpture by Jerred Zegelis

This sculpture is life-sized, and it's natural to want to get the entire piece in the frame when photographing it. But photography is often about details and telling short stories. What story do these hands tell? Canon R6 with an RF 50mm f/1.2.

Head sculpture at Joslyn Art Museum by Jerred Zegelis

Contrast is one of the most powerful elements you can use to make your photos stand out. Normally we talk about contrast in terms of light and dark in photography, but there can also be contrast between structural elements inside of a photograph. This photo has some neat swirling lines in the sculpture, for instance, which contrasts against the harsh angles in the background. Photographed with the Canon R6 and the RF 50mm f/1.2.


Statue and bird by Jerred Zegelis

This is an example of the power of the 50mm f/1.2 from Canon. I was just far enough for this Robin to pay attention to me, but not yet fly away. I only had a few shots available to me, and I wanted to get this little guy perched on top of the sculpture's hat. I didn't have a telephoto, but knew that the 50mm at f/1.2 would separate the background so much that it would still make the small robin stand out amidst all the clutter. When you can't control what appears in the background, it's sometimes fun to see how these lenses working with full frame sensors can control depth of field! Not sure what some of these concepts are, or want a refresher? We've got courses for you on our website!


For more information about local photographer, Jerred Zegelis and to see his work, visit his website -

Take a class with us at Rockbrook Camera EDU, check out our class calendar!

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