Leica Showcase Canon 50/1.2 in Leica Thread Mount

BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
Canon's super-speed lens of the 1950s.

This is important if you get one of these lenses and want to use a filter with it: The front element curves out unusually far from the base of the filter threads. Canon made a special filter for this lens, the glass is placed at the very top of the filter in order that it not hit the front element of the lens. A push-on type hood was used, the filter is not threaded for a hood. The special filter and hood combination avoids vignetting as would occur using a standard filter and hood. An easy solution is to use a 55->58 step up ring, and 58mm filters and hoods. This is what I do for the 7Artisans 50/1.1.


When looking for one, be sure to have inspection and return privilige. The surface behind the aperture blades is subject to haze, coating damage, and glass etching. Get a good one, classic old-school rendering. I have had two of them, but sold the second one after getting the 50/1.1 Nokton.
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BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
On film, on the Canon 7. This lens is well balanced on the Canon 7, Canon P, and Leica M3. I also used it on the M2, the F1.2 was a stretch for the 0.72 finder.
 
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BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
I just received my third Canon 50/1.2 on a Canon V-T Deluxe. My Christmas present to myself- Camera, Lens, and me- all made in 1957.
This Canon 50/1.2 has near-perfect glass. That is rare, both of the lenses I had before had damage to the surface just behind the aperture blades. Canon may have changed the lubricant later in the run, or someone had the original lubricant removed and replaced before the glass on this lens was affected. There were over 45,000 Canon 50/1.2 lenses manufactured, but finding a clean one is difficult.

Test shots on the M9- more to come in the next few weeks. Focus is perfect on my M9.

The fence test, at f1.2, f1.4, f2, and f2.8 respectively:
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BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
These are all wide-open, "this is just a test".

This lens is over-corrected for spherical aberration, which "spreads out" the depth of field. At F1.2, this is an advantage. The 7Artisans 50/1.1 uses the same trick. The 7Artisans 50/1.1 is the lens to compare this one with. Both are about the same price, about the same speed. Not much difference between F1.1 and F1.2. The Canon lens is a Double-Gauss, 7 elements in 5 groups. The 7Artisans lens is a Sonnar design, very similar to the 1950s Zunow 5cm F1.1.
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BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
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All wide-open at F1.2. Straight exports to JPEG using all LR6 defaults.

Merry Christmas! Well, Santa was good to me- and to Nikki. And I got to use my Christmas present to take pictures of Nikki opening hers.

As this is a "showcase" thread- This Canon 50/1.2 is free of the usual damage to the inner elements, and the images show it. Compared with the two that I owned 10 years ago, more contrast, less flare, and deeper colors. Much the same reason the Summarit often gets bad reviews- haze building up and ruining performance. The difference- most Summarits clean up well, the damage to Canon lenses gets into the coatings and glass.
 

BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
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Two pictures of the lens, correct filter, and home-made hacked lens hood. I used an Olympus clamp-on hood for the 35~70 zoom, and an inexpensive 58mm vented hood- took the rubber hood off the Olympus clamp-on ring, and used JB Weld to put the vented hood on. 24 hours to cure, it is solid.
 

BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
We went to the Skating Rink today, I brought the Canon 50/1.2, 7Artisans 50/1.1, and 7Artisans 75/1.25. I stopped the 7Artisans 50/1.1 down to F1.2...
My general impression: performance on the clean-glass 62 year old Canon lens is very good- perfectly usable wide-open. This and the 7Artisans lenses are comparable for performance and price. The 7Art lenses are more "Asymmetric" designs, following the Sonnar family of lenses. The Canon is a Planar, but unusual in that it is a 7element in 5 group design, the front element of a traditional Planar is split into two elements of lesser power.

All shots wide-open. This lens has more contrast, and flares less than the two 50/1.2's that I had over 10 years ago. Finding a clean-glass 50/1.2 is hard. As with many old lenses, I suspect that condition of the optics plays into the online reviews that have been done.
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BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
As mentioned before, "Third time is the charm", this 50/1.2 has perfect glass. Most 50/1.2's have damage to the surface behind the aperture. I am very happy with these results, they represent the performance of this lens as it was designed- not the effects of age. I also took the Canon 50/1.4 with me, have similar shots.

I shot each setting at F1.2 and F1.4, to compare with the Canon 50/1.4- which will be in a separate thread.

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BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
All with the Canon 50/1.2, pairs of photographs at F1.2 and F1.4.

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