F/1


…I went “all the way” on my 50mm lens purchase.

In an attempt to really get excited about switching to digital, I went “all the way” on my 50mm lens purchase. I bought the most expensive and rare 50mm Canon lens, the 50mm f/1.0. Previously I had used the 50mm 1.4 and 1.2 and couldn’t really differentiate between the two, they both were really amazing lenses. Even the 1.8 I know is a great lens. The 50mm focal length has been such a flagship focal length for most 35mm brands over the years that they’ve been able to make really good ones that are inexpensive. After hearing back from a well known commercial photographer through email about his experience with the lens over the past 8 years I decided I had to give it a go. A decent price seemed almost impossible to find as I began my search. I checked internet forums and had seen complaints about faulty “soft” versions of the lens that existed as quality control apparently wasn’t up to par on the lens. The consensus seemed to be it just wasn’t worth the money. Most comments seemed to be from people who didn’t own the lens though, so I wasn’t deterred and kept the search going.

I ended up making the move and dropped a little over $3,000 to get a bargain on one that I found that was in impeccable shape. It came to the price of two nice “L” Lens essentially, but I feel like I got something really special in the lens. Having a full extra stop of light and the quality of the high ISO’s on the new digital cameras has made shooting in the lowest of light possible. Actually getting one in focus at the razor thin depth of field of 1.0 or 1.1 has made me want to bring my camera out at night, something I rarely did before. Street lights, candles, neon signs, and iPhones have become fun new light sources to use. The ghosting and flaring is also obnoxious at this aperture but I can’t get enough of it. Rainbows begin to appear from bright light sources at 1.0, an effect my friend Grant calls “throwing bows.” There is no doubt the lens has a vignette effect as well but personally I think it works in a lot of situations. I use the lens at all kinds of apertures but below are all shots using the Canon 50mm f/1.0 lens at 1.0 with either a 5D Mark II or the 5D Mark III.


    COMMENTS

  1. Mitchell

    These are epic Bryan. Nice work!

  2. Tyler

    I rented this lens for a weekend and it was unreal. This set of photos is amazing

  3. Damon Redd

    good stuff brother… keep it up.

  4. Rodrigo

    Yeah dude!!!! these are all so good. I was smiling the entire time was looking through the photos. Thanks Bear!

  5. Jake S

    Amazing.

  6. Lance Moss

    Epic!! Nice work buddy!!!!

  7. Scott

    that bokeh is unreal. really nice work.

  8. Ultimate Lens Bokeh From The Canon 50mm F1.0 | Fstoppers

    [...] for around the same price that it sold for used over 15 years ago, around $4000.One of our readers Bryan Soderlind was lucky enough to find this lens in perfect condition for just $3000. He did what any good [...]

  9. Molly

    These are INCREDIBLE! So, so beautiful.. My jaw dropped at every single photo.

  10. schu

    I have too many favorites to name. Awesome shots, beautiful people; so envious of that lens!

  11. Joshua Barnett

    Fantastic! Love the shots!

  12. Using the Rare Canon 50mm f/1.0 and Its Bokehliciously Thin Depth of Field

    [...] can find more sample shots over in this blog post by Soderlind. If you’d like to buy one for yourself, you can keep your eyes peeled on sites like eBay or [...]

  13. Canon EF 50mm f/1.0 lens sample images and lens bokeh | Camera News at Cameraegg

    [...] You can see more sample images taken by Bryan Soderlind . [...]

  14. Fred

    Very good ones, Bryan !

  15. Bryony Dixon

    Wow man these shots are amazing!!!! I love the strange bokeh that comes out of that lens…. the potrait shots are so well done that the lights add a mist of magical blasts of color and atmosphere… Great work!!!

  16. Canon EF 50mm f/1L - A Rare Lens With An Amazing Bokeh | CanonWatch CanonWatch

    [...] [Bryan Soderling via PetaPixel] [...]

  17. Bjoern

    Normally I’m all about clean sharp files but I really like the rainbow effect and the bokeh. It’s not “another focal length” in your bag it’s another artistical tool in your bag.
    Once you’ve learned to master the razor thin depth of field there’s a whole new world of photography with this lens, thanks for showing that world to us. The images are awesome!
    Ciao Björn

  18. PJ McKenna

    This is unreal!

  19. tuvieja

    Claro ejemplo de q el equipo no hace al fotógrafo.

    Clear example that the lens or the camera does not the photografer

  20. tuvieja

    Claro ejemplo de q el equipo no hace al fotógrafo.

  21. lk

    Great lens choice! Your photos are personal and perspective so great! Thanks for sharing!!!

  22. Dan

    When I got the 50 1.2 L, I thought I was the baddest mofo in Florida. Then I saw these photos with your 1.0. It appears the position has been taken. Wow, amazing!

  23. An Interesting Article: Using the Rare Canon 50mm f/1.0 and Its Bokehliciously Thin Depth of Field « Jeremy's (almost) Daily Musings

    [...] can find more sample shots over in this blog post by Soderlind. If you’d like to buy one for yourself, you can keep your eyes peeled on sites like eBay or [...]

  24. DONY PRASTYA KESUMA

    Cool pictures!!!

  25. Nir

    Amazing photos with amazing Lens !!
    WOW

  26. رحلة في الماضي // العدسة كانون EF 50mm f/1.0L USM | حكاية صورة ،

    [...] المزيد من العينات. [...]

  27. رحلة في الماضي // العدسة كانون EF 50mm f/1.0L USM | حكاية صورة ،

    [...] المزيد من العينات. أنشر التدوينة:ShareShare on Tumblr Pin ItEmailPrint [...]

  28. FotografNuntaIasi

    This is the old f1. Am I right? Anyway I need one of this.

  29. arunrajasekaran

    So soft, I don’t know why Canon manufactured it. But still its expensive for the price,I have used the cheap 1.8 its better I think.

  30. Ultimate Lens Bokeh From The Canon 50mm F1.0 « Nuyoka & Co.

    [...] Bryan Soderlind was lucky enough to find this lens in perfect condition for just $3000. He did what any good photographer would do and went out and shot tons of gorgeous shots at F:1.0 for us all to enjoy. As you will notice, the lens isn’t very sharp but keep in mind that the depth of field is probably less than a millimeter and although you normally pay more for your lens to be sharp, in the case of the Canon 50mm 1.0, you are actually paying extra for the blurry bokeh. [...]

  31. Abhi

    I have been craving this lens since I learnt what photography was all about more than a decade ago. It almost seems magical.

    Awesome captures!

  32. aserasri

    epic shots by epic lens. Great jobs, bro.

  33. Lens Bokeh | La vita in immagini

    [...] Bryan Soderlind was lucky enough to find this lens in perfect condition for just $3000. He did what any good photographer would do and went out and shot tons of gorgeous shots at F:1.0 for us all to enjoy. As you will notice, the lens isn’t very sharp but keep in mind that the depth of field is probably less than a millimeter and although you normally pay more for your lens to be sharp, in the case of the Canon 50mm 1.0, you are actually paying extra for the blurry bokeh. #gallery-16860-1 { margin: auto; } #gallery-16860-1 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 25%; } #gallery-16860-1 img { border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; } #gallery-16860-1 .gallery-caption { margin-left: 0; } [...]

  34. Swarna

    Just unbelievable! Wish Sony make one for us :)

  35. Páteček: Patnáctka je tady! « Milujeme fotografii – vše o digitální fotografii

    [...] stahovat a zdarma na 30 dní vyzkoušet. Z dění ‚venku‘ mě nemohly nechat klidným fotografie Bryana Soderlinga, který investoval do objektivu Canon 50 mm F1,0L USM. Tento jednokilogramový ‚drobeček‘ se [...]

  36. browserFruits Oktober #2 - kwerfeldein - Fotografie Magazin

    [...] • Bryan Soderlind hat das Canon 50mm f/1.0. Es hat ihn $3000 gekostet, aber die haben sich seiner Meinung nach gelohnt. Und die Fotos (Bokeh!) sind zugegebenermaßen… krass. [...]

  37. O.

    You spend over 3000 $ for a lens with horrible onion bokeh? Maybe you should go with Leica, just for image quality.

  38. Ian Marshall

    Are there any restrictions on copying these images as low resolution screen dumps and using them in a talk on the technical aspects of lenses?

  39. ferdz

    if i have this lens, i will be shooting all day long for life! :)

    nice pics!

  40. damon redd

    this is just amazing stuff. I want that lens so bad…

  41. Karina

    Best album! Worth every penny!

  42. ultrapix

    Awesome work. Don’t care about other brands fan boys, your eye is well over any gear!

  43. Jônathas Thiago

    Suas são únicas e perfeitas. Essa lente faz milagres.
    Parabéns pelas fotos.

  44. Chancho

    Does it work in low light situations…. no reason. Just curious

  45. Lance Campeau

    Really nice array of shots… fun, colorful and hugely visually appealing from the standpoint of subject and photo technique.

  46. Sean J

    These pics prove that ‘sharpness’ isn’t the be-all end-all. These portraits rock! I wish I didn’t have to ‘settle’ for my f/1.2L.. Lol. If I only had a spare $3500-$4000…

  47. 50mm f/1 What?!? | SuzanneDuBosePhotography

    [...] http://journal.bryansoderlind.com/uncategorized/f1.html [...]

  48. رحلة في الماضي // العدسة كانون EF 50mm f/1.0L USM | حكاية صورة ،

    [...] المزيد من العينات. شارك هذا المقال | CanonCanon EF 50mm f/1.0L USMcanon lensLens ← Previous post Next post → تابعنا على [...]

  49. Canon EF 50mm f/1L USM Lens Review (Ken Rockwell) | CanonWatch CanonWatch

    [...] The lens can be found on eBay for around $4000, much more than the original retail price. Another review of the lens can be found at Bryan Soderlind’s site. [...]

  50. Enjoy the beautiful Bokeh at Aperture F/1.0 |

    [...] lenses in terms of bokeh and depth of field is very shallow. According to Bryan in the article on her blog, these lenses are designed to be worn in its largest aperture at [...]