I recently took advantage of a lens rebate offered by Canon, which said if you purchased two lenses together, you could get a rebate on both of them. So I got $100 off my new EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L and $50 off the EF 50mm f/1.4. I had my eye on this second lens since I got the EOS 6D a couple years ago, so I took the opportunity to pick it up at a small discount, at the same time I upgraded from my 70-200mm to 70-300mm. All these photos were taken in my back yard.
This photo was taken very near the lens’ minimum focal range (without closeup filters added). In other words, I manually focused the lens at the close distance end of the scale, then moved the camera to get the dandelion in focus. I think for most applications f/1.4, focused at this distance, has too narrow a depth of field to be really useful. Not enough of the subject is in focus.
For this apple blossom in my back yard, I used f/2.5 in order to get enough of the flower in focus. You can still see how abrupt the change from sharp focus to bokeh blur is with this lens.
This photo gives you an idea of how narrow the depth of field really is, close focusing at f/1.4. Again, the transition from sharp to blurred happens in a very short distance, and not as gradually as with many other lenses. This is one of the main branches of the apple tree.
These are the wooden slates on the seat of a park bench. I converted to black and white in post processing to put emphasis on the texture and illustrate again the shallow depth of field. No other lens I have, including my EF 35mm f/2 IS, gets an effect like this.
This lens is replacing the EF 50mm f/1.8 II, which I used for nearly 20 years, even on my old Canon EOS Elan II film camera. Upgrades are a metal (vs plastic) lens mount, a more solid build quality, a larger maximum aperture (1.4 vs 1.8), and a quieter USM auto focus motor.