Canon 50mm f/1.4 – first shots

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.

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Dandelion – 50mm, 1/750 @ f/1.4

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.

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Apple Blossom – 50mm, 1/4000 @ f/2.5

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.

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Moss DOF – 50mm, 1/350 @ f/1.4

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.

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Bench DOF – 50mm, 1/1000 @ f/1.4

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.

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