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Gear Rumors

New Canon 50mm F/1.2L In The Works?

By Anthony Thurston on March 11th 2015

Could Canon be gearing up to replace their 50mm F/1.2L lens? The popular lens was first released in 2001, making it 14 years old this year, and a prime candidate to be brought up to date with the latest tech.


If a new report on the Canon rumor mill is any indication, we could be seeing a replacement for the 50mm F/1.2L late this year or early in 2016. The catch is that it is not the first lens on the plate to be replaced, that honor goes to the 35mm F/1.4L, apparently.


The dilemma that has faced many Canon shooters lately has been to upgrade to the 50mm F/1.2L or the Sigma 50mm F/1.4 Art. The Sigma lens outshines the 50mm F/1.2L in almost every way, with just a few slight exceptions, and with the price difference, I’m sure that Canon is missing out on 50mm F/1.2L sales to the Sigma.

[Related Update: Canon RF 50mm F/1.2L Lens Review]

A new 50mm F/1.2L would improve the lens optically, bringing better image quality, to a point – you would think – that would match it better against the Sigma. It would also usher in a new age of auto focus performance, as the current 50mm F/1.2L was released just at the dawn of digital and the twilight of film; a new version could be optimized to focus better with digital systems.

Sigma 50mm F/1.4 DG HSM Art

I can see plenty of reasons to upgrade the 50mm F/1.2L, as I am sure you can too. The key for if it becomes a hit like the current version is/was, will be the price. Gone are the days of Canon and Nikon being able to charge exorbitant prices because their lenses had little to no competition. The Sigma offerings changed that, and Tamron is not far behind (though not in prime lenses), so if Canon wants to charge the world for this lens, it will need to back it up with performance and features that the Sigma can’t match.

It will be interesting to see how that all plays out, and our first look at that will be when Canon announces their new 35mm F/1.4L…

[via Canon Rumors]

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Jeff Morrison

    Looking forward to it….

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  2. Stephen Velasquez

    When Canon came out with the 24-70 mm f/2.8; I knew they had something big to bring out the best in that lens. They are making lenses to get the most out those 50 MP sensors.

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  3. Adrian Jones

    Gosh Canon Please update the epic-ly slow auto-focus in my 85 1.2 L II !!!

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  4. Graham Curran

    “a prime candidate to be brought up to date with the latest tech” – deliberate pun?

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  5. Kim Farrelly

    I was able to buy both the 35 & 50 Art for the price of the EF 50mm f/1.2 L
    Not really any decision in it either. Canon needs to make a ridiculously great optical lens or reduce the price or a bit of both to get back in the game.

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    • adam sanford

      Agree — all the Canon L lenses offer over their Sigma Art counterparts are slightly more reliable AF, weathersealing, and a fancy red ring. They sure as hell aren’t any sharper.

      That’s a terrible upcharge for so little added value.

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    • Kim Farrelly

      Terrible is it. All the empty spaced in my bag filling up with non red rings, so far detached from my purchase plan of a few years ago but little or no loss in usability. Canon should be worried as there is now one or Mr. Zack’s, sorry, Fuji’s cameras in there now too.

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    • Rafael Steffen

      I agree totally!

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    • Rafael Steffen

      Let’s see and wait for what they will offer. The lasted king of Bokeh is when NIkon Released their new 58mm F/1.4! Amazing lens, but very expensive.

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  6. adam sanford

    First the nifty fifty rumor and now this. I love how Canon is replacing the two 50 primes that it’s customers *aren’t* screaming for.

    Ugh. The 1994 non-L EF 50mm f/1.4 sort-of-USM — a staple, all-purpose tool — needs the IS refresh/modernization change so much more desperately than pros need a new 50L. Why Canon made IS refreshes for the 24/28/35 and then stopped short of doing the same for the 20, 50, 85, etc. is beyond me.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      Yeah man, it is quite baffling. Though, there was some chatter a while back about the new F/1.8 replacing both the Nifty Fifty AND the F/1.4, so if thats the case, then maybe Canon is letting their F/1.4 die a slow death…

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    • adam sanford

      I don’t mind a new 50 merging the budget and nicer product lines, even if it’s f/1.8. But if it’s STM and not USM focusing, they will not see a dime from me.

      But personally, I believe Canon will always offer three 50s (disregarding the lesser used 50mm f/2.5 Macro) — ‘budget/simple’ (nifty fifty f/1.8 non-USM), ‘workhorse/utility infielder’ (50 1.4 USM, with IS someday), and a ‘no compromises/prestige item’ (50 1.2L).

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  7. Marlin Woodruff

    competition, is a beautiful thing…

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