Showcase Canon 50mm f/0.95 "Dream Lens"

Discussion in 'Adapted Lens Sample Image Showcase' started by NullMind, Jan 31, 2015.

  1. NullMind

    NullMind TalkEmount Regular

    Jan 17, 2015
    I was able to find me a mint dream lens in December, as some of you know, this lens is over 40 years old, and only about 20,000 of them were produced, in a time Canon had money to burn !

    While it will be converted to M mount in the next month or so, you can use it with this adapter from eBay.

    To start, an iPhone picture of this fantastic lens on the Sony A7R

    What a combo ! by Carlos 'NullMind' Rego, on Flickr

    I must say, this lens is not for everybody, it is soft wide open, and forget about focus peaking, once you zoom in (focus aid) the focus peaking is nowhere to be seen, but thanks to the focus zoom it's very easy to focus manually anyway.

    But it took me a while to "get" this lens, the first few pictures I took were way too soft, I grew disappointed, but later realised it was mostly due to technique, and now I am finally able to get much more our of the lens

    The first picture I was happy with was this one of a calf by the side of the road in the Azores, the bokeh is simply amazing (yes, it is subjective and tastes vary)

    Moo Bokeh by Carlos 'NullMind' Rego, on Flickr

    I started to try and test some lens flare, and the results were very pleasing (the tree is also in the Azores)

    Naked Tree by Carlos 'NullMind' Rego, on Flickr

    But finally last night I got a photo that I was really happy with, I was out in London with my GF to have dinner and decided to try to get a portrait with some bokeh, just a spontaneous shot with local light, and for the first time I got some face sharpness I was truly happy with, yes it's not sharp like my Zeiss 85, but thats not this kind of lens :)

    I actually endup with the face being a bit too sharp, the light angle made all the bumps in the face appear, so I smoothed it, otherwise my GF would rip one of my limbs ;)

    But the thing to look at, the background .. it's obliterated !, the lights have this great "halo" bokeh to them, and there is this "dreamy" quality to the picture, I can finally see where the name comes from :)

    16409241801_016cbcde34_b.jpg Val @ Night by Carlos 'NullMind' Rego, on Flickr

    I will post more as I start to better use this lens, but so far I have a feeling it will stay on my bag for the next 40+ years :)
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  2. christilou

    christilou TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Nov 26, 2012
    Surrey, UK
    It's just right for the calf picture, sometimes the bookeh is a bit too much but mostly I like it :)
  3. fractal

    fractal TalkEmount Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 17, 2014
    Southeastern PA
    Amazing lens!

    Lucky you!
  4. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Any lens is going to be difficult at that F Stop, but you can get some great images.

    We'll done
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  5. NullMind

    NullMind TalkEmount Regular

    Jan 17, 2015
    Thanks, it is a difficult f stop, but when you nail it ... Beautiful
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  6. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Interesting lens. I've seen them on ebay from time to time and been tempted, but managed to resist. I may need to put one back on my wish list. :)
  7. Lisandra

    Lisandra TalkEmount Veteran

    Jan 28, 2015
    amazing bokeh indeed, im a big fan of super busy bokeh. I subdued my overwhelming desire foe such a lens with the mitakon batlens, but still its tempting...
  8. Boily

    Boily TalkEmount Rookie

    Nov 6, 2014
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  9. Austrokiwi

    Austrokiwi TalkEmount Regular Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2014
    22nd District Vienna
    Ian Fenn
    I picked up an example of this lens recently. I had considered getting it for some time. I did have some apprehension about the lens, apprehension that has in part been confirmed. Produced in the 1960s the lens was never designed for modern camera's. It has two features that make it attractive to some and "junk" to others. Wide open subjects can have a glow about them. I believe the glow( which is very reminiscent of the glow produced by the Leitz 90mm Thambar) is due to spherical aberration ( which one person has suggested to me was designed into the lens), the second feature is of course the bokeh. The lens has 10 straight aperture blades, which do not at any point form a circular aperture. Even with out the circular aperture the Bokeh is phenomenal! I think the Bokeh easily beats that produced by the Rokkor 58/1.2( however I don't have an example of that lens so can't make a comparison. The weakness's of the lens are directly related to its advantages. Wide open contrast is poor. To combat this I now use a JJC 72mm lens hood which I have lined with self adhesive black-out material from Edmunds optics. This does raise the contrast to more acceptable levels but looking hard at the lens I think the main issue is internal to the lens. Internal reflection is a huge problem when the lens is wide open Its not just a matter of the optics reflecting light but also the visible inside surfaces of the lens barrel. I have taken to adjusting contrast in editing. The other issue is the Lens' resolution is no where adequate to the Sony A7rII. The sensor of the A7rII resolves to Group 6 element 3 on a standard 1951 USAF resolution Target. I tested the Canon and at the very best it only gets to Group 5 element 3. Those who know what I am referring to will see from the photo below that my assessment is probably over optimistic:

    resolution test reduced.jpg

    The above picture also demonstrates the poor contrast. Given the low resolution of the lens, it may well be better matched to the A7s and A7sII. I didn't bother testing for CA I honestly don't see the point.

    My example of the lens is in extremely good condition and I paid Just on €2500 for it( Price included a canon 7S body). Reading what I have already written you might think I am rubbishing the lens. Let me disavow that impression, when its on my A7rII and I am using it its almost impossible to stop smiling. Its a great big heavy hunk of metal and glass. It is so big I find it hard to fit my fingers on the cameras grip( between the grip and the lens), but I enjoy the lens so much I will be buying Sony's vertical grip to get round that annoyance. As far as I am concerned the money I spent was well worth it. To get the best out of the spherical aberration and bokeh you have to use techniques very similar to those needed when using Lomography's 85mm Petzval lens. The background needs to be full and placed the same distance behind the subject, as the camera is in front of that same subject. I would assume any one who owns a Ferrari is going to drive it fast... likewise any one who has this lens is going to shoot with it wide open, however like a number of soft focus lenses stop the lens down, and you loose the aberration and the image becomes acceptably sharp. I haven't got any samples taken a night that are worth posting, but my experience so far says this lens is a night time lens. Later in the week I will be taking it out for a night time play.... I expect to be impressed. Here are some samples to show you what is making me smile, and the third photo shows the F4 performance. If you want a perfect lens go Zeiss!, if you want uniqueness and challenge and the price doesn't scare you then this is a lens to look at.

    ! bokeh 1 reduced.jpg

    Bokeh 2 reduced.jpg

    f4 reduced.jpg
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2016
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  10. Austrokiwi

    Austrokiwi TalkEmount Regular Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2014
    22nd District Vienna
    Ian Fenn
    At night : WOW! Vienna flower shop on the Ring.jpg
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  11. Austrokiwi

    Austrokiwi TalkEmount Regular Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2014
    22nd District Vienna
    Ian Fenn
    Christmas decorations.jpg
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  12. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 10, 2015
    Nice bokeh balls. :)
  13. johnson4096

    johnson4096 TalkEmount Regular

    Dec 23, 2016
    Dan Johnson
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