Most of our regulars here know about my love affair with the focal length of 50mm. I do have some other nice glass in the bag but it mostly stays there. What's more, I have come to realise that zooms don't inspire me. Somehow—quite contrarious to what one could assume—I feel I can get closer (in a figurative sense) to the subject with a prime than with a zoom, no matter what the focal length in question is. Consequently, I sold my 24-105/4L already some months ago. And I have pondered selling my 16-35/2.8L II too. The reason why I have kept it so far is that I can't think of a decent prime lens at the lower end to replace it, the (excellent) 14/2.8L being too extreme and the 20/2.8 enjoying a rather ambigious reputation. But I'm running off the track...
What I actually wanted to say is that after some tests in the store and a pretty long evaluation period I finally purchased a 50/1.2L two weeks ago. Since this lens has raised some interest here in the forum and since it's only one f-stop away from the well-known 50/1.4, I thought you might be interested in a little comparative test.
It shall be understood that this test is by no means professional or representative (see further explanation in the review). However, thanks to the direct comparison of the identical test images for numerous f-stops I think it still allows us to gain an impression of the quality and characteristics of these two lenses. So, I hope you enjoy it:
Lens comparison: 50/1.2L vs 50/1.4
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Due to extensive use of CSS (to make all these numberless crops display neatly side-by-side) the test site may not display correctly in IE 6. Try Firefox or Safari instead (or IE 7 if you can't live without Microsoft).