Canon FD 55mm F1.2 SSC ASPHERICAL - photo's with lens wide open.

Discussion in 'Canon FD' started by dirk_dom|1, May 8, 2008.

  1. Two weeks ago Boris Ilktac asked for photo's with the 55mm F1.2 SSC ASPHERICAL, taken with the lens wide open at F 1.2. I had never used this lens wide open, but I promised him I's shoot a film. Here are some results. I shot with a Canon F1, on AE, with Fuji Reala 100 ASA. I didn't use a ND filter, so all shots were overexposed. Negative film has enough exposure latitude not to worry about it, however. Ther shots were taken in a forest in Belgium, in very sunny weather. This first shot, of a fern, shows out of focus highlights. To my surprise the lens shows bad bokeh. Stopped down a little, this bad bokeh disappears.
  2. The second shot is of chestnut tree leaves. Again this bad bokeh.
  3. The third shot is of my young friend Sydney, a 17 year old photography student. He uses my T90 in his first Macro shooting session. You can see that the foreground is unsharp, so is the background, but less than I expected.
  4. Leaves at about 2 ft distant, F1.2
  5. This shot of a forest lane is at infinity focus. I wish you could see the print: it's razor sharp, edge to edge. Colours are very good, too. Not bad for F1.2!
  6. Yellow flowers at 3ft, F1.2
  7. Daisiesat minimum focus distance. This shot was in the full sun, and it was three stops overexposed. F1.2.
  8. The bad bokeh was a complete surprise to me; The reason I've never used this lens at F1.2 is that I have the awesome FD 85mm F1.2. I use this lens wide open almost all the time. It has absolutely great bokeh.

    Anyway, it was fun, and now that I've figured out how to post photo's, I'll do it more.


  9. The bokeh on the "grass at 2'" pic looks like someone was in the middle of a photoshop task and quit without finishing. These are a bit psychologically "disturbing" to me (but I'll recover), used to seeing forest shots in focus from near to far. Have you tried this on people portraits? I like that effect more. thanks for posting. Tom
  10. sorry i meant "leaves at 2 ft".. I've been in possession of Canon's EF 135 f2 lens for a couple weeks now, it's bokeh wide open blows everything else I have away. My FD and EF 85 1.8 are generally decent wide open also.
  11. I was also a little surprised at the less than awesome bokeh. I used to have the 55 1.2...the one before they were marked with SSC...and the bokeh was not that bad. An example of people portraits would interesting to see.
  12. Look at this old thread. I've had the same experience with my 50/1.2L, which is a similar lens. I actually prefer the out-of-focus rendition I get with the 50/1.4.
  13. The photo of the tree lined road would have looked nicer at f/11. The 55/1.2 Aspherical is famous for its high center resolution but some subjects just look better with more depth of field.
  14. Thank you so much for posting Dirk. The Asph draws pretty close to the later 50L. Bokeh can be a bit busy, as demonstrated.

    Here's the New FD 50/1.2 L
  15. Later that day
  16. awahlster

    awahlster Moderator

    The bokeh problem is directly associated with the points of light coming thru the trees you are getting burn out on the film in those points. I would have liked to see the same filtered sunlight shots taken with a 50mm f1.8 or 50mm f1.4 to see how they would have handled the task.
  17. I am very surprised at the very poor bokeh of this lens. It is a lens that I had always wanted as a previous FD user. I have always been very pleased with my Nikon 200/2 and Zeiss 85/1.4 wide open. I have read that critically sharp lenses can be hard to design to provide excellent bokeh at the same time. The 200/2 seems to have achieved this but is also one of the most expensive lenses available. The 85/1.4 appears to have achieved a balance by being relatively soft wide open to provide superb bokeh and razor sharp once stopped down 2 stops.

    I too would like to have seen how the other 50mm lenses would have handled the various scenes.

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