Canon EOS 50/1.0L

by Philip Greenspun; created 1995

Site Home : Photography : Canon EOS 50/1.0L

This is the fastest lens on the market today. It costs over $2500. It is huge and heavy, a solid cube of optical glass. The image quality it produces is almost certainly lower than what you'd get with a 50/1.4 or 50/1.8. There aren't too many good reasons to own a 50/1.0 but sometimes you really do need that extra stop.

Note: unless otherwise noted, images on this page are from my Summer 1994 travelogue and are Fuji Super G ISO 400 print film.

Here's a simulation of an Aegis missile cruiser's control room. Lots of dim displays and video monitors. f/1.0 and 1/15 if memory serves. I braced my elbows on armrests to steady the camera.

Inside Elvis's house (Graceland) looking at his coffeetable and EP paperweight. This was f/1.0 and 1/60th or maybe f/1.2 and there isn't much depth of field but somehow that seems to make the letters stand out better.

Bourbon Street

Niagara Falls, Canadian Side. Everyone knows that they light up Niagara Falls, right? Well, apparently not after midnight in the low season. f/1.0 and 20 seconds with Fuji Velvia (ISO 50).

Rendezvous. Memphis, Tennessee. A rib joint in Memphis. Low light. Noisy crowd. The perfect place for a $700 SLR and $2500 lens. How else would you capture the scene? Would you believe a $120 Yashica T4 set on a table edge, self-time, flash off? ISO 400 film.

Oh yeah, it seems to work OK for regular photography.

Text and pictures copyright 1995 Philip Greenspun