Samyang has announced a fast 50mm prime lens for full frame Canon DSLRs. The Samyang XP 50mm f/1.2 is the third lens in Samyang’s premium XP series, which has the motto “Excellence in Performance” and already includes the XP 14mm f/2.4 and 85mm f/1.2.
The 50mm f/1.2 is a manual focus lens, so it’s going to need a certain amount of focusing care and skill to make the most of its potential for shallow depth of field effects at wide lens apertures. With lenses this fast, a focus error of just a couple of millimetres can make all the difference between eyelashes being in or out of focus and optical viewfinders are not designed for this kind of pinpoint focus accuracy, so manual focusing in live view mode is likely to be the answer.
Samyang has designed the XP 50mm F1.2 with optical quality firmly in mind, for resolution in excess of 50 megapixels for stills photography, and 8K for video. Samyang says it’s optimised for portraiture, with sharp detail rendition, low light capability, shallow depth of field and beautiful bokeh from its 9-bladed diaphragm. The optical design includes 11 elements in 8 groups and incorporates aspherical and high-refractive lens elements to minimise distortion and aberrations.
As always with Samyang lenses, the pricing is very keen. The XP 50mm F1.2 will go on sale in March 2018 at £799.00. That’s little more than half the price Canon’s own 50mm f1.2L USM, which uses a less complex optical design but does have autofocus.