Anyone singling out any lens as "the best" is putting themselves in the firing line for controversy and criticism, but that hasn't stopped a YouTube megastar from citing a $2,300 optic as "THE BEST PRIME LENS. Period."
Peter McKinnon – who is such a monarch of internet photography and videography that Canon picked him to introduce the Canon EOS R5 (opens in new tab) in its official announcement video – has claimed that the Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L USM (opens in new tab) is not only the best prime lens on the market, but perhaps the only one you need to have in your camera bag.
• Read more: Best 50mm lenses (opens in new tab)
As you'd expect, he highlighted the shallow depth of field, beautiful bokeh, wide-open sharpness and relative lack of bulkiness as the lens' strengths. Though he also noted a number of shortcomings, such as loud focus hunting at f/1.2 (fine for photography, but not when shooting A- or B-roll), unsuitability for vlogging (where the Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L IS USM (opens in new tab) is his go-to) and the lens not being wide enough to shoot landscapes without introducing compression.
More relevant than his choice of lens brand, however, are his comments on 50mm lenses as a whole – and why it's the perfect all-round focal length for almost any kind of shooting.
Watch video: THE BEST PRIME LENS. Period.
"I think that 50mm is the perfect focal range for so many types of photography. You can shoot product photos with this, you can shoot landscapes with this, you can shoot portraits with this. It's a great lens for events, it's a great lens for automotive, it's a great lens for so many things umbrellad together, which is why I end up carrying this and this alone almost always.
"This covers so many genres of photography, and that's the 50mm range across the board. I'm not just saying it's the 50mm RF – you guys know I'm a Canon ambassador – that is not saying that this RF exclusively covers all of these things, that's just the 50mm range within this industry."
Obviously McKinnon, as a Canon user and ambassador, is going to choose Canon's 50mm f/1.2 as the best. However, in our own tests (opens in new tab), we found that this RF version isn't actually the best 50mm f/1.2 out there – in fact, it's not even the second best.
We determined that the superb Sony FE 50mm F1.2 G Master (opens in new tab) is actually the best 50mm you can buy, closely followed by the brilliant Nikon Z 50mm f/1.2 S (opens in new tab), with Canon's RF alternative coming in third.
Obviously you can't go wrong with any of these stellar lenses, and the RF 50mm f/1.2L is undoubtedly one of the best Canon RF lenses (opens in new tab) – though it really isn't the best prime you can buy. Sorry, Peter.