Many photographers don't know it, but Canon used to produce a 50mm lens with a F1.0 aperture. Yes, one-point-zero. At the time, this was the fastest SLR lens in production. While it was being made the lens retailed for $4,210. In 2000 the lens production was stopped and was eventually replaced by the F1.2 version. Why? The lens actually wasn't very good... except for the bokeh.
Basically the Canon 50mm 1.0 is considered a one trick pony. If you are willing to drop this much cash on a 50mm lens you better actually shoot at F:1.0. The second you begin to stop it down, you will notice that cheaper lenses like the 50mm 1.2, 1.4, and 1.8 are all much sharper. The fact that this lens was so expensive and so... soft, meant that it's life would be short but because of that, this lens has become a hit with collectors. A few years ago, good copies of this lens were selling for close to $8000. Today This lens still usually sells for more than it's retail price. You can actually buy one on eBay right now for $5500.
One of our readers Bryan Soderlind was lucky enough to find this lens in perfect condition for just $3000. He did what any good photographer would do and went out and shot tons of gorgeous shots at F:1.0 for us all to enjoy. As you will notice, the lens isn't very sharp but keep in mind that the depth of field is probably less than a millimeter and although you normally pay more for your lens to be sharp, in the case of the Canon 50mm 1.0, you are actually paying extra for the blurry bokeh.
So what do you think? Is this lens worth the price? To see more of Bryan's images with this lens and read about his story head over to his blog.