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Archive 2011 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8
  
 
cohenxa
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p.1 #1 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


Got the 85L for Christmas. Nice Santa presents (actually part of my yearly bonus - pushed the trigger due to the rebates, I always wanted it - for no rationale reasons).

I am looking at my first portraits: I really like the 85mm FL on my 7D. Better than my 50mm 1.4. Took some shots at 1.2 vs 1.8 (to simulate the 85mm 1.8).

85L advantage:
Bokeh is really nicer, smoother, faster shutter (less blurry/noisy) and my wife like a lot the shallow DoF effect (she is aware of the dilemma and suggested that I keep it!).
I like the "technological" toy and I would hate to purchase it again in 6 months and pay +$300 - almost the cost of the 85mm1.8 because I change my mind. Like a nice watch, why some guys are paying a fortune to know the time while their phone or a swatch will make it for 10 times cheaper?

HOWEVER I do not see a $1500 difference and I am feeling a little bit guilty (it is the most expensive items of my gear!).

What would you do (I know some people here face the same)? Can you help me to solve my dilemma by sharing your experience with this lens?

I know that if I need to find a justification to my purchase, it means I do not need it, but I said it earlier: it is a non rationale purchase :-)



Dec 29, 2011 at 10:55 PM
eleff
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p.1 #2 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


The color rendition of the 85L is perfection itself. The F1.2 is very nice for special type of pictures, but even at F4 the 85L shines. It is a once in a life time lens. However it is much better on a full frame for portraits since 1.6*85 is more like the 135L


Dec 29, 2011 at 10:59 PM
M Vers
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p.1 #3 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


cohenxa wrote:
85L advantage:
Bokeh is really nicer, smoother, faster shutter (less blurry/noisy)...


What, exactly, do you mean by that?

In any case I think you would see an even larger difference by selling the 85L and picking up a 5D/5DII to use with your 85/1.8, which is an excellent lens btw.

Edited on Dec 29, 2011 at 11:08 PM · View previous versions



Dec 29, 2011 at 11:05 PM
RobDickinson
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p.1 #4 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


In practicable terms there isnt $1500 worth of difference.

If your a working tog theres almost no reason to use the 85L over the 85/1.8, clients wont notice, and the money will be better in your bank account.

In emotive terms its a harder choice.

Just think though you could almost have a 5d2 and a 85/1.8 for the same price and still have more DOF control than the 7D/85L setup!



Dec 29, 2011 at 11:08 PM
Binh Ly
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p.1 #5 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


I would say you haven't given it enough time to make a decision yet.

I can tell you what I did. I bought the L a few years ago. It is a great lens no doubt but after 2-3 years, I realized it was just sitting in closet probably 95% of the time. The main reason - I just didn't like the AF speed. I finally realized that I had almost 2K tied up in a lens that I really didn't need for anything other than it was cool to have it.

I sold it and now I have the 1.8. I am much happier and I tend not to hesitate to pull out the 1.8 whenever I want to. I just love the AF of the 1.8 period!

The L is a great lens no doubt. Color rendition is great, sharpness is great (even at 1.2!), build is great, and the DOF is great! The two main things I didn't like was the nasty purple fringing and the AF. The purple fringing I could live with. But the AF, that's a different story - I guess that depends on what kind of stuff you shoot.

Good luck!



Dec 29, 2011 at 11:13 PM
Hrow
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p.1 #6 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


The 85L is a speciality lens. If you need it, you need it and you know it. If you don't know it, then you probably don't need it and I'd suggest following Matt's good counsel as a more effective use of your money.


Dec 29, 2011 at 11:41 PM
James Markus
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p.1 #7 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


I will offer you the cure for your guilt. Just send the 85mm f1.2 to me, and I will send you my 85mm f1.8. There...no more guilt, and you'd be helping a photographer out. What better way could you get into this season of giving?


Dec 29, 2011 at 11:49 PM
Psychic1
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p.1 #8 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


I voted -OTHER-

50L would focus faster and more accurately than your 50-1.4 on the 7D.




Dec 29, 2011 at 11:51 PM
RogerC11
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p.1 #9 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


Psychic1 wrote:
I voted -OTHER-

50L would focus faster and more accurately than your 50-1.4 on the 7D.


That's debatable.



Dec 29, 2011 at 11:54 PM
Keith Broad
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p.1 #10 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


I voted 'other'.

I have both the f1.8 and the L. I use the 85L and the f1.8 about equally, depending on what I'm shooting. The f1.8 I use for action and street, and the L for portraits. They are quite different in their renderings. In my experience, the L provides outstanding image quality, but it's not always practical because of its weight and AF speed. Having said that, I prefer using the 85L overall, but it does require more planning and consideration. Not a bad thing in this digital age.

In your situation I'm not sure what I'd do. The 85L is a great lens, but others are right inasmuch that you might get more value out of a 135L and maybe a used 5D. I would find it hard to part with my 85L because I know I won't get the opportunity to own another.

Edited on Dec 30, 2011 at 12:13 AM · View previous versions



Dec 30, 2011 at 12:06 AM
 

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Tom K.
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p.1 #11 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


Read this. It will help you. http://laurencekim.com/2011/05/04/american-dream-follow-up-how-much-does-a-lens-cost/


Dec 30, 2011 at 12:06 AM
Gary Petersen
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p.1 #12 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


I consider the 85L to be a one trick pony and it does that trick perfectly. Nothing beats it at f1.2. For everything else the 1.8 does as well or better than just about anything.


Dec 30, 2011 at 12:10 AM
John_T
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p.1 #13 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


...sometimes a decision isn't rational. It is a matter of luxury, beauty and/or creative latitude, and life would be boring as hell if you didn't allow yourself such things..


Dec 30, 2011 at 12:11 AM
patrickphoto
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p.1 #14 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


Do what I did: sell the L, get the Sigma and the 135L.


Dec 30, 2011 at 12:13 AM
James Taylor
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p.1 #15 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


John_T wrote:
...sometimes a decision isn't rational. It is a matter of luxury, beauty and/or creative latitude, and life would be boring as hell if you didn't allow yourself such things..


Well said! The 85L is one of those lenses that open up possibilities not found in other glass. I've created images of my kids with that lens that I will cherish for life. At one point I owned both the 85L and 85 1.8. I sold the 1.8 and kept the L because I noticed the difference and wanted images from that lens. That's not to say the 1.8 isn't nice, it is. But it's not the 85L. If it was me, I would keep it (and I did). However, it never crossed my mind to sell it. If you are having reservations about it then sell it. Don't spend your days worrying if you should have sold it. Get the 85 1.8 and make some images! You shouldn't have to be convinced to keep a lens.



Dec 30, 2011 at 12:25 AM
cohenxa
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p.1 #16 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


faster shutter (less blurry/noisy)... What, exactly, do you mean by that?
Since there is a stop between 1.8 and 1.2, I can either shoot twice faster (shutter speed) => less blurry due to people move/camera move or at a lower ISO => less noisy.



Dec 30, 2011 at 12:42 AM
gvg45
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p.1 #17 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


Tom K. wrote:
Read this. It will help you. http://laurencekim.com/2011/05/04/american-dream-follow-up-how-much-does-a-lens-cost/


After seeing the first image with el-cheapo I'm sold.

The 85L can put out some magical IQ. That being said, on full frame at least for me, I find at the 85mm focal length the sweet spot for portraits was f/2.0. I eventually sold the 85L for the 85 f/1.8. There is a significant difference in AF speed and the size was a bonus when I didn't want to lug the big chunk of L glass.



Dec 30, 2011 at 12:51 AM
cohenxa
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p.1 #18 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


In any case I think you would see an even larger difference by selling the 85L and picking up a 5D/5DII to use with your 85/1.8, which is an excellent lens btw.

unfortunately, the 5DII is out of range/scope for me :-(. If I return the 85L the $$$ goes elsewhere than photography



Dec 30, 2011 at 12:55 AM
stanj
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p.1 #19 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


Assuming your family has a roof over their head and some food on the table, given that you didn't steal the 85L, keep it. No there isn't a $1500 difference but that can be said about pretty much any lens pair comparison.


Dec 30, 2011 at 12:55 AM
cohenxa
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p.1 #20 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


Tom K. wrote: Read this. It will help you. http://laurencekim.com/2011/05/04/american-dream-follow-up-how-much-does-a-lens-cost/

Actually it didn't since the purchase is irrational :-)...like why did you purchase a car which is not the entry level one? they will do the same job and if you put the $ on the side you will have money later (in 30y to purchase a nicer one?) :-)



Dec 30, 2011 at 12:59 AM
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