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Archive 2011 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8
  
 
stanj
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p.2 #1 · 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/

cohenxa wrote:
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?) :-)


That won't work, because on average the price of the car will keep at the same level of your investment return, or higher. So all you end up doing is deprive yourself of the enjoyment

Three quarters of the stuff that I have I don't _need_ for my assignments. I just have it for fun, or because having the better option gives me the needed edge. But in most cases, less gear and more skill would be better



Dec 30, 2011 at 01:03 AM
gdanmitchell
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p.2 #2 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


There is no question that the 85L is a lovely lens. There is also no question that it is ongodly expensive! If the kind of shooting that really benefits from this lens is a mainstay in your work it might be worth it.

On the other hand, the EF 85mm f/1.8 is also a really fine lens - perhaps one of the very best non-L primes that Canon sells. In most cases one would be hard pressed to tell whether a photograph was made with this lens or the L.

Dan

cohenxa wrote:
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
...Show more



Dec 30, 2011 at 01:11 AM
cohenxa
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p.2 #3 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


I would find it hard to part with my 85L because I know I won't get the opportunity to own another.

Exactly my current mindset!



Dec 30, 2011 at 01:23 AM
Valjr
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p.2 #4 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


I went through the same dilemma. I must have read every review on the net about the 2 lenses. Albeit there are good rebates on both lenses right now, it came down to choosing the 85 f1.8 cause of the AF speed for indoor low light sports. I love the bokeh pics of the 1.2 extremely creamy and i find the 1.8 to be a bit neutral to nervous. I also figured if I need my pics to look like 1.2, I can always purchase Alien Skin's Bokeh2 program and still come out $1200 ahead. Unfortunately, most of us love gear...and even though I purchased the 1.8..there will always be a 1.2 big elephant in the back of my mind.


Dec 30, 2011 at 01:23 AM
Alanu
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p.2 #5 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


The problem with Alien skin is that its not a super quick program to change the background to cream. I'd much prefer having a photo look fantastic SOOC.

I own both. At slower paced events I much prefer using my 85L. When I know I need faster AF I will bring my 85 f/1.8. If I dont know what to expect I'll bring the 85 f/1.8 and pray that my 5dmk2 does is typical magical clean photos at high ISO's. My concern with f/1.8 is the limitation for extremely dark/low lit situations that does not permit flash or if I dont want to kill the mood with flash This is why its nice to have faster glass.

Is f/1.2 worth it YES!!! Is the AF slow on the 85L? YES. This is why the 85 f/1.8 is very appealing especially at the dirt cheap price at B&H at the moment. Its a nice compliment if you have an 85L. I guess this is the compromise in owning a Sigma 85 since its marginally faster glass than the canon f/1.8 and has fast af. But sorry I will not add sigma to my gearlist due to so many duds I've owned or purchased.

BUT if I had to choose only one. I would probably pick the 85 f/1.8 for the versatility. For static or slow moving subjects the 85L is my definite goto lens but the AF is a limitation.

This is why I own both.



Dec 30, 2011 at 01:58 AM
Mike Tuomey
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p.2 #6 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


If I were in your shoes, I think I'd promise myself to shoot the 85L exclusively for at least 30 days. Use it for everything you do. Shoot hundreds of frames, more the better. Don't revert to other glass. Review the images taken with the 85L, maybe print the better ones nice and large. If you're not thrilled with what you see, then sell it.

Selling it before you've made any practical assessment of how it might benefit you is cause for a gassy re-buy at some point in the future or at least uncomfortable remorse. YOU do need to make the assessment yourself, rather than listen to others' views.



Dec 30, 2011 at 02:00 AM
PetKal
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p.2 #7 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


Mike Tuomey wrote:
If I were in your shoes, I think I'd promise myself to shoot the 85L exclusively for at least 30 days. Use it for everything you do. Shoot hundreds of frames, more the better. Don't revert to other glass. Review the images taken with the 85L, maybe print the better ones nice and large. If you're not thrilled with what you see, then sell it.

Selling it before you've made any practical assessment of how it might benefit you is cause for a gassy re-buy at some point in the future. YOU do need to make the assessment yourself, rather
...Show more

Well said and suggested.
Turn what's largely an emotionally laden dilemma (buyer's remourse/guilt) of the moment into a more technical evaluation based on a more extensive lens use.



Dec 30, 2011 at 02:04 AM
marko1953
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p.2 #8 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8



"Since there is a stop between 1.8 and 1.2, ".

Just a small point, there is not a full f stop between f/1.2 and f/1.8.
Typical one-quarter-stop f-number scale
f/# 1.0/ 1.1/ 1.2 /1.3 /1.4/ 1.5/ 1.7/ 1.8/ 2/ 2.2 /2.4/ 2.6/ 2.8

1.21.8


Dec 30, 2011 at 02:09 AM
stanj
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p.2 #9 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


marko1953 wrote:
Just a small point, there is not a full f stop between f/1.2 and f/1.8.
Typical one-quarter-stop f-number scale
f/# 1.0/ 1.1/ 1.2 /1.3 /1.4/ 1.5/ 1.7/ 1.8/ 2/ 2.2 /2.4/ 2.6/ 2.8

1.21.8


and a typical 1/3 stop scale is 1.2 - 1.4 - 1.6 - 1.8. So who wins?

Honestly, I have been doing photography for some 30 years and have dealt with half and third stops, but never in my life did I encounter a quarter stop scale.



Dec 30, 2011 at 02:26 AM
anthonygh
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p.2 #10 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


If this was posted on the 'alt' forum would people be adding other 3rd party lenses as being better alternatives?

Also, leaving aside the lens...doesn't the final image depend on the sensor involved, the printer / ink / paper combination...and of course the software. I won't mention user technique.


oops

PS I have the 1.8 (could just about afford it) and I am totally happy with it...but it seems to me the OP has the cash to buy both and just experiment!!



Dec 30, 2011 at 02:42 AM
 

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anthonygh
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p.2 #11 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


stanj wrote:
and a typical 1/3 stop scale is 1.2 - 1.4 - 1.6 - 1.8. So who wins?

Honestly, I have been doing photography for some 30 years and have dealt with half and third stops, but never in my life did I encounter a quarter stop scale.


Me neither...and what would be the point? Both digital and analogue capture can easily handle exposure differences of 1/3 stop...and EV is pretty subjective anyway...I have just deved a B+W film under exposed by 2 stops.....the scans on those thin negs give a great 'analogue' generated print...all grain and contrast...lovely!



Dec 30, 2011 at 02:49 AM
Tony Rogers
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p.2 #12 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


I own both Canon 85mm lenses. I had the 1.8, got the 1.2, gave away the 1.8, shot for years with the 1.2, had some shoulder problems, bought the 1.8 as a lighter option, now shooting with both.

I have been shooting with the 600D + 85mm 1.8 for a month or so. This combination weighs about as much as the 85/1.2.

Two days ago I decided to shoot with my "big" camera for a change - 1D Mark IV + 85/1.2. Reminded me of two things:

1. Why I bought these in the first place - this combination is superb. The viewfinder, the AF accuracy, and most of all, the image quality.

2. Why I bought the 600D + 85/1.8 The 1D Mark IV + 85/1.2 weighs 2.5kg, almost 2.5x the weight of the 600D + 85/1.8. It wasn't long before my shoulder started to give me grief.

If the weight isn't a problem, I would say keep the 85/1.2. It's probably the second or third best lens Canon makes, and one of the best reasons for shooting Canon



Dec 30, 2011 at 02:55 AM
rscheffler
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p.2 #13 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


Owning both, I much prefer the 85L. At f/1.2 it's decently sharp. At f/1.6 and higher, it becomes extremely sharp, though is that really beneficial for portraits? Maybe not, but for other things, yes. The 85 f/1.8 feels kind of mushy in comparison and also has its share of issues with purple fringing. Got the 85 1.8 for indoor sports, but that was a number of years back and now I'll just use the 70-200 f/4L IS instead (IS off of course) and crank the ISO. I find the zoom's AF somewhat better anyway.

IMO there is good reason to own a lens like the 85L because it's so fast for those times when you really need the light gathering capability, therefore it's very much different than the 'every day' lenses most of us use. In my case, my basic kit is the 16-35 and 70-200 f/4L IS. It's what I use for the majority of my paid work when I use my Canon gear. There are times when I need faster glass, but it doesn't make sense for the that glass to be only one stop, maybe two stops faster. Really, in many situations I can just boost the ISO. But a couple lenses that are three stops faster... those I find useful, in my case the 85L and 50L and almost always bring them along as well. The 35L and 24L would also qualify, but I don't own those. While the 85 1.8 is a couple stops faster than f/4, to get it on par with the output of the 70-200, I'd have to stop it down to around 2.8 anyway, so then it's really just around a stop difference... and I can't be bothered. If I'm going to carry an 85mm prime, it's going to be the 85L, even if I don't use it half the time. IMO, lenses that are f/1.4 and faster, and that offer stopped down performance on par with slower lenses, offer a unique range of versatility that can be difficult to explain.

I voted - keep the 85L.

Anyway, that's just me.



Dec 30, 2011 at 06:17 AM
wickerprints
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p.2 #14 · 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/


Why are you rehashing this sorry excuse for a blog entry, filled with factual errors, sensationalistic claims, and lousy reasoning, just to push your own biased agenda?

This is my response to your post: http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1062388/0#10100272

To the OP: You should read the entirety of that contentious thread to understand exactly what is going on here, especially in regard to the ulterior motives that some people have.



Dec 30, 2011 at 06:54 AM
Tom Dix
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p.2 #15 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


Keep if for now, I believe you will learn to love it. You can always sell it later. Think of it as a long term rental. Do not make a knee jerk decision from a few day of shooting. You can make that decision in Feb or so.


Dec 30, 2011 at 06:56 AM
wickerprints
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p.2 #16 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


To directly address the OP's situation, it's important to consider the following points:

1. The lens is a GIFT. Thus, the question of whether the lens is worth the money is not of much importance (i.e., "do I need the money?" is not relevant). Rather, the decision should be placed in the context of whether something else could be more useful to the OP at the same price point.
2. The OP is using an APS-C body.

Personally, if I were in your shoes, I would trade the 85L for other lenses. As nice as it is, I fully accept that it's a demanding lens to use, sub-optimal for APS-C bodies, and the vast majority of photographers really should use the money to buy something that would serve their overall needs better. The unavoidable fact is that the 85L is a specialist lens, and it is meant to take a very specific type of photograph--the low-contrast, low-light portrait shot with maximum background blur. Yes, you certainly *could* use it for other things; but other lenses would be just as competent if not superior for these other shots.

I believe there are very few photographers out there who actually need this lens, in the sense that the purpose for which it was designed is so important to them that the $1500+ premium they'd pay for it could not be better utilized to meet their other photographic needs. It's not about the cost itself--e.g., there are plenty of wealthy amateurs out there who buy the 85L, but should have spent the money to buy an 85/1.8 + 24/1.4L II because they don't have a fast wide-angle prime and would get more use out of one. Or they could spend it on a 135/2L, or a 100/2.8L macro IS, or a 24-70/2.8L, or... Do you see my point? It's not necessarily that the lenses cost what they do; it's that for the money you spend, you want to maximize the benefit of what you spend. If you are missing certain types of lenses that your style of photography could utilize, it makes more sense to put the money toward those. If the specific benefits of the 85L are included in that calculation, then that's when you look to own one.

And yes, I own the 85/1.2L II, and I used to own the 85/1.8. But I don't use an APS-C body.



Dec 30, 2011 at 07:13 AM
Tom K.
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p.2 #17 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


wickerprints wrote:
Why are you rehashing this sorry excuse for a blog entry, filled with factual errors, sensationalistic claims, and lousy reasoning, just to push your own biased agenda?


Because I believe you are wrong.

On another note......how in God's name do you know what my "agenda" is? You don't even know who I am. You know absolutely nothing about me. You stating I have a biased agenda is a bizarre, outlandish claim completely uncalled for and dramatically irresponsible.

I expect an apology from you.....whoever you are wickerprints.



Dec 30, 2011 at 07:38 AM
John_T
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p.2 #18 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


How the hell does a simple question like this go all stroppy with all kinds of obscure stretches and irrelevant personal pet suppositions drawn in?


Dec 30, 2011 at 07:50 AM
wickerprints
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p.2 #19 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


Tom K. wrote:
I expect an apology from you.....whoever you are wickerprints.

Well, you're not getting one.



Dec 30, 2011 at 07:51 AM
wickerprints
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p.2 #20 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


John_T wrote:
How the hell does a simple question like this go all stroppy with all kinds of obscure stretches and irrelevant personal pet suppositions drawn in?


Because the linked blog entry is stupid, misleading, and wrong for all kinds of reasons that were already discussed at length in another FM thread, and there's no need to revisit the entire debate all over again. It's not even RELEVANT to the OP since the lens was a GIFT.



Dec 30, 2011 at 07:54 AM
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