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Archive 2011 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8
  
 
Marcus Watts
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p.3 #1 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


You will often hear people say they can produce images with the 1.2 that would simply not be possible with the 1.8 but not a single person has ever been able to demonstrate such an image.

Ask for an example and people will tell you to do a google search, again to let themselves off of the hook.

You would see a small difference between a 1.8 and 1.2 image if they were placed next to each other. But either image standing alone you could not tell which lens it had been shot on.

That should tell you everything.



Dec 30, 2011 at 08:09 AM
adrianb
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p.3 #2 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


I agree with wickerprints about what he said ABOUT the link but i totally disagree on his remarks towards Tom K

We need to be careful not to get carried away by anger caused by 3rd parties (such as that fellow's opinions on his blog/website) and point it at FM users...

Even if Tom believes in what's written there, there is no reason to offend him..

We all have some biased aspects in our agendas, may he throw the first stone who has has a 'clear' agenda.


ontopic:

I would ONLY get a lens such as the 85L II solely for low light shooting ability (ambiental light) and for the bokeh it creates. And of course perhaps the vast majority of the shots would be portraits,although its low light shooting ability combined with the bokeh can be used to emphasize other subjects as well...

I not very tech to KNOW the difference between the 50 1.2L and 85 1.2L II (optically speaking) , but I know for pretty much every photographer, the 50 1.2L will be a more versatile tool,even a walk around lens...

@ cohenxa: If I were you I'd trade that 7D for a 5D II, unless you really need the AF on the 7D or if you shoot sports/wildlife (fast moving stuff).
Also ditch the 85L. Or keep it until you get the 5DII and see if it's a changed tool in your hands, once on FF.

Or you can ditch it anyway and get the 85 1.8

85L is MAINLY a portrait lens (or THE portrait lens,how many like to praise it)..
You have to ask yourself: do you take THAT many portraits? do all your portrait shots need the focal length of 85mm (136mm actually on your 7D)?

There are wonderful portraits out there done with 50L, 50 1.4, 85 1.8, manual focus 85 1.4 lenses, 100 F2, 135 F2L...

You can't decide on a 1500 $ lens on WHAT THE CROWD is saying..

If a member would advise you to set your lens on fire, would you do it? (even if that was a 'respectable' member on the forum)?

Learn to base your decisions solely on your judgement and your needs, and ask advice only when you're not sure about the aspects which are a bit less subjective (such as optical qualities in a lens, etc).

Just a couple of my cents...



Dec 30, 2011 at 08:20 AM
Dawei Ye
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p.3 #3 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


Marcus Watts wrote:
You will often hear people say they can produce images with the 1.2 that would simply not be possible with the 1.8 but not a single person has ever been able to demonstrate such an image.

Ask for an example and people will tell you to do a google search, again to let themselves off of the hook.

You would see a small difference between a 1.8 and 1.2 image if they were placed next to each other. But either image standing alone you could not tell which lens it had been shot on.

That should tell you everything.
...Show more


I ain't the greatest photographer, but I'll try to explain with images why I chose the 85 f/1.2 over the 85 f/1.8

When I choose to use a prime lens over a zoom, it's not because of image quality, but because I want the maximum speed and maximum DOF control I can get. I don't want "halfway there". The 85 f/1.8 is a "halfway there" lens. f/1.8 isn't even that much faster than f/2.8. And similarly, f/1.2 isn't even that much faster than f/1.8. But in aggregate, f/2.8 to f/1.2 is something substantial.

I like being decisive. It's either f/1.2, or f/8. No "in between". What's the point? I either want everything in focus, or everything else out of focus. The f/1.2 allows me to maximise what I have out of focus.

For example, I want everything surrounding this person's eye out of focus in a creamy mess, to add a dreamy feel to the image. With the 85 f/1.2, I know I have got as much creaminess as I can. With a 85 f/1.8, I will always feel that I am getting only 2nd best and that there is another lens out there that can get me even creamier results.






Another example, when taking group shots at 85mm, one needs to step back causing DOF to increase. But I don't want the background to distract from the foreground. Again, with a f/1.2 lens, I can make the background as creamy as I can, which is both my photographic output objective and vision in this case












The 85 f/1.2 has a distinct low contrast look that makes it particularly useful for soft lighted portraits.

The wide apreture, strong vignette wide open, and low contrast output, together work in synergy to accentuate a subject against a background, leading to a very nice "pop" effect






Sometimes even f/1.2 is not enough for me - but I have nobody to blame but myself






It's this "maximization" of DOF control and speed that is most important to me. I don't want a halfway there option. I want a tool where I know I have the cutting edge of photographic technology, and that any shortfalls in the outputs are my fault, not because I was limited by my gear.

That to me is worth the $1600 difference.


Edited on Dec 30, 2011 at 09:07 AM · View previous versions



Dec 30, 2011 at 09:06 AM
Eyvind Ness
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p.3 #4 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


I actually voted for keeping it, but looking at your other gear; If I were you I'd

1) get a 5D /5DmkII in a hurry, to go with the 85L, and/or

2) get a 24L or 35L instead, esp if you intend to stay with a crop camera

you have a 10-22, which is all good, but not so good indoors since you will be limited to flash use.

IMHO, of course :-)



Dec 30, 2011 at 09:07 AM
Daan B
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p.3 #5 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


cohenxa wrote:
pushed the trigger due to the rebates, I always wanted it - for no rationale reasons).

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 :-)


Get rid off it. Like you said it yourself, if you need a justification, you won't need it. Think of all the other stuff you can buy with 1500 dollars... Including a nice 85 1.8.



Dec 30, 2011 at 09:08 AM
15Bit
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p.3 #6 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


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


I confess i bypassed this whole argument and got a Samyang 85mm f/1.4. I'm very pleased with it.



Dec 30, 2011 at 09:16 AM
D. Diggler
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p.3 #7 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


I only shoot professionally, not for pleasure. I own the 85/1.8 and have used the 85L a number of times for jobs. There was a time I considered getting the L but never did because I don't feel there is $1500 difference between the two lenses. The 85L isn't perfect, either. The purple fringing at wider apertures is pretty bad. (Though the same can be said of the 85/1.8.) The L copies I've shot with were not all that sharp at or near wide open. And, more times than you would think, shooting at 1.2 gives you too narrow of a depth of field. Oftentimes I found myself stopping down to 2 or 2.5 with the L just to get adequate depth of field and this you could do with the 85/1.8. Now, if I really want the "look" of the 85L as far as bokeh, I use the 135L, which I've found to be about the closest to it and with much less purple fringing to boot!

Edited on Dec 30, 2011 at 11:12 AM · View previous versions



Dec 30, 2011 at 11:05 AM
john_edwards
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p.3 #8 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


Keep it ! Especially if your wife likes the look you get. Remember: A happy wife = a happy husband. Not only that you can probably sell it in a year for what you paid; look at it as free rental.


Dec 30, 2011 at 11:10 AM
fraga
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p.3 #9 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


The sigma 85 1.4 is also, IMHO, a very viable alternative, if you are considering selling the 85L.
AF is very fast, if you take into consideration the wide aperture.
IQ is outstanding.

I owned the 1.8 and planned on using it, among other things, to shoot sports.
For sports, used it twice: on a motocross type of race and on supermoto race.
On both occasions the AF was just not fast enough.
The purple fringing/chromatic aberrations/whatever-you-wanna-call-it was just too much. Maybe it was my copy, but it was really too much.
It wasn't also really sharp wide open, but, again, perhaps my copy was to blame.
So I sold it.
Bought a 85L. Don't use it for sports, of course, but I much prefer it in terms of IQ. I use it mainly for portraits and it truly excells.

I'm surprised no one posted samples comparing 85L and 1.8 pics taken of same subject in the same conditions using the same aperture to "prove" that people can't figure out which is which. Or a single picture and ask to guess which lens took the pic.
Well, IN REAL USE (not test pics) with MY copies, I found there was a noticeable difference.
Is it worth $1500? Perhaps not.
To some, yes. To others, no. Like everything else in life, it's all relative.
I decided to keep the L and have not regretted it once.
Others sold the L an kept the 1.8 and are pretty happy with their decision.
To each his own. Only you can know which is the best decision in your particular case.

I also own the sigma variant, but on Nikon mount.
IQ is truly outstanding and AF is very fast and accurate.
Of course, camera sensor and AF module are different, so they might play a role here, so if someone with the canon mount version could share their experience with it, it could help.
Unless the OP does not consider it an option, of course.




Dec 30, 2011 at 11:20 AM
Marcus Watts
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p.3 #10 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


Lovely shots Dawei but they all could have been shot on the 1.8 with no discernible difference.


Dec 30, 2011 at 11:26 AM
 

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G-Gore
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p.3 #11 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


Imho - sell it along with 7d and get 5dm2 with 85 1.8 (and whatever else you have money left for). 5d will make you love all your lens much more then 7d.


Dec 30, 2011 at 11:35 AM
RobertLynn
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p.3 #12 · 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

Perhaps I'm confused. A quarter of something is 1/4. Meaning 4/4 is 1, and 5/4 is 1 and 1/4.

Start at 1.2
Move up 1/4 to 1.3 (1/4)
Move up 1/4 to 1.4 (2/4)
Move up 1/4 to 1.5 (3/4)
Move up 1/4 to 1.7 (4/4)
Move up 1/4 to 1.8 (5/4).

Isn't that more than one f/stop? Maybe it's the metric system and I'm confused.



@daweiye. Dude, don't you ever talk down your stuff again. You're an excellent photographer. It's not as often as I would like, but I enjoy seeing the photos you post.




Dec 30, 2011 at 11:38 AM
Dawei Ye
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p.3 #13 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


Thanks Robert you too - I find I unfortunately tend to spend 99% of my time measurebating Will try to do more actual photography

Thanks Marcus, I'm resigned that it's quite difficult to demonstrate - maybe sometimes we romanticise about how f/1.2 is so much better than f/1.8 - or maybe we are just trying to justify our purchases. I can see the difference but concede that an objective 3rd party may not.



Dec 30, 2011 at 11:53 AM
Grantland
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p.3 #14 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


Marcus Watts wrote:
You will often hear people say they can produce images with the 1.2 that would simply not be possible with the 1.8 but not a single person has ever been able to demonstrate such an image.

Ask for an example and people will tell you to do a google search, again to let themselves off of the hook.

You would see a small difference between a 1.8 and 1.2 image if they were placed next to each other. But either image standing alone you could not tell which lens it had been shot on.

That should tell you everything.
...Show more

maybe you have never ever owned the 85L?




Dec 30, 2011 at 02:22 PM
Marcus Watts
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p.3 #15 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


Grantland wrote:
maybe you have never ever owned the 85L?



Maybe you can produce something to prove me wrong.

Of course you can't or that would have been the first thing you would have done.



Dec 30, 2011 at 03:02 PM
mark fadely
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p.3 #16 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


I'm not sure how the 85L would perform on a 1.6 crop body as I don't own one. The 85L is really nice on a FF body and I did find out it makes a great ballet lens when coupled with the 1-series body as in the shot below. Shooting stage performance at f1.2 is pretty nice. In this shot the dancer is running full speed at a 45 degree angle towards the camera and the focus is spot-on wide open. I'm sure some of the 85L copies vary in sharpness but mine is fantastic when coupled with a great focusing body like the MKIV. It makes for a very capable low light system. I belive the 85L AF performance is significantly better with the MKIV vs. any of the other bodies so far. The older 1-series bodies were great focusers but lacked the fine tuning of micro adjust that which becomess a factor when shooting at f1.2. I think some photographers might be pleasantly surprised if they tried some other types of photography with the 85 mounted to a MKIV. So my vote is for keep it and love it even more when you get a 1Dx

BTW - great shots Dawei Ye

1DMKIV, 85L II, f1.2, iso500, 1/640th










Dec 30, 2011 at 03:15 PM
reno.peterson
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p.3 #17 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


You get a f/1.2 aperture lens for a reason!!! If you don't need f/1.2 then get the 85 f/1.8. But, what happens when you're stuck @ 1/80 sec and realize that could be 1/125 or 1/160 and you needed that additional shutter speed? And you don't really wanna dial up the ISO on that image cause you know the blacks might be splotchy with noise? I'm just sayin...


Dec 30, 2011 at 03:48 PM
pinball_pw
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p.3 #18 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


I use version 1 of the 85L on my 5D MKII. I used to own the 100 f2 which is similair to the 85 1.8. For low light candids and portraits, it is tough to beat. It is slow to focus, but very accurate once there. I did not get these kind of shots from the 100 f2. Here is an example from me:



I agree with the others that this lens is really more designed and effective on a full frame camera than a 1.6x crop body. - Paul



Dec 30, 2011 at 04:11 PM
stanj
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p.3 #19 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


wickerprints wrote:
It's not even RELEVANT to the OP since the lens was a GIFT.


Not really. As a gift to HIMSELF. You should read better.



Dec 30, 2011 at 04:48 PM
form
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p.3 #20 · 85mm dilemma L vs. 1.8


If it makes you feel any better, I have bought the 85L...as well as the 24L, 35L, 50L, 135L, 16-35L and 70-200 f/2.8L IS.

I would still much prefer to use any 85mm lens on full frame than crop because you just don't reap the full benefit of the DoF effect. However...85L on a crop camera does yield a very likable 136mm f/1.2.



Dec 30, 2011 at 04:52 PM
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