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Archive 2012 · 85mm f/1.2 and focusing speed; sports?
  
 
fhammond
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p.1 #1 · 85mm f/1.2 and focusing speed; sports?


Hi all,

I'm thinking about getting the 85mm f/1.2 and I'd be interested in hearing about the focusing speed of it for sports. Fortunately, easy sports: horse jumping, which is fairly predictable and smooth (well, unless this happens).

I've been using a D4 and the Nikon 85mm f/1.4 and I find it a great combination for horses: long enough and fast-focusing enough and much less cumbersome than using the 70-200mm. It's also nice and fast for shots inside the barn (which is pretty dark).

I'm renting the 85mm f/1.2 today to try out for myself but opinions would also be appreciated.

thanks,
Fergus



Aug 13, 2012 at 02:33 PM
ultrapix
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p.1 #2 · 85mm f/1.2 and focusing speed; sports?


Well, if you liked the Nikkor, there's no reason to not like the Canon. Yes, it's a bit slower in the AF department, but still a killer, especially in good light. What I did not like about that lens was the whole package: price/weight/size/AF/MF. I also was bothered by strong longitudinal CA, but all these things are well known, and I don't guess that in your type of photo (good light, medium/long distance) you'll have any problem.
IQ obviously is superb.



Aug 13, 2012 at 02:50 PM
robert61
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p.1 #3 · 85mm f/1.2 and focusing speed; sports?


Do not get the 85 1.2L for action. It is one of the best optically, but it is indeed slower focusing (all that heavy glass). Instead, if you want the focal length, get the 85 1.8. Much faster focusing and still great optics. I've got both. I was going to sell the 85 1.8, but after using the marvelous 1.2L, I decided to keep the 85 1.8 for action.


Aug 13, 2012 at 02:56 PM
AGeoJO
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p.1 #4 · 85mm f/1.2 and focusing speed; sports?


The AF of the 85L is relatively slow if you focus from the minimum focusing distance to infinity and vice versa. However, if you remain fairly within a certain focusing range, it is not bad at all. With that said, I agree the f/1.8 is a faster lens.


Aug 13, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Bullseye5d2
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p.1 #5 · 85mm f/1.2 and focusing speed; sports?


+1 on what robert said.

I also own both the 1.2 and 1.8. I would not use the 1.2 for sports of any kind. As soon as we're talking moving subjects I use the 85mm 1.8 or another lens. 85mm 1.2 I only use with static subjects, mostly portrait work. It's my favorite lens. But not for sports.



Aug 13, 2012 at 03:10 PM
fhammond
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p.1 #6 · 85mm f/1.2 and focusing speed; sports?


That's interesting. Horses are pretty easy, AF-wise, but you've definitely high-lighted why I need to test. I did take another look at what I've used the 85mm for and most of the riding photos are at a narrower aperture than f/2.0 so perhaps the 70-300mm L (which I'm also going to rent) might be more suitable. We'll see...


Aug 13, 2012 at 03:24 PM
OntheRez
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p.1 #7 · 85mm f/1.2 and focusing speed; sports?


Well, since you're renting, you'll soon be able to make a choice based upon direct experience. Let me add to those who have recommended the 85mm f/1.8 for action. It does acquire focus much faster than the f/1.2. I use it all the time for indoor sports, i.e., volleyball and basketball. I do shoot some roping competition and have always done fine with a 70-200mm f/2.8, but arena is fairly well lit. (Certainly better than the local HS gym Don't know what type of "horse" action you are shooting, but can't imagine that the $2.4k f/1.2 is going to give you maximum value for you capital investment.

Robert



Aug 13, 2012 at 03:34 PM
fhammond
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p.1 #8 · 85mm f/1.2 and focusing speed; sports?


Hey Robert,

Thanks for the feedback. It's show jumping, so the motion is very predictable. It's also far from the most common type of shooting I do, so it might be that good enough performance is good enough, particularly for the convenience of using one lens that'll work well in the low-light of the barn. Of course f/1.8 is still very fast, so perhaps it'd be fine also for both things.

I'll try out the f/1.2 and if it's not working, check out the f/1.8. The 135mm f/2 might also be a good choice; have you shot with that?



Aug 13, 2012 at 03:45 PM
ultrapix
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p.1 #9 · 85mm f/1.2 and focusing speed; sports?


135 L is an almost perfect lens. Hard to find any fault on it. Very fast, tack sharp, go for it, if FL is good for you.


Aug 13, 2012 at 04:10 PM
 

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JimboCin
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p.1 #10 · 85mm f/1.2 and focusing speed; sports?


I have the 85mm f/1.8, and agree that it is very fast at autofocus and is great for sports. I used the 85mm f/1.2 just long enough to tell me it was not what I wanted. Way to slow to autofocus for me shooting sports.

I have the 135mm L f/2.0, and it is very fast and does a great job for sports if it is the focal length you want.

Jim



Aug 13, 2012 at 04:13 PM
jerbear00
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p.1 #11 · 85mm f/1.2 and focusing speed; sports?


I agree. I have used all 3 canon 85s. 85 1.8, sigma 85 1.4, and the L. I recently switched to the L love it. However, the sigma was great and extremely sharp possibly even sharper than the L. Worth a thought also the 135 f2 is a great lens and is light


Aug 13, 2012 at 04:36 PM
ggreene
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p.1 #12 · 85mm f/1.2 and focusing speed; sports?


I've covered many shows in which my step daughter rides in. For outdoors I would never give up my 70-200. It's just way too flexible to have that FL range. I've used the 85/1.8 and 135/2 a few times for indoor jumping and it works well enough for when the rider and horse is perpendicular to you but head on shots are really tough as the DOF is just too thin to get both the horses head and rider in focus.


Aug 13, 2012 at 07:23 PM
AmbientMike
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p.1 #13 · 85mm f/1.2 and focusing speed; sports?


B and H catalog also claimed 1.8 has faster af.


Aug 14, 2012 at 03:06 AM
Sneakyracer
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p.1 #14 · 85mm f/1.2 and focusing speed; sports?


I had the 85 1.2L. I agree. I would not use it for sports if I wanted consistent results in regards to AF. It works in a pinch, just be prepared to miss some shots due to slow AF at times.

Honestly, in that range, the 70-200 f2.8L II is king. Thats why I dont have the 135 or 200mm primes, too close in aperture and performance plus the zoom has IS which the primes lack. The 85 1.2L however does offer a VERY unique look and much faster f stop.

Definitely worth renting it. Let us know how it goes.



Aug 14, 2012 at 08:23 AM
robert61
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p.1 #15 · 85mm f/1.2 and focusing speed; sports?


Yes, the 135L would also be a faster focusing lens over the 85 1.2L if you want the extra reach. While you specifically asked about the 85L, I would also suggest you consider the 70-200 2.8L IS since you were already in the price range with the 85 1.2L. Is is a faster focusing lens, and has great optical quality, image stabilization, and even more reach if 2.8 is enough aperature.


Aug 14, 2012 at 10:49 AM
Will Patterson
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p.1 #16 · 85mm f/1.2 and focusing speed; sports?


The 1.2 is slower because it has to be. It needs to be slow and precise so that the camera can be accurate as possible. It's the other way around with f/5.6 lenses, the lens focuses pretty quickly because it doesn't have to be as accurate. Canon's 28-300 is one of their fastest, and the 70-200 II and 300 2.8 II are lightning fast.


Aug 14, 2012 at 02:07 PM
RobertLynn
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p.1 #17 · 85mm f/1.2 and focusing speed; sports?


Look up Russ Isabella.


Aug 14, 2012 at 07:25 PM





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