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Archive 2012 · Looking for input before buying used 85L v. I
  
 
Mpking
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p.1 #1 · Looking for input before buying used 85L v. I


I've been thinking about which 85mm lens to get for my 5DII. A 85L ver. II is out of my price range so I've been thinking about getting a gently used 85mm ver. I. Any words of wisdom from FM on this? From what I can tell, the big improvement with the version II was improved AF speed. I'm looking to use it mostly for portraits so I don't think AF speed is my number one concern unless it's really unbearably slow. As long as it's reasonable and accurate, I think I'll be happy.

Any other achilles heel with this lens? From what I've read, the IQ is very similar to the 85L ver. II.

My 2nd choice would be a sigma 85/1.4. My concerns here are the standard QA and autofocus question marks which brought me to the 85L.

The 85/1.8 is still a consideration but I love great bokeh so again that brought me to the 85L.

Thoughts? TIA!



Sep 23, 2012 at 11:48 AM
PetKal
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p.1 #2 · Looking for input before buying used 85L v. I


Mpking wrote:
From what I can tell, the big improvement with the version II was improved AF speed.


Hardly a big improvement......20% faster according to some Canon sources.
One could say that 20% faster than "very slow" is still slow.
Buying 85L MkI makes a good $$ sense, compared to the MkII.



Sep 23, 2012 at 12:02 PM
Mpking
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p.1 #3 · Looking for input before buying used 85L v. I


PetKal wrote:
Hardly a big improvement......20% faster according to some Canon sources.
One could say that 20% faster than "very slow" is still slow.
Buying 85L MkI makes a good $$ sense, compared to the MkII.


Haha! So how slow is "still slow" anyway?



Sep 23, 2012 at 12:09 PM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #4 · Looking for input before buying used 85L v. I


The improvements in version II is very small. And a 20% faster AF is still slower than about every other lens. The IQ is about the same (IMO) For portraits you can't go wrong with the mkI version


Sep 23, 2012 at 12:23 PM
PetKal
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p.1 #5 · Looking for input before buying used 85L v. I


Mpking wrote:
Haha! So how slow is "still slow" anyway?


Contrary to a popular forumography belief, the AF response depends on a few other important camera-lens-operator factors, not just the maximum AF drive speed of a lens.

However, Canon defines the lens AF drive speed specification as the time it takes from AF to travel from infinity to MFD, and I assume that is at the max speed value of the lens....in the case of 85L MkI it is 1.0 sec. Therefore, 85L MkII should be 0.8 sec.
By comparison, 400 f/5.6 AF drive speed spec is around 0.3+ sec.

Mind you, with prefocusing, any lens may focus fast enough, even 85L or a long lens with 2xTC.
Heck, if prefocusing gets the lens close enough to the actual focusing distance, one might not even need an AF lens, and focus manually instead.



Sep 23, 2012 at 12:38 PM
Mpking
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p.1 #6 · Looking for input before buying used 85L v. I


PetKal wrote:
Contrary to a popular forumography belief, the AF response depends on a few other important camera-lens-operator factors, not just the maximum AF drive speed of a lens.

However, Canon defines the lens AF drive speed specification as the time it takes from AF to travel from infinity to MFD, and I assume that is at the max speed value of the lens....in the case of 85L MkI it is 1.0 sec. Therefore, 85L MkII should be 0.8 sec.
By comparison, 400 f/5.6 AF drive speed spec is around 0.3+ sec.

Mind you, with prefocusing, any lens may focus fast enough, even
...Show more

Good points petkal. I'm not usually taking photos of distant mountain scenery in between close portrait shots such that my lens is racking back and forth between infinity and MFD so I'm guessing I won't even notice the slowness. Thanks!



Sep 23, 2012 at 12:48 PM
Mike Malat
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p.1 #7 · Looking for input before buying used 85L v. I


Somewhat OT but I recently tried to find the AF speed between two canon lenses 300f4 and 70-200 f4IS and could not find any published AF Speed data. Google is my friend but he let me down this time. Any help pointing me in the right direction would be appreciated.



Sep 23, 2012 at 01:02 PM
Sneakyracer
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p.1 #8 · Looking for input before buying used 85L v. I


I had the 85L v1 for a while and it was awesome once you get used to the slower than normal AF. The only real downside was the purple fringing in high-contrast lighting, such as chrome, water and other highly reflective materials when shooting wide open up to f2.8 or so. Other than that the lens is magical. Nice center sharpness wide open.


Sep 23, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Mpking
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p.1 #9 · Looking for input before buying used 85L v. I


Sneakyracer wrote:
I had the 85L v1 for a while and it was awesome once you get used to the slower than normal AF. The only real downside was the purple fringing in high-contrast lighting, such as chrome, water and other highly reflective materials when shooting wide open up to f2.8 or so. Other than that the lens is magical. Nice center sharpness wide open.


Can the purple fringing be corrected to any appreciable extent in post processing? I shoot raw and use lightroom 3. Thanks!



Sep 23, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #10 · Looking for input before buying used 85L v. I


Mpking wrote:
Can the purple fringing be corrected to any appreciable extent in post processing? I shoot raw use lightroom 3. Thanks!


You have CA correction and a lot of other lens corrections in LR 4



Sep 23, 2012 at 01:35 PM
 

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Sneakyracer
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p.1 #11 · Looking for input before buying used 85L v. I


Yeah, its easily correctable in software but remember that all the software is mostly doing is desaturating the color range of the fringing. It works well in most cases.


Sep 23, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Tom Dix
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p.1 #12 · Looking for input before buying used 85L v. I


I prefer the iq of the 1 by a tiny margin. AF speed moves from super slow to very slow.


Sep 23, 2012 at 04:07 PM
arthurb
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p.1 #13 · Looking for input before buying used 85L v. I


Just love my 85mm f1.8 though, especially for the price.



Sep 23, 2012 at 04:19 PM
RazorTM
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p.1 #14 · Looking for input before buying used 85L v. I


The photo below shows one problem that my 85L 1 exhibited which my 85L 2 didn't. After using the 85L 1 for a long time, the autofocus speed difference was noticeable. Also, the 85L 2 transmits distance data to the camera so if you're using ETTL flash, it will help improve the flash exposure accuracy.







Sep 23, 2012 at 04:28 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #15 · Looking for input before buying used 85L v. I


Consider the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8. Seriously.

Dan



Sep 23, 2012 at 04:33 PM
eosfun
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p.1 #16 · Looking for input before buying used 85L v. I


The most important upgrade between the mkI and mkII was pricing The other things have already been mentioned (slightly faster AF, distance data for E-TTL flash). I own the mkII and have used the mkI intensively in the past, but I find the mkII upgrade for this lens one of the least important upgrades of all of the mkII lenses. If it saves you some pennys for something else I would not hesitate to recommend to go for the mkI release. You won't notice any difference in the end result anyway.

The 85L's are specialist lenses though. If you know how to work with the 1.2 opening there is no substitute and it's a wonderful unique piece of glass, one of the main differentiators of the Canon system from other great lens manufacturers. But the slow AF and requirements for your focus technique in the 1.2 DOF zone make it a tool that is way different from the 1.8 version, which is more allround in this focal length range. The colour and bokeh rendition is very different though. I have the 85L for a reason, and had the 1.8 next to it for a while, which I sold in the end because there was too much overlap in my bag since I also have the 70-200L/2.8 IS and and a few other lenses that cover 100mm which is very close. But the 85L is very expensive for a very specialist type of glass. You can't overestimate it's quality, but you easily overstate the usefulness of it. This is a great lens if you are a frequent portrait and available light photographer or like the ultra thin DOF style, but for everything else, don't expect this lens to do miracles. The 70-200/2.8LIS (mkI or mkII) is a much more versatile alternative that I recommend to enthusiast photographers with less focus on one of the specialist areas I mentioned. And it would perfectly well in your bag from what I see in your profile.

Anyway, have EOSfun



Sep 23, 2012 at 07:46 PM
mttran
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p.1 #17 · Looking for input before buying used 85L v. I


I and II are really good...why not buying II if the prize was right: http://shop.usa.canon.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_10051_10051_275771_-1



Sep 23, 2012 at 08:22 PM
Ed Sawyer
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p.1 #18 · Looking for input before buying used 85L v. I


The IQ of the Mk1 is actually better than the Mk2. Check the MTFs, which bear this out. Mk1 used (leaded) glasses that were not available when the Mk2 was made, so compromises were made in the glass formula, to the detriment of IQ. Also, the slower focusing of the Mk1 is more accurate than the Mk2.


Sep 26, 2012 at 06:44 PM
AmbientMike
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p.1 #19 · Looking for input before buying used 85L v. I


The photodo test of the I looked rather poor imo. Photozone.de test of II looked quite good.


Sep 26, 2012 at 09:11 PM
tazzz78
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p.1 #20 · Looking for input before buying used 85L v. I


MpKing. Just buy it. you will love it. We have it and the color rendering and image quality is just amazing.


Sep 28, 2012 at 04:49 PM
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