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Archive 2012 · Seeking advice - 85L 1.2 or 85 1.8?
  
 
Gonemad
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Seeking advice - 85L 1.2 or 85 1.8?


So, with my recent upgrade to 1D4 I'm considering investing on a 85mm prime lens. This range seems very useful as my 70-200 MK2 is glued to 1D3 and I saw myself using mostly around 85mm range when shooting portraiture. The composition seemed perfect - not much cropping needed. What I found was that I always had to crank the ISO up to get sharper images due to slight motion of my subject. So, sadly, I've decided to sell/trade my awesome performer 1D3 for either an 85L 1.2 or 1.8. I know there's a huge price difference and have heard of great things about both. So, a couple of questions:

1. I love my 1D3 as it is a TOP performer (never let me down when locking on BIF). Those who sold/traded it, did you miss its low-light and large pixel!! I'm losing sleep over it!!

2. I've heard 85L is a bit slow to AF, but very accurate. Slow and fast is relative. So, could I shoot candid shots of people at an event? They're not necessarily perfectly still but not moving either...

3. How does the 85L compare to the 85 1.8 at say f1.8 or f2, which I'm mostly going to use in low-light.

Your help/comment is appreciated. Thanks!



Oct 17, 2012 at 01:15 PM
vsg28
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Seeking advice - 85L 1.2 or 85 1.8?


Consider the Sigma 85 f/1.4 as well if you are willing to do so.


Oct 17, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Michaelparris
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Seeking advice - 85L 1.2 or 85 1.8?


I have owned them both. I now own the Siggy. Go for the Siggy. It's not a compromise at all it is just a great lens on par with the "L". Smaller, focuses faster, cheaper. Just not 1.2.

I have the 35L and the Sigma 50 1.4 did a comparison test and I did not notice ANY difference in IQ or bokeh when I looked at the files. I know you are looking at a different focal length but the Sigma 50 1,4 and the 85 1.4 are identical in IQ....I have not had any focus issues at all with either of my sigma lenses.



Oct 17, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Binh Ly
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Seeking advice - 85L 1.2 or 85 1.8?


If you're gonna shoot mostly at f/1.8 or f/2, you don't need the L. The 85 1.8 is a great and sharp lens wide open. AF is fast and very good too. Good luck!


Oct 17, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Gonemad
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Seeking advice - 85L 1.2 or 85 1.8?


I honestly haven't considered the Sigma 85 1.4 at all. The last time I used and tried to like a sigma was the 50-500 bigma, which I didn't quite connect due to its softness and harsh contrast. I believe that Siggy 85 is a sharp camera (how can any lens company get that one wrong!) but contrast/bokeh is a whole new dimension that can't be fixed in PS or LR after-the-fact... Any other supporters of the Siggy 85?

Edited on Oct 17, 2012 at 03:02 PM · View previous versions



Oct 17, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Gonemad
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Seeking advice - 85L 1.2 or 85 1.8?


BinhLy, you have a good point that if I mostly use at f1.8 or f2, then maybe I should settle for the plain 85 1.8. I own both the 35L and Canon 50 1.4 and find f1.4 also a handy aperture with greater DOF (compared to f1.2) that also works well for candid shots. So, if the plain 85 contrast/bokeh rivals the 85L at f1.8, then I might seriously consider it.


Oct 17, 2012 at 03:01 PM
vsg28
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Seeking advice - 85L 1.2 or 85 1.8?


Judge for yourself: http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=140371


Oct 17, 2012 at 03:02 PM
kzaret
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Seeking advice - 85L 1.2 or 85 1.8?


I haven't used the Canon 85mm f1.2/L, but I have had the 85mm f1.8/L for years and use the lens exclusively for portraits, with great results (for me). Lots of good low-light images wide open that came out well. I often do B/W conversions for portraits. Examples here:

http://www.pbase.com/kzaret/image/90685820

http://www.pbase.com/kzaret/image/95075979

http://www.pbase.com/kzaret/image/113790377

http://www.pbase.com/kzaret/image/117909880

Move in close, fill the frame, and fire. Comments on the pics welcome!



Oct 17, 2012 at 03:05 PM
vsg28
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Seeking advice - 85L 1.2 or 85 1.8?


Very nice pictures, especially like #2 and 3


Oct 17, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Michaelparris
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Seeking advice - 85L 1.2 or 85 1.8?


Gonemad wrote:
I honestly haven't considered the Sigma 85 1.4 at all. The last time I used and tried to like a sigma was the 50-500 bigma, which I didn't quite connect due to its softness and harsh contrast. I believe that Siggy 85 is a sharp camera (how can any lens company get that one wrong!) but contrast/bokeh is a whole new dimension that can't be fixed in PS or LR after-the-fact... Any other supporters of the Siggy 85?


Don't be silly.....These were taken with the Sigma 85 1.4. The 1.8 is nice but it feels kinda of like a toy. the extra stop of light is nice to have for not much more money,


















Oct 17, 2012 at 03:10 PM
 

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AlexF
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Seeking advice - 85L 1.2 or 85 1.8?


85 f/1.2 is certainly fast enough for portraits even the first version which is the one I have. It does have its own signature vs the other lenses and the bokeh is stunning. the 1.8 version is also very good and a lot faster AF - the main things you loose with 1.8 is the bokeh, and a different color signature...
I heard good things about the sigma version if you find a properly working copy - but I also seen people sell 85 1.2 because they thought they need faster focusing, get sigma, and couple of month later get the 1.2 back and sell sigma

Also 1.2 is razor sharp at 1.2 - assuming you get the focus right



Oct 17, 2012 at 03:36 PM
jerbear00
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Seeking advice - 85L 1.2 or 85 1.8?


The L is a little tricky but I have no trouble with slow moving ppl. If you want sports or moving kids the sigma or canon 85 is the way to go.

I owned the sigma for a while but bought the L my reasons were as follows: snob For L, 1.2, and most importantly it focuses slower but is highly reliable with good technique especially in challenging light. The sigma IQ is on par but I found the focus not trustable consistently unless in good light. Just my 2 cents.

Ask Tony Hoffer. He swore by the sigma in a blog but eventually went back to the L for reliability



Oct 17, 2012 at 03:44 PM
Valjr
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Seeking advice - 85L 1.2 or 85 1.8?


I had the canon 85 1.8 for a year and loved the output and AF speed. I recently sold it for it's big brother 1.2. Here is MY rational between the two. The 1.8 is moderately sharp wide open with neutral bokeh. It becomes even sharper stopped down. The contrast output is fair but not up to L standard. The AF speed is unmatched as it was probably the fastest in my kit. I'm a bit into gear and it bothered me heavily that there was an 85 in the canon family that was faster(aperture wise) albeit almost 5 times more expensive. The 1.2 is heavy, has the supreme build quality, AF is slow but it has to move around alot of glass. The flush glass at the mount end gives me a little nervous stress when changing lenses. The focus by wire is a bit irritating but not a deal breaker. It's signature output at 1.2 is what I bought it for. I am into creamy/butter bokeh. Much better separation between subject and BG. It's sharp wide open and contrast is a bit more than the 1.8. If your into moderately moving subjects, get the 1.8. If you plan on shooting stills, portraits at 1.2-1.8, and you don't mind the price..then get it and don't look back as you will have canons best and fastest 85. I haven't used the sigma version but had a friend who owned it but sold it due to AF issues. If you can find one with no issues, that might be the choice..but if your anything like me in over thinking gear, the 85 1.2 big elephant will always be in the back of your mind.




5d2=85 1.2LII@1.2




Oct 17, 2012 at 04:04 PM
jolson72
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Seeking advice - 85L 1.2 or 85 1.8?


I have tried 3 Sigma 50mm f/1.4 lenses. None would focus consistently on the 5D bodies I have. Never had a focus issue with a Canon lens.

No more Sigma lenses for me....



Oct 17, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Grantland
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Seeking advice - 85L 1.2 or 85 1.8?


i owned both at the same time. my two favorite canon lens were the 85L & 200 f/1.8.

the 85L is an amazing lens. and the 85 f/1.8 can be had for about $300 so i'd get both! never shot with the sigma but i cannot believe it is as good as the 85L. close? maybe but no way it is as good? or am i confused?

grant



Oct 17, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Gonemad
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Seeking advice - 85L 1.2 or 85 1.8?


I heard about the jittery AF issues on Siggys may be due to the reverse engineering Canon's protocol design. I'm sure Siggys are fine, but $900 is a bit too much to risk...


Oct 17, 2012 at 04:45 PM
RudyProj
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Seeking advice - 85L 1.2 or 85 1.8?


I have owned the 85 L, 85 1.8, and Sigma 85. I currently shoot the 85 1.8. It is the best combination of AF speed, AF accuracy, low light ability, IQ and size for my needs.

To answer your specific questions:

1. Never had a 1D3 so no comment.

2. Yes, 85L AF is slow. Not a deal breaker for me, but def a negative.

3. 85L & 85 1.8 @ f1.8 or f2 are very similar. The point of the 85L as I see it is to shoot it wide open (which is awesome).

I am not sure what you shoot at 50mm, but consider 50 1.2 + 85 1.8 instead of an 85L. Comes in cheaper, and may be a more versatile option depending on what you shoot.



Oct 17, 2012 at 04:50 PM
alexdi
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Seeking advice - 85L 1.2 or 85 1.8?


Join Canon CPS as a Gold member for $100. They'll send you both 85s to try for a week. Then pick what you like.

The 85/1.8 is almost a perfect lens. CA is a little high, contrast is a little low. It'll track moving objects or children. The 85/1.2 will have a lower success rate.

The 85/1.2 is bigger, slower, and heavier. It's probably the best portrait lens in this focal on any mount, ever. But it's much, much less forgiving to shoot than the 85/1.8, which already needs to be stopped down with some subjects to keep the DOF at something reasonable.

See here for a comparison:

http://www.wlcastleman.com/equip/reviews/85mm/index.htm

Sigma's 85/1.4 doesn't have the bokeh of either Canon lens.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Sigma-85mm-f-1.4-EX-DG-HSM-Lens-Review.aspx

To get a similar result to the 85/1.2 (and the 85/1.8), the Sigma has to be opened up by an extra stop. Given how good the 85/1.8 is, I don't see any reason to bother with the Sigma.



Oct 17, 2012 at 05:02 PM
cordellwillis
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Seeking advice - 85L 1.2 or 85 1.8?


I've owned the Canon 85 1.8 for several years. It was one of my favorite lenses.

I know have the Sigma 85 1.4 and 50 1.4. These are my two new favorite lenses. Both are fast and accurate. When it misses focus on my 5Dc it's my fault for focus and composing. Shooting at 1.4 has a learning curve. The resulting colors, contrast, and bokeh are great. The Canon 85 1.8 was pretty good too....but the Sigmas a better to me.



Oct 17, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Gonemad
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Seeking advice - 85L 1.2 or 85 1.8?


Alexdi, I do qualify for CPS gold and didn't know the membership would allow me to "test" lenses! Awesome!

Thanks all for sharing great pictures. I know it'll most likely come down to the Canon versions, though I'm sure, to many, the Siggy 85 is an equally respected product.



Oct 17, 2012 at 07:23 PM
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