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Archive 2012 · Lenses, Canon vs Nikon...
  
 
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p.1 #1 · Lenses, Canon vs Nikon...


I am stuck, undecided about my 85mm and 35mm on Canon and Nikon...but mostly stuck on the 85mm right now. The question I am trying to answer for myself is, is Nikon's 85 f/1.4g fringing and bokeh similar to their 85 f/1.8g (which I consider subjectively inferior to the Canon 85L)?

Yesterday I just brought my Canon stuff for a 3-hour prewedding shoot. 85L performed well overall through the day. I used it around f/1.6 a lot. contrast lines/edges have a very faint pink/purple glow, I expect that. It's not bright and it's not that big, but it's there. It is fairly easy to remove in post or just ignore altogether.

I remember consistently I have felt that the 85 f/1.8g produces a bokeh that I don't like. I have always wondered if it is just a subjective, ignorant bias making me want to dislike the Nikon. However, I have never really directly compared it to the 85L at similar apertures...until tonight.

In an informal comparison, the difference in highlights is, IMO, extremely noticeable when both are at f/1.8. The 85L's highlights are much wider and more round overall at f/1.8. Now, if I stop down the 85g, of course the highlights will change a bit and probably become more round...but they will still be smaller than I would like to be able to produce with 85mm, and the background will be even less blurred.

Nikon 85 f/1.8g vs Canon 85 f/1.2L II both at f/1.8:





Notice that the highlights aren't the only things being rendered differently: The shadows and other details definitely seem like a "bigger" bokeh on the Canon image (left) while also possibly showing more angular lines within the bokeh. The result seems to be more out-of-focus, more blurred backgrounds with the 85L.

But maybe I'm imagining that...a lot of it is still subjective. The highlight size and shape differences, however, are not subjective.

Another thing that I am not sure about yet but I suspect is that the Nikon 85 f/1.8g is very slightly actual focal length than the Canon 85L II. Somehow I feel that I have to get ever so slightly farther away when shooting with the Nikon...but I'm not really sure.

Now, onto the question...For those who have experience with 85mm f/1.8, f/1.2, f/1.4 lenses...have you noticed or tested the Nikon 85mm f/1.4g against Nikon f/1.8g OR Canon 85L to see the bokeh comparisons? Is the difference between Nikon 85 f/1.4g and Canon 85 f/1.2 much smaller than the difference between Canon 85 f/1.2 and Nikon 85 f/1.8g at similar apertures? If I like 85L bokeh but dislike Nikon 85 f/1.8g bokeh, is it likely that I also won't care for Nikon 85 f/1.4g bokeh?



Jan 01, 2013 at 05:24 AM
Beni
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p.1 #2 · Lenses, Canon vs Nikon...


Sorry but this has very little to zero to do with wedding photography. Clients are not pixel peeping, are not staring for hours at the differences between bokeh circles that many photographers have to look hard to see a difference that is all but insignificant. Especially for real world shooting. If you were talking about the Canon 50mm 1.4 wide open, you would have a point, millions and millions of tiny harsh circles wherever there is a specular highlight. If you were comparing shapes to circles, again I could see your point, angular shapes are harsh in comparison to circles. Comparing how round the shapes are is however OTT. There are far better reasons to compare these lenses for wedding photography starting with systems, then AF speed and then price and then size. These kind of bokeh comparisons as a reason to choose a lens for wedding photography are IMO in the realms of the silly.


Jan 01, 2013 at 05:55 AM
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p.1 #3 · Lenses, Canon vs Nikon...


This isn't pixel-peeping at all, the effect is very noticeable when zoomed out and you could lose perspective on the overall effect if you didn't see the whole image at once.

Here are the things relevant to wedding photography: "that unexplainable 3d look" as described by wedding clients and produced in a more pronounced way by one type of bokeh over another, leading to more client satisfaction. If this is not the case, then just having wider aperture availability at a given focal length can provide greater "3d" effects. In a third case, the ability to provide a more diffuse background without having to be quite as far away from the background (allowing more flexibility to blur backgrounds when there is limited working space/distance). Plus, my personal perspective on the appearance of my photos as it affects my mood and frame of mind both between shoots and while shooting.

I could test the subject theory about clients and "3d" look by shooting two photos about the same angle with different lenses/cameras and seeing which one they like better.



Jan 01, 2013 at 06:20 AM
D. Diggler
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p.1 #4 · Lenses, Canon vs Nikon...


form wrote:
"that unexplainable 3d look" as described by wedding clients and produced in a more pronounced way by one type of bokeh over another


I don't really think 3D effect is much influenced by the quality of bokeh.



Jan 01, 2013 at 06:41 AM
hardlyboring
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p.1 #5 · Lenses, Canon vs Nikon...


I will lay it out for you.

The 85L II is f1.2... There is nothing like it.
However

The Nikon 85 1.8G and 1.4G are both IMO superior performers in every other fashion EXCEPT the fact that they are not 1.2 and maybbbbe do not render the bokeh quite as nice.

I was going to get the 1.4G but decided to get the 1.8G because quite frankly my clients cannot tell the difference between 1.4 and 1.8 and I did not feel like I needed the extra .75 stops of light gathering ability.

The 85 1.8G is freaking 500$ BRAND NEW!!!!!
That essentially means if anything happens to it you are not crapping yourself because if push comes to shove you can just buy a new one for close to the cost of what it will most likely cost to get it fixed.

85L II is HELLA expensive and stupid slow. Sure it gives you that "dreamy" 3D look but I really do not think anyone is going to care about the difference between 1.2, 1.4, or 1.8.

The 85 1.8G is on my camera 95% of the day and has given me reliable results since the day I bought it. I shoot servo 100% of the time and have had no problems. I burned out 2 Sigmas but the Nikon is built to last and is silly light.

Also despite what they tell you about the 85 1.8G it is made of magnesium not plastic just like the 1.4G.

So again forget the bokeh and fringing and all that other pixel peeping crap.
Make a good business decision and get the 85 1.8G and be happy.



Jan 01, 2013 at 07:27 AM
D. Diggler
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p.1 #6 · Lenses, Canon vs Nikon...


hardlyboring wrote:
The 85 1.8G is on my camera 95% of the day and has given me reliable results since the day I bought it.


Body?



Jan 01, 2013 at 07:35 AM
TTLKurtis
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p.1 #7 · Lenses, Canon vs Nikon...


I prefer the right one by a small margin, for whatever that's worth. Whichever one that is.


Jan 01, 2013 at 07:59 AM
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p.1 #8 · Lenses, Canon vs Nikon...


Just more evidence telling me I'm wrong, I'm stupid, I don't know what I'm talking about and I should just stop breathing to save oxygen for brains that deserve it. Oh well, onto the next day...


Jan 01, 2013 at 10:22 AM
hardlyboring
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p.1 #9 · Lenses, Canon vs Nikon...


Form dude chill!
It's just a lens which is why I am saying go with the 85 1.8g. In the end you will save money have a killer lens and also satisfy clients.

Diggler- we shoot D3(s)



Jan 01, 2013 at 10:52 AM
sboerup
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p.1 #10 · Lenses, Canon vs Nikon...


85 1.8G and 85 1.4G are plastic. They feel like a toy in your hands. 85L? It's a beastly beautiful creation.

If I were Nikon, I'd get the 85 1.8G. I tried both Nikons and the 1.8G was just as good as the 1.4G.

I like the bokeh on the left.



Jan 01, 2013 at 03:23 PM
 

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cbradio09
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p.1 #11 · Lenses, Canon vs Nikon...


Siggy 85mm 1.4 FTW

Yea, i'm a troll. lol



Jan 01, 2013 at 05:10 PM
joelconner
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p.1 #12 · Lenses, Canon vs Nikon...


hardlyboring wrote:
I shoot servo 100% of the time...


whoa...for reals? Totally off subject, but I find that very interesting (and challenging).One of my favorite things about the 5D3 is the one-button, on-demand servo (so you can use it whenever you want without changing any settings...it's super sweet), but I could not imagine using it all of the time. Maybe it's because I shoot Canon, but I love my focus confirmation



Jan 01, 2013 at 05:29 PM
joelconner
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p.1 #13 · Lenses, Canon vs Nikon...


On subject, the difference between those two images is so subtle that 99.5% of clients (and 75% of photographers) would think they are the exact same.


Jan 01, 2013 at 05:30 PM
joelconner
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p.1 #14 · Lenses, Canon vs Nikon...


I love talking about gear as much as the next guy, but really...there comes a point where it just is idle and needless talk. Use what works best for you on the functional side of things. If you are using $400+ primes or pro level zooms, then the image quality is going to be good enough to produce amazing images...more than enough, actually. Yes, there is merit in discussing whether certain primes, for example, are worth $1,200 compared to $400, and yes, I do occasionally enjoy looking at 1000% crops of images side-by-side to see the differences. But, there is only so much comparison that one can do before it becomes fruitless and just a waste. I think about how hard it was for me to cull images before. i would go back and forth and debate over two images that were almost identical with small differences...could never decide which I liked more. Finally, it set it one day (probably after good advice from my wife) that they both are great, and I just need to pick one and let it go. It is very simple and obvious, I know, but it was a big step for me to truly learn.

There are things worth spending lots of time trying to fix and find the best solution. This, for most of us, is not one of them.



Jan 01, 2013 at 05:41 PM
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p.1 #15 · Lenses, Canon vs Nikon...


The real problem is that as soon as you change to a different lighting setup the results will change as well. I suggest you keep both systems and always shoot everything at least twice so you have the choice later. Also Zeiss make some nice lenses. I'd get a couple of those and make sure you shoot with them as well. You may want to add a few extra bodies as changing lenses can be a real pain. Although if you were actually serious about getting flawlwss bokeh you'd have a Leica with a 90mm summicron ASPH and a Noctilux by now.

In all seriousness. You need to hear this. Gear is great. But if you spent as much time getting shots that are dripping with emotion as you do worrying about which lens to use no one, including yourself, would give a flying f%$# about what lens you were using. How can you expect to see a great moment if your head is filled with this type of stuff? I reckon almost every photographer I've met has been through this stage (although I've not seen anyone as extreme as you in a while). It's normal. But it's time you came out the other side and started concentrating on the subject rater than the camera.

Gordon



Jan 01, 2013 at 08:56 PM
SloPhoto
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p.1 #16 · Lenses, Canon vs Nikon...


Did you not just recently complain that another lens did NOT have cat's eye bokeh?


Either way it is not a fair comparison, you are comparing bokeh of a lens where bokeh was one of the primary design criteria to a $500 lens that is designed to be a light, sharp, solid lens. The 1.8g is a fantastic lens, but there are always going to be compromises.



Jan 01, 2013 at 11:24 PM
zalmyb
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p.1 #17 · Lenses, Canon vs Nikon...


wow, I vastly prefer the nikon's bokeh in this example.

And Kurtis the one on the right has way more "cat's eye" bokeh, which if I recall you saying correctly you are not at all a fan of



Jan 02, 2013 at 12:47 AM
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p.1 #18 · Lenses, Canon vs Nikon...


I really don't know for sure exactly what it is about the Nikon 85mm bokeh that I dislike, but maybe the stronger/more out-of-focus appearance of the Canon 85L at similar apertures is what I ultimately like better. I think it throws backgrounds more out of focus. This could explain why I have often felt like I couldn't get enough background blur from the 85 f/1.8g. Even when I get enough blur, I somehow still don't like the look very much...

I like cat's eyes towards the edges because I believe the relatively smaller size of cat's eyes compared to more circular bokeh in the middle gives a stronger 3-dimensional effect (due probably to the "fisheye" appearance that makes objects look smaller and more squeezed/warped towards the edges to conform around an imaginary sphere). However, in daylit environments and just about every shot I have taken with the 85 f/1.8g, the background blur just doesn't seem to really take advantage of that effect...and the images seem to say "2-dimensional with background blur" more than "3-dimensional" to my eyes.

Something about the way the 85L handles geometric angles and hard lines in a blurred background seems to enhance the effect to me...

I don't think I ever really appreciated the look of 85L images as much as I started to when I began shooting with the 85 f/1.8g.

Examples of 85 f/1.8g images where I don't like the bokeh:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/zenyo/4426447770/in/photostream/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/zenyo/4439500705/in/photostream/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/zenyo/4439487083/in/photostream/

85 f/1.8g bokeh I am neutral to (doesn't highlight something I dislike):

http://www.flickr.com/photos/erase/5666378909/in/photostream/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/wiedmaier/114434720/in/photostream/

http://www.pbase.com/image/146982873

http://www.pbase.com/image/144549892

http://www.pbase.com/image/145167657

Canon 85L bokeh I really like:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/phohe/4977357384/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrbokeh/4654735852/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunsun16/5570824129/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrbokeh/5808765744/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/fouquier/5451042765/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/fouquier/7420326130/

I'm not sure what it is. I don't get it. I can't describe it. But I like the look of the bokeh in the 85L shots better.

Edited on Jan 02, 2013 at 02:30 AM · View previous versions



Jan 02, 2013 at 01:55 AM
hardlyboring
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p.1 #19 · Lenses, Canon vs Nikon...


If you have made up your mind then why even ask? If you like the 85L so much then use that...in the end it is just a lens.

Also Spencer I do believe the actual body of the 1.4 and 1.8 as well as the other G lenses are made of the magnesium composite. There is little info on this and people "claim" online it is plastic but my buddy who works at MPEX just confirmed it is thin magnesium alloy with other plastic parts.

Also form are you shooting a double Nikon and Canon setup? How can you afford to have 85's in both the Canon and Nikon variety? I used to shoot the wide side on Canon and the tele side on Nikon but it sounds like you have a double kit....still trying to decide?



Jan 02, 2013 at 02:09 AM
D. Diggler
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p.1 #20 · Lenses, Canon vs Nikon...


TTLKurtis wrote:
I prefer the right one


Uhhhh ... that's the cheaper lens. Maybe you should look again, this time paying closer attention to the bokeh.



Jan 02, 2013 at 02:35 AM
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