Upload & Sell: Off
Russ Isabella wrote:
"As long as the L's AF is not hindering me, I don't see any reason not to use it."
Chalk might be one reason not to use the L in gymnastics, if the L offers no other benefit worth the risk of chalk dust working it's way through the barrel seams and inbetween the elements.
It appears to me that the barrel construction in the 85L (both I & II) is more vulnerable to chalk dust infiltration than the 85 1.8, and even if both types of 85's were equally vulnerable, clearly the 1.8 at $400 is more easily sacrificed than the 1.2 at $2,200.
However, if the L offers other benefits... like faster focusing due to more light hitting the focusing sensor via the wider aperture (presumably still fully open prior to shutter click), or noticeably superior color rendition (cannot be determined by this set, since different meets are compared), then the risk to the more expensive glass might be worth the superior or more consistent results.
The third lens compared is supposedly "sealed", but requires higher ISO, as well has offers less light availability to the focus sensor prior to shutter click.
I really appreciate your inititiative in putting forth this comparison to help answer this age old question. It is interesting how the answer changes as the camera bodies evolve... with unexpected observations. Of particular intrigue is your report that the L no longer hunts or crawls with the 1DX. That is an interesting and surprising revelation that no amount of image comparisons can convey.
And that is a prime (ha ha) example why your comments, as an operator of all three lenses behind the entire lineage of Canon 1 series bodies over the years, are just as important as the comparison images you have shown. Without your commentary, we would not know that the L behaves differently on the 1DX, we would not know that you have found color differences over your entire take, meet after meet, between the 1.2 and the 1.8, etc.
The images here alone, without your commentary, are more or less a wash, with perhaps the 1.8 looking a bit more "washed" out than the 1.2. Yet that surface observation is ignorable due to the reasons you already established at the outset of this comparison. Other respondents to this thread have called out for more of your commentary that cannot be determined or divined via these (excellent, as usual) images alone. And I would agree with those calls for your verbal conclusions as a user to supplement the visual examples you have so kindly presented.