85 1.2 I or II - Manual or Auto focus?
/forum/topic/1067187/0



eosuser2020
Registered: Aug 22, 2008
Total Posts: 390
Country: United States

Just curious to know how many use 85 1.2 (either I or II) primarily as a manual focus vs auto focus lens. I am planning to get 85 1.2 I over ver II and use manual focusing to compensate for hit or miss shots.



Jim Schemel
Registered: Oct 18, 2006
Total Posts: 4818
Country: United States

When i had this lens i used it mostly in the MF mode.On version one it is focus by wire so has a little different feel to it than using MF in other lenses.Once you get used to it, its actually not bad as a MF lens.
-Jim



Candrews9
Registered: Jan 10, 2011
Total Posts: 87
Country: N/A

I had a tough tIme auto focusing with a 5D, but the 1ds2 has no such problems. Might depend on your body.



harbour photog
Registered: Jan 07, 2008
Total Posts: 83
Country: United Kingdom

I have just bought version 2. Not sure I would buy either if I intended on MF all the time to be honest. I also have a Samyang 851/4 which I use when I feel like using MF. Has a nice feel to it and will save you some serious cash. IQ is very good too.



gpop
Registered: Jul 16, 2009
Total Posts: 1267
Country: United States

Jim Schemel wrote:
When i had this lens i used it mostly in the MF mode.On version one it is focus by wire so has a little different feel to it than using MF in other lenses.Once you get used to it, its actually not bad as a MF lens.
-Jim


I think the version 2 is focus by wire as well.



Ian.Dobinson
Registered: Feb 18, 2007
Total Posts: 11997
Country: United Kingdom

gpop wrote:
Jim Schemel wrote:
When i had this lens i used it mostly in the MF mode.On version one it is focus by wire so has a little different feel to it than using MF in other lenses.Once you get used to it, its actually not bad as a MF lens.
-Jim


I think the version 2 is focus by wire as well.


Correct both versions are focus by wire.
Version 2 has a faster focus system.

Note by faster it means less glacial rather than quick. (if you want quick then the 85/1.8)



Daan B
Registered: Aug 16, 2007
Total Posts: 7591
Country: Netherlands

I really hate the focus-by-wire MF ring on the 85L II. I can't get it to make the very precise adjustments needed when shooting at 1.2. But since the AF is very precise, I have no need for MF. So, all is good



Breitling65
Registered: May 31, 2006
Total Posts: 5239
Country: United States

AF is very accurate on both of my copies.



AGeoJO
Registered: Jul 08, 2003
Total Posts: 12099
Country: United States

Unless you use Liveview, you will be better off using its AF feature. If you are not getting sharp images on your target, either your gear is not calibrated to specs (including microfocus adjustment) or your technique is the cause. Sorry for being blunt but seriously, why use MF on an AF setup? In MF cameras of yesteryear, there are focusing helps, such as microprisms or split image prisms. Current AF cameras make it tough for you to do MF or to do well with MF on a consistent basis....



eosuser2020
Registered: Aug 22, 2008
Total Posts: 390
Country: United States

I bought a 5D this week, my entry in FF world. Feeling a bit apprehensive with 5D focus + 85 1.2...double whammy on autofocus! Probably you are right...If I need to use manual focus most of the time, I can save some cash and get either 85 1.8 / Samyang / Sigma...



AGeoJO
Registered: Jul 08, 2003
Total Posts: 12099
Country: United States

With the 5D, you cannot do any microfocus adjustment yourself that you can do with the 5D Mark II. I am not sure which one you get. Either way, you need to make sure that the AF tolerances of both, individually and to each other are there. Then you can evaluate the AF performance of both using the center and also try the outer AF points. Under good lighting conditions, the outer AF points are not that bad. Pay attention to, look and use contrasty targets. I may sound like a broken record but you have to give any of the AF point a try until you know how low the lighting conditions can go before you resort to the center AF point only. Have fun!



RobertLynn
Registered: Jan 05, 2008
Total Posts: 11664
Country: United States

Not to critique someone else's desires, but the 85 1.2 is not a lens I'd buy for MF. It's a very, very, shallow DoF and most view finders are going to be difficult to MF through with that narror of a DoF.

Hell, I can try to MF with an f/4 lens and miss about 90% of the time.

I'd not spend the money on a 85 1.2 mk1 or mk2 to use as an MF lens. I'd buy a third party lens, and anyone on here knows how much I dislike MF and third party crap.



edge100
Registered: Oct 05, 2007
Total Posts: 236
Country: Canada

I wouldn't own my 85L (mkII, FWIW) if I were using it primarily as a MF lens; I'd save some money and get the Zeiss (or a bunch of money and get the Rokinon).



Candrews9
Registered: Jan 10, 2011
Total Posts: 87
Country: N/A

If you're shooting people at 1.2, if they breathe practically between the time you establish focus and hit the trigger, they move out of focus. So you have to work fast. Seems like manual focusing would take so much time you'd keeping losing focus and your subject if it's alive would get put off.



zhangp
Registered: Apr 03, 2004
Total Posts: 2233
Country: United States

Canon 85/1.2 either I or ii, in my hand, is not for mf. For mf and getting the shallow dof, perhaps Hassel110/2 or Carl zeiss100/2 marko works better.



outlawyer
Registered: Feb 27, 2008
Total Posts: 1404
Country: United States

Breitling65 wrote:
AF is very accurate on both of my copies.


Same here. Indeed, all the ones I have used focus well in what for other lenses would be equivalent to total darkness. The 85L suffers to some extent from the focus shift gremlins which the 50L is more notorious for, but under regular shooting conditions every copy I have ever used is spot-ON focuser.



VinnieJ
Registered: Aug 06, 2010
Total Posts: 2086
Country: United States

For those who do attempt to MF at 1.2, have you upgraded your focusing screen? If so has it helped?