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Pre-order: Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM ($2,699)

  
 
NRKStudio
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p.3 #1 · p.3 #1 · Pre-order: Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM ($2,699)


Arka wrote:
Because of course it is. Not like reducing weight is a priority. What is surprising is that Canon managed to make a lens that is both heavy and ludicrously expensive. Nearly a thousand dollars more for the R version of this? Over a thousand dollars more than the Sony GM version or the Nikon version? $1500 more than the Sigma version? They outta their minds.


Canon and Sony have posted quarterly reports where they state their focus is on “value add” products, in order to combat the decline in ILC sales. Thus, they will concentrate on lenses, which are made in house, and sold for much higher margins than cameras. Thus their reliance will also cause prices higher than before. They will seek profit in the lens market as market demand shrinks the ILC and point/shoot market. The margins are best with lenses developed primarily in house (as opposed to sensors and processors often developed by Sony and various chip makers). Canon knows it has to spend more on R/D to stay competitive with lenses, maybe more than ever before.

These companies understand that their cameras can not be more expensive than they are now, as they will lose the “advanced amateur market”. Instead, most pro and “advanced amateur” users will continue to spend money on lenses as these users always have. This user base is not shrinking, in fact it may be growing due to ease of monetizing photography via online channels (following the spike in the popularity of pictures over the last decade of widespread internet use).

In fact, their user base is spending more per capita than 10 years ago as the economy continues to steadily rise in the US and more importantly (arguably) China. Tamron even posted a positive quarter sometime last year as their lens sales spiked with last years’ 28-75 E Mount. The adoption of mirrorless will continue to bolster lens makers as they will often buy lenses made for the new systems. That’s one reason that the MC21 is knee capped by Sigma (to force L Mount adoption). Sigma is doing great as well with only lenses, all value add.

This paradigm shift in business strategy does mean better lenses for us users. the brands must focus on this hugely important product class, I.e. value add products. Also they will have to fight mature 3rd parties like Zeiss, Sigma, Cosina (Voigtlander specifically) and Tamron. I think this focus on value-add is why we see such dominant GM lenses lately and Canon rolling out the savage RF glass. Of course too in the mirrorless war, each company has to provide lenses for their cameras so as to create a usable system for pros and advanced amateurs.




May 09, 2019 at 09:10 PM
alundeb
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p.3 #2 · p.3 #2 · Pre-order: Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM ($2,699)


Arka wrote:
I've enough experience with 1.2 and 1.4 versions at this focal length (I've owned a 1.2, multiple 1.4s, and a 1.8) to believe that the difference in light-gathering capability (and DoF) at f/1.2 is not worth 1.8X the cost. Not even close. I realize that's subjective though, and seem to remember that when I had an f/1.2, it seemed like a super-important capability to have until I later acquired an f/1.4 of similar quality on a different system.


I agree with your point there. I have also used both f/1.4 and f/1.8 lenses of the same focal length, and would say that f/1.4 is not worth 3x the cost of f/1.8.

It remains to be seen if the quality of the RF 85 1.2 is even better than what you call similar f/1.4 lenses. You will probably say that you don't need any better quality, and that will be correct as well.

The complaints are always directed at a specific lens when it is announced. It is too heavy and too expensive. But since this happens for the majority of new lenses now, it is about the trend and not the single lenses anymore. Each lens now fits into the new picture. The higher quality of the new lenses demands larger sizes, and the lower volumes demand higher prices for profitability.

In my view, there is not much wrong with the lens as we know it yet, but many people would want another, different lens instead. So I would rather say "I don't want to pay the natural premium for f/1.2" instead of "this lens is insanely high priced".



May 10, 2019 at 01:13 AM
ngaio
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p.3 #3 · p.3 #3 · Pre-order: Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM ($2,699)


alundeb wrote:
So I would rather say "I don't want to pay the natural premium for f/1.2" instead of "this lens is insanely high priced".


It's a bit difficult to take the "natural" premium argument at face value when I paid two thirds of the cost for a brand new EF 85mm 1.2 II less than a decade ago. Inflation isn't that high.




May 10, 2019 at 08:57 AM
maxx9photo
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p.3 #4 · p.3 #4 · Pre-order: Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM ($2,699)


I'm still happy with my 85/1.2 L II with so much fraction of cost.


May 10, 2019 at 10:22 AM
alundeb
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p.3 #5 · p.3 #5 · Pre-order: Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM ($2,699)




ngaio wrote:
It's a bit difficult to take the "natural" premium argument at face value when I paid two thirds of the cost for a brand new EF 85mm 1.2 II less than a decade ago. Inflation isn't that high.


But these two lenses are not even close in quality, especially color fringing, wide open.



May 10, 2019 at 02:13 PM
ngaio
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p.3 #6 · p.3 #6 · Pre-order: Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM ($2,699)


alundeb wrote:
But these two lenses are not even close in quality, especially color fringing, wide open.


Obviously we will see in the next couple of years if the market decides the faster focus speed and reduced color fringing is worth a 50% price markup. Perhaps it will, perhaps not.




May 10, 2019 at 04:25 PM
Cyberbo60
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p.3 #7 · p.3 #7 · Pre-order: Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM ($2,699)


I preordered this lens but I am having second thoughts as I have the EF 85 1.8. We shall see.


May 12, 2019 at 09:58 AM
 


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Arka
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p.3 #8 · p.3 #8 · Pre-order: Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM ($2,699)


alundeb wrote:
But these two lenses are not even close in quality, especially color fringing, wide open.


Not even close? This feels like an exaggeration.



May 12, 2019 at 11:48 PM
alundeb
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p.3 #9 · p.3 #9 · Pre-order: Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM ($2,699)


Arka wrote:
Not even close? This feels like an exaggeration.


When it comes to purple fringing wide open, the Canon EF 85 f/1.2 L varietes are among the worst lenses I have seen. On the other hand, the lens we know with BR element, 35 L II, is among the best I have seen. I don't know how it it possible to get further from close.

Regarding sharpness (MTF) I would say the EF 85 L is good, and improvements here are not as important as for color fringing. Still, an increase in contrast at 30 lp/mm from 58% to 88% (center) and 45% to 85% (the important rule of thirds area at 7-10 mm image height) separates these lenses with a good margin from the close territories.

The bokeh of these lenses is also going to be different. The new RF lens (not DS) is not going to have as smooth bokeh as the EF. It will be more distinct and in some situations more busy, and many people are going to prefer the old lens for that.

Color correction and bokeh will be the reasons people are going prefer either EF or RF. As usual, the lens with better color correction is more expensive.




May 13, 2019 at 01:25 AM
MayaTlab
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p.3 #10 · p.3 #10 · Pre-order: Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM ($2,699)


alundeb wrote:
The bokeh of these lenses is also going to be different. The new RF lens (not DS) is not going to have as smooth bokeh as the EF. It will be more distinct and in some situations more busy, and many people are going to prefer the old lens for that.


Off centre it might be smoother than the II, in the same way that the 50mm RF is compared to the 50mm L. Less astigmatism / field curvature / blabla technical stuff problems ?
On axis it will depend a lot on the aberrations mix and the chosen aperture I think .
The samples show some evidence for a biased bokeh towards rear smoothness, like the 50mm RF on axis, but as it's all a question of degree and may vary with focusing distance, it remains to be seen exactly how Canon engineers decided to tune the lens' rendering and transitions.

alundeb wrote:
Color correction and bokeh will be the reasons people are going prefer either EF or RF. As usual, the lens with better color correction is more expensive.


Agreed. Sharpness difference will be quite noticeable but probably not the main criterion for selection.



May 13, 2019 at 02:24 AM
nomadwithalens
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p.3 #11 · p.3 #11 · Pre-order: Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM ($2,699)


alundeb wrote:
When it comes to purple fringing wide open, the Canon EF 85 f/1.2 L varietes are among the worst lenses I have seen. On the other hand, the lens we know with BR element, 35 L II, is among the best I have seen. I don't know how it it possible to get further from close.

Regarding sharpness (MTF) I would say the EF 85 L is good, and improvements here are not as important as for color fringing. Still, an increase in contrast at 30 lp/mm from 58% to 88% (center) and 45% to 85% (the important rule of thirds
...Show more

---------------------------------------------

MayaTlab wrote:
Off centre it might be smoother than the II, in the same way that the 50mm RF is compared to the 50mm L. Less astigmatism / field curvature / blabla technical stuff problems ?
On axis it will depend a lot on the aberrations mix and the chosen aperture I think .
The samples show some evidence for a biased bokeh towards rear smoothness, like the 50mm RF on axis, but as it's all a question of degree and may vary with focusing distance, it remains to be seen exactly how Canon engineers decided to tune the lens' rendering and
...Show more

Is the change in lens design and the "less smooth bokeh" of the RF making the DS version necessary to basically match the old 85II or is this just new tech that improves the lens rendering for certain situations?



May 13, 2019 at 09:44 AM
bipock
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p.3 #12 · p.3 #12 · Pre-order: Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM ($2,699)


I had the chance to use my 85 1.4 IS when I was trying the EOS R. It worked wonderfully well. I can’t see where this lens would entice anyone over the 1.4 at this price point, but my pockets might not be as deep as some.


May 13, 2019 at 11:35 AM
MayaTlab
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p.3 #13 · p.3 #13 · Pre-order: Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM ($2,699)


nomadwithalens wrote:
Is the change in lens design and the "less smooth bokeh" of the RF making the DS version necessary to basically match the old 85II or is this just new tech that improves the lens rendering for certain situations?


As far as I'm concerned I don't know if it will truly be "less smooth" and it might vary with aperture depending on how on and off axis aberrations have been dealt with. We've only seen 5 samples.

As an illustration, personally I love what the 50mm RF produces in the centre of the frame at f1.2 and I find it "smoother" at this aperture than its EF counterpart. But I find the EF smoother when closed down . And even though I'm not too fond of the RF off centre compared to the state of the art in 2019, I like the EF even less . This is all caused by how various aberrations interact and their degree and you'll have to ask an optical engineer or someone more knowledgeable than me for the explanation .

This thread, on the subject of spherical aberration on bokeh in the centre of the frame, is brillant - that is until the pictures disappeared : https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4031515

Apodised lenses such as the DS version are quite different from regular lenses as far as bokeh is concerned, both in front and behind the focal plane. Think gaussian blur in photoshop. It won't look like the 85mm EF II.



May 13, 2019 at 12:38 PM
alundeb
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p.3 #14 · p.3 #14 · Pre-order: Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM ($2,699)


nomadwithalens wrote:
---------------------------------------------

Is the change in lens design and the "less smooth bokeh" of the RF making the DS version necessary to basically match the old 85II or is this just new tech that improves the lens rendering for certain situations?


Perfectly corrected lenses produce even, well defined blur discs from point light sources, and the DS version produces rounded blur discs that can be found in undercorrected lenses to a less degree. Some like well-defined blur discs and some like them rounded, but I don't think the DS is made in order to resemble the EF version. It is even more different.



May 13, 2019 at 02:56 PM
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