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Which midrange portrait lens for EOS R
RF Canon 85mm f2 IS Macro
EF Sigma Art 85mm f1.4
EF Tamron 85mm f1.8 Di VC
EF Canon 135mm f2
RF Samyang 85mm f1.4 AF

Midrange portrait lens for EOS R

  
 
jakemachina
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Midrange portrait lens for EOS R


Looking to add a portrait lens to my current lineup for my EOS R. Currently the closest thing I have to a portrait lens is a Sigma 70-200 f2.8 EX DG OS HSM which is a little soft, or a Tamron 24-70 f2.8 Di VC USD G2 which is a great event lens but doesn't offer the separation and compression that a classic lens would offer.

I'm not in a position to drop $1k on a lens, but I've got around $600 saved for a used lens.

Since the R body doesn't have IBIS, it's tempting to get the tamron or the canon RF, but neither of those are as bright as the 1.4 options.

Anyone have experience with portrait lenses in this range?



May 25, 2023 at 09:57 AM
Gochugogi
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Midrange portrait lens for EOS R


I own the RF 85 2 Macro IS STM and use it on an R. It's a sharp and well corrected lens, optically much better than the EF 85 1.8 USM I once owned. The 5-stop stabilization is amazing and makes a big difference for meónot as steady as I used to be. It's also relatively light and small. I've used it extensively for landscapes, macro and low light and it performs well. The only place it falls short is AF. It's mainly a one-shot AF lens and too slow (for me) for AI servo trackingófront element focus is pokey as it gets. For normal small AF adjustments it's fast enough but is dog slow going from close focus to infinity. Best to use MF in that situation. With that said, I really like the lens, more so than my RF 100 2.8L Macro. And the price was right: $274 at Canon Direct last Fall during the Cyberweek sale.

Canon EOS R and RF 85 2.0 Macro IS STM










May 25, 2023 at 11:00 AM
DailyShooter
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Midrange portrait lens for EOS R


jakemachina wrote:
Looking to add a portrait lens to my current lineup for my EOS R. Currently the closest thing I have to a portrait lens is a Sigma 70-200 f2.8 EX DG OS HSM which is a little soft, or a Tamron 24-70 f2.8 Di VC USD G2 which is a great event lens but doesn't offer the separation and compression that a classic lens would offer.

I'm not in a position to drop $1k on a lens, but I've got around $600 saved for a used lens.

Since the R body doesn't have IBIS, it's tempting to get the tamron or the
...Show more

I would suggest the RF 85mm f2. Ignore the reviews that say it focuses too slowly...for most sports, true, but for nearly all portraits, it focuses more than fast enough. I think that people forget that this is a 2/1 macro lens, so the throw of the focus motor is longer than other lenses. And the RF 85 f2 has IS!! For static portraits, the RF 85 f2 in eye-focus + tracking is more than fast enough.

Its bokeh can be a bit busy, background depending, but it is often very smooth and beautiful. And this lens wide open is very sharp and the edges are very good.

Of the 3 STM RF primes: 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm, the 85mm is the best, sharpest wide open.

My 2nd choice would be the EF 135L f2...it renders a little bit punchier and focuses faster but suffers more from CA.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/amorouslight/52030692023/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/amorouslight/52035247309/in/album-72177720298478884/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/amorouslight/52035038703/in/album-72177720298478884/



May 25, 2023 at 11:09 AM
PicGuy
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Midrange portrait lens for EOS R


I bought a RF 85mm f/2 last December when Canon was fire selling it for $299. It has proven to be a very good lens. The IS is nice to have it delivers very good sharpness and IQ. The only complaint I have with it, and it is a very minor complaint, is the bokeh could be a little less busy in some shooting situations.


May 25, 2023 at 11:39 AM
Robin Smith
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Midrange portrait lens for EOS R


I'd go for the Canon 85/2 or the Samyang 85/1.4. The Tamron is excellent, but not sure how well its AF will work via the adapter. 135 is great but a little long for a lot of portrait situations IMO.


May 25, 2023 at 01:20 PM
Jman13
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Midrange portrait lens for EOS R


I've owned the 85/2, the Samyang 85/1.4 (which I still have, but need to sell) and the RF 85L (which replaced the Samyang for me).

Of those, the L is by far the best, but both the 85/2 and Samyang are excellent lenses. Between the two, I much prefer the Samyang for pure portraiture, as the extra stop of light can be really helpful. The 85/2 is certainly competent in that area, though, and is the more versatile all rounder due to the macro capabilities.




May 25, 2023 at 02:08 PM
jedibrain
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Midrange portrait lens for EOS R


I have the EF 85 (non L) and the EF 135L. Love the latter, rarely use the former. Part of that is just the framing is more personally pleasing, but also the 135 is super sharp and even doubles for some indoor sports.

-Brian



May 25, 2023 at 05:50 PM
TeamSpeed
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Midrange portrait lens for EOS R


I would have added the sigma art 135 1.8, outstanding lens! But I agree with others, you have to have alot of working space to use that for portraits.


May 25, 2023 at 07:23 PM
comotionfilms
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Midrange portrait lens for EOS R


I have the RF 85mm 1.2, and I still use my Samyang rf 85 1.4 more times than not. Itís that good! If you can actually find one, itís the easy choice and a steal of a lens.

Iím sure the canon 1.8 is fine, itís just been kind of boring the times Iíve used it. The Samyang is incredibly sharp, but has such lovely character.



May 25, 2023 at 09:03 PM
rscheffler
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Midrange portrait lens for EOS R


If you can find one: EF 100/2.


May 25, 2023 at 09:13 PM
 


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AmbientMike
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Midrange portrait lens for EOS R


85/1.4 & 135/2 can get rid of a bg better than 85/1.8, if that's desired. I'd think 70-200/2.8 sigma should be good, not sure the issue there.


May 25, 2023 at 10:27 PM
leftymgp
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Midrange portrait lens for EOS R


Canon EF 85 f/1.8 not getting a lot of love here. Mine is great. I'll admit that it doesn't quite have that extra spark that some of my L glass has, but it's no slouch.


May 25, 2023 at 10:37 PM
Jman13
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Midrange portrait lens for EOS R




leftymgp wrote:
Canon EF 85 f/1.8 not getting a lot of love here. Mine is great. I'll admit that it doesn't quite have that extra spark that some of my L glass has, but it's no slouch.


It's a decent lens for sure, but it also is far surpassed by the RF85/2 optically, and doesn't require an adapter.



May 25, 2023 at 10:39 PM
PicGuy
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Midrange portrait lens for EOS R


Jman13 wrote:
I've owned the 85/2, the Samyang 85/1.4 (which I still have, but need to sell) and the RF 85L (which replaced the Samyang for me).

Of those, the L is by far the best, but both the 85/2 and Samyang are excellent lenses. Between the two, I much prefer the Samyang for pure portraiture, as the extra stop of light can be really helpful. The 85/2 is certainly competent in that area, though, and is the more versatile all rounder due to the macro capabilities.


Plus, the IS in the RF 85mm f/2 is very useful in cameras without IBIS.



May 25, 2023 at 10:57 PM
PicGuy
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Midrange portrait lens for EOS R


leftymgp wrote:
Canon EF 85 f/1.8 not getting a lot of love here. Mine is great. I'll admit that it doesn't quite have that extra spark that some of my L glass has, but it's no slouch.


I replaced my EF 85mm f/1.8 with the RF 85mm f/2 last December. While the EF version does a respectable job, the RF version mops the floor with it.



May 25, 2023 at 10:59 PM
comotionfilms
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Midrange portrait lens for EOS R


From the Dustin Abbott review, comparing the canon rf 85 f2 vs the competition:

ďThe Samyang is going to be the better portrait lens, enabling shallower depth of field and thus more blurred backgrounds. It also has nice bokeh, and Iíve really liked it as a portrait lens. If your priority is shooting portraits, choose the Samyang. It gives you more tools in your arsenal for depth of field, and, frankly, the autofocus is much less frustrating. If you need the high levels of magnification, however, and donít own an alternate macro lens, the Canon is the obvious choice. Both lenses are excellent optically, but I think they are designed for different purposes.Ē

ď For those interested in portrait photography, but without incredibly deep pockets, the Samyang RF85 ($700) is a godsend. It gives them a quality build (yet reasonable weight), good autofocus performance (with excellent Eye AF results), and image quality that is, essentially, near perfect for portrait work.Ē

The choice seems pretty obvious to me, but itís a tough lens to find these days. Good luck.



May 25, 2023 at 11:35 PM
tr1957
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Midrange portrait lens for EOS R


Another lower cost lens is the Viltrox 85mm RF AF, if you can find one. It was reviewed very highly by Dustin Abbott for typical portrait use, especially given its at the time low price.


May 26, 2023 at 12:17 AM
Pixelpuffin
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Midrange portrait lens for EOS R



rscheffler wrote:
If you can find one: EF 100/2.


I was just about to ask why no one had mentioned this lens. The 100/2 is small, fast (so fast!!) and bloody sharp!! However the close focusing distance is terribleÖalmost 3 foot!! 😂, mine always catches me out, hence never sees use these days. But I wonít sell as for me itís a sleeper lens. It comes into its own once in a while. I have the 135/2 similar story with poor MFD of the two I preferred the 100/2 as smaller and lighter. For portraits and other isolation shots it works wellÖ.just donít get too close!!



May 26, 2023 at 12:51 AM
EB-1
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Midrange portrait lens for EOS R


comotionfilms wrote:
From the Dustin Abbott review, comparing the canon rf 85 f2 vs the competition:

ďThe Samyang is going to be the better portrait lens, enabling shallower depth of field and thus more blurred backgrounds. It also has nice bokeh, and Iíve really liked it as a portrait lens. If your priority is shooting portraits, choose the Samyang. It gives you more tools in your arsenal for depth of field, and, frankly, the autofocus is much less frustrating. If you need the high levels of magnification, however, and donít own an alternate macro lens, the Canon is the obvious choice. Both lenses
...Show more

How does Samyang get away with producing an RF lens when the Shenzhen Jueying Technology Co. (Vitrilox) stopped selling their RF lens due to infringement claims from Canon?

EBH



May 26, 2023 at 12:59 AM
gilles.t
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Midrange portrait lens for EOS R


No love for the EF 85 1.4L here? I would consider it before the Sigma. It is lighter and more compact. It has IS and its AF is fast enough to keep up with a dog running towards you, up to its MFD. IQ is well corrected and it is sharp wide open across the frame. I kept my old EF 85 1.8 because it is lighter and more compact, but I use the EF 85 1.4L a lot more. Yes, I am a 85 mm portrait kind of guy.


May 26, 2023 at 01:56 AM
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