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Gear Talk => Reviews => Topic started by: RLPhoto on October 09, 2012, 08:07:49 PM

Title: My Mini-Review of the 85mm 1.2L II.
Post by: RLPhoto on October 09, 2012, 08:07:49 PM
Just my Little mini-review of this sweet lens. Feel free to critique it if you like, I don't do many reviews.

http://ramonlperez.tumblr.com/post/33253428138/fast-prime-shoot-out-pt-1-85mm-1-2l-ii-mini-review (http://ramonlperez.tumblr.com/post/33253428138/fast-prime-shoot-out-pt-1-85mm-1-2l-ii-mini-review)
Title: Re: My Mini-Review of the 85mm 1.2L II.
Post by: SPL on October 09, 2012, 08:36:24 PM
Hey, great review!
I have lusted over that lens for a long time! It's images are amazing! There is just something about it! Also,... Great dog!
Title: Re: My Mini-Review of the 85mm 1.2L II.
Post by: Joseph M on October 09, 2012, 10:34:24 PM
Nice review!

Now how about a mini-review on the 135L and the 50L  ;D

Also, can you tell me how far you need to be to shoot a person from their head to their waist kinda shot with the 135L on a fullframe camera?
I've got the ultrawide side of my kit covered but my telephoto ends at 105mm, so I thought that the 135L would be a great addition as my first bokehlicious prime as well as getting my telephoto side covered
Title: Re: My Mini-Review of the 85mm 1.2L II.
Post by: mirekti on October 10, 2012, 07:28:53 PM


Very nice.
This will be my first purchase once I get 5d III.
Title: Re: My Mini-Review of the 85mm 1.2L II.
Post by: drjlo on October 10, 2012, 08:32:22 PM
I love my 85L, but the focus-by-wire thing has got to go  :(
Title: Re: My Mini-Review of the 85mm 1.2L II.
Post by: robbymack on October 14, 2012, 12:46:36 AM
RL great review, but since you asked for some critique here it is. Be careful of common grammatical errors as in the first sentence of your review.  You used "your on the canon system". Should be "you're". There are a few other errors in spelling and grammar throughout. I don't want to be the grammar police, but if at the outset I already see a common mistake I'm not going to take the rest of what you say very seriously.
Title: Re: My Mini-Review of the 85mm 1.2L II.
Post by: Viggo on October 14, 2012, 03:59:22 AM
I bought them all and love them all. I sold the 85 once, and bought it back. And on the 1d x, I wouldn't say the focus is slow anymore. My goto lens will always be the 50 along with the 35, they're actually very different.
Title: Re: My Mini-Review of the 85mm 1.2L II.
Post by: ookkerpak on October 14, 2012, 04:58:33 AM
Thanks for the review.

What's your opinion on 100mm 2.8L? Or other lenses with Macro capabilities?  :o
Title: Re: My Mini-Review of the 85mm 1.2L II.
Post by: Menace on October 14, 2012, 09:37:02 PM
85 1.2L is still on my wish list - during my last lens purchase it was between this lens and the 70-200 2.8 IS II...

The zoom won on that occasion but it was a close call. Love the dreamy quality of images produced by the 85!

 :)
Title: Re: My Mini-Review of the 85mm 1.2L II.
Post by: RLPhoto on October 16, 2012, 03:05:56 PM
Thanks for the feedback everyone.

I simply type what thoughts are coming into my head about a particular piece of gear and If they're are typos, so be it.

I will work on 50L and 135L reviews sometime later. I will also review the Winglight sometime too.

Title: Re: My Mini-Review of the 85mm 1.2L II.
Post by: bchernicoff on October 16, 2012, 04:04:02 PM
You mention excellent build quality...can you post a picture or comment on the gap between the focusing barrel and the outer lens body? I'm taking about the barrel that houses the front element and moves in and out to focus. On the copy of this lens that I owned, I found the gap to very large and I quickly got dust inside the lens. It settled on the inside of the rear element, where it is actually a problem. Fortunately, the rear element is easily cleaned by taking the lens mount loose (which houses the rear element) and puffing some air on it.

I cleaned mine, verified it still functioned perfectly and then sold it.
Title: Re: My Mini-Review of the 85mm 1.2L II.
Post by: RLPhoto on October 16, 2012, 04:07:56 PM
You mention excellent build quality...can you post a picture or comment on the gap between the focusing barrel and the outer lens body? I'm taking about the barrel that houses the front element and moves in and out to focus. On the copy of this lens that I owned, I found the gap to very large and I quickly got dust inside the lens. It settled on the inside of the rear element, where it is actually a problem. Fortunately, the rear element is easily cleaned by taking the lens mount loose (which houses the rear element) and puffing some air on it.

I cleaned mine, verified it still functioned perfectly and then sold it.

Its not a sealed lens, but It's built to withstand the bumps and knocks of professional use.
Title: Re: My Mini-Review of the 85mm 1.2L II.
Post by: bchernicoff on October 16, 2012, 04:19:39 PM
Its not a sealed lens, but It's built to withstand the bumps and knocks of professional use.

I understand that it's not sealed, but I found it to be alarmingly not-sealed. Fine for indoor use.

I just feel like a review should mention that it's a lens you need to be careful with.

I found the build quality of the Sigma 85mm 1.4 to be much better in this regard. With a 77mm filter on the front the focusing barrel is enclosed like with the Canon 50 1.2L.
AF is much faster on the Sigma as well, though that's not related to build quality.
Title: Re: My Mini-Review of the 85mm 1.2L II.
Post by: RLPhoto on October 16, 2012, 04:27:14 PM
Its not a sealed lens, but It's built to withstand the bumps and knocks of professional use.

I understand that it's not sealed, but I found it to be alarmingly not-sealed. Fine for indoor use.

I just feel like a review should mention that it's a lens you need to be careful with.

I found the build quality of the Sigma 85mm 1.4 to be much better in this regard. With a 77mm filter on the front the focusing barrel is enclosed like with the Canon 50 1.2L.
AF is much faster on the Sigma as well, though that's not related to build quality.

I wouldn't take the lens into a rainstorm but the 85L is built to last.

Yes, its AF is pitiful but its accurate. It has alot of glass to move around.

I still prefer my 135L.
Title: Re: My Mini-Review of the 85mm 1.2L II.
Post by: drmikeinpdx on October 23, 2012, 08:34:12 AM
I'm probably not typical among photographers, but I find the extremely shallow depth of field created by the F1.2 aperture kind of disturbing.  When working with people, I love blurring the background with my prime lenses, but I don't normally go any wider than 2.0

Thanks for the nice review.  My favorite shot was the one of the chicken.  The depth of field was just right for me. :)    I actually did a shoot for a woman who had pet chickens like that a few weeks ago.  We were in a small back yard and I used my Sigma 50mm 1.4 wide open a lot to really blur the background.  Must be something about chickens that needs a wide aperture. LOL!

I'm enjoying my prime lenses a lot more now that I have a 5D Mark III that will focus them accurately.  Looking forward to using them more, but it is hard to give up the zoom.
Title: Re: My Mini-Review of the 85mm 1.2L II.
Post by: Studio1930 on October 23, 2012, 09:28:53 AM
I agree that the build quality is not all that great on the 85L.  I own one and had to have it serviced twice.  The front element is screwed in like a filter and is only held in place by a tab (or two) and some glue.  If you get a filter stuck and try to unscrew it with force/strength then you can unscrew the front element.  That is what happened to mine.  Be careful with that lens but enjoy it.
Title: Re: My Mini-Review of the 85mm 1.2L II.
Post by: rahkshi007 on October 23, 2012, 10:43:59 AM
the best lens i ever own.. however, sometime i quite worry as the lens do  extend... any accidentally knocking may damage the focusing motor..
Title: Re: My Mini-Review of the 85mm 1.2L II.
Post by: mirekti on October 30, 2012, 10:39:58 PM
If you get a filter stuck and try to unscrew it with force/strength then you can unscrew the front element.  That is what happened to mine. 

That is scary!!!
Title: Re: My Mini-Review of the 85mm 1.2L II.
Post by: KurtStevens on October 31, 2012, 01:13:33 AM
After owning the 1.8 the 1.2 is beastly.  Love it. 

http://500px.com/photo/17080239 (http://500px.com/photo/17080239)

Sample @ 1.2.  Highly recommend this lens, especially after this review.  The 135 is beast too.
Title: Re: My Mini-Review of the 85mm 1.2L II.
Post by: gjones5252 on October 31, 2012, 03:53:58 AM
I dont mean any offense or anything but pretty much every topic that has to do with these lenses you keep posting this review you wrote. I think it was a good review but if i could encourage you to do the other parts i believe it mentions on there that would be awesome. I just keep clicking on it because i assume there is no way you would keep posting this without having finished the review. So i guess in one sense if you want people to go to your blog and check out your one post you are succeeding. Just realize that i count for like ten of the visits to your site. Even now you started a topic for it all in its own! I wont be tricked again! Let us know when you get some new stuff up. the first part was good!
Title: Re: My Mini-Review of the 85mm 1.2L II.
Post by: RLPhoto on October 31, 2012, 08:55:07 AM
I dont mean any offense or anything but pretty much every topic that has to do with these lenses you keep posting this review you wrote. I think it was a good review but if i could encourage you to do the other parts i believe it mentions on there that would be awesome. I just keep clicking on it because i assume there is no way you would keep posting this without having finished the review. So i guess in one sense if you want people to go to your blog and check out your one post you are succeeding. Just realize that i count for like ten of the visits to your site. Even now you started a topic for it all in its own! I wont be tricked again! Let us know when you get some new stuff up. the first part was good!

I usually post it for OP of a thread asking a question of relevance to fast primes. If I may have mislead you, I apologize.

In These modern times, it can be difficult to write up three complete reviews, so I broke it up into three intertwined reviews of each lens. I recieved some good tips for my next write up as this on one the 85L was a trial run.

My next review is the 50L because of the requests of a field review of that lens.

Stay tuned to the review section. I will post there with the link.

Edit: I Did some edits to the original post on tumblr. I've added some of the Info gained here about some flaws in the 85L II design and Tweaked my grammar.

I appreciated the Input, and motivates me to do better on my next real-world review.
Title: Re: My Mini-Review of the 85mm 1.2L II.
Post by: drjlo on November 03, 2012, 12:47:48 PM
Hope that is from the last few years with less "issues."
Title: Re: My Mini-Review of the 85mm 1.2L II.
Post by: BL on January 02, 2013, 07:00:51 PM
really appreciated the bokeh comparison with the 135. 

i had always wondered what the real world difference was between the two, and confirms the hard choice i had to make more than a few years ago.
Title: Re: My Mini-Review of the 85mm 1.2L II.
Post by: Jesse on January 02, 2013, 07:25:40 PM
you're
Title: Re: My Mini-Review of the 85mm 1.2L II.
Post by: risc32 on January 02, 2013, 08:05:51 PM
I've never heard that the 85L's build is anything less than awesome. I've never owned or laid a finger on a 85mmL, but i've read many , many reviews of this lens and I know a great deal about it. to say that RLphoto's review really should point out how the 85mmL is in some way built poorly is plain rubbish. 
    Also, i'd imagine many lenses, if not damn near all of them could be disassembled by unscrewing the front threads.

my only question regards that shot of the clothes pins. Is that distortion, or is that line really that crooked?  now, since you showed me yours, i feel it's only customary to show mine. clothes pin shot that is.
Title: Re: My Mini-Review of the 85mm 1.2L II.
Post by: Plato the Wise on January 02, 2013, 11:34:50 PM
Just my Little mini-review of this sweet lens. Feel free to critique it if you like, I don't do many reviews.

http://ramonlperez.tumblr.com/post/33253428138/fast-prime-shoot-out-pt-1-85mm-1-2l-ii-mini-review (http://ramonlperez.tumblr.com/post/33253428138/fast-prime-shoot-out-pt-1-85mm-1-2l-ii-mini-review)

85/1,2 is a fine lens but 90% you can do with the much cheaper Canon  85/1,8  which is also optically better.
I do not understand the hype around 85/1,2 and 50/1,2. is it the price and  looks impressive?
min.distance not short enough for tight portraits , slooooow AF and  LoCa.
Mine is not used a day since I got the  70-200/2,8 IS MK2.

Look at som details around the lovely dog, some blades of grass look almost synthetic and the bokeh is nervous, looks better with 135/2.0.




I have both the 50L and 85L and have shot the 85 1.8 and reviewed work shot with the 50 1.4.

The non-L versions are nice lenses, but they are NOT in the same class as the L versions. The richness in color, the contrast, and bokeh on the L versions are superior.

They don't have the same look at all. Some lenses impart a quality to the image capture that is hard to describe in words alone. The only comparison I can make here is that quality is imparted by other lenses, such as the Zeiss versions of the old hasselblad lenses. And I am in no way equating the look of a Zeiss lens with a Canon L. They are much different. But both have a distinct look that the lower end lenses lack.

Title: Re: My Mini-Review of the 85mm 1.2L II.
Post by: RLPhoto on January 02, 2013, 11:46:13 PM
I've never heard that the 85L's build is anything less than awesome. I've never owned or laid a finger on a 85mmL, but i've read many , many reviews of this lens and I know a great deal about it. to say that RLphoto's review really should point out how the 85mmL is in some way built poorly is plain rubbish. 
    Also, i'd imagine many lenses, if not damn near all of them could be disassembled by unscrewing the front threads.

my only question regards that shot of the clothes pins. Is that distortion, or is that line really that crooked?  now, since you showed me yours, i feel it's only customary to show mine. clothes pin shot that is.

I never said the 85L was built badly. It's a tank but even tanks have weaknesses.
Title: Re: My Mini-Review of the 85mm 1.2L II.
Post by: risc32 on January 03, 2013, 04:45:15 PM
Maybe you missed it, but my comments weren't directed at you, but more in defense of your review. a review that i thought was a good real world look at the 85, and its alternatives. most of the time these things don't take the alternatives into account and I know first hand most people agonize over things like 85L or 135L or... they have different strengths, but most people don't have endless money to just buy both, so to look at them, their strengths, and  positions in the market seems like a proper thing to do. thanks

 sure the 1.8 will work as good or better most of the time, for most of the people, i've got one.  there is something referred to as diminished returns. you aren't going to be getting 10X performance for 10x more money, but that high price does bring many things.
Title: Re: My Mini-Review of the 85mm 1.2L II.
Post by: eml58 on January 04, 2013, 09:03:06 PM
Enjoy your reviews & agree whole heartedly with your views on the 85L & 135L, I have both and also the 50L 1.2, all are amazing Lenses & when used right, provide amazing outcomes. On the Weather Proofing Level, although these Lenses are not sealed, I recently visited The Snow monkeys in Japan, Snowed hugely on the first day, I shot all three of these lenses on the 1Dx & had zero issues with weather sealing, my only complaint would be the crappy focus distance for close in shots, i found myself repeatedly moving back to get focus, in particular on the 85L, other than that, all 3 lenses worked great.
Title: Re: My Mini-Review of the 85mm 1.2L II.
Post by: dafrank on January 04, 2013, 11:12:54 PM
Nice, considered review Ramon. I have the 85 f/1.2 II and had the 135 f/1.2 at the same time for a couple of years. My impression of the two was that the 85 had a little more "magic' that is hard to define, but that the 135 had a kind of relentless sharpness that was quite good for its speed and focal length.

As to build, my 85 came flawless out of the box and I haven't noticed anything negative - no mechanical weakness, unintentional disassembly or dust problems. As to focusing, yes, it's slow, but, as others have mentioned, the focus motor has to move a group of very heavy lens elements. In any case, hardly anyone seriously buys this lens for fast-moving low light sports (a few diehards to the contrary). Its best use is for slow considered portraiture and even some specially rendered product shots and other miscellany, all done in a style where ultimate focus speed is almost irelevant.

I find its bokeh to be impeccable, but I hardly ever shoot this lens tight at f1.2 (maybe for an occasional half- or full-body shot), due to its insanely narrow depth of focus; if your subject so much as twitches, your f/1.2 shot will be a mess of misplaced focus. I find that f/1.6 is a great aperture for my purposes with f/2.0 being not much less attractive. At f/2.8, you might as well be using less expensive glass, although this lens is still quite amazing through f/4.0, compared to most others. It's not just sharpness, it 's also the "character" of the image: a combination of designed-in flaws and aberrations from the purposeful trade-off demanded by such a wide maximum aperture, its bokeh, its color, its contrast and the super-high center resolution along with dimiinshed edge and corner results. This is supposed to be, above all else, a portrait lens, and all these characteristics make it a great one. For instance, when taking a good head and shoulders picture, it is the central area of the subjects face, around the eyes, that benefits from great sharpness, not the tips of the subjects' shoulders on the edge of the picture.

When I have to quickly shoot a lot of portraits of a lot of people, as in a day of corporate "gang" shooting on location at some headquarters conference room, I always use my brilliant 70-200 f/2.8 IS II. It get's the job done perfectly, and you can somewhat make up for f/2.8 bokeh by using a longer focal length when possible. But for those occasions when I can take my time to get a really impressive single "portrait" picture, I like to use the 85, and slowly vary the focus to see what I can make of the very narrow band of focus that it affords me. For this, there is absolutely no substitute.

All in all, a terrific lens I will keep indefinitely.

Regards,
David