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Gear Talk => Lenses => Topic started by: estercaires on February 06, 2013, 06:33:57 AM

Title: Sigma 50 1.4 or Canon 85 1.8 OR 100 2.0 for 5d mark ii
Post by: estercaires on February 06, 2013, 06:33:57 AM
Hi folks!

I just got my 5d mark ii and still have no lenses because i want to make the best decision. Unfortunately i can only buy ONE because i sold everything i had to afford the 5d!

I`m stuck between a Sigma 50mm 1.4 and a Canon 85mm 1.8. I find them both stunning lenses and very sharp, but i just cant decide.
Will the 85mm be to long for portraits and group photos? And about the background blur, wich one will give a more smoother background, and nicer bokeh?
And the focus, i heard the 85 is much more accurate and faster. For night shots, how will the 1.8 behave?

In my research ive also read about the canon 100mm 2.0, because it woul be more like the amazing135mm 2 but should i wait a little bit more and save more money and buy the 100, is it worth it? I quite woried that it will be too long to be my only lens.
Im driving myself crazy!

Hope you can help me make the best decision so i can take the 5d out of the box and hit the streets!
Title: Re: Sigma 50 1.4 or Canon 85 1.8 OR 100 2.0 for 5d mark ii
Post by: elflord on February 06, 2013, 07:21:09 AM
Hi folks!

I just got my 5d mark ii and still have no lenses because i want to make the best decision. Unfortunately i can only buy ONE because i sold everything i had to afford the 5d!

I`m stuck between a Sigma 50mm 1.4 and a Canon 85mm 1.8. I find them both stunning lenses and very sharp, but i just cant decide.
Will the 85mm be to long for portraits and group photos? And about the background blur, wich one will give a more smoother background, and nicer bokeh?
And the focus, i heard the 85 is much more accurate and faster. For night shots, how will the 1.8 behave?

In my research ive also read about the canon 100mm 2.0, because it woul be more like the amazing135mm 2 but should i wait a little bit more and save more money and buy the 100, is it worth it? I quite woried that it will be too long to be my only lens.
Im driving myself crazy!

Hope you can help me make the best decision so i can take the 5d out of the box and hit the streets!

For night shots you'll need about double the shutter speed with the 85 because of the longer focal length and fraction of a stop difference.

The longer lens (with larger absolute aperture size) will give you better subject isolation but challenging for group shots unless you have a lot of distance to work with.

Because this will be your only lens for a while I'd lean towards the 50. Far more versatile. 
Title: Re: Sigma 50 1.4 or Canon 85 1.8 OR 100 2.0 for 5d mark ii
Post by: RS2021 on February 06, 2013, 07:30:48 AM
50mm of whatever brand is better than the other two Lenses in your case...not because the two are bad, but because they are too long to be your only lens. 40mm  is another option but it will be f2.8.
Title: Re: Sigma 50 1.4 or Canon 85 1.8 OR 100 2.0 for 5d mark ii
Post by: Mendolera on February 06, 2013, 07:48:52 AM
All are very good.. I own the Canon 50 1.4 and the 85 1.8 and tend to lean toward the 85 with FF because I like the tighter shots. Most of my shots are my son or wife/son, so not a lot of group shots. With some room, 2-4 people group shots are doable IMO. I do find AF a litter faster on the 85 as well with my Mark III.

You will lose just a little low light capability with the 85 or 100, in both aperture and need for faster shutter speed to compensate for the focal length.

Never owned the 100 but I hear its nearly identical in performance to the 85 with just a little longer reach and a 1/3 less stop. That being said I would get the 85 because its usually $50-75 cheaper
Title: Re: Sigma 50 1.4 or Canon 85 1.8 OR 100 2.0 for 5d mark ii
Post by: infared on February 06, 2013, 07:50:27 AM
I agree with what was said above...out of the lenses you mentioned the Sigma 50mm is a great lens and would be the most versatile. If you are new, and getting your feet wet, you may want to consider picking up a used Canon 24-105mm to get a feel for a good range of focal lengths. Then start buying your primes when you have more experience...you can always sell the zoom later......
You mention wanting to shoot groups and "hit the streets"...to me that is sounding like the better lens for you, if you want a prime may be a 35mm. Check out the new Sigma 35mm f/1.4. Killer value and if you only own one lens it could be more versatile for your needs. That is the street lens of choice for many and a good lens for groups.
Title: Re: Sigma 50 1.4 or Canon 85 1.8 OR 100 2.0 for 5d mark ii
Post by: Dylan777 on February 06, 2013, 09:32:47 AM
50mm of whatever brand is better than the other two Lenses in your case...not because the two are bad, but because they are too long to be your only lens. 40mm  is another option but it will be f2.8.

+1 on 40shorty OR 50mm on FF.

See my pics with 40shorty on 5D III: http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=7449.msg229009#msg229009
Title: Re: Sigma 50 1.4 or Canon 85 1.8 OR 100 2.0 for 5d mark ii
Post by: miejoe on February 06, 2013, 10:08:58 AM
What a fun dilemma to have! (sorry, but I love this kind of stuff!)

As others mentioned, the 85 has the best bokeh and is an outstanding portrait lens but will be too tight for groups and more general purpose photography. The 50 is overall the most versatile lens, but is a little wide for single portraits, and you'd find yourself wishing for a little more background separation.

I can tell you what I'd do: I'd get the Canon 40/2.8 AND the 85/1.8 USED. I just saw the 40/2.8 show up on the used market for $135, so I'm thinking you could get both for the new price of the sigma 50/1.4. Check classifieds, B&H used, Adorama used, and KEH used.

You'd get the best portrait lens for single/couple portraits and shallow DOF photography, but you'd still have an extremely sharp, compact, stealthy, versatile 40mm lens for everything else. You do lose a couple stops with the 40/2.8, but with group photos (and most wide angle shots) you'd end up stopping down a 1.4 to get everything (or everyone) in focus anyway. You also get better macro with the 40/2.8, but you didn't mention that as a priority.

The only real sacrifice with the 40/2.8 is for very low light handheld, but you've still got your 85/1.8, and now that you've gone Full Frame you can ramp up the ISO more than you might expect. Plus, you've only sunk $135 into the 40, so if you really find yourself wanting the extra two stops on a wide lens down the road, you can easily recoup your costs and grab one of the Sigmas. By that time the 40 will also have taught you whether you'd rather have a 35/1.4 or a 50/1.4.

Good Luck!
Title: Re: Sigma 50 1.4 or Canon 85 1.8 OR 100 2.0 for 5d mark ii
Post by: RS2021 on February 06, 2013, 10:42:12 AM
This is really not such a difficult situation.  As always, people suggest what they have or like...while the focus has to be how can the OP get the most out of his ONLY lens in the beginning.

I suggested the 50mm for him, even though my personal preference is for the 35mm as a standard which will NOT suit his needs as the only lens. The 35mm offerings generate varying levels of distortion if he has to get a tighter shot by getting closer. 85mm and 100mm are too tight in most rooms, and certainly not ideal for indoor groups.

50mm is ideal as you can walk back and acheive near 35mm FOV or walk closer and get tighter shots that still look normal.

50mm allows him to zoom with his feet and comes in a wide price range that can be as cheap or as expensive as he wishes. It is a no brainer :)
Title: Re: Sigma 50 1.4 or Canon 85 1.8 OR 100 2.0 for 5d mark ii
Post by: bholliman on February 06, 2013, 10:47:34 AM
picking up a used Canon 24-105mm to get a feel for a good range of focal lengths.
I can tell you what I'd do: I'd get the Canon 40/2.8 AND the 85/1.8 USED.

+1 to either of these suggestions. 
The 24-105 is very versatile and has excellent IQ.  You should be able to pick up one used for around $600-700 USD, but that may be outside your budget.

The pancake 40mm and 85mm 1.8 would be an awesome combo that would allow you to shoot anything from landscapes, street shots and nice portraits.  You should be able to get both for less than the zoom, maybe $400-450 USD.
Title: Re: Sigma 50 1.4 or Canon 85 1.8 OR 100 2.0 for 5d mark ii
Post by: infared on February 06, 2013, 10:57:48 AM
..yeah...forgot about the shorty forty...That is a great suggestion...not that fast an f-stop but a lot of lens for a little bit of money!!!!
Title: Re: Sigma 50 1.4 or Canon 85 1.8 OR 100 2.0 for 5d mark ii
Post by: RLPhoto on February 06, 2013, 12:05:30 PM
50mm first, 100 f/2 second then a wide angle of your choice.
Title: Re: Sigma 50 1.4 or Canon 85 1.8 OR 100 2.0 for 5d mark ii
Post by: estercaires on February 11, 2013, 09:44:06 AM
Hello again!

Thanks very very much all off you for your replies!

I was really leaning to buy the 85 1.8 when I was suprised by a great deal on a 100 f/2.0 by this old creapy teethless taxi driver.
I'm really in love with it, it has such a great sharpness!, and its definitly worth zooming whith my feet.

Heres a photo i took with the 100 2.0, I think its really good, specially with the low light condition.

(http://img856.imageshack.us/img856/51/ey9a6963.jpg)

I know this is has nothing to do whith the topic but here's one taken by my boyfriends Sigma 85 1.4 which is definitly one hell of a lens!

(http://img577.imageshack.us/img577/8080/filpet812filpet8515copy.jpg)

ps: i'm a her :)
Title: Re: Sigma 50 1.4 or Canon 85 1.8 OR 100 2.0 for 5d mark ii
Post by: robbymack on February 11, 2013, 09:58:27 AM
You can't really go wrong with any of those choices, just comes down to personal preference. If you like the 100 get it, any differences between that and the 85's are really splitting hairs at best. For a budget second lens option the 40 2.8 or 50 1.8 are great options as well. Most importantly have fun.
Title: Re: Sigma 50 1.4 or Canon 85 1.8 OR 100 2.0 for 5d mark ii
Post by: estercaires on February 11, 2013, 04:18:52 PM
I ve have already experimented the 85 1.8 and the chromatic aberrations are a real headache.
Im really happy with the 100, its very sharp a fast.
Im now starting to save to buy the sigma 50 1.4 and then my life will be completed!
Title: Re: Sigma 50 1.4 or Canon 85 1.8 OR 100 2.0 for 5d mark ii
Post by: miejoe on February 13, 2013, 11:30:55 AM
... and then my life will be completed!

Haha, good luck with that!

Thanks for updating us on your choice and posting the photos though.

I'm sure you'll be thrilled with the 100 f/2, as long as you can handle its tight crop. It's a slightly sharper, higher-end lens than the 85, so if you found it for the same price, you got a great deal.
Title: Re: Sigma 50 1.4 or Canon 85 1.8 OR 100 2.0 for 5d mark ii
Post by: johann3s on February 19, 2013, 08:20:54 AM
The 100mm and 85mm are very close lenses.

You can do a comparison between the three lenses at how much blur. With this tool you can see the differences in background blur between the lenses, and you can select different subject sizes as well to see the effect.

How much blur - Compare the 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.8 and 100mm f2 (http://howmuchblur.com/#compare-1x-50mm-f1.4-and-1x-85mm-f1.8-and-1x-100mm-f2-on-a-0.9m-wide-subject)
Title: Re: Sigma 50 1.4 or Canon 85 1.8 OR 100 2.0 for 5d mark ii
Post by: 7enderbender on February 19, 2013, 10:15:11 AM
If I could have only one lens for my 5DII it would be a 50mm. Doesn't matter which one really. In fact, I'd rather get the best 50mm for my needs that I could afford before looking into anything else. Doing everything with a 50 prime is about as much fun as photography gets in my book.

If you need a bit more variety I second the idea of the new 40mm plus the 85mm. Should be in the budget.
Title: Re: Sigma 50 1.4 or Canon 85 1.8 OR 100 2.0 for 5d mark ii
Post by: Knut Skywalker on February 19, 2013, 10:42:19 AM
I started exactly like you with just the 5D Mark II and with it i got the 50mm 1.4. It's effing awesome. You can do everything with 50mm, its not too wide and not too tele. I love this lens. After that i got the 100mm 2.0 for portraits. But the 50mm 1.4 is still my main lens. Get a 50mm and you will be very happy with it.
Title: Re: Sigma 50 1.4 or Canon 85 1.8 OR 100 2.0 for 5d mark ii
Post by: sambafan on February 19, 2013, 10:46:32 AM
Shorty Forty running at $149 on most sites right now due to rebates. As others said, it's not super in low light but fun for street shooting. With the 85 1.8, right around 5 bills for a fun combo.
All in all, though, I'd go with a 50 for your first lens. I personally use the Canon 1.4 happily.
Title: Re: Sigma 50 1.4 or Canon 85 1.8 OR 100 2.0 for 5d mark ii
Post by: Zlatko on February 19, 2013, 10:56:43 AM
Will the 85mm be to long for portraits and group photos?
Yes, 85mm will often be too long for group photos.  You will need to really back up.  Depends on the size of the group, of course.  Sometimes 50mm is too long for group photos.  If you will only have one lens to start, it should probably be a 50 or wider, not an 85.
Title: Re: Sigma 50 1.4 or Canon 85 1.8 OR 100 2.0 for 5d mark ii
Post by: Rienzphotoz on February 19, 2013, 12:16:33 PM
Unfortunately i can only buy ONE because i sold everything i had to afford the 5d!

I`m stuck between a Sigma 50mm 1.4 and a Canon 85mm 1.8.
If you have already narrowed down your options between Sigma 50 or Canon 85, I'd say Canon EF 85 f/1.8
Why? 5D MK II (although a great camera) is not really known for it AF system, so pairing it with a third party (Sigma) lens, as your only lens, could end up being a bad decision due to potential front focus/back focus issues ... hence having a Canon lens paired with a Canon camera makes better sense especially when it is your only lens. Don't get me wrong, I personally have used many third party lenses (mostly Sigma ... in fact there was a point in time when I had more Sigma lenses than any other maker's) and I still have 2 third party lenses (Sigma 150-500 OS & Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 VC) but I found & continue to see that the equivalent Canon lens work better with a Canon Camera  than any third party lens I used or have. But if 50mm is what you'd like to have (which is a better focal length as the first lens than 85mm) go for Canon 50 f/1.4
BTW just yesterday, I ordered Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 from B&H (got a really good deal) ... expected to arrive this coming Thursday. 
Title: Re: Sigma 50 1.4 or Canon 85 1.8 OR 100 2.0 for 5d mark ii
Post by: Menace on February 20, 2013, 12:21:28 AM
If I had to choose between the three on a 5d II, I'd go with the Sigma 50 1.4.

Cheers
Title: Re: Sigma 50 1.4 or Canon 85 1.8 OR 100 2.0 for 5d mark ii
Post by: wickidwombat on February 20, 2013, 12:33:53 AM
I think the 40mm and an 85mm combo is really great i often carry just these (and my 20mm voigtlander)

the shorty forty can be had for $150
the canon 85 f1.8 can be had from $350 to $400

the sigma 50mm f1.4 is around $500

i say go with the canon 85 f1.8 and the shorty forty :D
Title: Re: Sigma 50 1.4 or Canon 85 1.8 OR 100 2.0 for 5d mark ii
Post by: Normalnorm on February 20, 2013, 01:56:56 AM
The 100 f2 is an excellent lens. The 50 would be good complement to it butI would also recommend the new Sigma 35 f1.4 for your consideration.
I starte my career with a 35 and an 85 and I was very happy for ten years with the versatility of that combo.
Title: Re: Sigma 50 1.4 or Canon 85 1.8 OR 100 2.0 for 5d mark ii
Post by: sandymandy on February 20, 2013, 03:02:06 AM
Id suggest 100mm 2.8L macro. Its just fantastically sharp and also enables you to enter the world of macro shooting. Negative side its more expensive. But imho one of the best lenses of all that canon offers!
Title: Re: Sigma 50 1.4 or Canon 85 1.8 OR 100 2.0 for 5d mark ii
Post by: axtstern on February 20, 2013, 04:08:27 AM
As a reply to the original question:

I own the Sigma and the Canon. I bought the 85mm 1.8 based on internet reviews. "The digital picture" catched me with a remark that the best thing on the 85mm L is it's ability to remind you how good the non L already is. I droped the idea of the 100mm lens as the 1.8 sounded more important to me than the 20mm more and just for the sake of a metal ring instead a plastic ring to screw the filter in I did not want to change my mind.

I bought the Sigma 50mm instead of the Canon because I liked the Bokeh of the Sigma more and someone on E-bay sold it almost new cheaper than any used Canon.

I'm selling the 85mm canon right now while it is still one of my most loved lenses, however I never use it anymore because the Sigma 50mm and the Canon 135mm L eat up enaugh real estate in my camera bag and my idea of a need to cover the middle seemes suddenly not practical.

Really be warned, if the reach, the quality and the bokeh of the 85mm is attractive, then sooner or later the lure of the 135 will be overwhelming.

That said there is something which made the 85mm interesting: It's size and shape (without the lens hood) makes it the perfect companion when using a holster pouches for DSLR with mid sized zooms.

For example your 5DII with a 28-200 or 28-300 lens in such a holster means a lot of reach but nothing fast at hand. The 85mm fits usualy perfectly into the sidepouches of such holsters and so you have the 1.8 available when light conditions are bad.

I do not share the complaints other people have about the focus of the Sigma 50mm. I love that lens just wish it would resemble more the feeling of the Sigma 30mm 1.4 However if you should buy it, it is a heavy, huge monster in relation to just being 50mm. If I know in advance that I have the need for the 50mm I usualy keep the 5d at home and take the 60d with the Sigma 30mm 1.4 as it is a much more convinient solution.  Often when carying the Sigma 50mm arround I wish to either return to my old crappy Canon 50mm 1.8 The lens hood comes with the Sigma for free and is an absolute must to control flare and IQ. As the reversed Hood covers way to much of the lens to be handeled in a convinient way you will end up carying the lens with the hood proper mounted. The result is a short prime being as bulky as the the Tamron 28-70 VC.
Title: Re: Sigma 50 1.4 or Canon 85 1.8 OR 100 2.0 for 5d mark ii
Post by: bwfishing on February 20, 2013, 04:22:26 PM
I love the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, but the chromatic aberrations not so much. The optional lens hood does cuts down the frencency of how often it occurs. If your buying the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens for mostly outdoor use I would recommend against it.  My outdoor prime is the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens.  It has great image stabilization which is a big plus on a portrait lens. Great Bokeh with  IQ and sharpness that is truly excellent.