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Gear Talk => Lenses => Topic started by: djgunter on February 24, 2013, 10:07:25 AM

Title: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: djgunter on February 24, 2013, 10:07:25 AM
Hi everyone,

New user here in need of some expert opinions before I spend BIG on primes....

I'm looking to purchase a very wide aperture lens...my current widest lens is the 100mm 2.8 IS L Macro lens.

I want something that will be great for ultimate bokeh and street photography. I had a look at all these lenses today but cant decide which one is best without really getting to use any...I cant rent where I am either.

The Canon 85mm 1.2 is nuts...but the Zeiss lenses, especially the 85mm 1.4 is just beautiful. I have never had a manual only lens so Im worried I wont be happy using it.

Can anyone fill me in? I'm looking for the sharpest lens with the best most bokeh...is there a difference between the 50mm 1.2L and the 85mm 1.2L?

Thanks for your help everyone.
Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: RMC33 on February 24, 2013, 10:45:56 AM
I JUST had all the 50's you mention + the canon 50 1.4.

I honestly would avoid the Canon 1.2 if you plan on shooting stopped down and buy the 1.4 (IQ is the same on both @ F/2 when I used both lenses the majority of the time). The 1.2 focuses faster then the 1.4, but not by much. I think the rumored update of the 50 1.4 could prove to make an amazing lens and that is what I am waiting for. The Canon 1.2 just did not do it for me for the price.

The Zeiss was BY far the sharpest wide open. The Zeiss IQ was amazing at f/2 as well but MF just does not fit into my shooting style. I would have loved to keep and own that lens, but it just was to time consuming for me to MF every shot when I am on a schedule.
Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: shurkas on February 24, 2013, 11:54:38 AM
I am Zeiss fanboy, and I was shooting with 50 1.2, which I had eventually sold. My Zeiss lenses are 85 1.4 and 50 2.0 macro. What could I say, 50 1.2 is worth shooting 1.2, when stopped down the picture becomes less appealing. But the 1.2 is generally not usable in terms of microstock photography, which I'm trying to focus on completely. Why I have bought 50 2.0 macro over 50 1.4: 1 I thought that I saw sharp lenses before buying this one... but when I did, I realized how wrong I was. It is really THAT SHARP, 2 It have unique rendering of out-of-focus areas, that no other lens can produce, and I really like it.

I asked myself a question - how often I will shoot 1.4 wide open for stock purposes and the answer was "not really often". So I decided to put my money into 2.0 and I really happy with this decision.

And the Zeiss 85 1.4 ... It's just beautiful, for me using it is very similar to sexual pleasure lol, I cannot be more specific, just love it full stop :)

Now the pitfalls. Manual focusing is the challenge... I remember how frustrated I was over 99% of my first images was out of focus... Live view improves focusing experience dramatically, but still.. Zeisses are not for quick shooting.

So if your main subjects are weddings, journalist-style shooting, buy Canon lenses, If you shoot advertising or microstock, or still life, I would recommend Zeiss.

Any other question - will be happy to help

Cheers,

Sasha
Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: dickgrafixstop on February 24, 2013, 01:58:18 PM
Very personal taste and shooting style dependent.  In my experience comparing the two,
Canon lenses take snapshots, Zeiss lenses take photographs, with all the work and individual
attention in the differentiation.  Sharpness, color saturation, and consistency mark most of the
Zeiss offerings.  Automation, ease of use and variable quality seem to be Canon hallmarks.
The Zeiss 85mm f1.4 is a pinnacle of design, manufacturing and assembly and a joy to own and use.
Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: djgunter on February 24, 2013, 10:14:25 PM
So the 50mm 1.2, while wide open isnt sharp? Because I'd like to have a very sharp focus area with lots of depth behind/bokeh.

The 85mm is substantially more in cost, so I'm at a loss of what to.

I plan on upgrading to a 5D Mark 3 within a few months...will this change the performance of the 50mm 1.2?
Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: RMC33 on February 24, 2013, 10:38:53 PM
So the 50mm 1.2, while wide open isnt sharp? Because I'd like to have a very sharp focus area with lots of depth behind/bokeh.

The 85mm is substantially more in cost, so I'm at a loss of what to.

I plan on upgrading to a 5D Mark 3 within a few months...will this change the performance of the 50mm 1.2?

It is sharp, on a very very thin plane. To the point if you nail the eye the nose will be somewhat OOF. Main reason I used it stopped down to F/2. I do the same with my Canon 1.4 as both of them perform great at that aperture. Ill finish cooking dinner and setup a side by side using a 5d3 of the two lenses.
Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: babiesphotos on February 24, 2013, 11:30:13 PM
So the 50mm 1.2, while wide open isnt sharp? Because I'd like to have a very sharp focus area with lots of depth behind/bokeh.

The 85mm is substantially more in cost, so I'm at a loss of what to.

I plan on upgrading to a 5D Mark 3 within a few months...will this change the performance of the 50mm 1.2?

None of the 1.2 are great for street photography. DOF is so shallow that you rarely want that effect on the street. 1.2 is great for portraits, and for that 50 is sharp enough, and 85 is just plain sharp, BUT I don't think you should be buying any 1.2 until you have 50 1.4, play with it and decide you want more. Easy to buy, easy to sell, not gonna lose much money... similarly 85 1.8 AF is much faster than 85 1.2, you may like it for candids...
Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: RMC33 on February 25, 2013, 12:31:43 AM
 50 1.2 Starting @ f/1.2 through F/8 ISO 400 5dmk3 no post. All taken from 2.5 ft.

For some reason the shot @ 1.2 is last. Sorry.
Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: RMC33 on February 25, 2013, 12:32:18 AM
50 1.2 cont.
Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: RMC33 on February 25, 2013, 12:33:11 AM
50 1.4 ISO 400 5dMk3 F/1.4-8
Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: RMC33 on February 25, 2013, 12:33:34 AM
50 1.4 Cont.
Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: Plamen on February 25, 2013, 12:43:21 AM
The 50L has noticeably more blurred background than than the 50/1.4, both at f/1.4. Are those files labeled correctly? There is no aperture data in the EXIF.
Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: RMC33 on February 25, 2013, 01:59:29 AM
The 50L has noticeably more blurred background than than the 50/1.4, both at f/1.4. Are those files labeled correctly? There is no aperture data in the EXIF.

Yes all labeled proper. I did the wrong export (No exif).
Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: Plamen on February 25, 2013, 10:35:01 AM
Thank you for posting those.

I have experience with the 50L but never shot with the 50/1.4. If you have the opportunity to compare them in good light outside, with a colorful subject, both at f/1.4, this would be very useful.
Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: djgunter on February 25, 2013, 11:02:08 AM
Thanks so much for the pictures, they really provided the information I needed on a whole other level. I do want to some serious bokeh,but at the same time dont want to lose all the sharpness,especially in an area the size of ones face,from only a few feet away.

I'm leaning towards the 85mm, although my wallet won't appreciate that......

What I really want is a new prime with fantastic bokeh and image sharpness. I'm sure you can understand my pain..

I have really noticed the difference between primes and zooms after buying my 100mm Is L macro. The quality isn't matched by anything else I have.

Right now I have -

100mm IS L Macro
24-100mm IS L
100-400mm IS L
Sigma 10-20mm wide angle

I feel I'm missing a serious prime, if that makes sense.



Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: djgunter on February 25, 2013, 11:03:55 AM
I also plan to upgrade to the 5D Mark3 within a few months, if that makes any difference...
Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: RMC33 on February 25, 2013, 11:31:30 AM
Thank you for posting those.

I have experience with the 50L but never shot with the 50/1.4. If you have the opportunity to compare them in good light outside, with a colorful subject, both at f/1.4, this would be very useful.

I may be able to today. Someone hit my car in a parking lot yesterday and I have to deal with that. The colors here in Nevada are pretty drab this time of year sadly, but I think I have something in mind.
Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: sdsr on February 25, 2013, 11:37:58 AM
Hi everyone,

New user here in need of some expert opinions before I spend BIG on primes....

I'm looking to purchase a very wide aperture lens...my current widest lens is the 100mm 2.8 IS L Macro lens.

I want something that will be great for ultimate bokeh and street photography. I had a look at all these lenses today but cant decide which one is best without really getting to use any...I cant rent where I am either.

The Canon 85mm 1.2 is nuts...but the Zeiss lenses, especially the 85mm 1.4 is just beautiful. I have never had a manual only lens so Im worried I wont be happy using it.

Can anyone fill me in? I'm looking for the sharpest lens with the best most bokeh...is there a difference between the 50mm 1.2L and the 85mm 1.2L?

Thanks for your help everyone.

Does the fact that you mention these lenses mean that you've considered and excluded the 135L and Sigma 85 1.4?  If not, I would strongly recommend you consider them, especially since they cost much less than the lenses you've mentioned.  They're both sharp (esp. the 135) wide open, mechanically excellent (the 135L is extremely fast-focusing), and create superb bokeh (the 135 is famous for it).  If you do a suitable internet search you'll find bokeh (and other) comparisons between the 85mm L and the Sigma; the results may surprise you.  (And bear in mind that (1) it's easier to get smoother bokeh with a longer focal length; for one thing, you don't have to get so close to the subject; and (2) as someone else has mentioned, you're not likely to be doing street photography at 1.2, except perhaps in the middle of the night....)
Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: RMC33 on February 25, 2013, 11:45:27 AM
I also plan to upgrade to the 5D Mark3 within a few months, if that makes any difference...

What are you using now?
Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: risc32 on February 25, 2013, 12:12:04 PM
when you say the zeiss is the sharpest wide open do you mean zeiss macro f2 at f2-vs- the L's at f1.2? This reminds me of what Roger at "lensrentals" found during his big 50mm roundup. If you don't care to find that info and read it, i'll give you the short answer. The Zeiss(s) have nothing on the L or the 1.4 or 1.8 for that matter. In fact the Zeiss 1.4 is probably the worst performer i can think of off the top of my head in regards to the commonly tested lens areas. but you don't have to believe me, I've seen it perform poorly at maybe 4-5 of the top lens reviewing sites. search it.
  But if you just want a solidly built MF 50mm lens that you can take pics with, at any price, that's certainly the Zeiss. If you get one that is calibrated properly, unlike the 21mm Brian from "thedigitalpicture" had. I know it's hard to believe, but for that much money, and with no AF complications to deal with, and all those "papers" with people signing off on them, they still get stuff wrong.

  Oh, and the Zeiss 85mm is also a poor performer in the traditional areas of performance. Easily bettered by the canon 85mm 1.8 and sigma, but it's all metal, and you have to MF,  so that's got to be worth something?!
Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: Plamen on February 25, 2013, 12:17:29 PM
I borrowed the Sigma 85 from a friend - it was OK but the AF was terrible. It needed very different MA values at different FLs. My friend had similar experience on a different body and he returned it.
Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: alipaulphotography on February 25, 2013, 12:24:51 PM
50mm F/1.2 is a gorgeous lens. I spent 6 weeks in Thailand with just that one lens.

(http://alipaul.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Thailand-6984.jpg)

(http://alipaul.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Thailand-1158.jpg)

(http://alipaul.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Thailand-1042.jpg)

(http://alipaul.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Thailand-885.jpg)

(http://alipaul.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Thailand-548.jpg)

More can be seen here: http://alipaul.com/travel/thailand-two/ (http://alipaul.com/travel/thailand-two/).

Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: RMC33 on February 25, 2013, 12:32:54 PM
50mm F/1.2 is a gorgeous lens. I spent 6 weeks in Thailand with just that one lens.

(http://alipaul.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Thailand-6984.jpg)

(http://alipaul.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Thailand-1158.jpg)

(http://alipaul.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Thailand-1042.jpg)

(http://alipaul.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Thailand-885.jpg)

(http://alipaul.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Thailand-548.jpg)

More can be seen here: http://alipaul.com/travel/thailand-two/ (http://alipaul.com/travel/thailand-two/).

Great shots!
Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: Axilrod on February 25, 2013, 02:27:33 PM
The 85L is the bokeh king, but the 50L is great too.  I ditched my 50L (once my favorite lens) for the Zeiss ZE 50mm f/2 Makro and have zero regrets.  Then again I shoot video primarily so I have very little need for autofocus.  ZE is worlds sharper though, especially on the edges.  The ZE 50mm f/1.4 is pretty solid too, but not that great below f/2.8.
Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: Joes Dad on February 25, 2013, 04:24:47 PM
I have experience with these lenses.  In my view, the Canon 85 f/1.2L is a phenomenal portrait lens - the best for this purpose Canon makes (unless you include the 200 f/2.0 - but that is a different discussion and not suited to street photography as mentioned by the OP).  At night, the 85 f/1.2 AF will hunt, but the lens is worth that frustration.  The 50 f/1.2L is also a very good lens, but in my view I would choose the Zeiss over it for street photography, especially at night when you will want to shoot wide open.  Good luck.  (+1 AliPaul - great shots.)
Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: RMC33 on February 25, 2013, 04:48:05 PM
I have experience with these lenses.  In my view, the Canon 85 f/1.2L is a phenomenal portrait lens - the best for this purpose Canon makes (unless you include the 200 f/2.0 - but that is a different discussion and not suited to street photography as mentioned by the OP).  At night, the 85 f/1.2 AF will hunt, but the lens is worth that frustration.  The 50 f/1.2L is also a very good lens, but in my view I would choose the Zeiss over it for street photography, especially at night when you will want to shoot wide open.  Good luck.  (+1 AliPaul - great shots.)

I keep seeing people mention this. I should run my 200 f/2 through a few portrait/headshot sessions.....
Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: fegari on February 25, 2013, 04:56:03 PM
I also plan to upgrade to the 5D Mark3 within a few months, if that makes any difference...

Yes it does make a difference. The 5D3 will greatly improve your chances with fast manuals and also with "super" fast auto such as 1.2's without needing to use LV all the time simply because the viewfinder's green dot focus confirmation is that much reliable in that camera.

I pondered more or less around the same question as you and decided the following for myself:

-50mm: discarded the 50l and Zeiss 1.4 went for the Zeiss Makro Planar F/2 because it is outstanding at any aperture and a joy to hold and use. Top build and frankly a stellar performer wide open at f/2 with macro capability (well, 1:2 but macro anyway). The 50L has only going for it the 1.2 aperture and from what I read it is not very sharp there. Look on the forums for examples of the Zeiss 50MP's bokeh and even at f2 it can compete handsomely with the 50L at 1.2.  And the famous/infameous 3D effect: oh boy does the Zeiss 50MP render in 3D

-85mm: went for the 85L: besides being very very sharp at 1.2,  my experience with the Zeiss 100 (which I also own) is that it is very very difficult to nail focus in manual at those king of apertures with medium teles such as those. The the autofocus becomes a necessity. I still use the 100 MP but for those occasions I KNOW i'll have the time to take n-pictures until hopefully one is critically focused. If you wonder  why did I chose a fast  manual 50mm such as the Zeiss 50MP, I can tell you that manually focusing at f2 at 50mm is much much easier than doing it at 85 (exit the Zeiss 85 1.4 then).

Here some examples of the  "pop" effect, bokeh, shaprness and particular contrasty colors of the Zeiss 50MP (Heck I've even had to desaturate some). You'll finder bigger on the flicker page where I put them.

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8225/8507443775_30f27312b7.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/fegarix/8507443775/)
untitled-3 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/fegarix/8507443775/#) par Fegarix (http://www.flickr.com/people/fegarix/), sur Flickr

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8111/8507449283_f506c6d1f2.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/fegarix/8507449283/)
untitled-10 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/fegarix/8507449283/#) par Fegarix (http://www.flickr.com/people/fegarix/), sur Flickr

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8240/8507461879_9a2063e895.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/fegarix/8507461879/)
untitled-4 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/fegarix/8507461879/#) par Fegarix (http://www.flickr.com/people/fegarix/), sur Flickr




And a couple of "3d" examples (though need to be appreciatted better in a bigger pic:
(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8513/8507463759_e0d80f8742.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/fegarix/8507463759/)
untitled-1 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/fegarix/8507463759/#) par Fegarix (http://www.flickr.com/people/fegarix/), sur Flickr

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8094/8507446417_80d7bac06b.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/fegarix/8507446417/)
untitled-6 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/fegarix/8507446417/#) par Fegarix (http://www.flickr.com/people/fegarix/), sur Flickr

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8524/8507448057_1b35d651ba.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/fegarix/8507448057/)
untitled-8 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/fegarix/8507448057/#) par Fegarix (http://www.flickr.com/people/fegarix/), sur Flickr

Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: jasonsim on February 25, 2013, 05:52:39 PM
I have and use both.  I would say that the 50mm f/1.2L is going to be your more walk-around everyday prime.  The 85mm f/1.2L is a heavy beast and slower to AF.  The 85mm shines for portraits really.  Here are some samples taken with my 50mm f/1.2L:

@ f/1.2:
(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8527/8500678499_8c46eb05d8_b.jpg)
 
@ f/1.8:
(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8443/7992133038_cd04e7b480_b.jpg)
 
@ f/2.8:
(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8302/7992157170_c51be43e51_b.jpg)
Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: georgecpappas on February 25, 2013, 06:07:16 PM
I have both the 50mm 1.2 and the Zeiss 85mm 1.4.  I view them as complimentary rather than substitutes for each other; they excel at different things.

The 50mmL is a great lens - the shallow DOF is a great asset for certain images.  I looked at the Canon 85mmL and thought it was very nice; however, I love the Zeiss 85mm.  Somehow, my favorite images - (portraits, intimate landscapes) always seem to be taken with this lens.  It is small and easy to carry (especially compared to the Canon 85mm).  At 1.4 it exhibits some field curvature - however that is normal for this lens design.  At smaller apertures, it is bitingly sharp with terrific tonality.

I use a 5D3 and have micro-adjusted it.  hand-held, I get great focus accuracy; of course, live-view on the tripod eliminates focusing problems. Highly recommended.

For the OP; it really depends on your objectives and how important AF is to you.

Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: pwp on February 25, 2013, 08:50:24 PM
Canon lenses take snapshots, Zeiss lenses take photographs.

I know what you're trying to say, but that's a pretty exclusive viewpoint. Few will dispute Ziess glass has extraordinary qualities, but it's time to roll out that old chestnut again...Content is King.

Just to keep things in perspective, the best photograph you see this year may be taken with an iPhone!

-PW
Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: TAF on February 25, 2013, 10:07:42 PM
I also plan to upgrade to the 5D Mark3 within a few months, if that makes any difference...

I have the 5D3, and the Zeiss 50 f1.4 is my favorite lens.

That being said, it is not the lens I use the most.  For much of my photography, I need the AF; there isn't time for the critical focusing that a MF lens calls for.  But when there is time (landscapes etc), the images I get from the Zeiss are just beautiful.  They remind me of the results I get from my Rollei TLR.

FYI, I had a Sigma 50 f1.4, and the Canon as well.  I didn't like them as much.  Which is why I sold them in favor of the Zeiss.

I am thinking of getting a replacement screen for the 5D3 (I do wish Canon had made them available rather than having to do something aftermarket) to make MF easier.  Wish I could afford a 1Dx, but that's outside the budget.

Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: risc32 on February 27, 2013, 06:59:55 PM
I borrowed the Sigma 85 from a friend - it was OK but the AF was terrible. It needed very different MA values at different FLs. My friend had similar experience on a different body and he returned it.

If the focal length of my prime lens was changing i'd return it also. The Zeiss's AF is pretty crummy also ;)
So we're just going to disregard some facts... oh, well. sorry to be a downer.... later.
Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: CarlTN on February 27, 2013, 09:51:03 PM
Hi everyone,

New user here in need of some expert opinions before I spend BIG on primes....

I'm looking to purchase a very wide aperture lens...my current widest lens is the 100mm 2.8 IS L Macro lens.

I want something that will be great for ultimate bokeh and street photography. I had a look at all these lenses today but cant decide which one is best without really getting to use any...I cant rent where I am either.

The Canon 85mm 1.2 is nuts...but the Zeiss lenses, especially the 85mm 1.4 is just beautiful. I have never had a manual only lens so Im worried I wont be happy using it.

Can anyone fill me in? I'm looking for the sharpest lens with the best most bokeh...is there a difference between the 50mm 1.2L and the 85mm 1.2L?

Thanks for your help everyone.

Rent all of the lenses and try them doing real world photography before buying.  Also read the reviews, or even the rental place's own short summary of each one.

There are a lot of variables regarding sharpness and bokeh.  The only way to have a lot of sharpness wide open, along with the best bokeh, is to go longer in focal length to the 135 f/2, in my opinion.  But that narrower angle of view may not work for your purposes.

Also, you will definitely have to learn how to focus manually, if you are shooting people at f/1.4.

Many high end fashion photographers seem to use either a 24-70 f/2.8 zoom, or else the 50mm f/1.2 (besides the ubiquitous 70-200).  The 85mm f/1.2 is a more specialized lens, is very slow to focus, and is really meant for slow paced studio work.  I have rented it.  However I do mostly landscape and wildlife photography.  I doubt its bokeh will be quite as extreme when photographing a person, as the 50mm f/1.2...due to the fact that you are closer to the subject with the 50mm.  For just head and shoulders portraits, this may be reversed...I can't really say.  I'm not a portrait expert.  I'm sure there are "maths" that can calculate it.   

However, the 50mm f/1.2 is far from the sharpest lens, at least when at the wider apertures.  If you favor sharpness over bokeh, I would say choose the new version ii 24-70 zoom, or else a manual focus 50mm f/1.4 or f/2, such as Zeiss.  If you favor bokeh, the 50mm f/1.2 seems to be king.  I personally own the Cosina Voigtlander 58mm.  The price is low, the sharpness high, the bokeh less than perfect, but very usable.  The build quality and ergonomics are practically a clone of Zeiss.  It is a full manual lens though, you have to adjust aperture on the lens's ring.  It's fun though.  What's less fun, is the inaccurate light metering if you close the aperture down...I live with that because I don't do much fast paced portraiture with it.

Here it is on a 1D Mark IV.

 
Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: nightbreath on February 28, 2013, 02:35:08 AM
50mm F/1.2 is a gorgeous lens. I spent 6 weeks in Thailand with just that one lens.
We've just came from a similar journey. Below is a 50L sample. I'll share other photos later.
Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: dmills on February 28, 2013, 05:26:33 AM
Since you're planning on upgrading to a 5d3, I want to mention something you might already know. The 5d3 doesn't allow you to change focusing screens. While I'm sure that some 3rd party people are more than willing to open up your camera and change it for you, I'm sure that's a "void the warranty" type of customization. I've used the 85 1.2 a lot with my 5d3, and I love it.

I played around with a Zeiss 35 1.4 the other day, and while I enjoyed the manual focus to some extent, and they looked good on the back of the screen, the number of "keepers" I was getting when I put them into my computer was less than I thought just from looking at the back of the camera. Maybe I was "doing it wrong", but I just held down back-button focus and slowly focused until I got the "focus confirmation" then shot. It was something I could probably get used to and focus relatively quickly, but definitely not near the focus speed of even the 85 1.2 (which is sloow). That, and the frustration of thinking that certain shots were 'dead-on' focus when they were slightly off was frustrating to me. My guess is that I was slightly passing the area of dead-on focus while I was turning it, and without a focusing screen, I was having trouble getting it dead-on.
Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: CarlTN on February 28, 2013, 06:04:45 PM
Nightbreath, the bokeh looks a tad busier than I thought it would be, but still it looks nice.

Dmills, excellent cautionary advice.  I assume you zoomed in on your shots while looking on the back of the camera?
Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: nightbreath on March 02, 2013, 03:45:10 AM
Nightbreath, the bokeh looks a tad busier than I thought it would be, but still it looks nice.
Below is a similar shot, using 17mm at f/4. For bokeh comparison  :)
Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: djgunter on April 11, 2013, 05:53:56 AM
I've gone all out....

I bought the Zeiss 85mm 1.4, Canon 50mm 1.2, Canon 8-15mm Fisheye.....
Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: djgunter on April 11, 2013, 05:55:03 AM
My wallet is no more...
Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: CarlTN on April 15, 2013, 04:28:42 AM
djgunter, Congratulations!  Please post some shots done with your fisheye lens.

I have read and seen pics online, showing the Zeiss 85mm to have great color and extremely smooth bokeh, but it's not as sharp as either the Nikon f/1.4 or the Canon f/1.2.  My Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 is extremely sharp (based on an old Nikon design), but lacks the contrast and color of the other lenses.  I mostly am tired of the manual focus, and am beginning to think I prefer closer to 100mm focal length for its angle of view, on a full frame camera.  85mm seems to fall into that range that seems less necessary than 50 or 100mm, on a full frame.  Maybe it's just me!

I've rented the Zeiss 100 f/2 Makro Planar in the past, and wish I owned one.  Its color, bokeh, and sharpness were stellar.  Its contrast was kind of weird (the darks didn't go "black" very easily).  Ah well, I want something with autofocus...

What we need, is a big white 95mm f/0.9, with IS...I wish I could design and have one built...I think it would sell, assuming it was built right!  I guess it wouldn't sell if I designed it!
Title: Re: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...
Post by: matt-photo.fr on April 22, 2013, 03:48:24 PM
The 50mm 1.2 is less accurate than 85mm 1.2 but the bokeh is also incredible.
f/1.8, 1/100s, iso 800 + 5DIII


(http://www.matt-photo.fr/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/bébé-enfant-matt-photo.fr-Séance-photo-famille-photographe-lille-la-madeleine-nord-59-62-001-3.jpg)


More example : Site Photographe de mariage à Lille et dans le nord (http://"http://www.matt-photo.fr/")