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Gear Talk => Reviews => Topic started by: Canon Rumors on March 05, 2013, 10:02:18 AM

Title: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: Canon Rumors on March 05, 2013, 10:02:18 AM
Discuss our review of the Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II (http://www.canonrumors.com/review-canon-ef-85mm-f1-2l-is/) here.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: Skirball on March 05, 2013, 10:51:53 AM
Page not Found.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: RLPhoto on March 05, 2013, 10:58:11 AM
The 85L is a legendary level lens. Everyone shooting SLRs on any platform want or envy this lens or atleast know about it. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a use for one in my bag yet. The 135L is just as good for me.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: JVLphoto on March 05, 2013, 10:59:41 AM
The 85L is a legendary level lens. Everyone shooting SLRs on any platform want or envy this lens or atleast know about it. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a use for one in my bag yet. The 135L is just as good for me.

That's exactly how I felt about it. Really nice, if not tricky, lens to use. I got some great shots.

Buuuuut... actually using a lens is really important, otherwise it's just a couple grand sitting like a rock.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: RS2021 on March 05, 2013, 11:29:11 AM
The 85L is a legendary level lens. Everyone shooting SLRs on any platform want or envy this lens or atleast know about it. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a use for one in my bag yet. The 135L is just as good for me.

That's exactly how I felt about it. Really nice, if not tricky, lens to use. I got some great shots.

Buuuuut... actually using a lens is really important, otherwise it's just a couple grand sitting like a rock.

Mine has not seen major use, though I will have to more after this review.

It will hold its value, but it really is a specialized lens ...portraits and still life ...yes....action or moving kids or events with adults...only way to get enough keepers is to just take a lot of shots...which is fundamentally different from the way I work and is less satisfying creatively...and sometimes you will miss the moment regardless.

Can be frustrating...but when it hits...it is splendid.

Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: TheAshleyJones on March 05, 2013, 11:45:01 AM
I keep the 85 on my 5DIII almost all the time.   I love it for so many reasons and often use it wide open (probably more often than I should).   I don't take pictures of fast moving things so the slow focusing speed is not an issue.  I do wish it could focus a bit closer than the 95cm MFD so would add this to the cons.

I just love the bokeh and the centre sharpness at F/1.2.   Colour and contrast are beautiful.   I have all the usual suspects and need a good reason to move to the 50 F/1.2L or the 135 F/2L. 

I have tried the 85 on an ASP-C camera a few times and have found it profoundly "meh" compared to the beautiful performance on full-frame.  I quite like the vignetting, but as the review says, this is easy to fix in post.

Of all my lenses this is the one I would replace in a heartbeat if it was lost.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: RS2021 on March 05, 2013, 12:02:32 PM
  Colour and contrast are beautiful.   I have all the usual suspects and need a good reason to move to the 50 F/1.2L or the 135 F/2L. 

I think if 50L works for you, and is your preferred standard lens, then 85L is just a little close in focal range and may be a tad redundant for the price. I know many have both and find use...but the focal lengths if one is fair are not really that far apart.

35mm as a standard is a better pairing with 85mm but weather one needs the f1.2 or the f1.8 which does 90% of the L for one-fifth the price depends on the kind of use and of course finances.

Unfortunately, IMHO, the "look" the 85L produces lies in that last 10%.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: TrumpetPower! on March 05, 2013, 12:04:31 PM
Quote
A way to get good results would be to take a number of sequential shots of your subject, since a slight change in your posture could throw your intended focus point completely off.

I've always heard this referred to as "poor man's IS." Take a burst of several shots, and chances are good that one will catch you at the apex of your shaking.

Without implying that the 85L is anything other than a superlative lens, I have to put it alongside the 50L as Canon's two worst value lenses. Both the 85 f/1.8 and 50 f/1.4 outperform and often outright spank their bigger brothers in all sorts of ways more important for 90% of photographers, and there's very little the L lenses can do that the non-L counterparts can't.

Unless you actually need that extra half a stop in either case -- and damned few people do -- these lenses are a waste of money.

Of course, for those who really do need that extra half a stop (and, yes, there absolutely are those who do need it), or for those for whom a couple grand is pocket change, it's either a smart investment or a no-brainer.

But almost everybody else is better off in every meaningful way with the non-L versions.

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: Pixel on March 05, 2013, 12:22:33 PM
I still shake my head when I see a cheap filter on a premium lens such as the photo posted with the review.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: bchernicoff on March 05, 2013, 12:29:00 PM
Did you have any concern with the gap between the protruding barrel and the outer lens body?
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: RS2021 on March 05, 2013, 12:32:17 PM
Page not Found.

+1
The URL link to the webpage from the top of this page is not working...if the right folks are watching fix it
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: Skirball on March 05, 2013, 12:42:29 PM
Page not Found.

+1
The URL link to the webpage from the top of this page is not working...if the right folks are watching fix it

You can click on the banner for the review in the upper left corner or go to the FP of Canon Rumors, but yeah, the link here still doesn't work.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: bchernicoff on March 05, 2013, 12:42:36 PM
Page not Found.

http://www.canonrumors.com/reviews/review-canon-ef-85-f1-2l-ii/ (http://www.canonrumors.com/reviews/review-canon-ef-85-f1-2l-ii/)
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: RLPhoto on March 05, 2013, 12:43:26 PM
I still shake my head when I see a cheap filter on a premium lens such as the photo posted with the review.

Would you shake your head if it said "Made In Germany - B&W"?
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: Pixel on March 05, 2013, 12:46:50 PM
Call me a snob but unless the glass is made by Canon, Nikon or Zeiss you're better off without it.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: Skirball on March 05, 2013, 12:49:30 PM
[insert image: man beating dead horse with "UV Filter" written on side]
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: RLPhoto on March 05, 2013, 12:50:04 PM
Call me a snob but unless the glass is made by Canon, Nikon or Zeiss you're better off without it.

That's not snobbery, it's idealism.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: neuroanatomist on March 05, 2013, 12:57:57 PM
Call me a snob but unless the glass is made by Canon, Nikon or Zeiss you're better off without it.

Ok, you're a snob.   :P   Actually, maybe you aren't aware that the Canon UV PROTECT filters used to be (and maybe still are) OEM'd by Tiffen, and from one of the lower-end Tiffen lines at that.  I'll take a B+W Schott glass filter over a 'Canon' filter any day of the week.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: bchernicoff on March 05, 2013, 01:34:14 PM
There is no need to debate UV filters (again) in this thread. I wish these forums were better moderated.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: TWI by Dustin Abbott on March 05, 2013, 01:41:57 PM
Thanks for the review, Justin.  The 85L certainly produces some amazing images, but to me just isn't worth the tradeoffs (expense, slow AF, etc...)  I do have the 85mm f/1.8, and, although it is a great lens, it just doesn't come out of my bag that often.  I typically reach for either the 100L or 135L.  But because it (85mm f/1.8) is a relatively low expense, I hold onto it.  I wouldn't feel that same about a $2K lens.  Some nice portraits in there, though.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: RS2021 on March 05, 2013, 01:42:12 PM
There is no need to debate UV filters (again) in this thread. I wish these forums were better moderated.

Yeah...to steer it back...how about that 2-ponder 85L and that odd implementation of FTM that you actually need to read the manual for!  :P
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: bchernicoff on March 05, 2013, 01:54:45 PM
Thanks for the review, Justin.  The 85L certainly produces some amazing images, but to me just isn't worth the tradeoffs (expense, slow AF, etc...)  I do have the 85mm f/1.8, and, although it is a great lens, it just doesn't come out of my bag that often.  I typically reach for either the 100L or 135L.  But because it (85mm f/1.8) is a relatively low expense, I hold onto it.  I wouldn't feel that same about a $2K lens.  Some nice portraits in there, though.

I agree. As I have stated in other posts, I owned this lens and sold it for the Sigma 85 f/1.4. It's half the cost, the focus barrel is enclosed with a UV filter on, has superior AF, and comparable if not better IQ. Though bokeh is slightly better on the Canon the difference is not a $1000 better.

Have you had the chance to compare the Canon to the Sigma or other 85mm primes?
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: Daniel Flather on March 05, 2013, 02:02:15 PM
Why is the weight listed as a con? What did you expect, the 85/1.2 to be as light at the 50/1.8?  It's like buying a Porshe 911 and listing its price as a con.

Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: TrumpetPower! on March 05, 2013, 02:08:30 PM
Have you had the chance to compare the Canon to the Sigma or other 85mm primes?

That was actually the biggest thing I found lacking in the review...a lens like this, with such a huge disparity in price for such little extra...well, it practically screams for a head-to-head comparison. A battle of the 85s, if you will.

b&
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: ewg963 on March 05, 2013, 02:37:18 PM
Very nice piece of glass!!! I'm envious!!!
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: ashmadux on March 05, 2013, 03:00:03 PM
I personally dont need a comparison to the 85 1.8

i find that that lens just doesn't do it for me..the images are very flat of color, and the fringing is just awful. The AF is utterly spectacular however. Ive been debating selling mine, and i think i will. Especially after i got the 70-200II, i think ive used it only once...and that was over a year ago.

Maybe ill wait until i go full frame to rejudge it
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: Etienne on March 05, 2013, 03:24:41 PM
The portraits are nice, but they would have been every bit as good with the 85 1.8.
Also, one eye out of focus doesn't look good to me.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: Studio1930 on March 05, 2013, 03:48:13 PM
Mmmmm, the 85L.  ;D  When used properly it can be just stunning and hard to reproduce with any other glass.

(http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/110802/08/4e381c17e9026.jpg)

(http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/091104/20/4af25a658a778.jpg)
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: bchernicoff on March 05, 2013, 03:51:42 PM
The review of the Sigma on the-digital-picture.com provides mouse over comparison of the bokeh of the Canon and the Sigma: http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Sigma-85mm-f-1.4-EX-DG-HSM-Lens-Review.aspx (http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Sigma-85mm-f-1.4-EX-DG-HSM-Lens-Review.aspx)
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: JVLphoto on March 05, 2013, 04:09:17 PM
Quote
A way to get good results would be to take a number of sequential shots of your subject, since a slight change in your posture could throw your intended focus point completely off.

I've always heard this referred to as "poor man's IS." Take a burst of several shots, and chances are good that one will catch you at the apex of your shaking.

Without implying that the 85L is anything other than a superlative lens, I have to put it alongside the 50L as Canon's two worst value lenses. Both the 85 f/1.8 and 50 f/1.4 outperform and often outright spank their bigger brothers in all sorts of ways more important for 90% of photographers, and there's very little the L lenses can do that the non-L counterparts can't.

Unless you actually need that extra half a stop in either case -- and damned few people do -- these lenses are a waste of money.

Of course, for those who really do need that extra half a stop (and, yes, there absolutely are those who do need it), or for those for whom a couple grand is pocket change, it's either a smart investment or a no-brainer.

But almost everybody else is better off in every meaningful way with the non-L versions.

Cheers,

b&

I don't disagree with you - one of the many reasons I don't own this lens myself... I just don't see the value (for my work).
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: JVLphoto on March 05, 2013, 04:10:32 PM
Did you have any concern with the gap between the protruding barrel and the outer lens body?

Um, there is no filter. The only filters I use are circular polarizers and ND... but not for that shot.

Maybe you're seeing the front barrel extended slightly?
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: JVLphoto on March 05, 2013, 04:11:44 PM
Did you have any concern with the gap between the protruding barrel and the outer lens body?

Concern? No - it just feels a bit weird when putting it on. But it's such a unique lens in so many ways it doesn't affect how I shot with it.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: JVLphoto on March 05, 2013, 04:14:13 PM
There is no need to debate UV filters (again) in this thread. I wish these forums were better moderated.

Agreed - there isn't even a UV filter in the photo, nor do I ever use them, so I'm particularly confused  ???
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: JVLphoto on March 05, 2013, 04:15:52 PM
Why is the weight listed as a con? What did you expect, the 85/1.2 to be as light at the 50/1.8?  It's like buying a Porshe 911 and listing its price as a con.

Because I prefer to make a list of 3 or more. And the price of a Porche 911 is a con - if it was cheaper everyone would have it because it's so great!  ;D
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: JVLphoto on March 05, 2013, 04:16:29 PM
Have you had the chance to compare the Canon to the Sigma or other 85mm primes?

That was actually the biggest thing I found lacking in the review...a lens like this, with such a huge disparity in price for such little extra...well, it practically screams for a head-to-head comparison. A battle of the 85s, if you will.

b&

If Sigma wants to send us some lenses to review I certainly wouldn't object!
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: TrumpetPower! on March 05, 2013, 04:19:08 PM
Have you had the chance to compare the Canon to the Sigma or other 85mm primes?

That was actually the biggest thing I found lacking in the review...a lens like this, with such a huge disparity in price for such little extra...well, it practically screams for a head-to-head comparison. A battle of the 85s, if you will.

b&

If Sigma wants to send us some lenses to review I certainly wouldn't object!

Sure wouldn't hurt to ask them!

b&
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: RMC33 on March 05, 2013, 04:34:13 PM
Great review. Been considering an 85 for a bit.... but I was very un-impressed by the 50 1.2 compared to the 1.4 (across all areas I look for in performance). Guess Ill just rent both and play with em for two weeks possibly toss a sigma in. I feel any more.. id rather just shoot it with my 200 f/2 /shrug.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: Skirball on March 05, 2013, 04:44:34 PM
There is no need to debate UV filters (again) in this thread. I wish these forums were better moderated.

Agreed - there isn't even a UV filter in the photo, nor do I ever use them, so I'm particularly confused  ???

The photo on the front page of Canon Rumors has a filter on it.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: RS2021 on March 05, 2013, 05:02:46 PM
Did you have any concern with the gap between the protruding barrel and the outer lens body?

Concern? No - it just feels a bit weird when putting it on. But it's such a unique lens in so many ways it doesn't affect how I shot with it.

I think he may be referencing the gap as a dust issue...this lens apparently ends up with more dust inside the barrel with time...it is not weather sealed and the barrel design is frequently cited as a reason that also doesn't help. So it appears to be a concern for some...

I have no strong feelings as there is not any dust in mine...but then again I mostly use it indoors.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: JVLphoto on March 05, 2013, 05:45:23 PM
There is no need to debate UV filters (again) in this thread. I wish these forums were better moderated.

Agreed - there isn't even a UV filter in the photo, nor do I ever use them, so I'm particularly confused  ???

The photo on the front page of Canon Rumors has a filter on it.

Ohhhhhhhh, I see now - that's all CRguy. I blame him.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: Skirball on March 05, 2013, 06:21:52 PM
There is no need to debate UV filters (again) in this thread. I wish these forums were better moderated.

Agreed - there isn't even a UV filter in the photo, nor do I ever use them, so I'm particularly confused  ???

The photo on the front page of Canon Rumors has a filter on it.

Ohhhhhhhh, I see now - that's all CRguy. I blame him.

So we're in agreement, it's CRguy's fault.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: Rui Brito on March 05, 2013, 06:54:39 PM
Went from crop to FF. Night and day with the 85L. Only with FF one can appreciate the 85L, believe. Colors. I used to think "I must think I like the colors and look of the pictures taken with the 85L because it costs a lot" but then my mom comes along and says "wow, beautiful colors on that and that photo". Picked one by one the ones shot with the 85L, and she knows nothing about lenses. Then I knew the 85L is indeed a special lens. Not my first choice on a set of lenses (that would be my 70-200 2.8L IS mkII), but if one can afford one and its time to buy a 85, go with the L, you can´t go wrong.
Just know the AF IS slow. But that´s part of the lens, just like one can not say "MP-E 65? hard to focus, choose another" while it´s true, there is no other like it. Know the lens, master it (I´m far from that). Part of the fun is the challenge.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: Skirball on March 05, 2013, 07:27:16 PM
Just know the AF IS slow. But that´s part of the lens, just like one can not say "MP-E 65? hard to focus, choose another" while it´s true, there is no other like it.

That's what's been discussed for the last three pages: there are other options to the 85L, unlike the MP-E 65.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: neuroanatomist on March 05, 2013, 07:32:42 PM
Just know the AF IS slow. But that´s part of the lens...

True, but with this lens using it on a 1-series body makes a noticeable difference in AF speed.  When I went from the 7D/5DII to the 1D X, I found that my 85L II focuses much faster. 
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: JVLphoto on March 05, 2013, 07:33:58 PM
Just know the AF IS slow. But that´s part of the lens...

True, but with this lens using it on a 1-series body makes a noticeable difference in AF speed.  When I went from the 7D/5DII to the 1D X, I found that my 85L II focuses much faster.

So we're at about $10 grand eh? 5DII should be left out of that equation. WORST. AUTOFOCUS. EVER.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: neuroanatomist on March 05, 2013, 07:39:12 PM
Just know the AF IS slow. But that´s part of the lens...

True, but with this lens using it on a 1-series body makes a noticeable difference in AF speed.  When I went from the 7D/5DII to the 1D X, I found that my 85L II focuses much faster.

So we're at about $10 grand eh? 5DII should be left out of that equation. WORST. AUTOFOCUS. EVER.

Hey, the center AF point of the 5DII was pretty good for still subjects.  :P

In the case of the 1-series, it's not the AF system per se - the 1-series bodies use a higher voltage battery that actually drives the lens' AF motor faster than non-1-series bodies.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: JVLphoto on March 05, 2013, 07:42:50 PM
Just know the AF IS slow. But that´s part of the lens...

True, but with this lens using it on a 1-series body makes a noticeable difference in AF speed.  When I went from the 7D/5DII to the 1D X, I found that my 85L II focuses much faster.

So we're at about $10 grand eh? 5DII should be left out of that equation. WORST. AUTOFOCUS. EVER.

Hey, the center AF point of the 5DII was pretty good for still subjects.  :P

In the case of the 1-series, it's not the AF system per se - the 1-series bodies use a higher voltage battery that actually drives the lens' AF motor faster than non-1-series bodies.

Touché. I had a pretty good experience with it on the 5DMKIII too actually, since I worked with the lens over a few different periods, including my time with a 1DX.  I'm still very impressed with MF ninja's who seem to consistently nail their shots with this lens... hats off to you magical ninja's! 
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: RS2021 on March 05, 2013, 08:13:49 PM
In the case of the 1-series, it's not the AF system per se - the 1-series bodies use a higher voltage battery that actually drives the lens' AF motor faster than non-1-series bodies.

Touché. I had a pretty good experience with it on the 5DMKIII too actually, since I worked with the lens over a few different periods, including my time with a 1DX.  I'm still very impressed with MF ninja's who seem to consistently nail their shots with this lens... hats off to you magical ninja's!

Yes, 5D3 focuses a lot faster witht this lens than the 1Ds3... at least to me the 1DX seems to focus even marginally faster than the 5D3 with this lens... but it is still pretty slow. But you don't buy this lens to do action photography and car racing....Canon makes excellent lenses geared toward fast action ...this is really designed for sedate portraiture and still life primarily. Different tools for different tasks.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: RS2021 on March 05, 2013, 08:42:15 PM
The problem with this kind of product is always... is it worth the ~2K Canon wants? truthfully, I am really on the fence with that.

Here are a couple of shots from today...that's what reading reviews like this makes one do... play with stuff you rarely use. :) Sorry, I use low dpi and low 800 pixel for export...not sure what it looks like on good size monitors.

Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: JVLphoto on March 05, 2013, 08:52:44 PM
The problem with this kind of product is always... is it worth the ~2K Canon wants? truthfully, I am really on the fence with that.

Here are a couple of shots from today...that's what reading reviews like this makes one do... play with stuff you rarely use. :) Sorry, I use low dpi and low 800 pixel for export...not sure what it looks like on good size monitors.

Isn't that how most people view photos anyway? Best part is: even if it's out of focus it look fine compressed ;)

The photos look great - the bottom one shows a lot off.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: RS2021 on March 05, 2013, 09:17:32 PM
Isn't that how most people view photos anyway? Best part is: even if it's out of focus it look fine compressed ;)

The photos look great - the bottom one shows a lot off.

Tnx. Yes, nailing focus with this lens is tough even if the subject is inanimate... the center of that flower in the top is in focus...sort of...if you close one eye and look at the leaves during a full moon :P
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: Plamen on March 05, 2013, 09:27:15 PM
Have you had the chance to compare the Canon to the Sigma or other 85mm primes?

I have but not at the same time. The Sigma AF was very erratic and distance dependent. It is highly subjective but I liked the bokeh of the Canon better. BTW, I did not buy either one.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: JVLphoto on March 05, 2013, 09:30:12 PM
Have you had the chance to compare the Canon to the Sigma or other 85mm primes?

I have but not at the same time. The Sigma AF was very erratic and distance dependent. It is highly subjective but I liked the bokeh of the Canon better. BTW, I did not buy either one.

Ditto. Also used the Canon 85 1.8 (though not on full frame) and didn't *love it* but got some good shots.  Something tells me 85mm as a focal length is hit or miss almost as much as the focus on the Sigma lens *badump-ching!*
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: Plamen on March 05, 2013, 09:45:26 PM
5DII should be left out of that equation. WORST. AUTOFOCUS. EVER.

Hey, the center AF point of the 5DII was pretty good for still subjects.  :P
Two shots with the worst AF ever body and the 85LII:  ;)
(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8465/8123647911_948749e56e_c.jpg)

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8052/8123647421_4c82bc85ab_c.jpg)
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: RS2021 on March 05, 2013, 09:49:31 PM
Something tells me 85mm as a focal length is hit or miss almost as much as the focus on the Sigma lens *badump-ching!*

You are gonna get beat up by the sigma crowd with comments like that...I got into boat load of trouble when I was er..lackadaisical about the new Sigma 35mm.

But yes, the 85mm is an odd focal length. I personally find there is nothing that the 85 does that the 135L cannot do, say with portraits...just step back a few with the 135L and you still get magical shots, and the AF is fast to boot. The increased focal length of 135L generates comparable OOF blur. Plus, most people have a 50mm of some kind and that focal length is quite capable of wonderful portraits and detailed still life. So, 85mm sorta "falls" in between.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: CarlTN on March 05, 2013, 10:45:08 PM
Having rented the 85 f/1.2L ii for a brief time in 2010, I will echo the above sentiments that state it is too specialized (the AF is too slow due to the full-time focus motor) and priced too highly, to be of much practical use.

However, if you have the need for slow paced photography at this focal length, and need a lot of bokeh and rich lovely color, by all means this is the one for you.  I mainly used it on a crop camera, but also briefly on a 5D2.  It vignetted more severely than every other lens I've tried, at f/1.2 or even f/1.4 (or any other f/stop), on my crop camera.  So the vignetting on a full frame is even more severe.  It wasn't as sharp at f/2 or wider aperture, as my 135 f/2L, at its widest of f/2.  However by f/5.6, the 85 f/1.2, was as sharp as the sharpest supertelephoto I have tried...if not beyond it (and a bit sharper than the sharpest my 135 can go). 

If my work needed the 85mm focal length often, I would probably first try the Sigma, (and would definitely buy the Canon f/1.8 regardless)...before purchasing the Canon f/1.2.  As for now, I bought a manual-only Rokinon 85 f/1.4, and don't feel the need to buy anything else near this focal length.  It's very sharp wide open, very little vignetting...color and "global contrast" a bit muted by "L" standards, but easily recovered in post.  Also the "bokeh fringing" (mostly purple) is less pronounced than the Canon f/1.2 at its wider apertures. 

If I ever have the need to use the forthcoming high megapixel full frame camera, then the 85 f/1.2L, when closed down quite a bit (perhaps at least to f/4.5), would be one of the few lenses that could make use of such a camera's resolution, even if it's 60 megapixels.  Wide open though, you're fine with 20 or 22 MP.  The color balance via my crop camera, was very vivid toward the violet and blue end...which yielded a very interesting palette.  The only overall color palette from a lens I have liked better, was the 200 f/2L.

The 85 f/1.2L ii is referred to as "the magic canonball"...because it is almost round like a ball, and about as heavy.  The balance felt very front heavy, and might even feel a bit too front heavy on a 1 series body.  Certainly it would be the most balanced on a 1 series, compared to smaller bodies.

It was definitely a joy to use for doing landscape, and some shots of my family, and cat. 
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: junior on March 05, 2013, 10:53:01 PM
On the 85 f/1.2L II review, Justin said the following,

"I compare the 85 1.2 to the 200 f/2 at times, that’s because similar framing can be achieved with both lenses, and with both lenses you can dramatically  throw your foreground and background out of focus.  Obvious advantages of the 85 are, of course, size, weight, and cost – all far less.  For portraits, I do like working a bit closer to my subjects, it builds a better level of trust than 200mm sniping from afar can." ...

On the 200mm f/2L review, CR's take is,
"Without a doubt, one of my top 3 favourite lenses in the Canon lineup. It can be a bit cumbersome to use, but the results make it worth it at the end of the day." ...

So, that implies the 85 1.2 shall be another one of the top 3.  Then which lens will take the remaining top spot?  It's no doubt those are all great lenses.  However, what's the relative comparison between the 2 lenses from experts' point of view?  And I'm really curious what's the experts' top 3 lenses, or top 5, top 10? 
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: CarlTN on March 05, 2013, 11:00:58 PM

So, that implies the 85 1.2 shall be another one of the top 3.  Then which lens will take the remaining top spot?  It's no doubt those are all great lenses.  However, what's the relative comparison between the 2 lenses from experts' point of view?  And I'm really curious what's the experts' top 3 lenses, or top 5, top 10? 


I thought everybody's favorite Canon lens (including all the experts) is the 70-200 f/2.8 ii.

I didn't find the 200 f/2 to be cumbersome at all to use.  Of course I used it on a monopod.  I guess if you are going to hand-hold one all day, and do studio portraits or something, then yes...it would be a bear.  But frankly, studio portraiture isn't what the 200 is designed for.  It's designed for indoor and low light sports, and low light wildlife shots at close range.  Wedding shots in available light, would also work.  But if creating strong bokeh is all you want to do, you can do that just as well with any other shorter, fast lens. 
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: RS2021 on March 05, 2013, 11:14:16 PM
So, that implies the 85 1.2 shall be another one of the top 3.  Then which lens will take the remaining top spot? 

I am not entirely sure if the 85L as one of the 3 is implied necessarily... could very well be, but doesn't have to be. However, it would be fair to guess that the 135L is one of the three, considering it is frequently ranked among the top three lenses list of many users, including yours truly.

On that note...135L review would be forthcoming soon CR? If only so everyone can fawn over the lens and praise it to heaven? ;)
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: CarlTN on March 05, 2013, 11:40:32 PM

On that note...135L review would be forthcoming soon CR? If only so everyone can fawn over the lens and praise it to heaven? ;)

Agreed, but the 135L almost needs no justification or review.  Its price is more than a bargain, and just look at the pictures taken with it.  Talk about a lens that would be tough to replace...especially given the price.

http://www.pbase.com/search?q=canon+135+f%2F2&b=Search+Photos&c=sp (http://www.pbase.com/search?q=canon+135+f%2F2&b=Search+Photos&c=sp)
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: RS2021 on March 05, 2013, 11:42:57 PM

I thought everybody's favorite Canon lens (including all the experts) is the 70-200 f/2.8 ii.

Forgive me for saying this, and it is not directed at you, but I wanted to use the quote from the post:

Yes, 70-200 II is a sharp "all around" lens, but it is also an over-hyped lens where many newbies parrot "this is a great lens" line...

While it is priced somewhat above the common consumer, its ownership doesn't set anyone apart and at least some seem to think it does...almost like a diploma. This lens is quite achievable and owned by many, and used effectively by many...but by no means is it the "be all end all lens" that should herald the arrival of anyone into the photographers' fold... another frequent line..."It does EVERYTHING I need"...  ::)   

I refer to the 70-200 2.8II as the "I too have arrived achievable newbie zoom", not that highly competent pros don't use it...many do and produce stunning images. But the newbies and the "review readers" seek it and own it like it is an end unto itself...almost like a badge...it is like a debutant's cotillion walk down the banister-lined stairs...

So no, 70-200 2.8 II is not one of my top three, and yes I own it.

*gets off soap box*

Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: CarlTN on March 06, 2013, 12:01:33 AM

I thought everybody's favorite Canon lens (including all the experts) is the 70-200 f/2.8 ii.

Forgive me for saying this, and it is not directed at you, but I wanted to use the quote from the post:

Yes, 70-200 II is a sharp "all around" lens, but it is also an over-hyped lens where many newbies parrot "this is a great lens" line...

While it is priced somewhat above the common consumer, its ownership doesn't set anyone apart and at least some seem to think it does...almost like a diploma. This lens is quite achievable and owned by many, and used effectively by many...but by no means is it the "be all end all lens" that should herald the arrival of anyone into the photographers' fold... another frequent line..."It does EVERYTHING I need"...  ::)   

I refer to the 70-200 2.8II as the "I too have arrived achievable newbie zoom", not that highly competent pros don't use it...many do and produce stunning images. But the newbies and the "review readers" seek it and own it like it is an end unto itself...almost like a badge...it is like a debutant's cotillion walk down the banister-lined stairs...

So no, 70-200 2.8 II is not one of my top three, and yes I own it.

*gets off soap box*

Hahahaha...I don't own it, and I agree with you, it's over-hyped.  It's not one of my top three either.  I was just stating what most people think.  If you want to be seen as a professional wedding shooter or photo journalist, and you shoot Canon...you either have to get one, or go home.  Fortunately, I'm neither of those.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: RMC33 on March 06, 2013, 01:06:59 AM

I thought everybody's favorite Canon lens (including all the experts) is the 70-200 f/2.8 ii.

Forgive me for saying this, and it is not directed at you, but I wanted to use the quote from the post:

Yes, 70-200 II is a sharp "all around" lens, but it is also an over-hyped lens where many newbies parrot "this is a great lens" line...

While it is priced somewhat above the common consumer, its ownership doesn't set anyone apart and at least some seem to think it does...almost like a diploma. This lens is quite achievable and owned by many, and used effectively by many...but by no means is it the "be all end all lens" that should herald the arrival of anyone into the photographers' fold... another frequent line..."It does EVERYTHING I need"...  ::)   

I refer to the 70-200 2.8II as the "I too have arrived achievable newbie zoom", not that highly competent pros don't use it...many do and produce stunning images. But the newbies and the "review readers" seek it and own it like it is an end unto itself...almost like a badge...it is like a debutant's cotillion walk down the banister-lined stairs...

So no, 70-200 2.8 II is not one of my top three, and yes I own it.

*gets off soap box*

Hahahaha...I don't own it, and I agree with you, it's over-hyped.  It's not one of my top three either.  I was just stating what most people think.  If you want to be seen as a professional wedding shooter or photo journalist, and you shoot Canon...you either have to get one, or go home.  Fortunately, I'm neither of those.

Those job lines require versatility. I know a few PJ's and wedding guys/gals who shoot with a 200 f/2 and make stunning images...

I honestly love my 70-200 as a 2nd lens to my 400 f/2.8 while shooting sports. If I am rocking the 200 f/2 (indoors) I keep my 24-70 on the 2nd body. 3rd body is my 8-15 fish. No questions.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: infared on March 06, 2013, 06:06:51 AM
...Now...back to the topic.....the 85mm f/1.2...ahem... ::)
I love this lens..and justin gave a very good perspective of this piece of glass in the review.
One thing I notice from Justin's review and many of the comments is that so many just sideline this lens most of the time because of it quirks and difficulty in use, (which is valid)...I have the same thoughts...but I try to overcome them and push thru an suffer, oh I mean use this lens more often. The lens is so unique, the fact that it got off the drawing board and was produced is incredible (the contacts on the rear of the lens are mounted on the glass for Gods sake!)... Many limits were pushed here and achieving those goals created some compromises...but it was masterfully done.
Obviously, this is not the glass you want too take when you need to work fast and have a lot of keepers...but, oh...when you want to look for the unknown (not certainty)...now that is where this lens shines..and many times it produces art.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: JVLphoto on March 06, 2013, 08:58:13 AM
On the 85 f/1.2L II review, Justin said the following,

"I compare the 85 1.2 to the 200 f/2 at times, that’s because similar framing can be achieved with both lenses, and with both lenses you can dramatically  throw your foreground and background out of focus.  Obvious advantages of the 85 are, of course, size, weight, and cost – all far less.  For portraits, I do like working a bit closer to my subjects, it builds a better level of trust than 200mm sniping from afar can." ...

On the 200mm f/2L review, CR's take is,
"Without a doubt, one of my top 3 favourite lenses in the Canon lineup. It can be a bit cumbersome to use, but the results make it worth it at the end of the day." ...

So, that implies the 85 1.2 shall be another one of the top 3.  Then which lens will take the remaining top spot?  It's no doubt those are all great lenses.  However, what's the relative comparison between the 2 lenses from experts' point of view?  And I'm really curious what's the experts' top 3 lenses, or top 5, top 10?


Not sure if CRguy's got the 85 in his lineup, I just compare the two as lenses that produce similar framing. For example: take a full frame camera and an adult.  Based on the minimum and maximum (infinite) focusing distances of both lenses, you can properly frame someone while still achieving a blurred out background.  Some lenses would hit infinite and everything would be in focus.  The quality and "depth" of blur is also in that "magical" territory.

And unlike CRguy I didn't find the 200 too cumbersome, I was surprised by how much like in weight and size it was compared to my 70-200 ƒ/2.8 L IS II, and I used it in it's place when I had it.  But, yeah, it's heavy and stands out too.

I'm curious about your mention of a "top" list though, my top used lenses aren't necessarily my top favourite lenses - some are better than others for different needs. Like, I use my 24-70 ƒ/2.8 L all the time, almost every day, but it's not my favourite, just super useful - like a hammer, it's a great tool, but not as cool as a power saw ;)
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: neuroanatomist on March 06, 2013, 09:15:59 AM
I'm curious about your mention of a "top" list though, my top used lenses aren't necessarily my top favourite lenses - some are better than others for different needs. Like, I use my 24-70 ƒ/2.8 L all the time, almost every day, but it's not my favourite, just super useful - like a hammer, it's a great tool, but not as cool as a power saw ;)

+1

My most-used lenses are the 24-105L and 70-200L IS II, but I'd say my 'favorite' lenses - MP-E 65mm, TS-E 24L II, and 600/4L IS II - are in many cases ones that I use the less often. 
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: RS2021 on March 06, 2013, 10:15:13 AM

...my top used lenses aren't necessarily my top favourite lenses - some are better than others for different needs.

Most used would be 24-105L and 35L....favored children however are 35L and 135L...there is no rule we have to have three and I also can't seem to settle on a third. :)
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: RMC33 on March 06, 2013, 10:30:08 AM
And unlike CRguy I didn't find the 200 too cumbersome, I was surprised by how much like in weight and size it was compared to my 70-200 ƒ/2.8 L IS II, and I used it in it's place when I had it.  But, yeah, it's heavy and stands out too.

I feel the same way.. but the weight is far greater! Lately my 200 has been my "goto" as the weather sucks and I am shooting mostly park and pipe. When I used my 70-200 this weekend for some event work... it felt like a feather. Def stands out... I get all sorts of questions and just tell them, as CR guy said, It's the pinnacle of medium telephoto! I also prefer it in situations that can get a bit rough.. the hood is built like a damn tank.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: RS2021 on March 06, 2013, 11:03:39 AM
When I used my 70-200 this weekend for some event work... it felt like a feather. Def stands out... I get all sorts of questions and just tell them, as CR guy said, It's the pinnacle of medium telephoto!

"pinnacle of medium telephoto"  ::)

Like a lay person at an event who asks questions of this most obvious zoom knows what telephoto is...much less what a "medium" telephoto is.  ::)

I wish Canon had kept all their 70-200's black and kept the white branding to the true superteles.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: JVLphoto on March 06, 2013, 11:05:17 AM
When I used my 70-200 this weekend for some event work... it felt like a feather. Def stands out... I get all sorts of questions and just tell them, as CR guy said, It's the pinnacle of medium telephoto!

"pinnacle of medium telephoto"  ::)

Like a lay person at an event who asks questions of this most obvious zoom knows what telephoto is...much less what a "medium" telephoto is.  ::)

I wish Canon had kept all their 70-200's black and kept the white branding to the true superteles.

My favourite question to get is "How many times zoom is that?" (something that applies mostly to point and shoots that go from 28mm-300mm... so 10x zoom" and my answer is usually "Two, two and half."  8)
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: RMC33 on March 06, 2013, 11:12:58 AM
When I used my 70-200 this weekend for some event work... it felt like a feather. Def stands out... I get all sorts of questions and just tell them, as CR guy said, It's the pinnacle of medium telephoto!

"pinnacle of medium telephoto"  ::)

Like a lay person at an event who asks questions of this most obvious zoom knows what telephoto is...much less what a "medium" telephoto is.  ::)

I wish Canon had kept all their 70-200's black and kept the white branding to the true superteles.

I guess I should have re-read that before I posted it. I get lots of questions on my 200 f/2 hehe.. not the 70-200.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: TrumpetPower! on March 06, 2013, 01:40:48 PM
When I used my 70-200 this weekend for some event work... it felt like a feather. Def stands out... I get all sorts of questions and just tell them, as CR guy said, It's the pinnacle of medium telephoto!

"pinnacle of medium telephoto"  ::)

Like a lay person at an event who asks questions of this most obvious zoom knows what telephoto is...much less what a "medium" telephoto is.  ::)

I wish Canon had kept all their 70-200's black and kept the white branding to the true superteles.

My favourite question to get is "How many times zoom is that?" (something that applies mostly to point and shoots that go from 28mm-300mm... so 10x zoom" and my answer is usually "Two, two and half."  8)

I still haven't decided if the proper response to that question when I'm lugging the 400 f/2.8 should be one or zero....

b&
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: neuroanatomist on March 06, 2013, 02:43:50 PM
My favourite question to get is "How many times zoom is that?" (something that applies mostly to point and shoots that go from 28mm-300mm... so 10x zoom" and my answer is usually "Two, two and half."  8)
I still haven't decided if the proper response to that question when I'm lugging the 400 f/2.8 should be one or zero....

The great white lenses are robust enough to be used as a club, if you think that's a more proper response.  Just sayin'...
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: BumpyMunky on March 06, 2013, 03:34:55 PM

The great white lenses are robust enough to be used as a club, if you think that's a more proper response.  Just sayin'...

Thanks for the genuine LOL  ;D
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: Random Orbits on March 06, 2013, 03:39:40 PM
My favourite question to get is "How many times zoom is that?" (something that applies mostly to point and shoots that go from 28mm-300mm... so 10x zoom" and my answer is usually "Two, two and half."  8)
I still haven't decided if the proper response to that question when I'm lugging the 400 f/2.8 should be one or zero....

The great white lenses are robust enough to be used as a club, if you think that's a more proper response.  Just sayin'...

Maybe so... but it'd be such a pain to re-AFMA them after.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: CarlTN on March 06, 2013, 03:53:55 PM
If you're using the 200 f/2L at an event with its white hood on, then it looks gigantic next to the 70-200 f/2.8 with its black hood on.  People can't resist commenting on it.  The only question I got was "wow, what is that?".  I just said something like "it takes good pitcherzz" (that's how 'picture' is pronounced in my area...if I pronounce it correctly, they don't know what I'm talking about!) 
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: TrumpetPower! on March 06, 2013, 05:38:20 PM
My favourite question to get is "How many times zoom is that?" (something that applies mostly to point and shoots that go from 28mm-300mm... so 10x zoom" and my answer is usually "Two, two and half."  8)
I still haven't decided if the proper response to that question when I'm lugging the 400 f/2.8 should be one or zero....

The great white lenses are robust enough to be used as a club, if you think that's a more proper response.  Just sayin'...

True, but then you've got a biohazard cleanup to do on the lens, and possibly anything else that gets splattered...quite messy, really....

b&
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: RS2021 on March 06, 2013, 07:46:48 PM
Beyond the numbers and stats, what I have always loved about this lens is how it renders stark contrast. An extreme example in a candid shot. A darker subject in a white room with harsh directional light. I know CR will upscale the compressed picture when I post, but such is life. :)
<<...>>
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: vscd on March 06, 2013, 07:50:30 PM
I think the Canon 85mm 1.2 L II is a magical lense. It just gives you the colours and the bokeh with sharpness, even wide open (in the centre). I luckily shot one for about half the price listed, otherwise I probably would never bought one for 2k€. Now, after experiencing the lense I WOULD pay 2k€ for it. Why? After decades of having a lot of lenses from wide angle to longer zooms I just made a summaryline and asked me... what lense do you use very often and which one is hunting dust?

I got me catched on 85 1.2, 100 2.8 L IS and the Magic Drainpipe. Of course I like my other lenses, but you just can shoot with the Canonball and everything works out to be beautiful. The only thing I would criticise is the lack of wheathersealing and the sometimes annoying 0,95m minimumdistance.

This lense could be the REASON why someone should buy a Canonbody. And as I still use the 5DC, I enjoy the FULL step over the (otherwise fantastic) 85mm 1.8.

P.S. How can I change the camera in my profile? Damn ;)
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: infared on March 06, 2013, 08:37:30 PM
I think the Canon 85mm 1.2 L II is a magical lense. It just gives you the colours and the bokeh with sharpness, even wide open (in the centre). I luckily shot one for about half the price listed, otherwise I probably would never bought one for 2k€. Now, after experiencing the lense I WOULD pay 2k€ for it. Why? After decades of having a lot of lenses from wide angle to longer zooms I just made a summaryline and asked me... what lense do you use very often and which one is hunting dust?

I got me catched on 85 1.2, 100 2.8 L IS and the Magic Drainpipe. Of course I like my other lenses, but you just can shoot with the Canonball and everything works out to be beautiful. The only thing I would criticise is the lack of wheathersealing and the sometimes annoying 0,95m minimumdistance.

This lense could be the REASON why someone should buy a Canonbody. And as I still use the 5DC, I enjoy the FULL step over the (otherwise fantastic) 85mm 1.8.

P.S. How can I change the camera in my profile? Damn ;)

Hey, vscd...just get a 12mm Canon Ext. Tube for when you want to get close. With the Canon tube I had no focus shift...(Had a Kenko and there was a ton of focus shift).  Ideally if Canon made a 7-10mm tube it would be better...because with the 12mm tube there is a gap from the minimum focus of the lens to the focus of them lens with the 12mm tube...but it isn't too much lost... It is definitely worth checking out.
Hope that helps.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: JVLphoto on March 06, 2013, 09:24:03 PM
I think the Canon 85mm 1.2 L II is a magical lense. It just gives you the colours and the bokeh with sharpness, even wide open (in the centre). I luckily shot one for about half the price listed, otherwise I probably would never bought one for 2k€. Now, after experiencing the lense I WOULD pay 2k€ for it. Why? After decades of having a lot of lenses from wide angle to longer zooms I just made a summaryline and asked me... what lense do you use very often and which one is hunting dust?

I got me catched on 85 1.2, 100 2.8 L IS and the Magic Drainpipe. Of course I like my other lenses, but you just can shoot with the Canonball and everything works out to be beautiful. The only thing I would criticise is the lack of wheathersealing and the sometimes annoying 0,95m minimumdistance.

This lense could be the REASON why someone should buy a Canonbody. And as I still use the 5DC, I enjoy the FULL step over the (otherwise fantastic) 85mm 1.8.

P.S. How can I change the camera in my profile? Damn ;)

Hey, vscd...just get a 12mm Canon Ext. Tube for when you want to get close. With the Canon tube I had no focus shift...(Had a Kenko and there was a ton of focus shift).  Ideally if Canon made a 7-10mm tube it would be better...because with the 12mm tube there is a gap from the minimum focus of the lens to the focus of them lens with the 12mm tube...but it isn't too much lost... It is definitely worth checking out.
Hope that helps.

You can also free-lens it, which yields some unique results, if you can get any results at all ;)
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: peteroc on March 06, 2013, 11:58:17 PM
Just a few details concerning some points I read earlier.

The gap of the front barrel
Yes, dust can get in the lens, probably from this gap. I own this lens for about two years now, and I had to have it clean twice. It's no big deal, my local professional store did it with ionized air, by delicately taking the screw off on the mount. Dust seems to go between the two rear glass.

This is the lens I use the most, and the only one not weather sealed I have, so... I'm guessing a mark III would be, like all recent L-lens upgrade.

The colors
Don't compare the 50 f/1.2L to the 85 f/1.2L II. The 50L is a first generation, with a lot of CA. the 85L II is much more controled and the Lightroom profile takes care of what's left.

The vignetting
I use the 85L on a 1D Mark IV (1.3x) and it's fine. I really think it's not noticeable on a APS-C (1.6x) sensor body. 85mm x 1.3 gives a nice 110mm, almost like old times 105mm portrait lens.

The quirkyness
Yes, you need to use this lens for a while to get used to it. But once you get a hold of it, it'll become your go to portrait lens. The background are creamy and contrast perfect for B&W. This lens is really made to make your subject stand out. It's worth the investment.

Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: CarlTN on March 07, 2013, 01:11:52 AM


The vignetting
I use the 85L on a 1D Mark IV (1.3x) and it's fine. I really think it's not noticeable on a APS-C (1.6x) sensor body. 85mm x 1.3 gives a nice 110mm, almost like old times 105mm portrait lens.


While I'm glad to see you enjoy the lens, and a 1D Mark IV (I like those as well), I do need to point out that indeed there is a lot of vignetting at f/1.2 to f/1.6, even on a 1.6x crop camera.  This can be "corrected" of course, but it's there.

I have no doubt that if there is ever a version 3 of the lens, it will also have noticeable vignetting even on a 1.6x crop camera.

None of that is necessarily unusual for such a lens, or should discourage anyone from owning one.  Vignetting is even something usually preferable for portraiture.  I used it more for landscape, only did a few portraits.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: JVLphoto on March 07, 2013, 08:24:13 AM


The vignetting
I use the 85L on a 1D Mark IV (1.3x) and it's fine. I really think it's not noticeable on a APS-C (1.6x) sensor body. 85mm x 1.3 gives a nice 110mm, almost like old times 105mm portrait lens.


While I'm glad to see you enjoy the lens, and a 1D Mark IV (I like those as well), I do need to point out that indeed there is a lot of vignetting at f/1.2 to f/1.6, even on a 1.6x crop camera.  This can be "corrected" of course, but it's there.

I have no doubt that if there is ever a version 3 of the lens, it will also have noticeable vignetting even on a 1.6x crop camera.

None of that is necessarily unusual for such a lens, or should discourage anyone from owning one.  Vignetting is even something usually preferable for portraiture.  I used it more for landscape, only did a few portraits.

I keep mentioning vignetting in my reviews, but it's almost pointless, same as saying an L lens is expensive, they're practically givens with fast primes.  That said, not everyone knows what we know, so I'll keep saying it.  Thanks for helping fill in the 1.3 & 1.6 crop gap - I sold my 7D so don't have one to test out the lenses with anymore.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: CarlTN on March 09, 2013, 03:46:26 AM


The vignetting
I use the 85L on a 1D Mark IV (1.3x) and it's fine. I really think it's not noticeable on a APS-C (1.6x) sensor body. 85mm x 1.3 gives a nice 110mm, almost like old times 105mm portrait lens.


While I'm glad to see you enjoy the lens, and a 1D Mark IV (I like those as well), I do need to point out that indeed there is a lot of vignetting at f/1.2 to f/1.6, even on a 1.6x crop camera.  This can be "corrected" of course, but it's there.

I have no doubt that if there is ever a version 3 of the lens, it will also have noticeable vignetting even on a 1.6x crop camera.

None of that is necessarily unusual for such a lens, or should discourage anyone from owning one.  Vignetting is even something usually preferable for portraiture.  I used it more for landscape, only did a few portraits.

I keep mentioning vignetting in my reviews, but it's almost pointless, same as saying an L lens is expensive, they're practically givens with fast primes.  That said, not everyone knows what we know, so I'll keep saying it.  Thanks for helping fill in the 1.3 & 1.6 crop gap - I sold my 7D so don't have one to test out the lenses with anymore.

No problem.  I agree, although the Rokinon (laugh if you need to) has very little vignetting on my crop camera...and neither does my 58mm Voigtlander f/1.4.  So the reason the strong vignetting might be a concern via the 85mm f/1.2L, is because it starts so early toward the image center.  In portraiture (even on a full frame camera), I could see where it might throw off the composition if you are worried about always getting someone's face in the exact center, for this reason.  Otherwise, the face would not be spotlighted, but rather the chest or something would have the most light on it due to the vignetting.  Meaning you would be forced to remove most or all of the vignetting anyway...which means your exposure gets lifted in post processing...and might introduce more noise than the "noise freaks" are willing to bear.  Then, if you really wanted a vignette in the first place, you would have to put one back into the final image, while avoiding getting the face dark, etc.

Or at least that's how it seems to me...I could be wrong.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: JVLphoto on March 09, 2013, 06:45:37 AM


The vignetting
I use the 85L on a 1D Mark IV (1.3x) and it's fine. I really think it's not noticeable on a APS-C (1.6x) sensor body. 85mm x 1.3 gives a nice 110mm, almost like old times 105mm portrait lens.


While I'm glad to see you enjoy the lens, and a 1D Mark IV (I like those as well), I do need to point out that indeed there is a lot of vignetting at f/1.2 to f/1.6, even on a 1.6x crop camera.  This can be "corrected" of course, but it's there.

I have no doubt that if there is ever a version 3 of the lens, it will also have noticeable vignetting even on a 1.6x crop camera.

None of that is necessarily unusual for such a lens, or should discourage anyone from owning one.  Vignetting is even something usually preferable for portraiture.  I used it more for landscape, only did a few portraits.

I keep mentioning vignetting in my reviews, but it's almost pointless, same as saying an L lens is expensive, they're practically givens with fast primes.  That said, not everyone knows what we know, so I'll keep saying it.  Thanks for helping fill in the 1.3 & 1.6 crop gap - I sold my 7D so don't have one to test out the lenses with anymore.

No problem.  I agree, although the Rokinon (laugh if you need to) has very little vignetting on my crop camera...and neither does my 58mm Voigtlander f/1.4.  So the reason the strong vignetting might be a concern via the 85mm f/1.2L, is because it starts so early toward the image center.  In portraiture (even on a full frame camera), I could see where it might throw off the composition if you are worried about always getting someone's face in the exact center, for this reason.  Otherwise, the face would not be spotlighted, but rather the chest or something would have the most light on it due to the vignetting.  Meaning you would be forced to remove most or all of the vignetting anyway...which means your exposure gets lifted in post processing...and might introduce more noise than the "noise freaks" are willing to bear.  Then, if you really wanted a vignette in the first place, you would have to put one back into the final image, while avoiding getting the face dark, etc.

Or at least that's how it seems to me...I could be wrong.

Nope, you got it about right. Works better on a telephoto lens than a wide-angle IMHO, look for my 24mm f/1.4 review coming soon to see how it affects the "look" in a less desirable way.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: CarlTN on March 13, 2013, 02:36:16 PM
Thanks JVLPhoto, glad to know I get something correct every now and then!
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: RS2021 on March 13, 2013, 09:08:58 PM
The vignetting
I use the 85L on a 1D Mark IV (1.3x) and it's fine. I really think it's not noticeable on a APS-C (1.6x) sensor body. 85mm x 1.3 gives a nice 110mm, almost like old times 105mm portrait lens.


Even on a full frame the vignetting never bothered me to be honest... in fact, sometimes I add a bit more in LR.
I can see how it may matter in some cases, probably full-trunk portraits or odd framing and astrophotography... but then we are wandering well out of what I use it for.

Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: smithy on March 17, 2013, 06:24:53 AM
I love the 85mm focal length.  What this review really needs is an update that includes comparisons with the Canon f/1.8 and the Sigma f/1.4.  Even if only because the review asks the question:

"Practically, how does f/1.2 hold up against 1.4? Is the lenses [sic] $2,000 price tag justified? After all, Canon shooters have the option of a Sigma 1.4 at half that price, and the Canon 85mm f/1.8 for about $500."

...but doesn't actually answer it.  Just some constructive feedback there.

I own the Sigma 85mm lens and it's beautiful.  The thought of buying a non-Canon lens (especially one as expensive as the 85mm f/1.4) made me squirm initially, but my hesitation was unwarranted.  Perhaps I got lucky - I haven't had any focus or quality issues with mine (used on a 5D III and 1V).  Yes the minimum focussing distance isn't great, but none of the 85s do particularly well in this area.  The Sigma also features the very versatile 77mm filter thread, whereas the f/1.2L uses a 72mm thread.

If the Canon were the same price (or thereabouts) as the Sigma, I might have bought it, but at twice the price?  Not a chance.
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: JVLphoto on March 17, 2013, 12:59:49 PM
I love the 85mm focal length.  What this review really needs is an update that includes comparisons with the Canon f/1.8 and the Sigma f/1.4.  Even if only because the review asks the question:

"Practically, how does f/1.2 hold up against 1.4? Is the lenses [sic] $2,000 price tag justified? After all, Canon shooters have the option of a Sigma 1.4 at half that price, and the Canon 85mm f/1.8 for about $500."

...but doesn't actually answer it.  Just some constructive feedback there.

I own the Sigma 85mm lens and it's beautiful.  The thought of buying a non-Canon lens (especially one as expensive as the 85mm f/1.4) made me squirm initially, but my hesitation was unwarranted.  Perhaps I got lucky - I haven't had any focus or quality issues with mine (used on a 5D III and 1V).  Yes the minimum focussing distance isn't great, but none of the 85s do particularly well in this area.  The Sigma also features the very versatile 77mm filter thread, whereas the f/1.2L uses a 72mm thread.

If the Canon were the same price (or thereabouts) as the Sigma, I might have bought it, but at twice the price?  Not a chance.

Questions that I'd love to answer!  Just need to get some of those other lenses.  I've worked briefly with the Canon 1.8 and Sigma 1.4 - not enough to pass judgement on them - I did find the Sigma focus was way off on the copy I tried, and needed major micro-adjustment to "hit." The Canon 1.8 gets it done, but not in any significant or "wowing" way, it's a very compact lens, though, and there's advantages to that as well.

Thanks for bringing your experience into the forum!
Title: Re: Review - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II
Post by: RS2021 on March 17, 2013, 03:32:34 PM
I still have my EF 85 f/1.8 and use it at times...nothing to complain about...fast AF, sharp, good bokeh for the price...I even recommend it to those who don't want to go the L route for whatever reason.

But in all fairness, as noted by justin, it doesn't have that "umph" the 85L does. This is not some L brand fawning...the images generated by the 85LII are very different in caliber from the f/1.8.