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Gear Talk => Lenses => Topic started by: mjbehnke on May 15, 2013, 12:33:38 PM

Title: 50 f1.4 vs 85 f1.8.....
Post by: mjbehnke on May 15, 2013, 12:33:38 PM
I'm about to purchase a prime and am wondering which lens would be the best to get. I'm shooting with a 60d and  currently have a 15-85 ef-s and the 70-200 f4 is. I'm in a class doing portrait photography, indoors  and outdoors. thoughts as to which lens you would is on crop body? thanks
Title: Re: 50 f1.4 vs 85 f1.8.....
Post by: RLPhoto on May 15, 2013, 12:38:00 PM
If you have the space, the 85mm is more flattering than a 50mm. If not, the 50mm is decent for portraits.
Title: Re: 50 f1.4 vs 85 f1.8.....
Post by: neuroanatomist on May 15, 2013, 12:39:02 PM
I'm about to purchase a prime and am wondering which lens would be the best to get. I'm shooting with a 60d and  currently have a 15-85 ef-s and the 70-200 f4 is. I'm in a class doing portrait photography, indoors  and outdoors. thoughts as to which lens you would is on crop body? thanks

Personally, I'd pick the 85/1.8 - but that's my style, not yours. You have the 15-85 - set it to 50mm for a while, then to 85mm for a while...  See which framing you prefer, then get that lens.
Title: Re: 50 f1.4 vs 85 f1.8.....
Post by: mjbehnke on May 15, 2013, 01:18:40 PM
I've been doing a lot of senior photo shoots, and also some general portrait work over the last few years and I was thinking that a prime lens might be in order for better DOF and results. My current photos are very nice and I have gotten many complements on the shoots. I'm just thinking that going prime is the next step. A lot of my photos are head or head & torso shots, so I could go either way, just am not sure which is a better lens as the 50 is pretty old, but people say it's still great. When comparing them on the Digital Pic website, the 85 looked to have a better result on the charts.

Thanks,
Title: Re: 50 f1.4 vs 85 f1.8.....
Post by: neuroanatomist on May 15, 2013, 01:42:28 PM
A lot of my photos are head or head & torso shots, so I could go either way, just am not sure which is a better lens as the 50 is pretty old, but people say it's still great. When comparing them on the Digital Pic website, the 85 looked to have a better result on the charts.

The 85/1.8 is better, as long as you keep specular highlights out of the pics (LoCA is bad).
Title: Re: 50 f1.4 vs 85 f1.8.....
Post by: sdsr on May 15, 2013, 03:30:17 PM
I've been doing a lot of senior photo shoots, and also some general portrait work over the last few years and I was thinking that a prime lens might be in order for better DOF and results. My current photos are very nice and I have gotten many complements on the shoots. I'm just thinking that going prime is the next step. A lot of my photos are head or head & torso shots, so I could go either way, just am not sure which is a better lens as the 50 is pretty old, but people say it's still great. When comparing them on the Digital Pic website, the 85 looked to have a better result on the charts.

Thanks,

In addition to what neuroanatomist says, for head/torso shots the longer lens lets you stay farther away from your subject which, aside from resulting in rather more flattering photos, makes for a more relaxed and comfortable experience all round.
Title: Re: 50 f1.4 vs 85 f1.8.....
Post by: JPL_1020 on May 15, 2013, 03:57:58 PM
Since you're using a crop sensor, I would recommend getting the 50 1.4, as the FOV is almost equivalent to 85mm. And with 85 1.8, you'll be @ 135mm. Also, you have to take into consideration that the bokeh on crop sensor is not as impressive as FF. So between 1.4 vs 1.8 on a crop sensor, I will go for the extra stop which is 1.4. -- but that's my preference.

Having an FF body, i always prefer the 85 for portraits - both indoor & outdoor. For general use and versatility, I'd pick up  my 50mm.

Title: Re: 50 f1.4 vs 85 f1.8.....
Post by: ecka on May 15, 2013, 04:12:17 PM
A lot of my photos are head or head & torso shots, so I could go either way, just am not sure which is a better lens as the 50 is pretty old, but people say it's still great. When comparing them on the Digital Pic website, the 85 looked to have a better result on the charts.

The 85/1.8 is better, as long as you keep specular highlights out of the pics (LoCA is bad).

+1
I'm using 150/2.8 on FF (which gives similar angle and DoF) and it is a great combo.
Title: Re: 50 f1.4 vs 85 f1.8.....
Post by: 1kind on May 15, 2013, 05:12:06 PM
Since you're using a crop sensor, I would recommend getting the 50 1.4, as the FOV is almost equivalent to 85mm. And with 85 1.8, you'll be @ 135mm. Also, you have to take into consideration that the bokeh on crop sensor is not as impressive as FF. So between 1.4 vs 1.8 on a crop sensor, I will go for the extra stop which is 1.4. -- but that's my preference.

Having an FF body, i always prefer the 85 for portraits - both indoor & outdoor. For general use and versatility, I'd pick up  my 50mm.
I totally agree with this.

85mm seems to be the go to for portrait. On a crop, a 85mm is no longer 85mm. A 50mm on a crop is more in like with what a 85mm would be on a full frame as mentioned.
Title: Re: 50 f1.4 vs 85 f1.8.....
Post by: neuroanatomist on May 15, 2013, 05:46:47 PM
Since you're using a crop sensor, I would recommend getting the 50 1.4, as the FOV is almost equivalent to 85mm. And with 85 1.8, you'll be @ 135mm. Also, you have to take into consideration that the bokeh on crop sensor is not as impressive as FF. So between 1.4 vs 1.8 on a crop sensor, I will go for the extra stop which is 1.4. -- but that's my preference.

Having an FF body, i always prefer the 85 for portraits - both indoor & outdoor. For general use and versatility, I'd pick up  my 50mm.
I totally agree with this.

85mm seems to be the go to for portrait. On a crop, a 85mm is no longer 85mm. A 50mm on a crop is more in like with what a 85mm would be on a full frame as mentioned.

Just depends on how your shooting. The 'classic' (= full frame, i.e. film) portrait focal lengths are 35mm for environmental, 50mm for full body, 85mm for torso, and 135mm for head shots.  In each case, you're framing the subject at about the same distance, a distance which gives a flattering perspective and is also a comfortable working distance (can talk without being loud, but not too close).

The OP mentions doing head/shoulders shots (so, 135mm) and torso (85mm), and on APS-C that's ~85mm and 50mm, respectively.  So really, getting both would be good (I have both the 85L and 135L, which I use for portraits on FF).  I suggest examining your portfolio to see how much 50mm vs. 85mm is used, considering whether shoots are usually outdoors (room to back up if needed) or indoors (50mm may be a safer bet).
Title: Re: 50 f1.4 vs 85 f1.8.....
Post by: TexasBadger on May 15, 2013, 06:48:40 PM
The 85mm will compress more than the 50mm which results in more flattering portraits.
Title: Re: 50 f1.4 vs 85 f1.8.....
Post by: robbymack on May 15, 2013, 07:40:49 PM
You can't go wrong with either. If it matters the 85 has true ring usm and the 50 does not. So the 50 is a little slower to focus but not enough to really matter in my opinion.  Fwiw I like the 85 over the 50.
Title: Re: 50 f1.4 vs 85 f1.8.....
Post by: gn100 on May 15, 2013, 07:56:53 PM
I'm about to purchase a prime and am wondering which lens would be the best to get. I'm shooting with a 60d and  currently have a 15-85 ef-s and the 70-200 f4 is. I'm in a class doing portrait photography, indoors  and outdoors. thoughts as to which lens you would is on crop body? thanks

Also consider the Sigma 85mm f1.4 ..... bit more expensive but way cheaper than the Canon 85 f1.2 and almost as good
Title: Re: 50 f1.4 vs 85 f1.8.....
Post by: dirtcastle on May 15, 2013, 09:32:54 PM
On a crop camera like the 60D, I would grab a 50mm over an 85mm, for its flexibility. But both are great.
Title: Re: 50 f1.4 vs 85 f1.8.....
Post by: mjbehnke on May 15, 2013, 10:00:25 PM
I can't afford the Sigma 85 f1.4, it's a little out of my range. I'm sitting in the $500.00 dollar range for a lens. So, I need to stay within my means, as I only spend the money I make from photo shoots on camera stuff, keeps me in line. The Sigma 30 F1.4 is out of the question, as I do plan to upgrade to FF by the end of the year and I don't want to invest in APS-C lenses. I already have the 15-85 which I'll sell with the 60D when the time comes.

So, it seems that both lenses are good choices but maybe the 50 is a little better from what I'm reading. I guess I can mount the 70-200 F4L IS is I need the 85mm range.

Thanks for all the feedback! Unless I see any other reason to not get the 50 or if you think their is something that might work better than either of the 2 lenses I mentioned, I'll order the 50mm 1.4  next week.

Thanks again,
Matthew
Title: Re: 50 f1.4 vs 85 f1.8.....
Post by: pwp on May 15, 2013, 10:03:24 PM
I've been doing a lot of senior photo shoots, and also some general portrait work over the last few years and I was thinking that a prime lens might be in order for better DOF and results....

When you say better DOF what do you actually mean? A shallower DOF or deeper DOF or a particular bokeh look? Your 70-200 is a fantastic portrait lens, it's the go-to lens for portrait shooters across the planet. I'd suggest looking at the exif data on your portrait shots and see what focal length is your most used for what you consider the best results. PS Bridge or Lightroom will sort these for you. That might help aim you towards a well informed decision for a 50, an 85 or a 135 or just to stay with what you've already got.

Looking at your current lens list, I see a gap at the wider end if you're looking for quality. You'll pick up a good pre-owned 24-105 for the $amount in your budget.

-PW
Title: Re: 50 f1.4 vs 85 f1.8.....
Post by: bholliman on May 15, 2013, 10:35:18 PM
I'll order the 50mm 1.4  next week.

Canons 50 1.4 is a very good lens and excellent value.  It will be a very nice addition to your kit now and will still be useful after you buy a FF camera body.
Title: Re: 50 f1.4 vs 85 f1.8.....
Post by: mjbehnke on May 15, 2013, 11:16:43 PM
I've been doing a lot of senior photo shoots, and also some general portrait work over the last few years and I was thinking that a prime lens might be in order for better DOF and results....

When you say better DOF what do you actually mean? A shallower DOF or deeper DOF or a particular bokeh look? Your 70-200 is a fantastic portrait lens, it's the go-to lens for portrait shooters across the planet. I'd suggest looking at the exif data on your portrait shots and see what focal length is your most used for what you consider the best results. PS Bridge or Lightroom will sort these for you. That might help aim you towards a well informed decision for a 50, an 85 or a 135 or just to stay with what you've already got.

Looking at your current lens list, I see a gap at the wider end if you're looking for quality. You'll pick up a good pre-owned 24-105 for the $amount in your budget.

-PW

PW,
I'd like to have a shallower DOF. I know I can't get much with Crop, but using a faster lens should help, correct?
Also as I mentioned, I'll be leaving the crop world and heading towards FF around the end of the year, as I save up for the 5D3. Once I go FF, I will no longer have the 15-85, as it's for Crop bodies only. If I can collect enough, I could get the 5D3 with the 24-105 as a kit. Until than, I'd like to have a little shallower DOF in my photos.

Thanks,
Matthew
Title: Re: 50 f1.4 vs 85 f1.8.....
Post by: Nishi Drew on May 16, 2013, 12:13:35 AM
I've been doing a lot of senior photo shoots, and also some general portrait work over the last few years and I was thinking that a prime lens might be in order for better DOF and results....

When you say better DOF what do you actually mean? A shallower DOF or deeper DOF or a particular bokeh look? Your 70-200 is a fantastic portrait lens, it's the go-to lens for portrait shooters across the planet. I'd suggest looking at the exif data on your portrait shots and see what focal length is your most used for what you consider the best results. PS Bridge or Lightroom will sort these for you. That might help aim you towards a well informed decision for a 50, an 85 or a 135 or just to stay with what you've already got.

Looking at your current lens list, I see a gap at the wider end if you're looking for quality. You'll pick up a good pre-owned 24-105 for the $amount in your budget.

-PW

PW,
I'd like to have a shallower DOF. I know I can't get much with Crop, but using a faster lens should help, correct?
Also as I mentioned, I'll be leaving the crop world and heading towards FF around the end of the year, as I save up for the 5D3. Once I go FF, I will no longer have the 15-85, as it's for Crop bodies only. If I can collect enough, I could get the 5D3 with the 24-105 as a kit. Until than, I'd like to have a little shallower DOF in my photos.

Thanks,
Matthew

Well, not being able to go shallow on a crop body is a myth, while indeed you can get shallower with larger formats with wider fields of view. I can get nice and shallow with a 25mm F/1.4 on a micro four thirds camera, which is about a 50mm F/2.8 equivalent with the sensor being smaller than APS-C. But, I also have a 5DII and being able to shoot wider and with shallow depth of field certainly is nice, but the big advantage is really being able to shoot stopped down and still get good subject separation. That said, my favorite is a 35mm F/1.4, but for what you do the 85mm is good, I don't like Canon's 50mm, purple fringing and bokeh could be a lot better. But personally I would go with Sigma's 85mm 1.4, sharper, far less CA, and bokeh on level with the 85L, but even a good used deal is double the price of a used 85mm 1.8
Title: Re: 50 f1.4 vs 85 f1.8.....
Post by: stipotle on May 16, 2013, 01:08:25 AM
I've been doing a lot of senior photo shoots, and also some general portrait work over the last few years and I was thinking that a prime lens might be in order for better DOF and results....

When you say better DOF what do you actually mean? A shallower DOF or deeper DOF or a particular bokeh look? Your 70-200 is a fantastic portrait lens, it's the go-to lens for portrait shooters across the planet. I'd suggest looking at the exif data on your portrait shots and see what focal length is your most used for what you consider the best results. PS Bridge or Lightroom will sort these for you. That might help aim you towards a well informed decision for a 50, an 85 or a 135 or just to stay with what you've already got.

Looking at your current lens list, I see a gap at the wider end if you're looking for quality. You'll pick up a good pre-owned 24-105 for the $amount in your budget.

-PW

PW,
I'd like to have a shallower DOF. I know I can't get much with Crop, but using a faster lens should help, correct?
Also as I mentioned, I'll be leaving the crop world and heading towards FF around the end of the year, as I save up for the 5D3. Once I go FF, I will no longer have the 15-85, as it's for Crop bodies only. If I can collect enough, I could get the 5D3 with the 24-105 as a kit. Until than, I'd like to have a little shallower DOF in my photos.

Thanks,
Matthew

If you are that sure that you are upgrading to a 5D3, then you might reconsider the 85 f/1.8 as an investment - that you would rather have that focal length on a full frame. Also - if you find you want a wider prime with full frame, the shorty forty is only $150 away.  (Granted f/2.8 isn't f/1.4, but it's a great lens)
Title: Re: 50 f1.4 vs 85 f1.8.....
Post by: timmy_650 on May 16, 2013, 02:50:27 AM
I would vote 85 f1.8 and if you want a bit wider you can pick up 50 f1.8 for cheap. I have a nifty 50 and 100 2.8L and I really like the 100 but i do a lot of outside pictures. If you don't have much room, I would go with the 50 f1.4
Title: Re: 50 f1.4 vs 85 f1.8.....
Post by: Dylan777 on May 19, 2013, 01:42:47 PM
No comment on 85 f1.8, never own one...

My vote is 50mm(=80mm to FF) for portrait. I used to have this lens prior 50L. On my copy, sharpness starts from f1.8 - f2.

I feel 85mm(=136mm to FF) might be to tight for indoor. I tried 135L on my 5D III few weeks ago, it was little tight for indoor.