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Author Topic: Canon 85mm f/1.8 vs Other L and non-L Canon Primes  (Read 8926 times)

PhotoShine

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Canon 85mm f/1.8 vs Other L and non-L Canon Primes
« on: January 13, 2013, 12:11:57 AM »
Hi Everyone,

My First Post!  :)

I am going FF to 6D soon (from a Canon Rebel T1i) and currently own the Canon 50mm f/1.4.  I'm looking into getting the Canon 85mm f/1.8 and was wondering how this lens compares (AF, sharpness, contrast, color rendition...) to other Canon lenses:

  • EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
  • EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM
  • EF 100mm f/2 USM
  • EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

I have heard the Canon 135L is GREAT, but the focal length is too long for indoors IMO which is where i will mostly do portrait work, family, kids...At least for a while.

What do you think about the rumored Canon 85mm f/1.8 IS Version?

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Canon 85mm f/1.8 vs Other L and non-L Canon Primes
« on: January 13, 2013, 12:11:57 AM »

al-toidz photography

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Re: Canon 85mm f/1.8 vs Other L and non-L Canon Primes
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2013, 12:36:35 AM »
same problem here. I was thinking about getting 85mm1.8 but also considering the 100macro L IS. 15mm is not big difference unlike 50mm going 85. I have the 50mm 1.4 and I honestly don't like and that is why I sold it and got myself a Sigma 50mm 1.4. The 100mm f2 is almost the same as the 85mm in terms of build quality, AF speed, sharpness and so on. So better yet consider having the 100mm macro rather than the regular 100mm. Although of course the L lens is much more expensive than regular lens. But you brought it on your list so obviously money is not an issue.

I already have extension tubes but still thinking if I should get the 85mm 1.8 or the 100mm macro IS. 1:1 macro is not my main goal although of course its nice to have that option as macro photography is fun to do. Just like you, I will also be working more on portrait and not so much with macro and landscape.

I guess it boils down to two lenses. The 100mm IS macro vs. the 85mm 1.8. Lets see what others have to say with this problem.

friedrice1212

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Re: Canon 85mm f/1.8 vs Other L and non-L Canon Primes
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2013, 01:29:11 AM »
85 1.8, 100L, and 85L, I've used all three, though I don't own any. Three fantastic lenses if put in the right hands and the right budget. The 85 1.8 is the best bang for your buck, that's for sure at 359$ right now at B&H. But some people have more bucks than others and that's where the 85L steps in. This monster is an absolute beast, but you gotta know how to handle it. I like to call it a "speciality" lens. If you're getting this lens, it's to shoot it wide open, and that takes a lot of skill. The DoF is so thin that some focussing techniques don't work, such as focus and recompose. By pointing your lens up and down, the subject is already out of focus. And as for the 100 range, I never used the f2.0, but the L is a katana, sharp like no other lens. Shot flowers with it for a project and the results are astonishing. But as I always say, sharpness is overrated, but that's just me. Although for portraits, I find 100mm kinda weird to work with. Again, getting personal here.

Best way to find out is to rent the lenses or get them for a short while to play with them, as I did. I had to choose between the 85 1.8, the Sigma 85 1.4, the Samyang 85 1.4 manual focus, and the Zeiss 85 1.4. Tried them all, and decided to save up for the Zeiss.

Oh and screw the IS version. It's gonna cost 800$-1000$ and it's gonna come in yeah 2547. You want something, get it. Oftentimes, the said "replacements" are way off what we predict. I got a 24-105mm a bit before the new 24-70 f4 IS was announced, and I couldn't be happier.

wickidwombat

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Re: Canon 85mm f/1.8 vs Other L and non-L Canon Primes
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2013, 02:16:01 AM »
i would not count on a rumoured is lens

the canon 85 f1.8 is great value for money if you are very budget conscious
however if you can afford the extra it is very worthwhile looking at the sigma 85 f1.4
it ison a par with the 85 f1.2L II the L is sharper from 1.2 to 2 but the sigma is faster focusing
a bit smaller and lighter and still damn sharp even wide open

caveat is the sigma 85 f1.4 are renound for being front or back focusing out of the box mine needed +13
AFMA so i sent it back to sigma to be recalibrated and it came back a week later and is bang on with 0 AFMA and even works great on bodies without AFMA.
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Quasimodo

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Re: Canon 85mm f/1.8 vs Other L and non-L Canon Primes
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2013, 03:31:33 AM »
If autofocus speed is important to you, no lens beats the 1.8 from Canon. Myself I have the Sigma 1.4 and ot is great, but a bit slower on AF, and the slowest, but the one that produces the best looking pictures imho and the one I would like to have if I could afford it, is the 1.2 II
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spinworkxroy

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Re: Canon 85mm f/1.8 vs Other L and non-L Canon Primes
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2013, 04:01:44 AM »
Does the 6D have AFMA feature?
If it does, do seriously consider the Sigma 85 F1.4 if you're looking at an 85mm lens for portraiture work. 135 is great yes but sometimes you don't have the space to use it. 85 to me is the perfect portrait lens. Why AFMA? Because Sigmas all need Micro adjustments! But once you get them right, they're great..or you can just send your camera with the lens to sigma to calibrate.
I'm not a professional but 95% of my shoots are portraitures, both indoor and in the studio.

I've personally owned the 50 f1.4 and the 85 f1.8 for quite some time. I also owned the Sigma 50 f1.4 and 85 f.14 concurrently with the Canons.

During my course of shooting, i find that i used the 50mm like maybe only 30% of the time i'm shooting at most. I go the  85mm almost all the time.
I have since sold the Sigma 50mm becuase i don't use it and it's considerable less sharp than the Canon version which is much older..maybe i just got a really good copy of the Canon but i've sent the Sigma back few times for fixing and it still wasn't as good.

As for the 85mm..the Sigma is just a class over the Canon. In terms of built quality, sharpness, beautiful bokeh etc..it beats the canon in everything else focus speed..but i don't need lightning quick focus for portraits. The sigma i still faster than the Canon 85L though but at more than 1/2 the price! I've since sold my Canon 85 f1.8. The Sigma 85 is my go to lens these days..i would get the 85L if i could afford it but the Sigma is 90% as good ant 50% cheaper…no brainer there..

As for anything under 85mm that i need, i've decided to get the 24-70 F2.8L II instead of using a 50 f1.4 because it's even better than the 50…and i usually don't shoot the 50 at f1.4 anyways..it's soft..

mb66energy

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Re: Canon 85mm f/1.8 vs Other L and non-L Canon Primes
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2013, 04:21:46 AM »
Just my path for selecting my moderate tele photo lens

  • EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
  ->  Not tele at all, in terms off 35mm I tend to see 100mm as "standard>"
  • EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM
  ->  Large, very expensive, slow AF
  • EF 100mm f/2 USM
  ->  very compact, great IQ, great on crop with 160mm/will be great on FF (for ME)
  • EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
   ->  large, red ring, expensive
[/list]

The 85mm f/1.8 was the alternative to the 100mm f/2 but lost because of less focal length, odd max aperture, slightly inferior IQ compared to the 100mm f/2.
The 100mm f/2 has very good IQ at f/2.0, except some longitudinal chromatic aberrations (the 85mm 1.2 has it too wide open) but at f/2.8 it very sharp, at f/4.0 it is excellent. What I really like is that it is very contrasty straight from max aperture. Observations made on CROP only (never used FF), but I think it will be the same on FF bodies.
Perhaps the most important thing is, that this lens looks boring like a 50mm lens and you will not be noticed/people do not feel observed - might be one criterion for good portraits!

Best - Michael
TOOLS: EF-S 10-22 | 60 || EF 2.8/24 | 2.8/40* | 2.8 100 Macro* |2.0/100 | 4.0/70-200* | 5.6/400* || 2 x 40D | 600D | EOS M  [* most used lenses]

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Re: Canon 85mm f/1.8 vs Other L and non-L Canon Primes
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2013, 04:21:46 AM »

christianronnel

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Re: Canon 85mm f/1.8 vs Other L and non-L Canon Primes
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2013, 04:44:38 AM »
Hi Everyone,

My First Post!  :)

I am going FF to 6D soon (from a Canon Rebel T1i) and currently own the Canon 50mm f/1.4.  I'm looking into getting the Canon 85mm f/1.8 and was wondering how this lens compares (AF, sharpness, contrast, color rendition...) to other Canon lenses:

If you like the 50 1.4 on crop, you'd like it more on full frame.  You would also love the 85 1.8.  If you're considering EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, why not EF100mm f2.8 Macro USM nonL?  From the reviews I've seen those two are very similar in IQ.  Unless you really want the IS.
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PhotoShine

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Re: Canon 85mm f/1.8 vs Other L and non-L Canon Primes
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2013, 12:52:07 AM »
Thanks Everyone

I never said it but I'm on a budget.  $1000 for a lens is too expensive right now for ME.

The Canon 85mm f/1.8 is very nice for the price. The focal length attracts me over the 100mm. The 100mm is a bit better than the 85mm in IQ when wide open but it is also more expensive.

The 85mm is what I will get (price is right).  Thanks Everyone for you input. I now have lenses to look forward to.

jhanken

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Re: Canon 85mm f/1.8 vs Other L and non-L Canon Primes
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2013, 01:35:08 AM »
I have the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 and the Canon 85mm f/1.8,and I have used the Sigma 85mm f/ 1.4 also.  The Canon 85mm f/1.8 is a great lens, totally natural focal length if you want eye-approximate viewing angle and controllable depth of field.  The low light performance is pretty good, you can even stop some indoor sports if you underexposed an f-stop and push in developing.  However the Sigma 1.4 let's in almost 60% more light, and while not cheap, it is a steal compared to the Canon 85L.  I hear the 85L is spectacular, but so is an Audi R8!
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PoulStaugaard

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Re: Canon 85mm f/1.8 vs Other L and non-L Canon Primes
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2013, 01:40:27 AM »
The 85mm and 100mm are great portrait lenses, and they do have a size advantage over the macro lenses, but they are limited by rather large minimum focus distances. I have the 85 and the 100mm Macro that I use a lot more often, so much so that I regret not having gone with the stabilized 100L.

jp121

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Re: Canon 85mm f/1.8 vs Other L and non-L Canon Primes
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2013, 03:28:53 AM »
try this web page

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Canon-Lenses/

on the second half of the page there are reviews for specific lenses. I find the reviews easy to understand.
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Grummbeerbauer

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Re: Canon 85mm f/1.8 vs Other L and non-L Canon Primes
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2013, 03:44:09 AM »
I have the 85 1.8 and the 100L on a 7D. I found that on crop, 100mm is definitely too long for indoor portraits, while 85mm fits quite nicely (although you will still get problems in tight places). So for me on crop, it was never the question to get the 100 2.0 over the 85 1.8, despite the 100 being better (I heard the 100 2.0 has much less purple fringing than the 85 1.8 on high contrast edges, which is IMO the most critical issue with this lens, but I can live with it since the images are just astonishing in virtually every other aspect).
So on crop: 85 1.8 for portraits, 100L for macros, but the latter -- at least for me -- does NOT double as a portrait lens.
I think on FF, the game is a different one. If you are interested in macro, you might be able to do with only the 100L, although 2.8 max. aperture could be a bit limiting. If you don't need macro anyway, I would probably prefer the 100 2.0 over the 85 1.8 due to the latter's aforementioned PF issue.

About the 85L: A colleague of mine recently got one, and I had the opportunity to play around with it, too. Impressive piece of glass, but extremely sluggish AF (and -- being warned that its AF is slow, I didn't expect much, but I still got a negative surprise here). I guess my hit rate wide open would not be good enough, and if I have to stop down anyway, why should one deal with the extra expense and weight?
We both concluded that it is more of a "show off" lens, and back to the store it went.

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Re: Canon 85mm f/1.8 vs Other L and non-L Canon Primes
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2013, 03:44:09 AM »

AmbientLight

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Re: Canon 85mm f/1.8 vs Other L and non-L Canon Primes
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2013, 05:53:01 AM »
@Grummbeerbauer:
What you wrote regarding autofocus speed applies only in case you are not using the lens on an 1D-series body. Here the camera body supplies more power to the lens drive, making both 85mm f1.2 and 50mm f1.2 lenses significantly better to use. Then you can nail focus using f1.2 without getting the feeling that autofocus is slow. Those are still not lenses I would pick for shooting sports, but in other conditions autofocus speed is just fine.

Using those lenses on other bodies like for example a 7D causes some extra effort to focus correctly. I can't say anything regarding focussing on a 6D. It may be worthwhile testing the 85mm f1.2 with this body, but be sure to take your time with it, because I fear the autofocus system may not be adequate for this lens.

wickidwombat

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Re: Canon 85mm f/1.8 vs Other L and non-L Canon Primes
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2013, 07:16:50 PM »
Thanks Everyone

I never said it but I'm on a budget.  $1000 for a lens is too expensive right now for ME.

The Canon 85mm f/1.8 is very nice for the price. The focal length attracts me over the 100mm. The 100mm is a bit better than the 85mm in IQ when wide open but it is also more expensive.

The 85mm is what I will get (price is right).  Thanks Everyone for you input. I now have lenses to look forward to.

if you are on a budget the 85 f1.8 is unbeatable if you dont already have the shorty forty i would recomend that too as i find a 40mm and 85mm complement each other very well you can shoot most stuf with these 2 lenses and its just the very wide end missing and if on a crop body the tokina 11-16 would cover this very nicely giving a very high IQ 3 lens setup thats quite compact and lightweight
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Re: Canon 85mm f/1.8 vs Other L and non-L Canon Primes
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2013, 07:16:50 PM »