September 15, 2014, 11:17:48 PM

Author Topic: 50mm 1.2 / 85mm 1.2 VS Zeiss 50mm1.4 / Zeiss 85mm 1.4? Which should I buy...  (Read 11208 times)

TAF

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I also plan to upgrade to the 5D Mark3 within a few months, if that makes any difference...

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

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

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

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


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risc32

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I borrowed the Sigma 85 from a friend - it was OK but the AF was terrible. It needed very different MA values at different FLs. My friend had similar experience on a different body and he returned it.

If the focal length of my prime lens was changing i'd return it also. The Zeiss's AF is pretty crummy also ;)
So we're just going to disregard some facts... oh, well. sorry to be a downer.... later.

CarlTN

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Hi everyone,

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for your help everyone.

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

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

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

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

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

Here it is on a 1D Mark IV.

 

nightbreath

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50mm F/1.2 is a gorgeous lens. I spent 6 weeks in Thailand with just that one lens.
We've just came from a similar journey. Below is a 50L sample. I'll share other photos later.
Wedding photography. My personal website: http://luxuryphoto.com.ua

dmills

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Since you're planning on upgrading to a 5d3, I want to mention something you might already know. The 5d3 doesn't allow you to change focusing screens. While I'm sure that some 3rd party people are more than willing to open up your camera and change it for you, I'm sure that's a "void the warranty" type of customization. I've used the 85 1.2 a lot with my 5d3, and I love it.

I played around with a Zeiss 35 1.4 the other day, and while I enjoyed the manual focus to some extent, and they looked good on the back of the screen, the number of "keepers" I was getting when I put them into my computer was less than I thought just from looking at the back of the camera. Maybe I was "doing it wrong", but I just held down back-button focus and slowly focused until I got the "focus confirmation" then shot. It was something I could probably get used to and focus relatively quickly, but definitely not near the focus speed of even the 85 1.2 (which is sloow). That, and the frustration of thinking that certain shots were 'dead-on' focus when they were slightly off was frustrating to me. My guess is that I was slightly passing the area of dead-on focus while I was turning it, and without a focusing screen, I was having trouble getting it dead-on.
Photos | 5D3 | 60D | GoPro Hero3 | 8-15 | 10-22 | 24 1.4 II | 24-105 | 85 1.2 II | 70-200 2.8 IS II | x2 III | 600EX-RT x2 + ST-E3 | lighting accessories, umbrellas, etc

CarlTN

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Nightbreath, the bokeh looks a tad busier than I thought it would be, but still it looks nice.

Dmills, excellent cautionary advice.  I assume you zoomed in on your shots while looking on the back of the camera?

nightbreath

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Nightbreath, the bokeh looks a tad busier than I thought it would be, but still it looks nice.
Below is a similar shot, using 17mm at f/4. For bokeh comparison  :)
Wedding photography. My personal website: http://luxuryphoto.com.ua

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djgunter

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I've gone all out....

I bought the Zeiss 85mm 1.4, Canon 50mm 1.2, Canon 8-15mm Fisheye.....

djgunter

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My wallet is no more...

CarlTN

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djgunter, Congratulations!  Please post some shots done with your fisheye lens.

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

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

What we need, is a big white 95mm f/0.9, with IS...I wish I could design and have one built...I think it would sell, assuming it was built right!  I guess it wouldn't sell if I designed it!

matt-photo.fr

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The 50mm 1.2 is less accurate than 85mm 1.2 but the bokeh is also incredible.
f/1.8, 1/100s, iso 800 + 5DIII





More example : Site Photographe de mariage à Lille et dans le nord
« Last Edit: April 22, 2013, 03:52:52 PM by matt-photo.fr »

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