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Author Topic: Do I need the EF 85mm f/1.8 USM?  (Read 5146 times)

TrumpetPower!

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Re: Do I need the EF 85mm f/1.8 USM?
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2013, 10:16:13 PM »
No, the corners wide open on the 85mm f/1.8 are 2,888 line pairs per image height, versus 2,954-3,100 for the 70-200mm II. That difference is almost invisible. At f/2.8 they are essentially the same in resolution figures (28 line pairs difference), but the chromatic aberration of the 70-200 mm II is at least five times worse: 29 - 60% versus only 5% for the 85mm f/1.8.

No clue where you're getting those numbers from, 'cuz it shore don't match what I'm seeing with my own eyes over on Bryan's site:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=106&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=2&LensComp=687&CameraComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0

Once again, the 85 f/1.8 is a wonderful lens, and it can unquestionably do things the 70-200 can't. But not much and not by much, and sharpness isn't one of those things.

And, seriously? Chromatic aberration five times worse with the 70-200? No clue what you're smoking. The 85 is notorious for those purple halos around specular highlights, and everything I've seen of the 70-200 shows CA to be negligible in the real world.

Cheers,

b&

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Re: Do I need the EF 85mm f/1.8 USM?
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2013, 10:16:13 PM »

Zv

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Re: Do I need the EF 85mm f/1.8 USM?
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2013, 10:43:46 PM »
I would't recommend it for OP unless you really need something wider than f/2.8 even then the 85 fringes so badly at those wide apertures it makes it pointless. However it does have one great use - put it on a 7D and you get some decent reach in a compact design. Great for street photography and sneaky candids.
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helpful

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Re: Do I need the EF 85mm f/1.8 USM?
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2013, 10:50:18 PM »
helpful how is it that you can use 3-4 times faster shutter speed with an 85mm 1.8 -vs- a 70-200mm 2.8 IS? you can react faster with a prime than a zoom?  halos around out of focus objects making things appear less sharp?

dude, what are you talking about?

I will answer, but by my answer I mean no disrespect to those, like myself, who invested over $2,000 in the 70-200 lens:

In regards to stops:
The transmission of the 70-200 II is T/3.4. The Tstop of the 85mm f/1.8, in both Nikon AF-D and Canon USM versions, is almost exactly T/1.8 as advertised. Let's just say 1.9 to be safe. The reason for the difference is because of the sophisticated lens design in the 70-200mm II that is used to correct aberrations at many distances and many focal lengths, not to mention the extra elements used for the IS unit.

To compute the relative speed of lenses to one another, one simply divides the higher Tstop value by the lower Tstop value, then squares the result.
3.4/1.9 = 1.789
1.789 squared = 3.2, i.e., three times faster of a shutter speed. 3-4 times was a bit of an exaggeration because I did not actually do the math, but was just basing it off of real-world experience.

In regards to out of focus characteristics:
There are those who look at the edge of someone's jersey, and see a halo/blur, and return their lenses, not realizing that the plane of focus is sharp. It happens most often when people are shooting stage events from down in the seating, and their cameras consistently focus around waist level because that's the nearest object within the active focus points, making 80-90% of the shots unsharp.

By no means is the 85mm lens perfect, and yes, it does have the purple fringing problem, but at f/2.8 it does not have it more so than the 70-200 II lens.

5DIII, 5DII, 7D x5, 6D, T2i, T3, 1D X, 10-22mm, 16-35mm II, 18-55mm II, 18-135mm IS x2, 70-200mm f/2.8L II, 24mm f/1.4L II, 50mm f/1.4, 50mm 1/1.8 II x2, 85mm f/1.8 x2, 100mm f/2 x2, 135mm f/2L x2, 200mm f/2.8L II x2, 1.4X III, 2.0X II, 60mm f/2.8 Macro, etc. only had room to list a few Canon items

preppyak

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Re: Do I need the EF 85mm f/1.8 USM?
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2013, 11:09:07 PM »
helpful how is it that you can use 3-4 times faster shutter speed with an 85mm 1.8 -vs- a 70-200mm 2.8 IS? you can react faster with a prime than a zoom?  halos around out of focus objects making things appear less sharp?

dude, what are you talking about?
Yeah, I mean, it's pretty well known that "f/2.8" is relative on a lot of lenses, similar to how "f/1.4" is relative on a lot of lenses; one f/1.4 is really f/1.6, one f/2.8 is really closer to f/3.2, etc. But, even if the f/2.8 of the 70-200 was really more like f/4, you still wouldn't get 3x fast shutter speeds on the 85mm.

Basically, the reason for you to get the 85mm is if you are shooting in rooms dark enough that you occasionally get motion blur with your 5dII. There, instead of shooting at 1/60th, you could be at  1/125th and avoid that issue, that'd be a big deal...as you'd avoid going that extra stop of ISO that can ruin photos. But, that's a pretty particular need.

If you decide 85mm is "your focal length", then I'd consider getting the 85L instead...because the look it gives is undoubtedly incredible. If not, and you are comfortable shooting portraits at 135mm f/2.8 and getting about the same look as 85mm f/1.8, then save yourself the money. As someone who is looking into buying the 85mm, a lot of people selling it mention it's been made obsolete by their recent 70-200 purchase.

stipotle

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Re: Do I need the EF 85mm f/1.8 USM?
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2013, 12:23:37 AM »
I have both the 85mm f/1.8 and the 70-200mm f/28 ISII.
I got the 85mm first, and yes it's true - I hardly pull the 85mm out anymore. I think it's mostly because of the flexibility of the 70-200mm, and because I tend to be comfortable at 200mm.

BUT

I do still have uses for the 85mm. It is fun to have the extra stop (for both shallow DoF and light gathering), and you might enjoy working with the prime like dstppy said. Having 1 prime, just be able to work with the fixed focal length might be the biggest reason, and I personally think the 85mm 1.8 would be the prime to pick when having to keep price down.

Do you need it? probably not, but for under $400, I think it has enough uses to be worth it.

RGF

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Re: Do I need the EF 85mm f/1.8 USM?
« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2013, 02:06:27 AM »
I have the 17-40 f4L, the 24-70 f2.8L and 70-200 f2.8L IS II
Used on both  the 7d and 5d mark II.

Will the 85mm f/1.8 give me noticeably better bokeh or any sharper images because it is a prime lens? I cannot afford another L lens at the moment.

Thanks!


The 85 mm will give you several things

1.  a lighter lens - the 70-200F2.8 is heavy
2.  1 1/3 stops
3  perhap slight improvement in IQ
4  Make you picture much better because you have the lens you want.  The makes the photographer happier and happy photographers take better pictures

So go for it

Saurus

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Re: Do I need the EF 85mm f/1.8 USM?
« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2013, 03:03:09 AM »
Check ou this review...

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-85mm-f-1.8-USM-Lens-Review.aspx

He says: "I didn't find myself using the 85 f/1.8 very much after getting the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens. Although 1 1/3 stop slower, I found the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens to be far more versatile.

The bottom line is that the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens is simply a very nice lens at a reasonable price. "


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Re: Do I need the EF 85mm f/1.8 USM?
« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2013, 03:03:09 AM »

AudioGlenn

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Re: Do I need the EF 85mm f/1.8 USM?
« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2013, 03:06:50 AM »
I've been considering getting an 85mm since I sold my 50 (which I liked for portraits on a crop) but found that my 70-200 covers that need quite well.  Every time I start to consider it again, I read something somewhere that reiterates how redundant it would be to have both the 70-200 and an 85mm.  If or when I do get around to making that purchase, I'll have to go for the L.  2 stops of light might be worth it for me but it really isn't a big need right now.
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timmy_650

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Re: Do I need the EF 85mm f/1.8 USM?
« Reply #23 on: March 20, 2013, 04:04:37 AM »
I would use the 70-200 most of the time. The weight doesn't brother me, Only if it was too big for the place but that is rare for me.
Personally I would say save your money and save up for the 24-70 2.8 II.

I was looking at the 85 and 40 mostly bc i want a new toy. If you want a new toy it, will be a new toy and fit the bill.

CanNotYet

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Re: Do I need the EF 85mm f/1.8 USM?
« Reply #24 on: March 20, 2013, 04:50:01 AM »
First question: What do you shoot?
If it is mostly outdoors, landscapes, outdoor sports etc. I would say stay with 70-200 2.8
If you do portraits and/or indoor sports (or similar) with bad lighting and need for fast shutter speeds, get the 85 1.8.

Albi86

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Re: Do I need the EF 85mm f/1.8 USM?
« Reply #25 on: March 20, 2013, 04:57:18 AM »
I have the 17-40 f4L, the 24-70 f2.8L and 70-200 f2.8L IS II
Used on both  the 7d and 5d mark II.

Will the 85mm f/1.8 give me noticeably better bokeh or any sharper images because it is a prime lens? I cannot afford another L lens at the moment.

Thanks!

Canon 85/1.8 is a good lens but old and far from superlative for today's standards. It only gets sharp around f/2.8, and wider than that you're also going to be cursed by CA and fringing. Bottom line: in your kit it will be an unremarkable addition.

If you want a portrait prime to expand you possibilities - which means one that you can comfortably use wide open - buy the Sigma 85/1.4.

bholliman

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Re: Do I need the EF 85mm f/1.8 USM?
« Reply #26 on: March 20, 2013, 04:57:41 AM »
I'd ask why there is no 50mm, but that's just me.


I will echo RL's comment... 50 f/1.4 is affordable, even slightly cheaper than 85 f/1.8, and will do great portraits...

+1 to RL and RS's endorsement of a 50mm prime. 

I have the 70-200 2.8 II, 85 1.8 and 50 1.4 for use on my 6D and 7D.  My 50mm gets more use than the other two for low light situations and shots of our 11-month old around the house. 

That said the 85mm is a terrific lens, light and fast with nice bokeh.  Since I added a 135L, I've used the 85mm less often, but still recommend it highly.

The 70-200 2.8 II is of course extremely versatile.  I use it for events where I don't have time to change primes.  It also gets plenty of landscape and short range wildlife use.  After my 24-105L, its my 2nd most used lens overall.

For me, I enjoy having the flexibility of owning 50, 85 and 135mm primes in addition to a 70-200 2.8.  If I had to choose 3 of the 4 however, I would probably sell the 85mm first.
Bodies:  6D, EOS-M (22/2 and 18-55)
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coryparris

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Re: Do I need the EF 85mm f/1.8 USM?
« Reply #27 on: March 20, 2013, 04:36:48 PM »
Images shot with wider apertures pop off of the background more. I shoot mostly primes and love the 85 1.8. Small, light, very quick to focus, sharp, and lovely bokeh. The only knocks on this lens are the CA, which is easily removed in LR, and it sucks up dust so much that I have to have the innards cleaned once every couple years. I own 2 85 1.8's. :)

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Re: Do I need the EF 85mm f/1.8 USM?
« Reply #27 on: March 20, 2013, 04:36:48 PM »

mdmphoto

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Re: Do I need the EF 85mm f/1.8 USM?
« Reply #28 on: March 21, 2013, 12:47:06 AM »
I have the 70-200 f/2.8L IS "I" and I love it. It is versatile, sharp, impresses civilians, and so on.  I also have the 85 1.8, which is rather discrete or even nondescript.  It takes great portrait shots, and because of the wider aperture, comes in quite handy indoors for available-light portraiture.  I owned the 85 before the 70-200, but I would buy one anyway just for that extra 1 1/3 stops that will help me get some shots that would be otherwise unavailable to me.  Fringing and other aberrations are easily fixed, usually automatically, in current versions of most modern editing software.
6D, 7D,50D, 17-55IS, 24-105L, 70-200 Fl2.8L IS, 135L, tokina 16-28, 150-500 & a buffet more, 580 EXII, 430 EXII, AB 800's

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Re: Do I need the EF 85mm f/1.8 USM?
« Reply #28 on: March 21, 2013, 12:47:06 AM »