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Author Topic: 85L or 135L?  (Read 26034 times)

beckstoy

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85L or 135L?
« on: July 16, 2013, 11:24:44 PM »
Alright everyone, I shoot portraits and weddings and here are my current lenses which I use on my 5DM3:

24-105 (great kit lens, but I might sell it)
24-70 f2.8 MK2
50 f1.4
(Sigma) 12-24 - some people don't like this, but I think I got a good copy
70-200 f2.8 MK2

I'm trying to find a reason to buy either the 85mm or 135mm.  Which should I buy?  I know I have that length covered, but they're such celebrated primes that I'd just learn to zoom with my feet more and I know my results would be good.

So, here's my question.  Both are very well-loved in the photog world, especially with portrait shooters.  Which should I get?  Or, should I be considering another prime altogether?

Thanks in advance!
5DM3, EF 50 f1.4, EF 24-70 f2.8 II, EF 70-200 f2.8 USM IS II, EF 24-104 f4, Siggy 12-24 f3.5

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85L or 135L?
« on: July 16, 2013, 11:24:44 PM »

Fatfaso

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Re: 85L or 135L?
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2013, 01:15:59 AM »
I have both and they're both crazy awesome. Based on the lenses that you currently own, I'd go for the 85L first, then pick up the 135L. The 85 is great for low light shooting and has a better working distance for torso shots. Just be aware that the autofocus is twice as slow as you've heard. The 135L is sharp and quick to focus, but f2 without IS is tough to shoot with in low light. You'll have to crank up your ISO to get a fast enough shutter to avoid blurry shots during receptions.

Hope that helps.

J.R.

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Re: 85L or 135L?
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2013, 01:37:19 AM »
I am also interested in the 85L so just a quick question. How slow / fast is the focusing as compared to the 50mm f/1.4?
5D3, 6D, 600D, RX100
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archiea

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Re: 85L or 135L?
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2013, 01:41:30 AM »
I am also interested in the 85L so just a quick question. How slow / fast is the focusing as compared to the 50mm f/1.4?

Ouff! Big difference.  However, on occasion, the f1.4 50mm misses focus or hunts for no apparent reason...

 

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Re: 85L or 135L?
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2013, 01:44:11 AM »
I am also interested in the 85L so just a quick question. How slow / fast is the focusing as compared to the 50mm f/1.4?

Ouff! Big difference.  However, on occasion, the f1.4 50mm misses focus or hunts for no apparent reason...

 

Thanks, but relatively speaking ... is it substantially faster?
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I come here to learn something new, not to learn how bad my gear is - I know that already ;-)!

Dylan777

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Re: 85L or 135L?
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2013, 01:44:46 AM »
I bought 135L a month ago. LOVE IT....fast focus and sharp @ f2. A week later, I saw a used 85L II on CL - 1yr old, from original owner, with original receipt included. Bought it for $1525...LOVE IT even MORE. I ended up returning 135L and kept the 85L II.

I don't think you can go wrong with 85L II for portrait. The bokeh is wonderfull.

Here are some test shots I took right after bought the lens 85L II - JPEG straight out from camera: http://albums.phanfare.com/isolated/T3su9U5p/1/6099400#imageID=188845497

Here are some test shots I took right after bought the lens 135L - JPEG straight out from camera: http://albums.phanfare.com/isolated/81tgObei/1/6092902
« Last Edit: July 17, 2013, 02:28:30 AM by Dylan777 »
Body: 1DX -- 5D III
Zoom: 16-35L f4 IS -- 24-70L II -- 70-200L f2.8 IS II
Prime: 40mm -- 85L II -- 135L -- 200L f2 IS -- 400L f2.8 IS II

Dylan777

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Re: 85L or 135L?
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2013, 02:19:17 AM »
I am also interested in the 85L so just a quick question. How slow / fast is the focusing as compared to the 50mm f/1.4?

Let say focus speed on 50mm f1.4 is 5, then I would say 85L II is somewhere 3.8 - 4. However, if you go from infinity to closeup, then is it -5.
Body: 1DX -- 5D III
Zoom: 16-35L f4 IS -- 24-70L II -- 70-200L f2.8 IS II
Prime: 40mm -- 85L II -- 135L -- 200L f2 IS -- 400L f2.8 IS II

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Re: 85L or 135L?
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2013, 02:19:17 AM »

J.R.

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Re: 85L or 135L?
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2013, 02:25:47 AM »
I am also interested in the 85L so just a quick question. How slow / fast is the focusing as compared to the 50mm f/1.4?

Let say focus speed on 50mm f1.4 is 5, then I would say 85L II is somewhere 3.8 - 4. However, if you go from infinity to closeup, then is it -5.

Thanks for the info.  :) but -5 ... good god!
5D3, 6D, 600D, RX100
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I come here to learn something new, not to learn how bad my gear is - I know that already ;-)!

eml58

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Re: 85L or 135L?
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2013, 02:39:39 AM »
I am also interested in the 85L so just a quick question. How slow / fast is the focusing as compared to the 50mm f/1.4?

Let say focus speed on 50mm f1.4 is 5, then I would say 85L II is somewhere 3.8 - 4. However, if you go from infinity to closeup, then is it -5.

Thanks for the info.  :) but -5 ... good god!

Hi JR, My tuppence worth for what it's worth.

The 85f/1.2 L II is a bit of a "specialist" Lens, Portrait I suppose is it's mainstay, but I'm not sure I agree with everyone re the "Tardy" autofocus performance in it's entirety, is it slower than the 135f/2 ?? Yes, but most Lenses are.

When I used to shoot it on the 1DMKIV & 5DMKII I would agree, it was slow, noticeably so, but I now shoot it on the 1Dx and the 5DMKIII and I don't see that much difference to say my 50f/1.2 L.

What the 85f/1.2 L II will do though is produce, SHARP SHARP Images at f/1.2 to f/2 with amazing Bokeh, nothing I have in my Lens bag can compare.

But, like any of the f/1.2, f/1.4, f/2 Lenses, it requires attention to detail, these aren't Gun & Run Lenses, having said that, in December 2012 I used the 85f/1.2 L II shooting "Snow Monkeys" in Nagano Japan, Huge Snow Falls, no protection (This is not a sealed Lens), on both the 5DMKIII & 1Dx, and I am totally Happy with the Images that came from the 3 days of shooting Wildlife in the Snow, not the Lenses normal use.

I used the 135f/2 during the same period, again, this also is not a sealed Lens, and although the 135f/2 was great, the Images from the 85 were a step better.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2013, 02:41:14 AM by eml58 »
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J.R.

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Re: 85L or 135L?
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2013, 02:51:36 AM »
I am also interested in the 85L so just a quick question. How slow / fast is the focusing as compared to the 50mm f/1.4?

Let say focus speed on 50mm f1.4 is 5, then I would say 85L II is somewhere 3.8 - 4. However, if you go from infinity to closeup, then is it -5.

Thanks for the info.  :) but -5 ... good god!

Hi JR, My tuppence worth for what it's worth.

The 85f/1.2 L II is a bit of a "specialist" Lens, Portrait I suppose is it's mainstay, but I'm not sure I agree with everyone re the "Tardy" autofocus performance in it's entirety, is it slower than the 135f/2 ?? Yes, but most Lenses are.

When I used to shoot it on the 1DMKIV & 5DMKII I would agree, it was slow, noticeably so, but I now shoot it on the 1Dx and the 5DMKIII and I don't see that much difference to say my 50f/1.2 L.

What the 85f/1.2 L II will do though is produce, SHARP SHARP Images at f/1.2 to f/2 with amazing Bokeh, nothing I have in my Lens bag can compare.

But, like any of the f/1.2, f/1.4, f/2 Lenses, it requires attention to detail, these aren't Gun & Run Lenses, having said that, in December 2012 I used the 85f/1.2 L II shooting "Snow Monkeys" in Nagano Japan, Huge Snow Falls, no protection (This is not a sealed Lens), on both the 5DMKIII & 1Dx, and I am totally Happy with the Images that came from the 3 days of shooting Wildlife in the Snow, not the Lenses normal use.

I used the 135f/2 during the same period, again, this also is not a sealed Lens, and although the 135f/2 was great, the Images from the 85 were a step better.

Thanks for the info. The reason that I sought this information is because my favorite "subject" are my two daughters who are still only when fast asleep. I don't want to end up frustrated with a fast prime only to OOF shots. I guess I need to postpone my purchase till my daughters grow up a bit more / calm down a little bit  :)

Cheers ... J.R.
5D3, 6D, 600D, RX100
16-35L, 24-70L II, 70-200L II, 100-400L, 50L, 85L II, 135L, 24TSE, 40, 100 macro, 18-55 II, 55-250 II, 600RT x 4
I come here to learn something new, not to learn how bad my gear is - I know that already ;-)!

eml58

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Re: 85L or 135L?
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2013, 04:02:35 AM »


Thanks for the info. The reason that I sought this information is because my favorite "subject" are my two daughters who are still only when fast asleep. I don't want to end up frustrated with a fast prime only to OOF shots. I guess I need to postpone my purchase till my daughters grow up a bit more / calm down a little bit  :)

Cheers ... J.R.

My favourite subjects, non moving, when they get bigger you'll need a video Camera, no Lens will be fast enough  :)
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ookkerpak

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Re: 85L or 135L?
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2013, 06:45:46 AM »
Does stopping down the 85L mkII make the AF any faster or is it slow only when wide open?

neuroanatomist

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Re: 85L or 135L?
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2013, 07:46:28 AM »
Thanks for the info. The reason that I sought this information is because my favorite "subject" are my two daughters who are still only when fast asleep. I don't want to end up frustrated with a fast prime only to OOF shots. I guess I need to postpone my purchase till my daughters grow up a bit more / calm down a little bit  :)

The 85L II does well for portraits of my kids individually.  Even when they are moving around, they don't transmogrify from place to place - the issue with the 85L is when you focus from a close to a far subject or vice versa.

Shooting faster than ~f/2-2.8 means only one kid in focus, so for >1, I usually reach for the 70-200 II instead of the 85L.  If you do get the 85L, I'd recommend getting a 72mm 3-stop ND so you can use it wide open on bright days.
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Re: 85L or 135L?
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2013, 07:46:28 AM »

WhoIreland

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Re: 85L or 135L?
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2013, 09:09:55 AM »
i had 85L II and 70-200 2.8L IS and 50/1.4
sold 50, upgraded 70-200 to the mk2

then found the 85L gathered dust. focus was SO bad it was unuseable IMHO
when you've to get shots for $$$ , you NEED to GET the shots - too many duds with the 85L
i'd often convince myself that was the price to pay for the unique 1.2 look
the IQ of 70-200mk2 was so amazing that i gradually lost interest in 85
eventhough the 85 can yield unique results
so sold the 85

then got a 5d3 and missed the 1.2L..but rather than go back again, i opted for 135L
to me,the difference in bokeh is negligible and 135's are generally all keepers
focal length is tight - depends on use
but you'll have the 70-200 for that
5d2 , 5d3 , eos3 , 35L , 100 2.8 macro, 24-70L II , 70-200L II , 135L, 17-40L, 600exrt

can0nfan2379

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Re: 85L or 135L?
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2013, 09:36:36 AM »
Having had the 70-200 2.8L IS Vers. 1 and the 85 1.2L II even though focal lengths overlap the plain and simple fact is the bokeh at 1.2 is substantially creamier than the 70-200 at 2.8.  Does the 85L focus incredibly slowly -- yes, is it going to be useful for fast action -- no, can it deliver portraits that the 70-200 cannot -- yes.  My vote would be 85.

I did just sell my 85 to purchase my 300 2.8 and I miss the 85.

I fully intend to buy the 85 again hopefully when this materializes:

http://www.canonrumors.com/2013/06/patents-new-50mm-85mm-135mm-lenses/

What I would like to see in the next 85 is weather sealing, fully internal focusing like the 70-200 and faster AF.  IS would be a bonus but not a deal breaker. 
5D3  |  Zeiss ZE 21/2.8  |  Zeiss ZE 50/2.0  |  EF 85 1.2LII  |  EF 70-200 2.8L IS I  |  EF 300 2.8L IS I  |  EF 500 4L IS I  |  TC 1.4x III  |  RRS MH-01 + MC34  |  F-Stop Tilopa BC

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Re: 85L or 135L?
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2013, 09:36:36 AM »