September 23, 2014, 10:43:06 PM

Author Topic: Review - Canon 85mm f/1.8  (Read 9298 times)

neuroanatomist

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Re: Agree with Rey
« Reply #30 on: January 29, 2014, 08:31:13 AM »
I agree with everything Rey said. I chose the 1.8 precisely because all things considered it's simply a better lens than the f/1.2! The f/1.2 is a special lens for those special times when you really want the DOF of f/1.2 at 85mm, but 85/1.8 is the obvious choice for portraits and normal photography! It's faster (AF, not aperture), better, and more reliable.

Couldn't disagree more.  The 85/1.8 is a cheaper lens, and it focuses faster.  Budget permitting, the 85/1.2 is the obvious choice for portraits - portrait subjects aren't moving fast, you have f/1.2 if you want it, and of course the 85/1.2 can be stopped down to f/1.8...and gives better bokeh with both at f/1.8.  The 85L still has some axial CA, but it's nowhere near as bad as the 85/1.8.

I'm curious as to your basis for calling the 85/1.8 'more reliable' - neither lens makes Lensrentals frequently repaired lists (Sigma's 85/1.4 has made that list, though).  Do you have some data to back that up, other than meaningless anecdotal info?  (I've owned both, the 85L for longer, neither broke so does that mean the 85L is more reliable? No.) 

While the 85/1.8 is a better value, the 85L is a better lens (unless you're shooting fast action - and even then, you're rarely racking from infinity to MFD and back, so in practice the 85L actually does ok with moving subjects).
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Re: Agree with Rey
« Reply #30 on: January 29, 2014, 08:31:13 AM »

flowers

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Re: Agree with Rey
« Reply #31 on: January 29, 2014, 10:46:31 AM »
I agree with everything Rey said. I chose the 1.8 precisely because all things considered it's simply a better lens than the f/1.2! The f/1.2 is a special lens for those special times when you really want the DOF of f/1.2 at 85mm, but 85/1.8 is the obvious choice for portraits and normal photography! It's faster (AF, not aperture), better, and more reliable.

Couldn't disagree more.  The 85/1.8 is a cheaper lens, and it focuses faster.  Budget permitting, the 85/1.2 is the obvious choice for portraits - portrait subjects aren't moving fast, you have f/1.2 if you want it, and of course the 85/1.2 can be stopped down to f/1.8...and gives better bokeh with both at f/1.8.  The 85L still has some axial CA, but it's nowhere near as bad as the 85/1.8.

I'm curious as to your basis for calling the 85/1.8 'more reliable' - neither lens makes Lensrentals frequently repaired lists (Sigma's 85/1.4 has made that list, though).  Do you have some data to back that up, other than meaningless anecdotal info?  (I've owned both, the 85L for longer, neither broke so does that mean the 85L is more reliable? No.) 

While the 85/1.8 is a better value, the 85L is a better lens (unless you're shooting fast action - and even then, you're rarely racking from infinity to MFD and back, so in practice the 85L actually does ok with moving subjects).
I buy my lenses for specific needs, but when I do, I prefer the "what else can I use this lens for" approach. That's why I said, "all in all" it's a better lens. Sure, the bokeh of the 1.2 is creamier, but it's also less sharp, has more CA (both lateral and longnitudal) and has a slower AF, and considering I already have a MF f/1.2 lens that's sharp wide open and that I can use for portraits, I had no reason to go with the lens that has a slower AF: here's where we get to the "what else" part. If I shoot indoor sports (for leisure), I don't want to be sporting a lens that has slower AF, just because it's more expensive. No one there is going to be impressed, and I'm not going to be impressed when I go home to look at a card full of blurry images or correctly focused empty floor. The bokeh of the 1.8 is quite enough for me, I actually like it a lot. What I really don't get in the 85/1.2 is the amount of CA. It's an L series lens, supposedly one of the better ones. Really? Canon couldn't control the CA better when making that lens? It's 85mm, not 15mm! I have a $200 lens from 1978 that can do better! Part of value is "getting what you pay for". Yes, I find the 1.8 better value, but more importantly, I don't find the value of the 1.2 anywhere near its price. Not so for many other L series lenses, they are well worth the money, but this one? Not in my eyes, no way. There are a few misses in the L series lenses, and despite popular opinion, I consider the 85/1.2 (both I and II) one. I'll hold on to my 1.8 (with it's better flare control than the 1.2) until I find something better in the 85mm region with AF. By better I don't mean "better in one regard only". However, I'm perfectly happy with my 85/1.8, which is why I'm holding on to it. I didn't get it because it was cheaper, I got it because it was the best set of compromises for what I needed from this lens. I would have gotten the f/1.2L if I thought it was better all around. I don't. It's a special lens for special uses, and for those uses, it's great, the bokeh is great, better than the 1.8. If you want a special lens, the 1.2 is your choice. If you want to use your 85 for anything else (like I do), if you need a fast focusing AF, the 1.2 is not your lens. That's why I went with the 1.8, and not with the 1.2 or the Sigma 85 1.4. You're welcome to disagree with my personal opinion and I think I've given you enough of an explanation. Costing less doesn't always mean cheaper, or worse, and costing more doesn't always mean better, and then there's the question of "better at doing what". I've learned that, and if you think otherwise, one day you'll learn it too.

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Re: Agree with Rey
« Reply #32 on: January 29, 2014, 11:38:18 AM »
I agree with everything Rey said. I chose the 1.8 precisely because all things considered it's simply a better lens than the f/1.2! The f/1.2 is a special lens for those special times when you really want the DOF of f/1.2 at 85mm, but 85/1.8 is the obvious choice for portraits and normal photography! It's faster (AF, not aperture), better, and more reliable.

Couldn't disagree more.  The 85/1.8 is a cheaper lens, and it focuses faster.  Budget permitting, the 85/1.2 is the obvious choice for portraits - portrait subjects aren't moving fast, you have f/1.2 if you want it, and of course the 85/1.2 can be stopped down to f/1.8...and gives better bokeh with both at f/1.8.  The 85L still has some axial CA, but it's nowhere near as bad as the 85/1.8.

I'm curious as to your basis for calling the 85/1.8 'more reliable' - neither lens makes Lensrentals frequently repaired lists (Sigma's 85/1.4 has made that list, though).  Do you have some data to back that up, other than meaningless anecdotal info?  (I've owned both, the 85L for longer, neither broke so does that mean the 85L is more reliable? No.) 

While the 85/1.8 is a better value, the 85L is a better lens (unless you're shooting fast action - and even then, you're rarely racking from infinity to MFD and back, so in practice the 85L actually does ok with moving subjects).
I buy my lenses for specific needs, but when I do, I prefer the "what else can I use this lens for" approach. That's why I said, "all in all" it's a better lens. Sure, the bokeh of the 1.2 is creamier, but it's also less sharp, has more CA (both lateral and longnitudal) and has a slower AF, and considering I already have a MF f/1.2 lens that's sharp wide open and that I can use for portraits, I had no reason to go with the lens that has a slower AF: here's where we get to the "what else" part. If I shoot indoor sports (for leisure), I don't want to be sporting a lens that has slower AF, just because it's more expensive. No one there is going to be impressed, and I'm not going to be impressed when I go home to look at a card full of blurry images or correctly focused empty floor. The bokeh of the 1.8 is quite enough for me, I actually like it a lot. What I really don't get in the 85/1.2 is the amount of CA. It's an L series lens, supposedly one of the better ones. Really? Canon couldn't control the CA better when making that lens? It's 85mm, not 15mm! I have a $200 lens from 1978 that can do better! Part of value is "getting what you pay for". Yes, I find the 1.8 better value, but more importantly, I don't find the value of the 1.2 anywhere near its price. Not so for many other L series lenses, they are well worth the money, but this one? Not in my eyes, no way. There are a few misses in the L series lenses, and despite popular opinion, I consider the 85/1.2 (both I and II) one. I'll hold on to my 1.8 (with it's better flare control than the 1.2) until I find something better in the 85mm region with AF. By better I don't mean "better in one regard only". However, I'm perfectly happy with my 85/1.8, which is why I'm holding on to it. I didn't get it because it was cheaper, I got it because it was the best set of compromises for what I needed from this lens. I would have gotten the f/1.2L if I thought it was better all around. I don't. It's a special lens for special uses, and for those uses, it's great, the bokeh is great, better than the 1.8. If you want a special lens, the 1.2 is your choice. If you want to use your 85 for anything else (like I do), if you need a fast focusing AF, the 1.2 is not your lens. That's why I went with the 1.8, and not with the 1.2 or the Sigma 85 1.4. You're welcome to disagree with my personal opinion and I think I've given you enough of an explanation. Costing less doesn't always mean cheaper, or worse, and costing more doesn't always mean better, and then there's the question of "better at doing what". I've learned that, and if you think otherwise, one day you'll learn it too.

Couldn't argue with any of your observations... In Digital Revs side by side comparison of both 85's from Canon, he definitely conceded the AF was faster in the 1.8 to the 1.2, wasn't even close...  He also like the shot to shot reliability of the 1.8 vs the 1.2.  He did like the build and the sexiness of the 1.2 and the focus WHEN the lens was properly focused.  I have worked with neither, but an 85mm is on my list of next purchases (as well as replacing my backup 7D).  I did however have similar results when I tested the 50mm 1.2 and the 50mm 1.4... When I tested the two lenses on the same cameras, the "cheaper" lens focused quicker, more reliably and a better value... The 1.2 was nice when it worked and focused good, but when it was off, it was horrid.  As a working pro, i'm not interested in the sexiness factor, i'm looking at the odds and shot to shot factor... if i have a client spontaneously give me "that look" in which that shot would make or break that photo session, I need to have confidence that the focus is going to be nailed when I fire that shutter... If i cant have that confidence, it isn't going to make my camera bag.   
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Re: Agree with Rey
« Reply #33 on: January 29, 2014, 11:46:46 AM »
I agree with everything Rey said. I chose the 1.8 precisely because all things considered it's simply a better lens than the f/1.2! The f/1.2 is a special lens for those special times when you really want the DOF of f/1.2 at 85mm, but 85/1.8 is the obvious choice for portraits and normal photography! It's faster (AF, not aperture), better, and more reliable.

Couldn't disagree more.  The 85/1.8 is a cheaper lens, and it focuses faster.  Budget permitting, the 85/1.2 is the obvious choice for portraits - portrait subjects aren't moving fast, you have f/1.2 if you want it, and of course the 85/1.2 can be stopped down to f/1.8...and gives better bokeh with both at f/1.8.  The 85L still has some axial CA, but it's nowhere near as bad as the 85/1.8.

I'm curious as to your basis for calling the 85/1.8 'more reliable' - neither lens makes Lensrentals frequently repaired lists (Sigma's 85/1.4 has made that list, though).  Do you have some data to back that up, other than meaningless anecdotal info?  (I've owned both, the 85L for longer, neither broke so does that mean the 85L is more reliable? No.) 

While the 85/1.8 is a better value, the 85L is a better lens (unless you're shooting fast action - and even then, you're rarely racking from infinity to MFD and back, so in practice the 85L actually does ok with moving subjects).

It's great to see you arguing like this and supporting my case of the internet saying "if a lens is faster then it must be better."

woot!

neuroanatomist

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Re: Agree with Rey
« Reply #34 on: January 29, 2014, 12:04:51 PM »
I agree with everything Rey said. I chose the 1.8 precisely because all things considered it's simply a better lens than the f/1.2! The f/1.2 is a special lens for those special times when you really want the DOF of f/1.2 at 85mm, but 85/1.8 is the obvious choice for portraits and normal photography! It's faster (AF, not aperture), better, and more reliable.

Couldn't disagree more.  The 85/1.8 is a cheaper lens, and it focuses faster.  Budget permitting, the 85/1.2 is the obvious choice for portraits - portrait subjects aren't moving fast, you have f/1.2 if you want it, and of course the 85/1.2 can be stopped down to f/1.8...and gives better bokeh with both at f/1.8.  The 85L still has some axial CA, but it's nowhere near as bad as the 85/1.8.

I'm curious as to your basis for calling the 85/1.8 'more reliable' - neither lens makes Lensrentals frequently repaired lists (Sigma's 85/1.4 has made that list, though).  Do you have some data to back that up, other than meaningless anecdotal info?  (I've owned both, the 85L for longer, neither broke so does that mean the 85L is more reliable? No.) 

While the 85/1.8 is a better value, the 85L is a better lens (unless you're shooting fast action - and even then, you're rarely racking from infinity to MFD and back, so in practice the 85L actually does ok with moving subjects).
I buy my lenses for specific needs, but when I do, I prefer the "what else can I use this lens for" approach. That's why I said, "all in all" it's a better lens. Sure, the bokeh of the 1.2 is creamier, but it's also less sharp, has more CA (both lateral and longnitudal) and has a slower AF, and considering I already have a MF f/1.2 lens that's sharp wide open and that I can use for portraits, I had no reason to go with the lens that has a slower AF: here's where we get to the "what else" part. If I shoot indoor sports (for leisure), I don't want to be sporting a lens that has slower AF, just because it's more expensive. No one there is going to be impressed, and I'm not going to be impressed when I go home to look at a card full of blurry images or correctly focused empty floor. The bokeh of the 1.8 is quite enough for me, I actually like it a lot. What I really don't get in the 85/1.2 is the amount of CA. It's an L series lens, supposedly one of the better ones. Really? Canon couldn't control the CA better when making that lens? It's 85mm, not 15mm! I have a $200 lens from 1978 that can do better! Part of value is "getting what you pay for". Yes, I find the 1.8 better value, but more importantly, I don't find the value of the 1.2 anywhere near its price. Not so for many other L series lenses, they are well worth the money, but this one? Not in my eyes, no way. There are a few misses in the L series lenses, and despite popular opinion, I consider the 85/1.2 (both I and II) one. I'll hold on to my 1.8 (with it's better flare control than the 1.2) until I find something better in the 85mm region with AF. By better I don't mean "better in one regard only". However, I'm perfectly happy with my 85/1.8, which is why I'm holding on to it. I didn't get it because it was cheaper, I got it because it was the best set of compromises for what I needed from this lens. I would have gotten the f/1.2L if I thought it was better all around. I don't. It's a special lens for special uses, and for those uses, it's great, the bokeh is great, better than the 1.8. If you want a special lens, the 1.2 is your choice. If you want to use your 85 for anything else (like I do), if you need a fast focusing AF, the 1.2 is not your lens. That's why I went with the 1.8, and not with the 1.2 or the Sigma 85 1.4. You're welcome to disagree with my personal opinion and I think I've given you enough of an explanation. Costing less doesn't always mean cheaper, or worse, and costing more doesn't always mean better, and then there's the question of "better at doing what". I've learned that, and if you think otherwise, one day you'll learn it too.

…and the 'more reliable' part?

For the rest, we simply disagree, which is fine.  I had the 85/1.8 and found it to have significantly more LoCA.  The lateral CA was equivalent and practically insignificant for both (in that it's readily correctable, unlike LoCA).  The 85/1.2 is sharper in the center, less sharp in the FF corners.  As I mentioned, the bokeh of the 85/1.2L II is better with both at f/1.8 (and the differentially brighter green of the 85/1.8's  LoCA 'bokeh fringing' is also visible). 



Regarding the LoCA in particular, when I have a catchlight in the eyes from a flash, I prefer to have that catchlight be the same white as the light source, not the electric purple of the LoCA.  One of the crops below is from the 85L, the other from the 85/1.8 - and it's pretty easy to tell which is which.
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Review - Canon 85mm f/1.8
« Reply #35 on: January 29, 2014, 12:06:02 PM »
It's great to see you arguing like this and supporting my case of the internet saying "if a lens is faster then it must be better."

The 85L II is not better than the 85/1.8 because it's faster, it's better because it's better (IMO, and as I've already said - if AF speed is important for your use of the lens, the 85L is clearly worse). 

The 135mm f/2L is better than the 85/1.8, and it's not faster.  As long as f/2.8 is wide enough, the 100L is also better than the 85/1.8. 
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Re: Review - Canon 85mm f/1.8
« Reply #36 on: January 29, 2014, 12:50:10 PM »
You can discuss our review of the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 lens here.
Nice review of a lens I haven't used much lately ... but I do recollect being impressed with it when I first tried it many years ago ... I'm getting to use the lens a bit more frequently now with the Sony a7+the metabones adapter.
Thanks for posting the nice review.
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Re: Review - Canon 85mm f/1.8
« Reply #36 on: January 29, 2014, 12:50:10 PM »

flowers

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Re: Agree with Rey
« Reply #37 on: January 29, 2014, 02:23:32 PM »

…and the 'more reliable' part?

For the rest, we simply disagree, which is fine.  I had the 85/1.8 and found it to have significantly more LoCA.  The lateral CA was equivalent and practically insignificant for both (in that it's readily correctable, unlike LoCA).  The 85/1.2 is sharper in the center, less sharp in the FF corners.  As I mentioned, the bokeh of the 85/1.2L II is better with both at f/1.8 (and the differentially brighter green of the 85/1.8's  LoCA 'bokeh fringing' is also visible). 



Regarding the LoCA in particular, when I have a catchlight in the eyes from a flash, I prefer to have that catchlight be the same white as the light source, not the electric purple of the LoCA.  One of the crops below is from the 85L, the other from the 85/1.8 - and it's pretty easy to tell which is which.
If you ask for proof and I say nothing, that means I have no proof and I chose not to pursue the comment as an argument so it's dropped.
Like you said, it's fine to disagree, it's not a scientific debate, it's a matter of personal preference. If you read carefully you'll notice we never disagreed on the bokeh, but I like the bokeh of the 1.8. It's not perfect, but it's plenty fine, I have no complaints. If the bokeh fringing really bothers you, it's easily (manually) corrected. CA correction might not correct LoCA well, but defringing algorithms actually do a good job, you just need to be careful with the slider or you'll start losing detail in the REAL reds.

Believe me, I would love a 85/1.2 with AF, I just don't feel the 85/1.2L II is good enough for the price. The problem with the II's and the III's is that the lens design itself doesn't seem to ever be changed, it's just the old design with new coatings or a faster AF. That's fine, if the AF is significantly faster or the new coating takes properly care of the CA and the flare, but if the improvements are half-donkeyed, I'm not going to jump the gun. If I want to use the 1.2 I can always rent it. It will take more to get me to buy it. The problem is that companies today have no incentive to make really fast lenses really well. The attitude is "just use ISO 12800, no one needs fast lenses anymore". I'm still hoping for significantly better fast lenses to be developed.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2014, 02:26:08 PM by flowers »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Agree with Rey
« Reply #38 on: January 29, 2014, 02:36:44 PM »
If you ask for proof and I say nothing, that means I have no proof and I chose not to pursue the comment as an argument so it's dropped.

Fair enough, although I think awinphoto had a good point about AF reliability…not only does the 85/1.8 focus faster, sometimes the 85L just flat out misses focus.  It's not often, granted, but it's my only lens that does that - not a little off, but really OOF. 

The problem is that companies today have no incentive to make really fast lenses really well. The attitude is "just use ISO 12800, no one needs fast lenses anymore". I'm still hoping for significantly better fast lenses to be developed.

Yeah, and that's a shame.  The recent Canon non-L primes, with IS but f/2.8 apertures, are a testament to that idea. 

Well, actually it's not strictly true - the Canon CN-E 24mm T1.5, 50mm T1.3, and 85mm T1.3 are fast and very well made, both mechanically and optically…and you can get all three of them for a mere $14K.   :o
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flowers

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Re: Agree with Rey
« Reply #39 on: January 29, 2014, 03:23:17 PM »


Well, actually it's not strictly true - the Canon CN-E 24mm T1.5, 50mm T1.3, and 85mm T1.3 are fast and very well made, both mechanically and optically…and you can get all three of them for a mere $14K.   :o
Interesting, I actually haven't checked out any of the cine lenses from Canon. I tried to look for images made with them but I couldn't find any on flickr. I wonder how the canon 85 T/1.3 compares with the Samyang 85 T/1.5 Cine https://secure.flickr.com/photos/landerandonegi/11849418053/sizes/o/in/photostream/ . The Samyang is not a perfect lens, but it's very sharp, and very capable of producing excellent results https://secure.flickr.com/photos/robin_antonsen/12000915343/sizes/k/in/photostream/ and is sharp even wide open https://secure.flickr.com/photos/ken-gilbert/7314727546/sizes/k/in/photostream/ . It's very cinematic https://secure.flickr.com/photos/ken-gilbert/7094050043/ https://secure.flickr.com/photos/ken-gilbert/7314628976/ https://secure.flickr.com/photos/ken-gilbert/7314659344/ https://secure.flickr.com/photos/ken-gilbert/10193104253/ https://secure.flickr.com/photos/gillestourette/10410609675/ https://secure.flickr.com/photos/gusba/8631979697/in/pool-1437990@N23 in its rendering.

The price? It costs around $300 for Canon. The question is not if the Canon cine CN-E 85 is better. The question is: does it include $4700 worth of improvements over the Samyang?

That's the difference between a cheapskate and a smart person. A smart person spends the money, no matter how much, when it's the only option. A smart person will also spend the bigger amount when the benefits justify the extra cost. A cheapskate will always choose the cheap option. A smart person will not, however, spend a very much larger amount of money for minor improvements, when the improvements don't justify the cost, aren't required to get the job done, and when the extra money could be used for other lenses/equipment.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2014, 03:25:46 PM by flowers »

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Re: Agree with Rey
« Reply #40 on: January 29, 2014, 03:48:21 PM »
The price? It costs around $300 for Canon. The question is not if the Canon cine CN-E 85 is better. The question is: does it include $4700 worth of improvements over the Samyang?

That's the difference between a cheapskate and a smart person. A smart person spends the money, no matter how much, when it's the only option. A smart person will also spend the bigger amount when the benefits justify the extra cost. A cheapskate will always choose the cheap option. A smart person will not, however, spend a very much larger amount of money for minor improvements, when the improvements don't justify the cost, aren't required to get the job done, and when the extra money could be used for other lenses/equipment.
I'll jump into the fray here because I think you are missing a number of points.  There's more to lenses than image quality and test charts.  Let's compare another lens the Rokinon/Samyang/Bower (et al) 24mm 1.4 vs. the Canon 24 1.4 II:

Weatherproofing:
Canon, yes; Rokinon, no

Tough construction (won't break on a paying shoot - I've dropped my 24L on concrete with no issues):
Canon, yes; Rokinon, decent, but not tough

Manufacturer support:
Canon, yes, multiple US service centers, Canon Professional Services; Rokinon, no US support

Autofocus (we don't all shoot landscapes and buildings with 24mm lenses):
Canon, yes; Rokinon, no

Image quality @ f/1.4 (http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=480&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=0&LensComp=821&CameraComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0):
Canon, good, useable; Rokinon, soft, lots of CA

Distortion (http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Lens-Distortion.aspx?FLI=0&FLIComp=0&Lens=821&Camera=453&LensComp=480):
Canon, well-corrected; Rokinon, not so much

Vignetting (http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Lens-Vignetting-Test-Results.aspx?FLI=0&API=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0&Lens=821&Camera=453&LensComp=480)
Canon, abysmal; Rokinon, better, but still terrible

Flare: (http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Lens-Flare.aspx?Lens=821&Camera=453&FLI=0&API=5&LensComp=480&CameraComp=453&FLIComp=0&APIComp=5)
Canon, slight, small artifacts; Rokinon, slight, large artifacts

Conclusion, Rokinon saves you about $1000 ($669 vs. 1668 currently).  That's great unless you want to shoot wide open, shoot something moving quickly, go out in bad weather, or in conditions where the lens might get bumped or broken.  If it breaks, you pretty much have to buy another one.  Now you're only saving $330.

You can either buy right once, or buy cheap, buy cheap again, then buy right.  Read Thom Hogan's tripod article for reference: http://bythom.com/support.htm

Back to the original topic, the 85 1.8 and 1.2 are two totally different lenses and really shouldn't be compared for anything other than portraits.  The 1.8 is a nice lens and is better at nearly everything else, but the 1.2 is clearly the best portrait lens.  For some it's worth the extra money for the seemingly small gains (or not so small as neuro's sample's show), for others, the 1.8 is more than sufficient.  The 1.8 in a talented photographer's hands will beat the 1.2 in a rookie's hands, but give that same person a 1.2 and they will never want to go back to the 1.8, at least for portraits.
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dilbert

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Re: Review - Canon 85mm f/1.8
« Reply #41 on: January 29, 2014, 04:37:30 PM »
It's great to see you arguing like this and supporting my case of the internet saying "if a lens is faster then it must be better."

The 85L II is not better than the 85/1.8 because it's faster, it's better because it's better (IMO, and as I've already said - if AF speed is important for your use of the lens, the 85L is clearly worse). 

Of course. So it is just a coincidence that it is both faster and better.

Quote
The 135mm f/2L is better than the 85/1.8, and it's not faster.  As long as f/2.8 is wide enough, the 100L is also better than the 85/1.8.

Yes, but the 135mm f/2L isn't an 85mm lens and therefore shouldn't be compared to it.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Review - Canon 85mm f/1.8
« Reply #42 on: January 29, 2014, 04:53:07 PM »
Of course. So it is just a coincidence that it is both faster and better.

Not necessarily a coincidence, it's a case-by-case thing.  But it is certainly not true that faster lenses are always better, nor are they considered to be so, even according to the all-knowing Internet.  For example, it is pretty well acknowledged that the 70-200mm f/4L IS is sharper than the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS (and slightly sharper than the f/2.8 non-IS, despite the latter being a stop faster.

Yes, but the 135mm f/2L isn't an 85mm lens and therefore shouldn't be compared to it.

Why not? They're both "classic" portrait lenses, and in reality if you ignore perspective, only a couple of steps separate the angle of view at portrait distances.  Plus, the 85L on APS-C is equivalent to the 135L on FF, and despite being slower and costing half as much, in that comparison the 135L wins, hands down.
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Re: Review - Canon 85mm f/1.8
« Reply #42 on: January 29, 2014, 04:53:07 PM »

Sporgon

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Re: Review - Canon 85mm f/1.8
« Reply #43 on: January 29, 2014, 05:00:14 PM »
Has anyone come across the CN-E lenses being used for still photography ? The prices are not so outrageous when compared with the Zeiss Otus. I'd love to see a comparison of the CN-E 85 1.3 and the EF 85 1.2 L.

But in the meantime I'll keep using the 85/1.8.  ;)

neuroanatomist

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Re: Review - Canon 85mm f/1.8
« Reply #44 on: January 29, 2014, 05:07:03 PM »
Has anyone come across the CN-E lenses being used for still photography ? The prices are not so outrageous when compared with the Zeiss Otus. I'd love to see a comparison of the CN-E 85 1.3 and the EF 85 1.2 L.

I haven't seen such a comparison, but to be honest there may actually not be that much difference.  The resolution requirements for (even 4K) are much lower than current still photography resolutions, meaning any additional benefit in terms of sharpness is not realized with video. 

Rather, the optical benefits have to do with things like focus breathing, which is not really an issue for still photography (except perhaps macro), but is a huge problem when focus pulling during cinematography. Likewise, the mechanical improvements are centered around things like distance scales that are actually accurate and reproducible when using them to set focus, consistency across the entire series of lenses in terms of size (so accessories all fit), focus backlash (or lack thereof), etc.
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Re: Review - Canon 85mm f/1.8
« Reply #44 on: January 29, 2014, 05:07:03 PM »