November 24, 2014, 11:46:04 AM

Author Topic: Review - Canon EF 85mm f/1.8  (Read 6536 times)

Albi86

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 837
    • View Profile
Re: Review - Canon EF 85mm f/1.8
« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2013, 10:01:26 AM »
I totally agree with Justin's take. I had it and it was good in many ways but nothing special in any way, so I sold it pretty quickly.

The Nikon is better in every way but suffers from the same limitation: it has nothing special that makes me pick it. I find it great for B&W though.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Review - Canon EF 85mm f/1.8
« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2013, 10:01:26 AM »

Dylan777

  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 4274
    • View Profile
Re: Review - Canon EF 85mm f/1.8
« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2013, 10:20:12 AM »



As someone who doesn't specialize in portraits, my heart skipped a few beats when I hit the "Submit Order" button for this lens.

+1....same here, but on 400mm f2.8 IS II ;D

Back to 85 f1.8 Vs 85L II. Compared to TWI by Dustin Abbott, my PP skill is no where near him, but still, the 85L II brought me quite amazing photos. The creamy bokeh of 85L II is priceless. Another Canon lens that can really match that creamy bokeh is 200mm f2.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2013, 12:08:43 PM 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

Zv

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1311
    • View Profile
    • Zeeography (flickr)
Re: Review - Canon EF 85mm f/1.8
« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2013, 11:19:42 AM »
What's all this talk of CAs ? You guys don't know your DxO. In their wonderfully condensed measurement rankings the 85 f1.8 has less CAs that all the rest.

OK so they test in the dark, but hey so what !? It's a 1.8 lens.
More specifically I meant purple fringing, and from the sound of it, I must've had a really lousy copy.

Not just you, the copy I had was the same. F/2.8 and above was better.
6D | 17-40L | 24-105L | 70-200 f4L IS | 135L | SY 14 2.8 | Sigma 50 1.4

EOS M | 11-22 IS STM | 22 STM | FD 50 1.4

jdramirez

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2545
    • View Profile
Re: Review - Canon EF 85mm f/1.8
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2013, 12:58:51 PM »
I'm really quite fond of Canon 85. It couldn't replace my 100 L, but I like it so much that I didn't want to sell it... and I'm more than happy to sell my gear.  I know the 85 isn't magic, but it does a very nice job.  I didn't like my 50 f1.4 because I wanted to be able to shoot wide open and the fifty was soft.... but the 85 wide open is sufficiently sharp. 

So yeah. 
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100L-> 85mm f/1.8 USM-> 8mm -> 85mm f/1.2L mkii

Maximilian

  • Canon 7D MK II
  • *****
  • Posts: 457
  • The dark side - I've been there
    • View Profile
Re: Review - Canon EF 85mm f/1.8
« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2013, 05:53:11 PM »
I haven't tried out the  85 f/1.2 L II personally because of its downsides, especially in price, size and weight.

The size & weight aren't as bad as they seem...
Of course the price is the biggest issue.
And of course I am also used to carry heavier and bigger lenses, but I use the 85 f/1.8 at events, parties, etc. and here I prefer the more stealthy appearance of this lens compared to the L.
For studio like work I totally agree with you. But that's not my field of application.
sometimes you have to close your eyes to see properly.

vscd

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 185
  • 5DC
    • View Profile
Re: Review - Canon EF 85mm f/1.8
« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2013, 08:52:27 PM »
Quote
Great work and proof that what's behind the lens has WAY more to do with the quality than the lens itself. Take a look at what Steve McCurry carries most of the time and what he used to shoot the "Afghan Girl" photo for further proof.

...of course the lense is just a fraction of the whole picture, but sometimes you need a tool to get something done. And don't underestimate the equipment of the picture you mentioned, it was taken with a Nikon FM2 camera and a Nikkor 105mm F2.5 lens. This combination is not that bad ,)

Greetings.
5DC, 24-85, 85 1.2L II, 80-200 2.8L, 100 2.8L IS, 14 2.8, 35 1.4, 75-300 IS, 40STM

Marsu42

  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 5067
  • ML-66d / 100L / 70-300L / 17-40L / 600rts
    • View Profile
    • 6D positive spec list
Re: Review - Canon EF 85mm f/1.8
« Reply #21 on: January 01, 2014, 05:59:46 AM »
I'm really quite fond of Canon 85. It couldn't replace my 100 L, but I like it so much that I didn't want to sell it...

The results of similar threads and discussions as far as I remember always was that 85mm too near 100mm to justify a purchase just for the focal length. The 85/1.8 lacks IS but gains a lot of CA - and if stopping down is needed there's really little reason to get it as it's pretty far from the unique f1.2 look that might generate more "money shots". Obviously you feel different as you use both, it'd be nice to know what you use both 100L & 85/1.8 for.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Review - Canon EF 85mm f/1.8
« Reply #21 on: January 01, 2014, 05:59:46 AM »

Sporgon

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2031
  • 5% of gear used 95% of the time
    • View Profile
    • www.buildingpanoramics.com
Re: Review - Canon EF 85mm f/1.8
« Reply #22 on: January 01, 2014, 06:09:19 AM »
What's all this talk of CAs ? You guys don't know your DxO. In their wonderfully condensed measurement rankings the 85 f1.8 has less CAs that all the rest.

OK so they test in the dark, but hey so what !? It's a 1.8 lens.
More specifically I meant purple fringing, and from the sound of it, I must've had a really lousy copy.

Not just you, the copy I had was the same. F/2.8 and above was better.

I was poking fun at DxO. Everyone knows that the 85 1.8 as really bad CAs wide open in bright light, yet on the DxO lens 'scores' it has one of the least CA of any lens. In fact for a long time the 85 1.8 was the highest placed of  any Canon lenses !!!

However those CAs are the result of the lens's smooth brokeh - which is also why it isn't a critically pin sharp lens ( in theory - it is in practice ). Nowadays the lens manufactures seem to be able to give good brokeh without too much CA and loss of resolution, so maybe an series two version will be interesting - but it will be more expensive too.

Also neither the review or anyone else has mentioned what I suspect is a big failing of the lens. I'm not at all sure that the focusing mechanics of this lens is able to keep up with the very shallow DoF when at a moderate distance at f1.8. In this area the 135L is definitely more reliable.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2014, 06:13:31 AM by Sporgon »

Zv

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1311
    • View Profile
    • Zeeography (flickr)
Re: Review - Canon EF 85mm f/1.8
« Reply #23 on: January 01, 2014, 09:39:50 AM »
What's all this talk of CAs ? You guys don't know your DxO. In their wonderfully condensed measurement rankings the 85 f1.8 has less CAs that all the rest.

OK so they test in the dark, but hey so what !? It's a 1.8 lens.
More specifically I meant purple fringing, and from the sound of it, I must've had a really lousy copy.

Not just you, the copy I had was the same. F/2.8 and above was better.

I was poking fun at DxO. Everyone knows that the 85 1.8 as really bad CAs wide open in bright light, yet on the DxO lens 'scores' it has one of the least CA of any lens. In fact for a long time the 85 1.8 was the highest placed of  any Canon lenses !!!

However those CAs are the result of the lens's smooth brokeh - which is also why it isn't a critically pin sharp lens ( in theory - it is in practice ). Nowadays the lens manufactures seem to be able to give good brokeh without too much CA and loss of resolution, so maybe an series two version will be interesting - but it will be more expensive too.

Also neither the review or anyone else has mentioned what I suspect is a big failing of the lens. I'm not at all sure that the focusing mechanics of this lens is able to keep up with the very shallow DoF when at a moderate distance at f1.8. In this area the 135L is definitely more reliable.

That's an interesting point you've hit upon. Yeah the 85 1.8 had some really creamy bokeh and according to Canon it was designed with that purpose in mind. Wide open it wasn't pin sharp but still acceptable IMO. I guess if you want sharpness and low CA, you have to pay for it. (Or do you?? 135L was my solution).

Also I agree with what you said about the focusing issue too. I tried in vain to AFMA it. A pointless exercise as the lens seemed to front focus wide open then back focus when stopped down. Focused fast though I'll give it that. Maybe the fastest focusing lens I think I've ever owned. Makes for an excellent street lens on a 7D btw. You can get nice tight shots quickly without anyone noticing. For that purpose this lens excels!


6D | 17-40L | 24-105L | 70-200 f4L IS | 135L | SY 14 2.8 | Sigma 50 1.4

EOS M | 11-22 IS STM | 22 STM | FD 50 1.4

jdramirez

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2545
    • View Profile
Re: Review - Canon EF 85mm f/1.8
« Reply #24 on: January 01, 2014, 10:22:05 AM »
I'm really quite fond of Canon 85. It couldn't replace my 100 L, but I like it so much that I didn't want to sell it...

The results of similar threads and discussions as far as I remember always was that 85mm too near 100mm to justify a purchase just for the focal length. The 85/1.8 lacks IS but gains a lot of CA - and if stopping down is needed there's really little reason to get it as it's pretty far from the unique f1.2 look that might generate more "money shots". Obviously you feel different as you use both, it'd be nice to know what you use both 100L & 85/1.8 for.

Since I picked up the 100l (for about a month), I'm not sure I used the 85.  But I would use the 85mm at a campfire or laser tag... along with 6400.  The extra stop and change is something I don't want to give up. 

I don't like the 50mm wide open at 1.4 and I don't like the focal length of 35mm... so I might be willing to go with the 85mm f1.2, but I'd rather have a $ 300 occasional lens rather than an $1800 occasional lens.
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100L-> 85mm f/1.8 USM-> 8mm -> 85mm f/1.2L mkii

slclick

  • Canon 7D MK II
  • *****
  • Posts: 506
    • View Profile
Re: Review - Canon EF 85mm f/1.8
« Reply #25 on: January 01, 2014, 11:02:31 AM »
I enjoyed reading the comments as this seems to be one of those lenses people have pretty strong convictions about. It is also imo, a stepping stone lens for many, just as the 50 1.8 and the 35 f/2. I owned a copy once but sold it when I discovered it wasn't a focal length I cared for as much as I initially thought I would plus I have a 70-200 which out performs it and a sharper 100. Still when I first had it I did like the head portrait length on a crop and the bokeh it produced with the 7D.
Another thing is that there is one of the largest price differences between it and it's 1.2 sibling, not making an upgrade path an easy thing.
5D3, 16-35 f4L IS, 24-105 Art, 35 Art, 40 Pancake, 70-200 2.8L IS Mk2, 100 2.8L Macro

noncho

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 189
    • View Profile
    • NonchoILiev.com
Re: Review - Canon EF 85mm f/1.8
« Reply #26 on: January 01, 2014, 01:04:51 PM »
For FF there are good options, but I really miss good small 60-70 1.4 EF-S or EF-M...

neuroanatomist

  • CR GEEK
  • **********
  • Posts: 14934
    • View Profile
Re: Review - Canon EF 85mm f/1.8
« Reply #27 on: January 01, 2014, 01:39:56 PM »
I think the 85/1.8 is a one of the best values in the Canon lineup in terms of IQ/dollar.  It's excellent for tight portraits on APS-C, good for indoor sports on both formats.

I bought this lens as part of my 'starter kit' - T1i/500D, 17-55/2.8 IS, 85/1.8, and 430EX II.  I eventually upgraded to the 85L II, but liked the 85mm FL on APS-C so well that after getting a 5DII, I also got the 135/2L.

Here's a shot with the 85/1.8.  There is some longitudinal CA (purple/green fringing) evident in the sunlit hair.  The OOF background is actually a dirt path - the thin DoF is great for outdoor portraits!


Rebel T1i, EF 85mm f/1.8, 1/2000 s, f/1.8, ISO 100
EOS 1D X, EOS M, and lots of lenses
______________________________
Flickr | TDP Profile/Gear List

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Review - Canon EF 85mm f/1.8
« Reply #27 on: January 01, 2014, 01:39:56 PM »

iP337

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 55
    • View Profile
Re: Review - Canon EF 85mm f/1.8
« Reply #28 on: January 02, 2014, 08:16:29 PM »
Wish my 85L II has same AF speed as f1.8

I was a little surprised that AF speed difference was not mentioned. Being able to focus quickly in low light was a major point to chew on when I was looking at the 85mm 1.8, and it has a lot to do with why I am keeping it. Well, that, and the focal length plays well with what I do, it doubles as a portrait lens on FF, and the results are very useable wide open.

Of course they won't. It's human nature to not make oneself look dumb by saying that a lens they paid many times more is actually worse in some aspect. They grill the cheaper lens for its weaker points, which the 1.2 also suffers from to a lesser extent, but fail to mention the 1.8's lightning fast AF or non extending front element.

Exactly and in my opinion there are too many biased "reviews" and comments based on that fact when it comes to the 85/1.8.  They are meant for two different jobs; 85/1.8 is perfect for sports and event coverage, it's also the best bang for your buck in Canon's EF lens lineup, it's one of (if not) the fastest auto focusing lens ever made.  The 85/1.2 on the other hand is one of the sharpest and thinest DoF lenses you can get (without standing a mile away) but it's also one of the most outrageously priced lenses.  It's apples and oranges, one doesn't replace the other, it's what you need to do with it that counts.  Also CA and fringing is so easily fixed now a days in post and even in camera that it is a non issue and good portraits are usually taken at 2.8. 

Ken Rockwell has a great in depth review on this lens where he doesn't talk about magic and feelings lol: http://www.kenrockwell.com/canon/lenses/85mm.htm

discojuggernaut

  • Power Shot G7X
  • **
  • Posts: 25
    • View Profile
Re: Review - Canon EF 85mm f/1.8
« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2014, 01:14:24 AM »
Had it, liked it as a portrait lens on crop.  Upgraded to FF, sold it, got the 135L.  Loved it, Got the 70-200 mkII, couldn't justify keeping both those lenses.  Sold it, got the sigma 85mm 1.4. Really like it.  Nice wide open.  Ok focus in low light (it's accurate but hunts in steps).  Great color and bokeh, pretty decent value.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Review - Canon EF 85mm f/1.8
« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2014, 01:14:24 AM »