October 23, 2014, 12:06:39 AM

Author Topic: Prime v Zoom Bokeh  (Read 3250 times)

Andrew Davies Photography

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Prime v Zoom Bokeh
« on: May 05, 2014, 08:15:41 AM »
Still trying to decide on whether or not to purchase new lens for portraits or use an existing lens so decided to take the two of them out and compare their bokeh's both at same focal length and f stop and at their best bokeh respective settings.

Lenses used Canon 70-200 F4L
Canon 85mm 1.8

As mentioned this is not a perfect wall chart experiment and i have not messed around with the shots apart from crop to get real life results.

What are your opinions ??

http://www.andrew-davies.com/prime%20v%20zoom%20bokeh%20test.htm


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Prime v Zoom Bokeh
« on: May 05, 2014, 08:15:41 AM »

ajfotofilmagem

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Re: Prime v Zoom Bokeh
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2014, 10:41:09 AM »
The bokeh of the 85mm is a little softer, but that's not the most obvious difference. When you compare the two lenses in F4, the 85mm is sharper, and we all know it would be so, because the zoom is at its maximum aperture and 85mm was stoped down to the sweet spot.
The second comparison shows the weakness of 85mm, which is the chromatic aberration, and lack of contrast between 1.8 and 2.5. In this aspect, the zoom takes advantage 200mm F4.

I've said this in another thread but Canon 100mm F2 has much less chromatic aberration and better contrast than 85mm, even when wide open.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2014, 11:02:23 AM by ajfotofilmagem »

gabriele

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Re: Prime v Zoom Bokeh
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2014, 01:24:37 PM »
I suggest to retry the comparison also at f/2.8 because it's quite interesting.
You can use the ghost image function on magic lantern to be sure to perfectly overlay the pictures (showing you the previous picture you shot) and be sure to focus exactly on the same point using liveview and 10x enlargement.
Also notice that focal lenght among lenses is not always perfect as stated (eg. a 85mm may be actually a 83 o 86 or anything close to 85mm), for example the Samyang 14mm is quite wider compared to the Canon equivalent even if they both state they're 14mm.
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Prime v Zoom Bokeh
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2014, 03:02:12 PM »
I see you've regressed to using a zoom lens, after claiming you've outgrown them. How sad.  ::)
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Re: Prime v Zoom Bokeh
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2014, 03:04:36 PM »
I see you've regressed to using a zoom lens, after claiming you've outgrown them. How sad.  ::)

I guess if you could read you would have read that i have always used and owned zooms aswell.
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Prime v Zoom Bokeh
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2014, 03:50:54 PM »
I see you've regressed to using a zoom lens, after claiming you've outgrown them. How sad.  ::)
I guess if you could read you would have read that i have always used and owned zooms aswell.

You're right, you did mention that you use a zoom lens. That was in the same thread where you suggested people who do so are too lazy to use primes, or are willing to sacrifice the image quality you attribute to primes over zooms.  How wonderfully hypocritical of you.

Maybe you should read some of your own words a little more carefully, or better yet, think before posting. If you can.
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Re: Prime v Zoom Bokeh
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2014, 05:32:11 PM »
I see you've regressed to using a zoom lens, after claiming you've outgrown them. How sad.  ::)
I guess if you could read you would have read that i have always used and owned zooms aswell.

You're right, you did mention that you use a zoom lens. That was in the same thread where you suggested people who do so are too lazy to use primes, or are willing to sacrifice the image quality you attribute to primes over zooms.  How wonderfully hypocritical of you.

Maybe you should read some of your own words a little more carefully, or better yet, think before posting. If you can.

Which is precisely why i am testing my last remaining zoom against primes i wish to buy to find out which one will better it and provide the focal length i require. Is that too hard for you to understand ?
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Re: Prime v Zoom Bokeh
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2014, 05:32:11 PM »

sagittariansrock

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Re: Prime v Zoom Bokeh
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2014, 05:53:50 PM »
Which is precisely why i am testing my last remaining zoom against primes i wish to buy to find out which one will better it and provide the focal length i require. Is that too hard for you to understand ?

Prime you wish to buy? According to your other thread, you already own the 85 1.8 (see quote below).
This is too hard for me to understand.
BTW, you must be lucky to have people still trying to give you good advice. I have seen zooms trashed in general, the 85 1.2 trashed in the other thread, and recently the 70-200mm II and shots using it undermined (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=20817.0).
I really have to applaud the patience of the CR members.

Hi. Recently purchased the 85 1.8 for portraits and weddings to go along with my other primes , and have to say a little dissapointed with its performance especially at 1.8/2 where i was expecting greater things, it also has the worst CA i have seen on any lens wide open especially on reflective surfaces or indoors

I am considering the 135 to go with my 24 and 35 primes and still have the 24-105 and 70-200 with my assistant so those bases cover , the quality of the 35 is that good that i believe it can fill much of the gap left between 35-135 just by cropping, anyone else gone this route or have any advice ? Or anyone got the 85 1.8 and think i may just have a dud ?

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neuroanatomist

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Re: Prime v Zoom Bokeh
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2014, 07:50:53 PM »
Is that too hard for you to understand ?

I understand you perfectly.  Most wedding photographers with whom I am acquainted are quite decent people, but my own field has plenty of rude hypocrites, so I find them easy to recognize.
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kennephoto

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Re: Prime v Zoom Bokeh
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2014, 11:26:19 PM »
Keep the 85 it's far sharper in your test shots than the 70-200. Look at the wood post sharper, given the dof is different still more detail. Plus you said you liked primes better for weddings. You can always fix CA in post btw and if I recall the 5d mark iii does correct CA for canon lenses.
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cellomaster27

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Re: Prime v Zoom Bokeh
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2014, 03:01:56 AM »
Is that too hard for you to understand ?

I understand you perfectly.  Most wedding photographers with whom I am acquainted are quite decent people, but my own field has plenty of rude hypocrites, so I find them easy to recognize.

+1. Hahahaha! This post title had a stench already before I even started to read the posts. Almost sounds like a relative of Ken Rockwell. Can't take Andrew Davies photography without a good laugh. Ignorance is shameful bliss.
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Re: Prime v Zoom Bokeh
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2014, 04:49:18 AM »
Keep the 85 it's far sharper in your test shots than the 70-200. Look at the wood post sharper, given the dof is different still more detail. Plus you said you liked primes better for weddings. You can always fix CA in post btw and if I recall the 5d mark iii does correct CA for canon lenses.

The 85mm is having issues which it was in this shot of front and back focussing which having spent some time calibrating is not getting any better and even on tripod shutter release etc will take the same shot with different focuses. At one stage i had it racked out to -20 MFA just to get it on focus. I do primarily use primes for weddings but have not yet decided on the prime to go for the longer work , 135 F2 is very tempting but may be to long for indoors. The 5D3 does correct for lenses but its not able to make much of the terrible PF on the 85mm !

thanks
Andrew

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Re: Prime v Zoom Bokeh
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2014, 06:15:01 AM »
Hello Andrew,

Do let us know which lens you end up keeping.

Thanks
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Re: Prime v Zoom Bokeh
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2014, 06:15:01 AM »

wsheldon

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Re: Prime v Zoom Bokeh
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2014, 08:08:05 AM »
The 85mm is having issues which it was in this shot of front and back focussing which having spent some time calibrating is not getting any better and even on tripod shutter release etc will take the same shot with different focuses. At one stage i had it racked out to -20 MFA just to get it on focus. I do primarily use primes for weddings but have not yet decided on the prime to go for the longer work , 135 F2 is very tempting but may be to long for indoors. The 5D3 does correct for lenses but its not able to make much of the terrible PF on the 85mm !

thanks
Andrew

I agree about the PF issue on the 85, and no in-camera corrections will fix longitudinal CA (just lateral, which the 85 doesn't have a problem with). Lightroom does a good job with it's new fringe corrections, but you have to optimize each image individually which really slows down your workflow. I imagine that would kill a wedding photog, with all those white high-contrast edges.

The 135L is wonderful and has MUCH less (almost no) PF/GF issues wide open in my experience, but it is pretty long indoors. Pretty much limits you to head/shoulders unless you're in a big venue. I'm thinking about selling my 85 and just using my 100 macro since I get so annoyed with the PF at <2.8 anyway.
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Re: Prime v Zoom Bokeh
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2014, 10:59:50 AM »
The 85mm is having issues which it was in this shot of front and back focussing which having spent some time calibrating is not getting any better and even on tripod shutter release etc will take the same shot with different focuses. At one stage i had it racked out to -20 MFA just to get it on focus. I do primarily use primes for weddings but have not yet decided on the prime to go for the longer work , 135 F2 is very tempting but may be to long for indoors. The 5D3 does correct for lenses but its not able to make much of the terrible PF on the 85mm !

thanks
Andrew

I agree about the PF issue on the 85, and no in-camera corrections will fix longitudinal CA (just lateral, which the 85 doesn't have a problem with). Lightroom does a good job with it's new fringe corrections, but you have to optimize each image individually which really slows down your workflow. I imagine that would kill a wedding photog, with all those white high-contrast edges.

The 135L is wonderful and has MUCH less (almost no) PF/GF issues wide open in my experience, but it is pretty long indoors. Pretty much limits you to head/shoulders unless you're in a big venue. I'm thinking about selling my 85 and just using my 100 macro since I get so annoyed with the PF at <2.8 anyway.

The one thing i dont get is how so many people rate it so highly yet at the same time people struggle to get any use out of it at 1.8-2.8 surely thats the whole point of the 85mm Prime ? Or are there just big QC issues with this lens in particular - maybe someone from Sigma worked for Canon at that time  ;)
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Re: Prime v Zoom Bokeh
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2014, 10:59:50 AM »