December 18, 2014, 11:44:30 AM

Author Topic: Canon 85 1.8 to replace 50 1.4?  (Read 1875 times)

dlee13

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Canon 85 1.8 to replace 50 1.4?
« on: August 07, 2014, 03:02:13 AM »
Hello everyone!

Ever since getting my Canon 35mm f2 IS and 100mmL IS I have found my Sigma 50mm 1.4 classic not getting much use. On my 6D I prefer the 35mm FL over the 50 and just generally love everything about the 35 IS.

I like my lenses to have specific uses and it is meant to be:

35mm f2 IS: Walk around/general use
50mm f1.4: Portraits (I generally prefer half to full body and don't do portraits a great deal)
100mm: Macro, Products and the occasional portrait (which it does an amazing job at).

The reason I consider the Canon 85mm 1.8 is purely because of the price. If I sell the Sigma, there isn't much of a price difference I have to put in and I don't have the budget to spend any more. If budget wasn't an issue, I would be selling the 50 for the 135mm f2L.

How does the 85 1.8 compare to the Sigma 50 in terms of sharpness and bokeh? I've seen some amazing stuff with the 85 1.8 and considering the longer FL, I would probably be able to get a shallower DOF when doing half to full body portraits.
6D - Canon EF 35mm f2 IS - Sigma 50mm f1.4 EX DG HSM - Canon 100mm f2.8L IS - Canon 17-40mm f4L

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Canon 85 1.8 to replace 50 1.4?
« on: August 07, 2014, 03:02:13 AM »

boogaloo

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Re: Canon 85 1.8 to replace 50 1.4?
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2014, 05:24:58 PM »
I picked up an 85mm 1.8 a while ago and I used it loads when I first got it. I then forgot about it completely until a few weeks ago. I've just been on holiday, though, and took the 85 for candid portraits of the family.

I absolutely love it. I'm sure it's not a patch on the more expensive L lenses, but without a doubt it's one of the most distinctive lenses in my kit and It works wonders on my 6d.

I only really use it for 'semi distance' portraits, and at times I find the shallow DOF that's beautiful on some shots can look a bit artificial in others.

If that's what your budget stretches too then I would go for it. It's a lot of fun, when you remember to use it.

kevl

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Re: Canon 85 1.8 to replace 50 1.4?
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2014, 10:25:59 AM »
The 85 1.8 is leaps and bounds above the 50 1.4 in terms of image quality and sharpness.  Once you make the switch you will never regret it. The 85 is sharp at 1.8 and is very sharp at 2.0. It also has very good contrast and the bokeh is very nice.

I use mine at weddings and portrait shoots all the time.

After a long debate about price I finally sold my 24-105 and got the 24-70Mk II and now I can't even imagine going back to the 24-105. I think you'll have a similar experience with the 85.

So far there are only two issues with the 85 (after the most part of a year with it). 1. chromatic aberration needs to be fixed on most images 2. it makes me want the super expensive 85 1.2L even though I would say it is 80% as good as that lens.
 

dlee13

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Re: Canon 85 1.8 to replace 50 1.4?
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2014, 10:49:09 AM »
Thanks for the reply guys!

As tempting as the 85mm 1.8 is, I've decided over the past few days to sell my Sigma 50 and some other stuff and use the money towards a better PC Monitor and Spyder 4 Pro calibrator instead.

I rarely feel the need to use the 50 since I love my 100 for portraits and the 35 for walk around, so I'm hoping that the gap I have between 40 and 100mm won't be an issue.

I currently don't do any professional portrait shoots but when I move out I am considering giving it a try to help my income. The screen and calibrator will be important because I know for a fact my prints don't match what I see on my screen all the time (my screen isn't even an IPS screen). I think if I do manage to get the money together to buy the 85 1.8, I would consider upgrading it eventually to the 135mm f2L.
6D - Canon EF 35mm f2 IS - Sigma 50mm f1.4 EX DG HSM - Canon 100mm f2.8L IS - Canon 17-40mm f4L

DRR

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Re: Canon 85 1.8 to replace 50 1.4?
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2014, 10:09:00 AM »

IMO if you have a 35mm that you use for most walkaround and general purpose applications, and you have a 100mm for portraits, you're not going to see a whole lot of difference between the 85mm and your 100mm. Personally I don't see a lot of difference between those focal lengths - that is to say, I think about them the same, and one's just tighter and one's a little looser.

Whereas, my thinking and my approach for a more dramatic difference, 50mm vs 100mm or 85mm vs 135mm, for example, would change fairly dramatically. I can't internally visualize a FOV difference of 15mm at that FL (85 vs 100).


TeT

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Re: Canon 85 1.8 to replace 50 1.4?
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2014, 11:01:12 AM »
EF 85 1.8 is a popular well regarded lens for good reason.

It can produce some amazing images, pics generated through this lens have an "it" quality that rivals many of canons more expensive L lens. It is not as sharp as your 35 IS from f4 and above. (not sure about 2 to 4) But I find the finished images to be more pleasing than my EF 50 1.4 with a smoother feel.

You will distinctly notice the difference between 50 & 85...  less often between the 85 & 100


wsheldon

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Re: Canon 85 1.8 to replace 50 1.4?
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2014, 11:10:11 AM »
I currently don't do any professional portrait shoots but when I move out I am considering giving it a try to help my income. The screen and calibrator will be important because I know for a fact my prints don't match what I see on my screen all the time (my screen isn't even an IPS screen). I think if I do manage to get the money together to buy the 85 1.8, I would consider upgrading it eventually to the 135mm f2L.

The 135L is my favorite people and theater lens, but you will definitely want to have a 50-100mm lens on hand for anything wider than 1/2 body shots indoors. Your 100mm macro may even be a bit long for that use (IME 15mm is surprising significant between 85 and 100 - a good step back/forward you may not have room for). That said, I think you're on the right track keeping your 50 and 100 and pursuing other priorities for now.

Good luck.
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Re: Canon 85 1.8 to replace 50 1.4?
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2014, 11:10:11 AM »

distant.star

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Re: Canon 85 1.8 to replace 50 1.4?
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2014, 12:47:24 PM »
.
For me, 35, 85 (or 100) and 135 are essentials. Since you've got the 100, don't worry about the 85. I suggest doing whatever is necessary to add the Canon 135mm f/2.0L; it's stunning.
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beckstoy

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Re: Canon 85 1.8 to replace 50 1.4?
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2014, 01:57:28 PM »
The two lenses I use the most in my bag are my Sigma 35 1.4 Art and my 135 f/2L (which is flat-out awesome).  I'm gearing up to get the Sigma 85 1.4 Art when it comes out (if the buzz delivers) because I've been doing lots of Brenizer method photos lately, and the 135 works, but is just a little long.  I understand the 85 is ideal for that method.
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

dlee13

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Re: Canon 85 1.8 to replace 50 1.4?
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2014, 02:39:36 AM »
I would honestly love the 135 but I'm moving out soon, getting engaged and need a PS4 so paying 1k for the 135 is sadly out of my budget. As I said I feel the monitor and calibrator is a better move over another lens although if I did decide to venture into professional portraits, I figure I could do them with the 100L then save the money to buy the 135 from each job I do.

I used the 100L the other weekend and I was more than impressed with what I could do with it, because of that I feel it's too close to the 85. See if I'm shooting indoors, I can easily shoot wider and use the 35 then if I need a tighter headshot of sorts indoors, I can use the 100L like I did here.

Malcom by Daniel E Lee, on Flickr

The other advantage I see to selling my Sigma 50 is that if they release a new Canon 85 1.8 that is similar to the 35mm F2 IS, I don't have the hassle of selling a lens to buy it.
6D - Canon EF 35mm f2 IS - Sigma 50mm f1.4 EX DG HSM - Canon 100mm f2.8L IS - Canon 17-40mm f4L

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Re: Canon 85 1.8 to replace 50 1.4?
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2014, 02:39:36 AM »