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Author Topic: 50mm f/1.2L and 85 f/1.8 VS. 50 f/1.4 and 85 1.2L  (Read 6433 times)

martinelliminimo

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50mm f/1.2L and 85 f/1.8 VS. 50 f/1.4 and 85 1.2L
« on: January 20, 2012, 01:34:24 AM »
I just sold my 50L to purchase the 85L ii and the 50 1.4 combination.  I was about to go for the 50L and 85 1.8 combination but I decided to go with the lens that was optically superior in the L class.  I already have a 24L ii and 35L, but thought the 50mm was a little too close to the 35mm.  And that the 1.2 and 1.4 in the 50mm focal length was a lot closer than the 1.2 and 1.8 in the 85mm focal length.  Do you think I made the right decision?

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50mm f/1.2L and 85 f/1.8 VS. 50 f/1.4 and 85 1.2L
« on: January 20, 2012, 01:34:24 AM »

Cosk

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Re: 50mm f/1.2L and 85 f/1.8 VS. 50 f/1.4 and 85 1.2L
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2012, 09:40:41 AM »
I did exactly the same thing, for exactly the same rational... and I love my kit.

... except I have both the 85 1.8 and 85 1.2ii.  The 1.8 is exceptional, IQ is nearly as good as the 1.2 - and significantly smaller and lighter.  The 1.8 has been a long-trusted tool, and I haven't sold it yet.  But, magic happens between 1.2 and 1.8. 

On a budget, I think the first step is: 35L, 50/1.4, 85/1.8, 135L -  that's a sweet setup.  Then, if you like the 85 focal length and want an extra stop, upgrade.   
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sheedoe

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Re: 50mm f/1.2L and 85 f/1.8 VS. 50 f/1.4 and 85 1.2L
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2012, 11:51:12 AM »
I have to say that IQ wise, there's little difference between the 50 1.2L and 50 1.4. The bokeh is slightly better but the build quality is significantly better on the L. Thats one of the reason I only buy L lenses.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2012, 11:54:04 AM by sheedoe »
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martinelliminimo

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Re: 50mm f/1.2L and 85 f/1.8 VS. 50 f/1.4 and 85 1.2L
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2012, 01:01:01 PM »
That's awesome that u find no regrets in purchasing that combo. I just ordered my 85L last night from BH. I feel like I sold a kidney to come up w/ that money. Lol. I was thinking abt purchasing the 50L again, but I decided I would go for 1.4 and get the new STEALTH dolly from Kessler Crane instead. I'm so excited!   

lunar

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Re: 50mm f/1.2L and 85 f/1.8 VS. 50 f/1.4 and 85 1.2L
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2012, 06:17:49 PM »
i was in need of 50/85 primes lately, and debated heavily between all possible canon/sigma combinations.

i finally decided to just vow in for one single 50L, after amazon gave me a deal at 1225.

85L is $ and beefy and is not a conventional everyday lens, i know it is the best in portrait, but 1800 for a sole purpose is a bit too much for us non-pro.

50 1.4 are known to have motor issues, be careful and good luck.

85 1.8 is heavily underrated, c/p ratio is in my opinion better than the 135L, L optic quality definitely.

and the sigma bros... oh well...

briansquibb

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Re: 50mm f/1.2L and 85 f/1.8 VS. 50 f/1.4 and 85 1.2L
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2012, 06:26:52 PM »

85 1.8 is heavily underrated, c/p ratio is in my opinion better than the 135L, L optic quality definitely.


I agree that the 85 f/1.8 is sharp but the OOF blur on the 135 still wins. The 135 has a more neutral contrast/colour than most but I would still put it ahead of the 85 f/1.8 - just

Axilrod

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Re: 50mm f/1.2L and 85 f/1.8 VS. 50 f/1.4 and 85 1.2L
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2012, 07:03:58 PM »
I have to say that IQ wise, there's little difference between the 50 1.2L and 50 1.4. The bokeh is slightly better but the build quality is significantly better on the L. Thats one of the reason I only buy L lenses.

I agree, I've had all the lenses mentioned, and while the the 85L II and 50L are amazing lenses their cheaper counterparts are very very solid lenses (especially for the money).  But it's $800 worth of lenses vs $3500. 

As for the OP, I think it just depends on what you do more.  If you shoot a lot of portraits, I would go 85L/50 1.4, but if not I would definitely go 50L/85 1.8.  My 85L sits on the shelf a little more than I'd like, but I can't bring myself to get rid of it, it's unbelievably sharp even wide open.  But I use my 50L more than all my other lenses I'd say, it's super versatile and a lot of fun.
5DIII/5DII/Bunch of L's and ZE's, currently rearranging.

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Re: 50mm f/1.2L and 85 f/1.8 VS. 50 f/1.4 and 85 1.2L
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2012, 07:03:58 PM »

willrobb

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Re: 50mm f/1.2L and 85 f/1.8 VS. 50 f/1.4 and 85 1.2L
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2012, 08:03:51 PM »
[quote author=Axilrod link=topic=2923.msg61397#msg61397  My 85L sits on the shelf a little more than I'd like, but I can't bring myself to get rid of it, it's unbelievably sharp even wide open.  But I use my 50L more than all my other lenses I'd say, it's super versatile and a lot of fun.
[/quote]

I use my 50L a lot, recently I got an 85mm Sigma and I really love it, it has great IQ and bokeh but it doesn't get used as much as any of my other lenses (maybe neck and neck with my 100mm 2.8L macro), which makes me glad I plumper for the Sigma over the 85LII.

Axilrod

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Re: 50mm f/1.2L and 85 f/1.8 VS. 50 f/1.4 and 85 1.2L
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2012, 08:08:18 PM »
[quote author=Axilrod link=topic=2923.msg61397#msg61397  My 85L sits on the shelf a little more than I'd like, but I can't bring myself to get rid of it, it's unbelievably sharp even wide open.  But I use my 50L more than all my other lenses I'd say, it's super versatile and a lot of fun.

I use my 50L a lot, recently I got an 85mm Sigma and I really love it, it has great IQ and bokeh but it doesn't get used as much as any of my other lenses (maybe neck and neck with my 100mm 2.8L macro), which makes me glad I plumper for the Sigma over the 85LII.
[/quote]

I've heard great things about the Sigma as well, no sense spending $1800-$2000 on a lens you're not going to use that much.  For me the 85L is almost a work of art and I know whenever I do use it it's guaranteed to produce some awesome results.
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willrobb

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Re: 50mm f/1.2L and 85 f/1.8 VS. 50 f/1.4 and 85 1.2L
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2012, 09:08:23 PM »
[quote author=Axilrod link=topic=2923.msg61397#msg61397 

I've heard great things about the Sigma as well, no sense spending $1800-$2000 on a lens you're not going to use that much.  For me the 85L is almost a work of art and I know whenever I do use it it's guaranteed to produce some awesome results.

I was never a fan of Sigma for a long time after using a cheap zoom years ago the filled with dust in no time at all (for about $100 I couldn't expect anything better I guess), but over the last year I'd heard so many good things about the Sigma Primes (85mm and 50mm) I decided that I was going to give them a bash. I got the Sigma 85mm and so far I am very happy with my buy. It's 1/3 of the price of the 85mm LII, it is 77mm so takes my other filters, the AF is good, it feels solid and comes with a pretty good little protective case and has an attachment for the lens hood to help when using it on an APS-C body. Some nice little touches.

I'm interested to see how long a life I get from this lens. All my L glass just keeps trucking along and delivering the results, if after a couple of years my Sigma isn't hanging in there I'll know I made a mistake and invest in the 85L series.

hoousi

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Re: 50mm f/1.2L and 85 f/1.8 VS. 50 f/1.4 and 85 1.2L
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2012, 06:36:20 PM »
I did it the other way round getting the Sigma 50 1.4 and just today the 85L  ;D , the masterpiece must be in the collection was my thinking, furthermore I just don't like 50mm that much, either wider or slightly longer is more to my liking, but it's good to have an affordable and not too heavy wide aperture lens when on trips/outings with little gear. The Sigma is nice, but not extremely sharp wide open (after MA) and AF just doesn't nail it as often as the 85L (to my astonishment high keeper rate in the 1st 150 shots).

funkboy

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Re: 50mm f/1.2L and 85 f/1.8 VS. 50 f/1.4 and 85 1.2L
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2012, 06:42:17 AM »
Personally, as a non-professional I have a really hard time spending more than the mythical 1000€ on a lens.  My prime bag currently looks like this:

20mm f/3.5 Voigtländer Color Skopar pancake ("ZE" type electronic mount)
35mm f/1.4 Zeiss Distagon (C/Y mount & Bob Shell adapter)
50mm f/1.4 Zeiss Planar ZE
50mm f/1.8 II
85mm f/1.8 USM
135mm f/2L USM

If I can find a clean 85L mkI for around a grand this year, I'll snap it up if the 'ol bank account can handle it.

For me at least, I want AF on anything longer than 50mm as even with the Katz Eye focusing screen & a magnifier, getting the MF right on the Zeiss 50 faster than about f/2.8 is pretty challenging in situations that involve a moving subject (e.g. candid shots).  At least with the electronic coupling you don't have to stop-down manually, which speeds things up a lot.

To address the original post, I'd say that IMHO it's not really an either/or situation.  BTW, he didn't really mention what he's planning on shooting with these things (or if he's shooting on FF or crop) so I'll generalize a bit...

There are A LOT of options available in the 50mm department.  I've discussed several of them in this thread so I won't crosspost, but there are certainly plenty of lenses to consider besides the L and 1.4 USM (both of which are good but have their own individual quirks).  The folks in that thread seem to concur that the new Sigma 50mm f/1.4 is really nice but really needs to be used on a body with AF calibration to work well.

Also bear in mind that while the "nifty fifty" f/1.8 II may be physically crappy (build, motor, etc), the optics are quite good and it's the smallest/lightest/cheapest lens that Canon makes.  Just get one & keep it in your pocket & you'll never be without a fast prime.  (Same goes for flashes & the 270EX II; there's really no comparison vs. a built-in, and if you've got a flashless body then it's a must-have).

Personally, I'm still on the quest for the ultimate 50mm...
« Last Edit: January 28, 2012, 06:56:33 AM by funkboy »

funkboy

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Re: 50mm f/1.2L and 85 f/1.8 VS. 50 f/1.4 and 85 1.2L
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2012, 06:42:49 AM »
In Canon 85mm land, the 85L is a brilliant portrait & low-light lens (possibly the best available option on FF), but the AF is pretty slow for an L as it has A LOT of big heavy glass to move (not as slow as the 180L macro though).  You can also buy 3 or 4 different primes in my list above together for the price of a new one...  If you're a portrait or wedding photographer using full-frame, then it's a great option.  If you're shooting indoor sports or other subjects that require fast AF then it's probably not the best choice.  The bokeh is certainly sexy & looks great in video, but accurate MF on an AF lens is not so easy...

The 85 f/1.8 USM has pro-grade AF close to the speed of the 135L.  I've never found myself waiting on it or cursing it.  It purple fringes a bit at extreme apertures, but nothing that can't be cleaned up with a few presets in post.  It also has the advantage of fitting in a coat pocket & not being very heavy.  Myself (& a lot of others here) feel that it's the best bang for the buck in the entire Canon lineup.

The 135L is also an option to be considered.  The AF is magical.  At least on my 40D, when you set the focus limiter switch to 1.6m - ∞, you press the button & it's there, wham, done.  The bokeh is beautiful, & it costs a grand less than the 85L.  It's also really useful as a general telephoto, and it takes teleconverters.

I'll do a quick portrait comparison here.  Using dofmaster, we see that the 85L wide-open on a 5DII has 4cm of DoF at 2 meters.  Back up 60cm & switch to the 135L (again, wide-open) & you'll have the same 4cm DoF & beautiful creamy bokeh for a grand less.  Now, the two lenses are certainly different animals:  the 85L is better for low light (i.e wider aperture & shorter focal length) & has closer working distances, and the 135L is lighter & has faster AF (and also costs a grand less).  But if you're on an FF body and can extend your working distances a bit, the 135L is an extremely competent portrait lens.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2012, 06:46:15 AM by funkboy »

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Re: 50mm f/1.2L and 85 f/1.8 VS. 50 f/1.4 and 85 1.2L
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2012, 06:42:49 AM »

briansquibb

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Re: 50mm f/1.2L and 85 f/1.8 VS. 50 f/1.4 and 85 1.2L
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2012, 08:28:37 AM »
In Canon 85mm land, the 85L is a brilliant portrait & low-light lens (possibly the best available option on FF), but the AF is pretty slow for an L as it has A LOT of big heavy glass to move (not as slow as the 180L macro though).  You can also buy 3 or 4 different primes in my list above together for the price of a new one...  If you're a portrait or wedding photographer using full-frame, then it's a great option.  If you're shooting indoor sports or other subjects that require fast AF then it's probably not the best choice.  The bokeh is certainly sexy & looks great in video, but accurate MF on an AF lens is not so easy...

The 85 f/1.8 USM has pro-grade AF close to the speed of the 135L.  I've never found myself waiting on it or cursing it.  It purple fringes a bit at extreme apertures, but nothing that can't be cleaned up with a few presets in post.  It also has the advantage of fitting in a coat pocket & not being very heavy.  Myself (& a lot of others here) feel that it's the best bang for the buck in the entire Canon lineup.

The 135L is also an option to be considered.  The AF is magical.  At least on my 40D, when you set the focus limiter switch to 1.6m - ∞, you press the button & it's there, wham, done.  The bokeh is beautiful, & it costs a grand less than the 85L.  It's also really useful as a general telephoto, and it takes teleconverters.

I'll do a quick portrait comparison here.  Using dofmaster, we see that the 85L wide-open on a 5DII has 4cm of DoF at 2 meters.  Back up 60cm & switch to the 135L (again, wide-open) & you'll have the same 4cm DoF & beautiful creamy bokeh for a grand less.  Now, the two lenses are certainly different animals:  the 85L is better for low light (i.e wider aperture & shorter focal length) & has closer working distances, and the 135L is lighter & has faster AF (and also costs a grand less).  But if you're on an FF body and can extend your working distances a bit, the 135L is an extremely competent portrait lens.

Totally agree with the comments about the 135 and the 85 f/1.8. Not had a 85 f/1.2 so cant comment on it

ecka

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Re: 50mm f/1.2L and 85 f/1.8 VS. 50 f/1.4 and 85 1.2L
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2012, 10:03:27 AM »
When I decided to switch to FF my original intention was getting 35L, 85LII, 5D2; selling all my zooms; and using my Sigma 150/2.8Macro instead of 135L. I used to have 7D (sold), Sigma 50/1.4 (sold) and 85/1.8USM before. I'm not a professional, so 3-4 primes is enough for me. ATM, I'm using my 5D2 mostly with cheap 50/1.8II and 85/1.8USM for bokeh shots, because right now my budget is too low for the L glass, but after seeing what FF can do with cheap primes I'm not sure if I need that red L ring anymore :). I still want a nice 35/1.4 (any brand), but 85LII is not a priority (after 85/1.8USM on FF) unless I could get a used one for cheap :).
I'd say, don't get obsessed too much with that "low light photography", you still need good light to get quality pictures. Maybe it is becoming some kind of religion, but I don't "buy it" :). I like fast primes for shallow DoF at wide apertures and detail quality when stopped down. If you are planing to use that 1.2 aperture a lot, then great!. If not, then maybe it was a mistake, I mean the price you paid for 85LII.
FF + primes !

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Re: 50mm f/1.2L and 85 f/1.8 VS. 50 f/1.4 and 85 1.2L
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2012, 10:03:27 AM »