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Author Topic: Is There a Definitive 85 to Get?  (Read 17912 times)

Sporgon

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Re: Is There a Definitive 85 to Get?
« Reply #30 on: December 11, 2017, 12:53:59 AM »

Slightly better than that would be the 100mm f/2 and 100m f/2.8L IS Macro. The plain 100mm f/2 is one of Canon's best lenses for controlling aberration (as far as primes go it's a tie with the 85mm f/1.8, which, again beats every other 85 available in Canon mount) and it's also the fastest-focusing lens over 50mm that Canon produces.

I have to agree on the utility of the 100 f2. Almost zero mention of it anywhere ever yet it is one of the unsung heroes of the Canon line up.

+1

Despite being a lens from the early nineties it's excellent.

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Re: Is There a Definitive 85 to Get?
« Reply #30 on: December 11, 2017, 12:53:59 AM »

Talys

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Re: Is There a Definitive 85 to Get?
« Reply #31 on: December 11, 2017, 03:12:54 AM »

Slightly better than that would be the 100mm f/2 and 100m f/2.8L IS Macro. The plain 100mm f/2 is one of Canon's best lenses for controlling aberration (as far as primes go it's a tie with the 85mm f/1.8, which, again beats every other 85 available in Canon mount) and it's also the fastest-focusing lens over 50mm that Canon produces.

I have to agree on the utility of the 100 f2. Almost zero mention of it anywhere ever yet it is one of the unsung heroes of the Canon line up.

+1

Despite being a lens from the early nineties it's excellent.

I had one of those!  I ended up selling my 100 f2 when I purchased the 100L/2.8 macro -- though at one point, I had all 3 -- the f2, f2.8 macro, and f2.8L macro (I bought them in that order).

All three are just such nice lenses.  At its price, I think the f/2.8L macro is a spectacular lens.  The sharpness, build, and AF consistency are awesome, and the macro quality is just terrific (very important to me).  You can't really ask for much more, though at half the price, you can definitely make an argument for the non-L.  And for the size the f/2 is fantastic.

In the end, I kept only the f/2.8L macro, mostly because the 2.8L is a very light lens, and I really just had too much glass that I didn't use.

Sporgon

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Re: Is There a Definitive 85 to Get?
« Reply #32 on: December 11, 2017, 03:18:12 AM »

Slightly better than that would be the 100mm f/2 and 100m f/2.8L IS Macro. The plain 100mm f/2 is one of Canon's best lenses for controlling aberration (as far as primes go it's a tie with the 85mm f/1.8, which, again beats every other 85 available in Canon mount) and it's also the fastest-focusing lens over 50mm that Canon produces.

I have to agree on the utility of the 100 f2. Almost zero mention of it anywhere ever yet it is one of the unsung heroes of the Canon line up.

+1

Despite being a lens from the early nineties it's excellent.

I had one of those!  I ended up selling my 100 f2 when I purchased the 100L/2.8 macro -- though at one point, I had all 3 -- the f2, f2.8 macro, and f2.8L macro (I bought them in that order).

All three are just such nice lenses.  At its price, I think the f/2.8L macro is a spectacular lens.  The sharpness, build, and AF consistency are awesome, and the macro quality is just terrific (very important to me).  You can't really ask for much more, though at half the price, you can definitely make an argument for the non-L.  And for the size the f/2 is fantastic.

In the end, I kept only the f/2.8L macro, mostly because the 2.8L is a very light lens, and I really just had too much glass that I didn't use.

The 100/2.8L is without doubt a very good, versatile lens. The only thing I would say is that at f/2.8 the vignetting is quite heavy whereas at the same aperture on the 100/2 it is very low. Also better across the frame at f/2.8.

Ian_of_glos

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Re: Is There a Definitive 85 to Get?
« Reply #33 on: December 11, 2017, 04:03:29 AM »
If you're set on an 85mm prime, I'd actually suggest the 85mm f/1.8 stopped down to f/2.8-4. Fact of the matter is it's the fastest and most accurately-focusing 85mm prime for Canon bodies (and I say that even as someone who regularly sings the praises of Tamron's newer AF systems) and at those apertures, all these 85s end up being more-or-less the same optically, though the Canon f/1.8 does continue to have less aberration than any other 85 available for Canon. The new 85mm f/1.4 IS is a touch faster to focus on some bodies, but your 6D isn't one of those, and the optical improvements (which are only center sharpness and vignetting) don't mean much if you're stopping down anyway. (The IS meaning even less at the shutter speeds you'll usually be using for a performance.) For the sake of that lower-light concert photography, where AF really matters a lot, it's very hard to recommend the Canon 1.2 (vague focus-by-wire), the Sigma (inconsistent accuracy), the Tamron (slower), or the Zeiss (even for jazz concerts, you don't want to be trying to use a Zeiss; I happily use them in the studio, but they absolutely do not hold up for concert shooting).

Slightly better than that would be the 100mm f/2 and 100m f/2.8L IS Macro. The plain 100mm f/2 is one of Canon's best lenses for controlling aberration (as far as primes go it's a tie with the 85mm f/1.8, which, again beats every other 85 available in Canon mount) and it's also the fastest-focusing lens over 50mm that Canon produces. The f/2.8L is slower to focus, as it's a macro lens with a much larger focus throw, but it's optically even better and gives you IS and weather sealing.

But really, better than any of the above would be the 70-200 f/2.8L IS II. It focuses faster and more consistently accurately than any of the primes except for the cheap 85 f/1.8 & 100 f/2; it's optically as good as you can get (the only Canon-mount lens in the world with less prominent aberration is the Zeiss 135mm); and there will absolutely be times you are thankful for the extra range. There is a reason why the 70-200 2.8 is the performance lens, whether it's an almost motionless piano recital, ballet, theatre, or a heavy metal festival.

If you're absolutely dead-set on primes and 85mm, the Canon 85mm f/1.8 (or slightly better, the 100mm f/2) shot at f/2.8 or smaller is equal-or-better  than everything else in terms of both AF and optical quality. If you really want to shoot wider than f/2.8 then that lens does drop behind the others quicker, but for jazz band you should have more than enough light for f/2.8 and I'd never risk missing focus by using a wider aperture than that anyway.
If you can't bring yourself to use a non-premium lens for whatever reason, the new 85mm f/1.4L IS is the second-best choice on paper for this kind of purpose (I've yet to use it enough myself to definitely say how it fares in terms of aberration, but so far it seems fine). I love the recent Tamrons, but the AF is a touch slow and if you're going to give up AF speed then you might as well get the Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS; I like the recent Sigmas, but their AF—especially on the 85—is too inconsistent for me to trust on an unrepeatable task like any kind of concert. The Zeiss, as I said above, I love in the studio, but I'd never take to a stage performance.
But, like I said, the 70-200 f/2.8 IS II is king of them all. You'd have to be really, really against zooms to use anything else.
I don't understand this. Why would you want to carry around a huge zoom lens weighing almost 1.5Kg when you can do the job with the 85mm F1.8 which only weighs 425g? The 85mm F1.8 also costs £1,500 less than the 70-200 F2.8 and it is 1.5 stops faster. If the 85mm F1.8 can do the job then why go for the bigger and more expensive lens?

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Re: Is There a Definitive 85 to Get?
« Reply #34 on: December 11, 2017, 06:00:48 AM »
If you're set on an 85mm prime, I'd actually suggest the 85mm f/1.8 stopped down to f/2.8-4. Fact of the matter is it's the fastest and most accurately-focusing 85mm prime for Canon bodies (and I say that even as someone who regularly sings the praises of Tamron's newer AF systems) and at those apertures, all these 85s end up being more-or-less the same optically, though the Canon f/1.8 does continue to have less aberration than any other 85 available for Canon. The new 85mm f/1.4 IS is a touch faster to focus on some bodies, but your 6D isn't one of those, and the optical improvements (which are only center sharpness and vignetting) don't mean much if you're stopping down anyway. (The IS meaning even less at the shutter speeds you'll usually be using for a performance.) For the sake of that lower-light concert photography, where AF really matters a lot, it's very hard to recommend the Canon 1.2 (vague focus-by-wire), the Sigma (inconsistent accuracy), the Tamron (slower), or the Zeiss (even for jazz concerts, you don't want to be trying to use a Zeiss; I happily use them in the studio, but they absolutely do not hold up for concert shooting).

Slightly better than that would be the 100mm f/2 and 100m f/2.8L IS Macro. The plain 100mm f/2 is one of Canon's best lenses for controlling aberration (as far as primes go it's a tie with the 85mm f/1.8, which, again beats every other 85 available in Canon mount) and it's also the fastest-focusing lens over 50mm that Canon produces. The f/2.8L is slower to focus, as it's a macro lens with a much larger focus throw, but it's optically even better and gives you IS and weather sealing.

But really, better than any of the above would be the 70-200 f/2.8L IS II. It focuses faster and more consistently accurately than any of the primes except for the cheap 85 f/1.8 & 100 f/2; it's optically as good as you can get (the only Canon-mount lens in the world with less prominent aberration is the Zeiss 135mm); and there will absolutely be times you are thankful for the extra range. There is a reason why the 70-200 2.8 is the performance lens, whether it's an almost motionless piano recital, ballet, theatre, or a heavy metal festival.

If you're absolutely dead-set on primes and 85mm, the Canon 85mm f/1.8 (or slightly better, the 100mm f/2) shot at f/2.8 or smaller is equal-or-better  than everything else in terms of both AF and optical quality. If you really want to shoot wider than f/2.8 then that lens does drop behind the others quicker, but for jazz band you should have more than enough light for f/2.8 and I'd never risk missing focus by using a wider aperture than that anyway.
If you can't bring yourself to use a non-premium lens for whatever reason, the new 85mm f/1.4L IS is the second-best choice on paper for this kind of purpose (I've yet to use it enough myself to definitely say how it fares in terms of aberration, but so far it seems fine). I love the recent Tamrons, but the AF is a touch slow and if you're going to give up AF speed then you might as well get the Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS; I like the recent Sigmas, but their AF—especially on the 85—is too inconsistent for me to trust on an unrepeatable task like any kind of concert. The Zeiss, as I said above, I love in the studio, but I'd never take to a stage performance.
But, like I said, the 70-200 f/2.8 IS II is king of them all. You'd have to be really, really against zooms to use anything else.
I don't understand this. Why would you want to carry around a huge zoom lens weighing almost 1.5Kg when you can do the job with the 85mm F1.8 which only weighs 425g? The 85mm F1.8 also costs £1,500 less than the 70-200 F2.8 and it is 1.5 stops faster. If the 85mm F1.8 can do the job then why go for the bigger and more expensive lens?
Well, the 85mm f1.8 doesn't have IS and it doesn't zoom.

tron

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Re: Is There a Definitive 85 to Get?
« Reply #35 on: December 11, 2017, 08:46:17 AM »
If you're set on an 85mm prime, I'd actually suggest the 85mm f/1.8 stopped down to f/2.8-4. Fact of the matter is it's the fastest and most accurately-focusing 85mm prime for Canon bodies (and I say that even as someone who regularly sings the praises of Tamron's newer AF systems) and at those apertures, all these 85s end up being more-or-less the same optically, though the Canon f/1.8 does continue to have less aberration than any other 85 available for Canon. The new 85mm f/1.4 IS is a touch faster to focus on some bodies, but your 6D isn't one of those, and the optical improvements (which are only center sharpness and vignetting) don't mean much if you're stopping down anyway. (The IS meaning even less at the shutter speeds you'll usually be using for a performance.) For the sake of that lower-light concert photography, where AF really matters a lot, it's very hard to recommend the Canon 1.2 (vague focus-by-wire), the Sigma (inconsistent accuracy), the Tamron (slower), or the Zeiss (even for jazz concerts, you don't want to be trying to use a Zeiss; I happily use them in the studio, but they absolutely do not hold up for concert shooting).

Slightly better than that would be the 100mm f/2 and 100m f/2.8L IS Macro. The plain 100mm f/2 is one of Canon's best lenses for controlling aberration (as far as primes go it's a tie with the 85mm f/1.8, which, again beats every other 85 available in Canon mount) and it's also the fastest-focusing lens over 50mm that Canon produces. The f/2.8L is slower to focus, as it's a macro lens with a much larger focus throw, but it's optically even better and gives you IS and weather sealing.

But really, better than any of the above would be the 70-200 f/2.8L IS II. It focuses faster and more consistently accurately than any of the primes except for the cheap 85 f/1.8 & 100 f/2; it's optically as good as you can get (the only Canon-mount lens in the world with less prominent aberration is the Zeiss 135mm); and there will absolutely be times you are thankful for the extra range. There is a reason why the 70-200 2.8 is the performance lens, whether it's an almost motionless piano recital, ballet, theatre, or a heavy metal festival.

If you're absolutely dead-set on primes and 85mm, the Canon 85mm f/1.8 (or slightly better, the 100mm f/2) shot at f/2.8 or smaller is equal-or-better  than everything else in terms of both AF and optical quality. If you really want to shoot wider than f/2.8 then that lens does drop behind the others quicker, but for jazz band you should have more than enough light for f/2.8 and I'd never risk missing focus by using a wider aperture than that anyway.
If you can't bring yourself to use a non-premium lens for whatever reason, the new 85mm f/1.4L IS is the second-best choice on paper for this kind of purpose (I've yet to use it enough myself to definitely say how it fares in terms of aberration, but so far it seems fine). I love the recent Tamrons, but the AF is a touch slow and if you're going to give up AF speed then you might as well get the Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS; I like the recent Sigmas, but their AF—especially on the 85—is too inconsistent for me to trust on an unrepeatable task like any kind of concert. The Zeiss, as I said above, I love in the studio, but I'd never take to a stage performance.
But, like I said, the 70-200 f/2.8 IS II is king of them all. You'd have to be really, really against zooms to use anything else.
I don't understand this. Why would you want to carry around a huge zoom lens weighing almost 1.5Kg when you can do the job with the 85mm F1.8 which only weighs 425g? The 85mm F1.8 also costs £1,500 less than the 70-200 F2.8 and it is 1.5 stops faster. If the 85mm F1.8 can do the job then why go for the bigger and more expensive lens?
Well, the 85mm f1.8 doesn't have IS and it doesn't zoom.
I believe the fact that 85 1.8 is faster ( 1.8 instead of 2.8 ) and much much lighter than 70-200 2.8 mitigates the fact that it does not have IS. The zoom is totally another issue. And - since I read the previous post - I also have the 2.8 IS II zoom so - at least myself- I have nothing against zooms but each have different use.

tron

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Re: Is There a Definitive 85 to Get?
« Reply #36 on: December 11, 2017, 08:51:25 AM »

Slightly better than that would be the 100mm f/2 and 100m f/2.8L IS Macro. The plain 100mm f/2 is one of Canon's best lenses for controlling aberration (as far as primes go it's a tie with the 85mm f/1.8, which, again beats every other 85 available in Canon mount) and it's also the fastest-focusing lens over 50mm that Canon produces.

I have to agree on the utility of the 100 f2. Almost zero mention of it anywhere ever yet it is one of the unsung heroes of the Canon line up.

+1

Despite being a lens from the early nineties it's excellent.

I had one of those!  I ended up selling my 100 f2 when I purchased the 100L/2.8 macro -- though at one point, I had all 3 -- the f2, f2.8 macro, and f2.8L macro (I bought them in that order).

All three are just such nice lenses.  At its price, I think the f/2.8L macro is a spectacular lens.  The sharpness, build, and AF consistency are awesome, and the macro quality is just terrific (very important to me).  You can't really ask for much more, though at half the price, you can definitely make an argument for the non-L.  And for the size the f/2 is fantastic.

In the end, I kept only the f/2.8L macro, mostly because the 2.8L is a very light lens, and I really just had too much glass that I didn't use.

The 100/2.8L is without doubt a very good, versatile lens. The only thing I would say is that at f/2.8 the vignetting is quite heavy whereas at the same aperture on the 100/2 it is very low. Also better across the frame at f/2.8.
This is interesting (I am referring to 100 f/2 IQ and small size/weight advantage). Have you compared somehow the 85 1.8 and the 100 2.0 ? I know there are comparison tests (TDP) but I would be interested in personal experience of you or any other forum member. Thanks.

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Re: Is There a Definitive 85 to Get?
« Reply #36 on: December 11, 2017, 08:51:25 AM »

Ian_of_glos

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Re: Is There a Definitive 85 to Get?
« Reply #37 on: December 11, 2017, 09:17:11 AM »
If you're set on an 85mm prime, I'd actually suggest the 85mm f/1.8 stopped down to f/2.8-4. Fact of the matter is it's the fastest and most accurately-focusing 85mm prime for Canon bodies (and I say that even as someone who regularly sings the praises of Tamron's newer AF systems) and at those apertures, all these 85s end up being more-or-less the same optically, though the Canon f/1.8 does continue to have less aberration than any other 85 available for Canon. The new 85mm f/1.4 IS is a touch faster to focus on some bodies, but your 6D isn't one of those, and the optical improvements (which are only center sharpness and vignetting) don't mean much if you're stopping down anyway. (The IS meaning even less at the shutter speeds you'll usually be using for a performance.) For the sake of that lower-light concert photography, where AF really matters a lot, it's very hard to recommend the Canon 1.2 (vague focus-by-wire), the Sigma (inconsistent accuracy), the Tamron (slower), or the Zeiss (even for jazz concerts, you don't want to be trying to use a Zeiss; I happily use them in the studio, but they absolutely do not hold up for concert shooting).

Slightly better than that would be the 100mm f/2 and 100m f/2.8L IS Macro. The plain 100mm f/2 is one of Canon's best lenses for controlling aberration (as far as primes go it's a tie with the 85mm f/1.8, which, again beats every other 85 available in Canon mount) and it's also the fastest-focusing lens over 50mm that Canon produces. The f/2.8L is slower to focus, as it's a macro lens with a much larger focus throw, but it's optically even better and gives you IS and weather sealing.

But really, better than any of the above would be the 70-200 f/2.8L IS II. It focuses faster and more consistently accurately than any of the primes except for the cheap 85 f/1.8 & 100 f/2; it's optically as good as you can get (the only Canon-mount lens in the world with less prominent aberration is the Zeiss 135mm); and there will absolutely be times you are thankful for the extra range. There is a reason why the 70-200 2.8 is the performance lens, whether it's an almost motionless piano recital, ballet, theatre, or a heavy metal festival.

If you're absolutely dead-set on primes and 85mm, the Canon 85mm f/1.8 (or slightly better, the 100mm f/2) shot at f/2.8 or smaller is equal-or-better  than everything else in terms of both AF and optical quality. If you really want to shoot wider than f/2.8 then that lens does drop behind the others quicker, but for jazz band you should have more than enough light for f/2.8 and I'd never risk missing focus by using a wider aperture than that anyway.
If you can't bring yourself to use a non-premium lens for whatever reason, the new 85mm f/1.4L IS is the second-best choice on paper for this kind of purpose (I've yet to use it enough myself to definitely say how it fares in terms of aberration, but so far it seems fine). I love the recent Tamrons, but the AF is a touch slow and if you're going to give up AF speed then you might as well get the Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS; I like the recent Sigmas, but their AF—especially on the 85—is too inconsistent for me to trust on an unrepeatable task like any kind of concert. The Zeiss, as I said above, I love in the studio, but I'd never take to a stage performance.
But, like I said, the 70-200 f/2.8 IS II is king of them all. You'd have to be really, really against zooms to use anything else.
I don't understand this. Why would you want to carry around a huge zoom lens weighing almost 1.5Kg when you can do the job with the 85mm F1.8 which only weighs 425g? The 85mm F1.8 also costs £1,500 less than the 70-200 F2.8 and it is 1.5 stops faster. If the 85mm F1.8 can do the job then why go for the bigger and more expensive lens?
Well, the 85mm f1.8 doesn't have IS and it doesn't zoom.
The original post specifies an 85mm lens so I assume he/she knows how far from the stage he/she will be standing and has decided that a zoom lens would not be necessary. Also, if the musicians are going to be moving around then IS would be of limited use. In that situation I would rather have the wider aperture available so I could use a faster shutter speed.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Is There a Definitive 85 to Get?
« Reply #38 on: December 11, 2017, 10:02:48 AM »
This is interesting (I am referring to 100 f/2 IQ and small size/weight advantage). Have you compared somehow the 85 1.8 and the 100 2.0 ? I know there are comparison tests (TDP) but I would be interested in personal experience of you or any other forum member. Thanks.

I've used both the 85/1.8 and the 100/2.  They are virtual clones, the 15mm focal length difference notwithstanding.  The 85/1.8 perhaps suffers from a bit more longitudinal CA (i.e., the 100/2 has a lot, the 85/1.8 has very slightly more) – LoCA is the biggest weakness of the two lenses.  I was shooting APS-C at the time, and the difference between 85 and 100mm was noticable for indoor shooting, with the 100mm being slightly too long, so I kept the 85/1.8 (until getting the 85/1.2L II, which I recently replaced with the 85/1.4L IS). 
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Sporgon

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Re: Is There a Definitive 85 to Get?
« Reply #39 on: December 11, 2017, 12:56:42 PM »
This is interesting (I am referring to 100 f/2 IQ and small size/weight advantage). Have you compared somehow the 85 1.8 and the 100 2.0 ? I know there are comparison tests (TDP) but I would be interested in personal experience of you or any other forum member. Thanks.

I've used both the 85/1.8 and the 100/2.  They are virtual clones, the 15mm focal length difference notwithstanding.  The 85/1.8 perhaps suffers from a bit more longitudinal CA (i.e., the 100/2 has a lot, the 85/1.8 has very slightly more) – LoCA is the biggest weakness of the two lenses.  I was shooting APS-C at the time, and the difference between 85 and 100mm was noticable for indoor shooting, with the 100mm being slightly too long, so I kept the 85/1.8 (until getting the 85/1.2L II, which I recently replaced with the 85/1.4L IS).

I have both, and agree with Neuro above. In terms of wide open sharpness the 100/2 has been better than all but the latest 85/1.8 that I have which is also very good. If I'm going to be really picky the 85/1.8 has a very slightly softer bokeh. I have found the 100 to be the more consistent focusing wide open. Overall I'd say the 100 is the sharper lens. To put it in a nutshell; 85/1.8 for portraits, 100/2 for low light short tele sports.

Historically I think the 100/2 came first as a seriously good, fast short telephoto for the newly introduced EOS system, running rings round Nikon at the time. The 85/1.8 came a few years later.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Is There a Definitive 85 to Get?
« Reply #40 on: December 11, 2017, 02:26:05 PM »
Historically I think the 100/2 came first as a seriously good, fast short telephoto for the newly introduced EOS system, running rings round Nikon at the time. The 85/1.8 came a few years later.

The 100/2 was released in October 1991, the 85/1.8 in July 1992.  They were probably developed concurrently. 
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Sporgon

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Re: Is There a Definitive 85 to Get?
« Reply #41 on: December 11, 2017, 02:53:59 PM »
Historically I think the 100/2 came first as a seriously good, fast short telephoto for the newly introduced EOS system, running rings round Nikon at the time. The 85/1.8 came a few years later.

The 100/2 was released in October 1991, the 85/1.8 in July 1992.  They were probably developed concurrently.

I’ve always thought it strange that Canon introduced two such similar lenses, with such different optical formulas. If I could only have one it would be the 100/2.

tron

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Re: Is There a Definitive 85 to Get?
« Reply #42 on: December 11, 2017, 03:46:29 PM »
Many thanks Neuro and Sporgon for your responses.

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Re: Is There a Definitive 85 to Get?
« Reply #42 on: December 11, 2017, 03:46:29 PM »

BillB

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Re: Is There a Definitive 85 to Get?
« Reply #43 on: December 11, 2017, 05:12:16 PM »
Historically I think the 100/2 came first as a seriously good, fast short telephoto for the newly introduced EOS system, running rings round Nikon at the time. The 85/1.8 came a few years later.

The 100/2 was released in October 1991, the 85/1.8 in July 1992.  They were probably developed concurrently.

I’ve always thought it strange that Canon introduced two such similar lenses, with such different optical formulas. If I could only have one it would be the 100/2.

And I've always thought the price difference between the 100 and the 85 to be strange.  The list price of the 100 is $500, while the list for the 85 is $420.  Currently, Canon is selling the 100 for $500 and the 85 for $350.  While some prefer the 100mm, I have never seen anything that justifies that kind of price premium.





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Re: Is There a Definitive 85 to Get?
« Reply #44 on: December 11, 2017, 09:43:34 PM »
definitive 85...the 135L and a few steps backwards.
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Re: Is There a Definitive 85 to Get?
« Reply #44 on: December 11, 2017, 09:43:34 PM »