December 17, 2017, 03:30:42 AM

Author Topic: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP  (Read 7557 times)

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Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« on: November 27, 2017, 03:46:48 PM »

Bryan over at The-Digital-Picture has completed his review of the brand new Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM.


From The-Digital-Picture:







While it will find use for many purposes (we will go looking for opportunities to use this lens), the Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM Lens is one of the best portrait lenses ever built. The 85mm short telephoto focal length is ideal for this use and the ultra-wide aperture combined with image stabilization permits those portraits to be captured handheld even in extreme low light situations. The fast Ring USM AF implementation ensures that the shallow plane of sharp focus lands where you direct it and the shallow depth of field diffusely blurs an even highly distracting background, making the subject stand out. The red ring indicating L-Series membership assures us that professional-grade build quality is included and that the image quality from this lens will be stellar. Read the full review


For $1599, I think you’re getting one heck of a lens from Canon.



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Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« on: November 27, 2017, 03:46:48 PM »

ahsanford

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2017, 04:34:20 PM »
Can someone run me through the clipped bokeh ball mirror box comments I've been seeing?  What's that all about?

A few comments on some sample shots I've seen recently:

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=33869.msg696464#msg696464

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=33869.msg696792#msg696792

- A
« Last Edit: November 27, 2017, 05:04:21 PM by ahsanford »

infared

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2017, 05:00:32 PM »
I am keeping my Canon 85mm f/1.2L II.  As Brian says:  "While the f/1.2 aperture can create a slightly stronger background blur (it creates a look no other lens can provide)".  I am sticking with that. Sometimes "sharper is not better"....Not that the new lens is all that much sharper. Also, I consider my kit. I have the 24-70mm f/2.8L II, the 80-200mm f/2.8L IS II, and also, yum...the Sigma 135mm f/1.8 ART lens. (I have the 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro, too....I also have a 5D IV and that allows me to crank up the ISO a bit, if needed.
...so with all the back-up, I am just going to keep this little L-grenade because I just LOVE the imagery that I can create with it, even though it does not have IS, and fast AF.  I just won't part with mine...but I do not shoot for a living. I just shoot for joy now....and sometimes, less is more!  ;D
...but I get it that a lot of people will want this new lens instead.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2017, 02:02:06 PM by infared »
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Larsskv

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2017, 05:06:57 PM »
I am keeping my Canon 85mm f/1.2L II.  As Brian says:  "While the f/1.2 aperture can create a slightly stronger background blur (it creates a look no other lens can provide)".  I am sticking with that. Sometimes "sharper is not better"....Not that the new lens is all that sharper. Also, I consider my kit. I have the 24-70mm f/2.8L II, the 80-200mm f/2.8L IS II, and also, yum...the Sigma 135mm f/1.8 ART lens.
...so with all the back-up, I am just going to keep the little grenade because I just LOVE the imagery that I can create with it, even though it does not have IS, and fast AF.  I just won't part with mine...but I do not shoot for a living. I just shoot for joy now....and sometimes, less is more!  ;D

I am not selling my 85LII, but I’m afraid GAS will force me to add the 85 L IS to my growing prime collection. I’m really curious to see how they compare in terms of real world results (looking beyond sharpness and CA). Further, IS, faster AF and weather sealing speeks for itself...

infared

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2017, 05:16:45 PM »
I am keeping my Canon 85mm f/1.2L II.  As Brian says:  "While the f/1.2 aperture can create a slightly stronger background blur (it creates a look no other lens can provide)".  I am sticking with that. Sometimes "sharper is not better"....Not that the new lens is all that sharper. Also, I consider my kit. I have the 24-70mm f/2.8L II, the 80-200mm f/2.8L IS II, and also, yum...the Sigma 135mm f/1.8 ART lens.
...so with all the back-up, I am just going to keep the little grenade because I just LOVE the imagery that I can create with it, even though it does not have IS, and fast AF.  I just won't part with mine...but I do not shoot for a living. I just shoot for joy now....and sometimes, less is more!  ;D

I am not selling my 85LII, but I’m afraid GAS will force me to add the 85 L IS to my growing prime collection. I’m really curious to see how they compare in terms of real world results (looking beyond sharpness and CA). Further, IS, faster AF and weather sealing speeks for itself...

No...I get it. The new lens will focus MUCH faster. That is a big seller right there. I have the Sigma 135mm...and that focuses like a rocket ship....so I am, and have been comfortable with my kit in the portrait area...but I get it that you HAVE to have it.  LOL!...I am working on selling my 16-35mm f/4L IS to pick up the new 2.8L III version.  Lots of great glass, everywhere we look!!!! LOL!
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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2017, 05:28:14 PM »
I'm keeping my EF 85mm f/1.8 USM :'(

michi

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2017, 08:31:55 PM »
I'm keeping my EF 85mm f/1.8 USM :'(

Ugh, I have that lens too.  IF and WHEN it hits focus, it does a really nice job.  But it's too much of a hit and miss for me, even with the 5DIV which does much better with this lens than any of my older bodies did.  Still, I'm ready for a new portrait lens, and I think it's going to be the 85 1.4 L IS.

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2017, 08:31:55 PM »

aceflibble

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2017, 09:37:26 PM »
Can someone run me through the clipped bokeh ball mirror box comments I've been seeing?  What's that all about?
Same thing you get with anamorphic lenses; the image circle is being projected so wide that parts are being blocked off by the architecture of the camera. Most commonly with anamorphic lenses and some faster tilt-shift lenses (or adapted lenses from a larger format) it is the lens mount which gets in the way, but in the case of Canon's longer f/1.4 and f/1.2 lenses, it's the mirror box.

An easy way to think of it is like creatively shaping out of focus highlights. You know how you can make them take on shapes like hearts, cross, or stars, or even words, by placing a stencil of the shape at the front of the lens, and the in-focus parts of the image remain unaffected? Or how Sony and Fuji have released lenses with apodization filters which smooth off the edges of out of focus areas? Basically the same thing.

Canon could fix it by tightening up the spread of the image circle, which would also marginally help with micro contrast and aberration, but it'd also be harder to keep the light transmission high and you'd miss out on the low-contrast soft look of these lenses, which has been their primary selling point for years. Sigma, for example, managed to keep the spread of the image circle in check, but as a result their 85mm has a more 'clinical' look, which is great for lab testing but not so great for the kind of soft portraits these lenses are most commonly used for. Given how little OOF highlight shaping matters to your average viewer, especially compared to how important the overall colour and contrast is, it's unsurprising that Canon wouldn't see this as being worth 'fixing'. These Canon 85s have their distinct look; clipped highlight shapes are the price you pay for that.

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2017, 12:42:51 AM »
Can someone run me through the clipped bokeh ball mirror box comments I've been seeing?  What's that all about?
An easy way to think of it is like creatively shaping out of focus highlights. You know how you can make them take on shapes like hearts, cross, or stars, or even words, by placing a stencil of the shape at the front of the lens, and the in-focus parts of the image remain unaffected?

Ah, this I can relate to as I've fiddled with those bokeh templates in front of the lens before.  But those work by defining a profile that is slightly narrower than the lens aperture -- it's effectively commandeering the bokeh shape by edict.  Are you saying the mirror box is... narrower in physical width than the opening in the lens blades at time of exposure?

See sample shot here from another thread (first one with the Christmas tree):
www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=33869.msg696463#msg696463

Is the mirror box effect the blunting of the bokeh balls on the right hand side of the frame, or is it the oval-ing of the balls up top?  Will this happen all the time when shooting wide open or just in certain circumstances?  Is this a common phenomenon for wide aperture primes?  I've honestly never heard this discussed before!

- A

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2017, 01:12:42 AM »
I am keeping my Canon 85mm f/1.2L II.  As Brian says:  "While the f/1.2 aperture can create a slightly stronger background blur (it creates a look no other lens can provide)".  I am sticking with that. Sometimes "sharper is not better"....Not that the new lens is all that much sharper. Also, I consider my kit. I have the 24-70mm f/2.8L II, the 80-200mm f/2.8L IS II, and also, yum...the Sigma 135mm f/1.8 ART lens. (I have the 10mm f/2.8L IS Macro, too....I also have a 5D IV and that allows me to crank up the ISO a bit, if needed.
...so with all the back-up, I am just going to keep this little L-grenade because I just LOVE the imagery that I can create with it, even though it does not have IS, and fast AF.  I just won't part with mine...but I do not shoot for a living. I just shoot for joy now....and sometimes, less is more!  ;D
...but I get it that a lot of people will want this new lens instead.

He also says:
"My strong advice is, for most people, to get the Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM Lens over the f/1.2L II. I also recommend upgrading if that is your option."
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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2017, 02:31:45 AM »
Having had the f1.2 at least 5-6 times and long periods since it came out I’m so ridiculously glad I went for the 85 IS.
If you don’t shoot a lot wide open and use it for portraits in a studio type setting where nothing really moves and I already had the 1.2, then perhaps, but I think I would have rather used a 70-200 at that point. But for everything else the quality wide open is much better with the 1.4, the massive purple fringing I got with the 1.2 and very soft wide open performance would making a compelling argument in itself. But add that incredible AF, and I’m much happier about the AF then Bryan seems to be. Comparing outer points for tracking the difference is very clear against the 1.2. It’s not that small adjustments back and forth, it just locks and stays there.

“I can bump my iso a little” well, the new bodies are very good, but being able to shoot at 800 instead of 12800 is a BIG big difference. Or like the other day I tried shooting in really dark surroundings with f1.4, 1/8s iso 6400 and that would have need 102K iso, and we all know what that looks like ::)

And already I’ve had much use for the weather sealing, really horrible weather is a nice opportunity for some cool shots. Add all this together and the 85 IS can be used for a lot of things the 1.2 simply can’t. And with much better IQ, it was a very easy sell to me, lol.

I think most people who has actually used both would give the 85 IS a very clear victory.
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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2017, 03:01:17 AM »
Are you saying the mirror box is... narrower in physical width than the opening in the lens blades at time of exposure?

The mirror box is a bit larger than the image circle (43mm) and a bit smaller than the mount throat diameter (54mm), so call it ~50mm (looking into the mount, the outer box is almost as large as the throat, but the mirror and mechanisms take up some additional space).  85mm f/1.4 has an aperture diameter of ~60mm.  So yes...the mirror box is smaller than the physical aperture of the lens.  You can also see how stopping down will eliminate the clipping at some point.


See sample shot here from another thread (first one with the Christmas tree):
www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=33869.msg696463#msg696463

Is the mirror box effect the blunting of the bokeh balls on the right hand side of the frame, or is it the oval-ing of the balls up top?  Will this happen all the time when shooting wide open or just in certain circumstances?  Is this a common phenomenon for wide aperture primes?  I've honestly never heard this discussed before!

Two different phenomena.  The mirror box is causing the clipping off the bokeh balls, as acefibble perfectly explained.  The oval shape (usually called ‘cats-eye’ bokeh) is analagous to optical vignetting – occurs mainly at the periphery of the image circle and the shape is exaggerated as the light gets more off axis.  Position of the light source in the frame also affects it.  An easy way to conceptualize it is to look at an unmounted wide aperture lens wide open compared to one stopped down (a manual lens, or unmount the lens with DoF Preview activated) straight on vs. at an oblique angle, where the ‘cats-eye’ shape becomes evident



B&H has a nice article on bokeh and the underlying optical consideration behind some of the effects:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/photography/tips-and-solutions/understanding-bokeh
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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2017, 03:11:57 AM »
I am keeping my Canon 85mm f/1.2L II.  As Brian says:  "While the f/1.2 aperture can create a slightly stronger background blur (it creates a look no other lens can provide)".  I am sticking with that. Sometimes "sharper is not better"....Not that the new lens is all that much sharper. Also, I consider my kit. I have the 24-70mm f/2.8L II, the 80-200mm f/2.8L IS II, and also, yum...the Sigma 135mm f/1.8 ART lens. (I have the 10mm f/2.8L IS Macro, too....I also have a 5D IV and that allows me to crank up the ISO a bit, if needed.
...so with all the back-up, I am just going to keep this little L-grenade because I just LOVE the imagery that I can create with it, even though it does not have IS, and fast AF.  I just won't part with mine...but I do not shoot for a living. I just shoot for joy now....and sometimes, less is more!  ;D
...but I get it that a lot of people will want this new lens instead.

He also says:
"My strong advice is, for most people, to get the Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM Lens over the f/1.2L II. I also recommend upgrading if that is your option."

Oh no - I had just persuaded myself that I do not need the F1.4 IS and I would just keep my F1.2 ii. Would there be any reason to keep the F1.2 and use both lenses? Although they are the same focal length they seem to be very different lenses in other respects.
Still, here in blighty we have to wait until mid December before the lens will be available and I assume that the first batch to arrive will all go to people who have pre-ordered, so I have until after Christmas to weigh up all the options.

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2017, 03:11:57 AM »

Viggo

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2017, 03:34:08 AM »










Beeen wondering about that from time to time and then along comes Neuro with this image and I swear there was an actual light bulb above my head, lol, thanks!
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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2017, 05:56:28 AM »
OMG It looks sharper than the Otus 85mm.. :o
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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2017, 05:56:28 AM »