December 11, 2017, 12:54:13 AM

Author Topic: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP  (Read 7063 times)

neuroanatomist

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2017, 06:42:10 AM »
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.

I can’t see a reason to have both, personally.  Accordingly, my 85/1.2L II has been sold and an 85/1.4L IS is on its way to me (althouth package tracking suggests that UPS put it on the wrong truck, as it went from Boston to the next state over instead to the destination, it’s academic at this point since I’m on the other side of the Atlantic now, and no doubt UPS will have it sorted and delivered before I return home). 

I’m with Bryan on this – the image rendering of the 85/1.4 is quite similar to the 85/1.2, and I’m perfectly willing to give up the 1/2-stop of aperture in favor of IS, faster AF, weather sealing, and a bit more off-center sharpness.
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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2017, 06:42:10 AM »

infared

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2017, 06:46:27 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 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.

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."

Yeah ethanz...and I ALSO said: "..but I get it that a lot of people will want this new lens, instead".
My lens is the right choice for "me". I clearly stated why. I value Brian's opinion, but I make the decisions for "my" photography, Brian doesn't.  (..but he does make some money if you click and buy from his website). :-X
All that being said, this new Canon 85mm is a great lens, whether I buy it, or not.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2017, 02:04:45 PM by infared »
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infared

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2017, 07:09:00 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

That graphic is interesting and helpful in understanding the bokeh effects at the edges! Thanks.
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Etienne

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2017, 08:34:25 AM »
Canon is knocking out some truly great lenses. These new Canon lenses make a strong case for buying the 5D4. They are expensive but still within reach to many mortals. I wish they'd hurry along with a 50 f/1.4L IS !

Just check out this kit option: 5D4, 16-35 f/4L IS, 35 f/1.4L, 85 f/1.4L IS

You can cover a lot of bases with that relatively modest kit, and produce stunning results.
Shame about the poor 4K implementation and lack of video tools on the 5D4 (and lack of swivel screen :(   )

LSXPhotog

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2017, 08:53:48 AM »
I've now completed two full portrait sessions with this lens and I'm still very impressed. I'm a former Sigma 85mm Art lens owner and my choice to move to the Canon was exclusively based on the size, weight, image stabilization, and auto focus - all areas I knew the lens would improve over the Sigma.

This lens is certainly not without it's flaws, but that doesn't take away from the character of the lens or its ability to render incredibly beautiful images. So far, the best of all has been the autofocus! It's truly dead-on reliable and very capable of tracking subjects - including erratic children!

Axial CA could be controlled better and "mirror box clipping" would have been nice to avoid. But this is a killer optic. I really don't personally feel that the images captured by the 85mm f/1.2II and the "unique look" are worth the lack of weather sealing, garbage autofocus, massive amounts of purple fringing, etc.

VERY happy with the 1.4L.

- Kevin

« Last Edit: November 28, 2017, 08:59:38 AM by LSXPhotog »
- Kevin
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hne

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2017, 10:41:16 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

The cat-eye shape is physical vignetting from the front lens (most probably) being too small to make the entire aperture visible at all imaged angles.

The straight cuts in the bokeh balls are from the mirror box doing the same from the sensor side.

On the 50/1.0L you additionally get an image of the lens contacts, as those are glued (iirc) to the rear element.
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mjg79

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2017, 10:45:16 AM »
Interesting to read other thoughts on this new lens. I think Canon was probably quite wise to keep the 1.2L II in production alongside the 1.4 IS L as they now offer in the 1.2 the best portrait lens you can buy and in the 1.4 a wonderful "all rounder" that will also appeal to sports photographers and photo journalists.

I think the question will really come down to what you want from a fast 85? Their use does tend to be for portraits which is probably why they keep the 1.2 going. If you use it purely for portraits then many of the advantages of the new lens don't have much impact and the old lens may yet still have a nicer rendering. However if you use an 85 as a sort of general purpose "longer 50" especially for things like sports then the new lens is likely to prove far more useful.

Sharpness doesn't really make much difference in my view. I was pleasantly surprised how well the 1.2L II held up on the 5DS at f/1.2, certainly more than sharp enough for portrait work. I would love to see if anyone who has both lenses can do some head to head tests on things other than sharpness. I am curious how characteristics like the fall off in focus and bokeh rendering compare. The appeal of 1.2L II was always far more than just the big aperture, it has a gentle rendering that is visible at 1.4 or 1.8 too, lovely colors without being too contrasty while still retaining fine details that makes it so good for portraits and justifiably called a legendary lens that pulls people into the Canon system. I think it's the closest Canon has come to matching the rendering of the Nikon Noct.

One thing is abundantly clear from the many great lenses of the last few years - Canon is working on the assumption that the current EF mount will be around for a good number of years yet. Whatever mirrorless change might be coming one day, I simply don't believe Canon would be releasing lenses like this if they were planning to bring a new full frame mount in the next 2 or 3 years.

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2017, 10:45:16 AM »

ahsanford

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2017, 10:45:54 AM »
Thanks for the mirror box clarification, team.  Perfectly out of focus clear to me now.   :)

- A

FramerMCB

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2017, 10:48:51 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 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...

For real-world shooting results, I would look to Dustin Abbott. I am positive that he will have a review of this lens and probably sooner than later.
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mb66energy

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #24 on: November 28, 2017, 10:57:35 AM »
Seems to be a great package for real photography - not so for shooting ISO charts.

I will stay with my EF 100 2.0 - the guys portrait lens at the moment because I do
not need that lens too often and if, it delivers (except IS, weather sealing). And it
is one of the if not the most compact high aperture AF lens with very good IQ maybe of all
brands.

But if I would need a high aperture portrait etc. lens in the short tele range the EF 1.4 85
would be THE solution for me.
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ahsanford

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #25 on: November 28, 2017, 11:07:27 AM »
So, do portraiture folks jump in on the 85 f/1.4L IS now or wait for an upcoming new 135 f/2L IS?

I imagine wedding/event folks' money has already been spent (interiors would be cramped at 135), but general portraiture folks might prefer the 135, right?

(I can make this a new thread if folks want -- don't want to hijack the review discussion.)

- A

infared

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #26 on: November 28, 2017, 11:22:33 AM »
Interesting to read other thoughts on this new lens. I think Canon was probably quite wise to keep the 1.2L II in production alongside the 1.4 IS L as they now offer in the 1.2 the best portrait lens you can buy and in the 1.4 a wonderful "all rounder" that will also appeal to sports photographers and photo journalists.

I think the question will really come down to what you want from a fast 85? Their use does tend to be for portraits which is probably why they keep the 1.2 going. If you use it purely for portraits then many of the advantages of the new lens don't have much impact and the old lens may yet still have a nicer rendering. However if you use an 85 as a sort of general purpose "longer 50" especially for things like sports then the new lens is likely to prove far more useful.

Sharpness doesn't really make much difference in my view. I was pleasantly surprised how well the 1.2L II held up on the 5DS at f/1.2, certainly more than sharp enough for portrait work. I would love to see if anyone who has both lenses can do some head to head tests on things other than sharpness. I am curious how characteristics like the fall off in focus and bokeh rendering compare. The appeal of 1.2L II was always far more than just the big aperture, it has a gentle rendering that is visible at 1.4 or 1.8 too, lovely colors without being too contrasty while still retaining fine details that makes it so good for portraits and justifiably called a legendary lens that pulls people into the Canon system. I think it's the closest Canon has come to matching the rendering of the Nikon Noct.

One thing is abundantly clear from the many great lenses of the last few years - Canon is working on the assumption that the current EF mount will be around for a good number of years yet. Whatever mirrorless change might be coming one day, I simply don't believe Canon would be releasing lenses like this if they were planning to bring a new full frame mount in the next 2 or 3 years.

I feel the same way about everything that you said!
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #27 on: November 28, 2017, 11:22:51 AM »
The appeal of 1.2L II was always far more than just the big aperture, it has a gentle rendering that is visible at 1.4 or 1.8 too,

Very true.  Quite some time back, I compared the 85/1.2L II with the 85/1.8, and at f/1.8 the 85L is clearly superior.

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #27 on: November 28, 2017, 11:22:51 AM »

Eldar

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #28 on: November 28, 2017, 11:26:49 AM »
So, do portraiture folks jump in on the 85 f/1.4L IS now or wait for an upcoming new 135 f/2L IS?

I imagine wedding/event folks' money has already been spent (interiors would be cramped at 135), but general portraiture folks might prefer the 135, right?

(I can make this a new thread if folks want -- don't want to hijack the review discussion.)

- A
I think this is an interesting topic. In my view, 85 and 135 are The two portrait focal lengths. I prefer the 135 outdoors, where I usually have more space and 85 indoors. Since I went, more or less, all in with Hasselblad and later on Leica (for travel), I have been a bit reluctant (and broke) to invest in more Canon gear. However, this 85mm is extremely tempting .... which means my weak character will collapse within short.

I have been rather vocal about my scepticism and experiences with Sigma´s Art lenses. Despite this, I still have the 135/1.8. It is unreliable, but the results, when AF hits, are very good, so I have kept it. However, a Canon L-series 135/2.0, with IS and Canon´s own AF ... means my weak character ...  and the Sigma is gone ::)
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ethanz

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #29 on: November 28, 2017, 11:35:51 AM »
Since I went, more or less, all in with Hasselblad and later on Leica (for travel),

Is that why I've lately seen a lot of your instagram posts be made with Leica instead of Canon? Don't tell me you are straying from the fold!
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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #29 on: November 28, 2017, 11:35:51 AM »