December 16, 2017, 06:00:29 AM

Author Topic: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP  (Read 7498 times)

ahsanford

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #30 on: November 28, 2017, 12:21:00 PM »
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.

Sure, there are some photojournos and indoor sports folks (who can't get enough light/speed with a 70-200 2.8 ) that would love this lens.  Also, some landscapers love a good spread of FL, and this is another option for them.

But I still contend an 85 prime is overwhelmingly for shooting faces in the jillion ways one can -- portraiture, weddings, events, candids, street, etc.  So in that, I see a huge overlap in applications between the two 85Ls.

If I'm in the market today for an 85, I'd get the new one in a hot minute.  I've yet to see a crushing head to head of the f/1.2 vs. the f/1.4L IS that would lead me to believe the the light falloff / rendering /  'magic' was that much better, and the new lens is sealed + IS + the AF is both much faster and no longer FBW.  All boxes tick over to getting the new one unless the reviewers find some achilles heel in this lens (Poor MFD? Focus shift? AF problems with older bodies?)

But if I owned the 85 f/1.2L II already,
I'd only be considering the new 85 if AF or IS are vital for what I shoot, or if the lack of those features has cost me missed moments/shots in the past.  Given that I'm just an enthusiast, I'd probably just sit on what I already own at that point, but others may feel differently.

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #30 on: November 28, 2017, 12:21:00 PM »

stevelee

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #31 on: November 28, 2017, 12:46:15 PM »
Maybe I'm too doctrinaire, or maybe I don't photograph people with big noses, so this is probably just me. I don't see the appeal of 135mm for portraits. People start looking too flat at that point for me. In fact it is a focal length that I don't feel any need for in my photography. Back in my film days, way back when zooms were really crappy, I found that if I carried a 28, an 85, and a 200 with me, I didn't feel like I needed anything else under normal circumstances. These days I'm glad I have zooms that go to 24mm or equivalent. Traveling with my G7X II, I don't particularly miss lengths over the 100mm equivalent. The S120 it replaced went to 120, but the extra resolution means I can crop the G7X II shots to that equivalent, and still have more pixels. The 85mm f/1.8 was probably my favorite lens in that era. In the comparison pictures above, I like the shots made at 1.8 with both lenses better than the one shot at f/1.2. Money for an 85mm prime is somewhere down the road for me, after wide and long zooms. For now, I think my 100mm f/2.8 macro can take on that duty, and the 24-105mm zoom can cover anything that I don't need more open than f/5.6. I have been pleasantly surprised by that lens so far, even though it is not the L version. (I realize each has its pros and cons, and my choice was not made largely over price.)

If I get around to replacing my less-than-stellar 75-300mm zoom, it could be interesting to see what lengths I shoot with the new zoom most often. Maybe I'll find that with a better lens, I'll use the 135ish range more often than I think I will.

ahsanford

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #32 on: November 28, 2017, 12:52:51 PM »
Maybe I'm too doctrinaire, or maybe I don't photograph people with big noses, so this is probably just me. I don't see the appeal of 135mm for portraits.

135 is tough indoors and (let's face it) the 70-200 f/2.8L IS II is so versatile and so good optically that few folks end up using their 135Ls these days.  I've always been intrigued with it but never bought a 135L.

But a new 135 prime that splits the atom optically might change that.  It needs to be a stop quicker than a 70-200 and a lot better optically for folks to want to use it. 

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CanonFanBoy

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #33 on: November 28, 2017, 01:13:00 PM »
Canon is going to get my money, eventually, for this new lens.

About the 135 f/2L: I just shot with it this morning and I am always extremely impressed with the sharpness and the quick focus of this lens. The colors render beautifully. Truly a real bargain and a wonderful piece of glass. It really is a very, very, very good lens. At least my copy is. I've posted this photo before and it has a technical problem. The close eye is out of focus. BUT, look at the iris of her furthest eye. Just love this lens.

The 70-200 f/2.8L IS II is also great, but f/2 gives a little extra umph on the bokeh front.

Diffused Streaklight 360ws in a diffused 72" umbrella for the lighting. So two diffusers. My Lightroom and Photoshop skills suck, so hardly anything done to this. 135 f/2L is wonderful. CA can be a problem and it is evident in this photo. I don't know how to remove it, but most of you do.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2017, 01:22:19 PM by CanonFanBoy »
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drjlo

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #34 on: November 28, 2017, 01:32:04 PM »

But if I owned the 85 f/1.2L II already, [/i]I'd only be considering the new 85 if AF or IS are vital for what I shoot, or if the lack of those features has cost me missed moments/shots in the past.

My thoughts exactly.  I will add that pretty much any decent portrait lens can make breathtaking photos of children and young people.  When we shoot older folk is when my 85L II comes into its own IMO, with its less than laser-sharp skin rendering at f/1.2-f/1.4 range doing wonders for model satisfaction, yet it is still sharp and colorful enough for classy portraiture with that special dreamy bokeh.  As a bonus, older folk don't move around erratically like children, an easy match for 85L AF speed  ;D

PureClassA

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #35 on: November 28, 2017, 02:56:40 PM »
As I've mentioned on here many times before, I am a huge fan of the 135L f2 and use it more (by far) than every other lens for portrait work combined.  That said, I can't find any real world difference between shooting that lens at f2 and the 85L at f1.2 when framing each option to to match.  The bokeh is (to me) pretty much indiscernible from one another since 1.2 at 85mm and 2 at 135mm yields almost the same depth of field at MFD.  Both are equally excellent primes.  The wider focal length makes the 85 a bit more versatile in tighter spaces, but the price tag currently of the 135L makes it (my opinion) the absolute highest value for money L lens (perhaps ANY lens) Canon makes.

I want the 85L IS.  I dont own the 85L Non-IS, but have shot it a few times to compare.  Obviously kept my 135 instead.  But the IS and faster AF makes this new one VERY appealing, especially considering the $1599 price.

Ahsanford & Eldar -- You've nailed my dilemma.  I really want a portrait focal length (looking to sell my 85 f1.8) that has IS.  I adore my 135 and would never part with it, and seeing as how it's an unknown right now exactly what the new 135 will look like, the new 85 would be a big addition to my bag because I've been wanting a great IS prime to use with my 5DSR.  You can't always tripod/monopod stabilize to perfection.   (And NO, the 70-200 IS doesn't count lol.  It's great, but the 135 prime for portrait work is much better)
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mjg79

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #36 on: November 28, 2017, 03:30:26 PM »
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.



That's a really good and clear example of how one can't assume that two lenses of the same focal length, even when set at the same aperture, will render images in the same way. When I first got my 1.2L II I was so excited that I shot it at f/1.2 pretty much all the time. However in time I realised that isn't always the best approach and that even when stopped down it still has that lovely rendering.

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #36 on: November 28, 2017, 03:30:26 PM »

Eldar

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #37 on: November 28, 2017, 03:48:25 PM »
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!
He he ... No, I have not left the fold. I am just trying out something different. I have for some time, with some very good help, tried to develop my photography into something more than opportunistic shooting of things I come across. Raise the artistic bar if you will. So I have started on some rather specific projects and I must admit that this has changed my approach a bit. (you have seen little of that on instagram  though).

I have not used medium format since the early 90ties (film) and the H6D-100c was the first digital medium format with a sensor close to the 6x6 format in size. It is for slow and thought through photography. I have a project where I will print 42 images in 120x120 cm2 (4 feetx4 feet) sizes, where the Hasselblad is excellent. However, it is frightfully expensive, so it took some time to pull the plug. However, I thoroughly enjoy it and I am very happy I did it.

The Leica is also a revisit to my younger years, when I used the M6 a bit. I have tried out the M9 and the M (240), but did not really connect with them. However, with the M10 they made enough subtle changes to make it work. Form factor, size of the viewer and a magnificent sensor being the most important. I travel a lot and the M10 with 21/2.8, 35/1.4, 50/2 and 75/2 lenses is a very compact package (these are the ones you have seen on instagram). Considering the quality and size of the 35/1.4 and the magnificent APO50 f/2.0 Summicron, you wonder why other full frame lenses are so big. And, photographing with a rangefinder and fixed focal lengths does something to the way you take pictures. For some reason, street photography becomes a lot easier with a Leica. DonĀ“t ask me why.

Since I got the Hasselblad and, later on, the Leica, I have hardly used my Canon gear for anything but birds and wildlife. I still have all my L-glass, but I sold all the Zeiss lenses. I will still use Canon for any type of event, action and any type of photography where speed and AF is vital, such as birds and wildlife, but I believe the Hasselblad and Leica are in my kit to stay, for all the slow photography I do.
More equipment than skills, but everything is used :)
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CanonFanBoy

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #38 on: November 28, 2017, 04:12:05 PM »
As I've mentioned on here many times before, I am a huge fan of the 135L f2 and use it more (by far) than every other lens for portrait work combined.  That said, I can't find any real world difference between shooting that lens at f2 and the 85L at f1.2 when framing each option to to match.  The bokeh is (to me) pretty much indiscernible from one another since 1.2 at 85mm and 2 at 135mm yields almost the same depth of field at MFD.  Both are equally excellent primes.  The wider focal length makes the 85 a bit more versatile in tighter spaces, but the price tag currently of the 135L makes it (my opinion) the absolute highest value for money L lens (perhaps ANY lens) Canon makes.

I want the 85L IS.  I dont own the 85L Non-IS, but have shot it a few times to compare.  Obviously kept my 135 instead.  But the IS and faster AF makes this new one VERY appealing, especially considering the $1599 price.

Ahsanford & Eldar -- You've nailed my dilemma.  I really want a portrait focal length (looking to sell my 85 f1.8) that has IS.  I adore my 135 and would never part with it, and seeing as how it's an unknown right now exactly what the new 135 will look like, the new 85 would be a big addition to my bag because I've been wanting a great IS prime to use with my 5DSR.  You can't always tripod/monopod stabilize to perfection.   (And NO, the 70-200 IS doesn't count lol.  It's great, but the 135 prime for portrait work is much better)

Yup. I agree completely as to the difference between the 70-200 vs the 135. The 135 is so nice. That's the only thing for me. Would it even be worth getting the 85? I guess that for people with big noses use the 135 and the 85 for smaller features?

Even if I don't necessarily need the new 85, I still want it. :) At the same time I will never get rid of my old 135. Nothing in my bag comes close to it for portraits. Not to my eye.
5D Mark III, Canon A-1, Voigtlander Vito, Tamron SP 15-30 f/2.8 Di VC, 24-70 F/2.8L II, 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, 35 f/1.4L II, 135 f/2L, Helios 58 f/2 (x3), Canon FD 50 f/1.8, 600EX-RT (x7), Streaklight 360ws. Jumping ship to SoNikon any day now.

mb66energy

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #39 on: November 29, 2017, 09:21:44 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.



Thanks for posting, but this is a strange result for me:
I always thought that the SAME SIZE of circles of confusion in out of focus distances is determined by the effective aperture but there are different DIFFERENT STRUCTURAL properties of the CoCs.  But your photos tell a different story: Same FL, same aperture but DIFFERENT SIZE ... (If one would compare same T-stops with different optics I would understand the results)
Just apodization cannot change the SIZE but the STRUCTURE ...

Some interesting point for further research - I will do it perhaps later with 3 different 100mm lenses ...
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lightthief

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #40 on: November 29, 2017, 12:01:49 PM »
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.



Thanks for posting, but this is a strange result for me:
I always thought that the SAME SIZE of circles of confusion in out of focus distances is determined by the effective aperture but there are different DIFFERENT STRUCTURAL properties of the CoCs.  But your photos tell a different story: Same FL, same aperture but DIFFERENT SIZE ... (If one would compare same T-stops with different optics I would understand the results)
Just apodization cannot change the SIZE but the STRUCTURE ...

Some interesting point for further research - I will do it perhaps later with 3 different 100mm lenses ...
Maybe the focal lenghts of the two leses are not the same. Don't trust the catalog values.
An other reasen could be the effect "focus breathing". The focal lenght is defined for focusing to a distant point. At mfd, some lenses seems to be shorter...
At least that is how i understood it.
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stevelee

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #41 on: November 29, 2017, 01:09:29 PM »
Even if the focal length is exactly the same, I would still expect some variation in the appearance of out of focus elements just by the fact that each lens has different elements, even if the overall design is similar. I would expect different components to affect the image in different ways. In focus bits should come together similarly, but out of focus points would exhibit more variation.

That may not have anything to do with anything, but it seems a reasonable expectation on my part.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #42 on: November 29, 2017, 01:20:36 PM »
An other reasen could be the effect "focus breathing". The focal lenght is defined for focusing to a distant point. At mfd, some lenses seems to be shorter...
At least that is how i understood it.

That seems a likely explanation.  The lenses were focused on the near water lily, less than 2 m away.
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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #42 on: November 29, 2017, 01:20:36 PM »

mb66energy

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #43 on: November 29, 2017, 02:50:17 PM »
An other reasen could be the effect "focus breathing". The focal lenght is defined for focusing to a distant point. At mfd, some lenses seems to be shorter...
At least that is how i understood it.

That seems a likely explanation.  The lenses were focused on the near water lily, less than 2 m away.

They have obviously different focal lengths: The 1.8 85mm has a slightly longer FL because it has slightly less field of view - it is much more confusing that the out of focus CoCs are smaller at the same f-stop ...
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midluk

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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #44 on: November 30, 2017, 03:10:53 AM »
An other reasen could be the effect "focus breathing". The focal lenght is defined for focusing to a distant point. At mfd, some lenses seems to be shorter...
At least that is how i understood it.

That seems a likely explanation.  The lenses were focused on the near water lily, less than 2 m away.

They have obviously different focal lengths: The 1.8 85mm has a slightly longer FL because it has slightly less field of view - it is much more confusing that the out of focus CoCs are smaller at the same f-stop ...
Assuming the f-stops are correct for infinity focus (even that is likely not always the case; perhaps it is actually f/1.95 in this case and canon rounded that down to f/1.8) and the absolute aperture does not change with focusing, the f-stop will also change with a change of the focal length.
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Re: Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM by TDP
« Reply #44 on: November 30, 2017, 03:10:53 AM »