June 23, 2018, 12:46:26 AM

Author Topic: Review: Canon 85mm f/1.4L IS. Is it a Better Option Over the EF 85mm f/1.2L II?  (Read 5339 times)

stevelee

  • EOS 7D Mark II
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  • Posts: 562
If I do any more self-portraits with the macro, I will either borrow some nylon stocking material and put a couple layers over the lens or smear petroleum jelly on a UV filter, like we did before Photoshop.

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ahsanford

  • Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS
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  • USM > STM
If I do any more self-portraits with the macro, I will either borrow some nylon stocking material and put a couple layers over the lens or smear petroleum jelly on a UV filter, like we did before Photoshop.

This (above) is why I don't do portraiture.  It's good advice -- I just don't have the patience or desire to do this type of photography correctly.

Lazy enthusiast-level tip in using the 100L for single subject portraits:  I just pump the brakes on global sharpening in post. I know that won't do anything for light falloff or overall rendering, but it certainly downplays wrinkles.   ;D

- A

michi

  • EOS M5
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  • Posts: 239
That review was a lot of talk and not much information.  Anyway, I have this lens and love it.  Every portrait I shoot with it is magical.  I bet in real life you couldn't tell the difference if a portrait was taken with a 1.2 or the 1.4 version.
What surprises me is that he doesn't mention the pretty horrific chromatic aberration (red and purple) which this lens exhibits wide open.  You can even see it in the hair of the statue on his samples in the video.  I find it a little annoying considering it's not a zoom and costs $1550...
All in all, I would buy it again, no doubt.  If a version II came out some day with reduced chromatic aberration, I would probably sell my I and buy a II.

ahsanford

  • Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS
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What surprises me is that he doesn't mention the pretty horrific chromatic aberration (red and purple) which this lens exhibits wide open.  You can even see it in the hair of the statue on his samples in the video.  I find it a little annoying considering it's not a zoom and costs $1550...

I seem to recall that max aperture is bigger culprit here than if it's a prime or zoom.  Just about every large aperture lens demonstrates this on the wide-open end.  I've only seen sickeningly pricey primes like the Zeiss Otus lenses banish it completely.

And can't you just defeat this in post?  I recognize that it depends on what you are shooting, but the ACR/LR green/purple fringing sliders work like a charm for me.

- A

stevelee

  • EOS 7D Mark II
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  • Posts: 562
Lazy enthusiast-level tip in using the 100L for single subject portraits:  I just pump the brakes on global sharpening in post. I know that won't do anything for light falloff or overall rendering, but it certainly downplays wrinkles.   ;D

- A

I have the Noël version of the 100mm macro. If the L version is any sharper, I don't think I could deal with it, at least for portraits.

In reality, if I ever need a "recent" picture of me again, I will just use that one. Barring serious illness, etc., my appearance is not likely to change that much in the next ten years.

And I don't often shoot portraits as such. I'll take pictures of people incidentally to something else, much like street photography. So while I was rather partial to the 85mm lens I used with my FT-QL, I don't have any real motivation to get a prime in that size. The 24-105mm STM has exceeded my expectations in its performance and usefulness, so it can cover that range. My next lens purchase almost for sure will be the 16-35mm f/4, maybe for my birthday in October. I need to pay the credit card bill for the 100-400mm lens before I think too much ahead.

Durf

  • EOS Rebel T7i
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  • Posts: 123
    • Durf's Journal - Photography Art
I think both these Canon 85's are over-priced....the only way I could personally justify paying this high price for either of these lenses is if I actually made money doing portrait photography on a regular basis.

I do love the 85mm focal range though and have the Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 which is an awesome lens in my opinion, and a great alternative to Canons f/1.2 and 1.4 85mm lenses. (and is a lot cheaper). Yes it's just a 1.8 but this Tamron 85 is surprisingly sharp at f/1.8 and with it's VC can get sharp images at crazy slow shutter speeds. (and its weather sealed). It's fall off and background blur is beautiful!

I also have an approx. 45yr old S-M-C Takumar 85mm f/1.8 that'll give most modern 85mm's a good run for their money when it comes to image quality!!!!!
6D2 | 80D | T6i | 16-35mm f/4L | 50mm f/1.8 STM | Tamron SP 45mm & 85mm f/1.8  | 100mm f2.8L Macro | 70-300mm IS USM ii | Sigma 150-600mm | 
Pentax K1000 | Vintage Glass: Takumar-Pentax-Helios |
www.DurfsJournal.com

daaningrid

  • EOS Rebel 300D
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FRO KNOWS PHOTOOOOOO.

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Larsskv

  • EOS 7D Mark II
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I own the 85 L II and the 85 L f1.4. I do prefer the overall look of the images I get from the 85LII, but not by very much. The 85L f1.4 takes fantastic looking images as well. Further, the 85 L f1.4 is the better lens in every measurable way. It is absolutely great. I don’t find it’s chromatic aberration to be a problem at all, but admit that you occasionally can get a little bit of it. Not a big deal to me.

For those on a budget, I can definitely recommend going for the 100L f2.8 IS, over the 85L lenses. It has much of the qualities that I highly appreciate in the 85L II, in that it has great background separation, and makes subjects stand out from the background in a “3D” way. Apart from the aperture and the difference in bokeh possibilities, I find that the biggest difference between the two 85 lenses, and the 100L, is that the 100L has more contrast, arguably too much for portrait shoots (unless the model has very nice skin...)

sanj

  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *********
  • Posts: 3044
If I do any more self-portraits with the macro, I will either borrow some nylon stocking material and put a couple layers over the lens or smear petroleum jelly on a UV filter, like we did before Photoshop.

This (above) is why I don't do portraiture.  It's good advice -- I just don't have the patience or desire to do this type of photography correctly.

Lazy enthusiast-level tip in using the 100L for single subject portraits:  I just pump the brakes on global sharpening in post. I know that won't do anything for light falloff or overall rendering, but it certainly downplays wrinkles.   ;D

- A

Terrible advice unless aiming for a dated look.

sanj

  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II
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  • Posts: 3044
And what I should have added to my previous post is that the real choice between the two should be which one you like better for the pictures it makes, rather than small numbers on one's calculator. Up to a point, a little softness in a portrait lens is often considered a feature, not a bug.

That's why a macro is a great short tele for kids running around, but for portraiture it's almost too clinical, bracingly crisp -- and you may not want that look.

Yes, this fact is why folks love the 50L and 85 f/1.2L II for portraits.  Sharpness isn't everything depending on what you shoot.

- A

I use 85mm for shots other than portraits e.g. street. So sharpness matters. To me.

Bernd FMC

  • EOS Rebel SL2
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  • Posts: 85
I have also an 85 1.4 IS for about two Weeks ( some Weeks ago first Try an Test but this Copy of the 85 IS was decentrated and was replaced ) - and have to send my 5D4 within my Glass to the CPS to fix a Problem with different AF Back/Frontfocusses depending witch AF-Point was used.
Got my Equipment back yesterday - and Problem seems to be solved !

The 85 IS has Chromatic Abberations - but real compared to the 100L Macro at same Appertures the two Lenses have nearly same Amount of CA´s - i have compared this two Lenses ( also 135 f2L )  Side by Side with provocated CA Pictures ( Text in an Angle of 45° ) .

At f1.4 the Amount of CAs ist often visible - also in "normal" Pictures - sometimes it should be corrected in Post.

But the 85 IS delivers a beauty Kind of Rendering and sharp Results - so an recommended Lens from my Point of view .

The 100L Macro is an versatile Lens - if you don´t need 1.4 i also recommended the 100L as an Portrait Lens - but the 85 IS brings nicer Results.

Long Time Practice will give us more Pictures / Thoughts  :D

I will use the Pair of 35 L II and 85 IS as my "Walkaround" setup.

Sorry for my poor English  ::)

Greetings from sunny Northgermany - not often that much sunny in this Part of our Planet  ;D

Bernd
EOS 5D Mark IV - 80D - M5 EF-M 11-22 & 18-150 STM EF-S 18-55 STM - EF 50 f1.4 | EF-L 11-24 f4 16-35 f4 IS 24-70 f2.8 II 35 f1.4 II 85 f1.4 IS 100 f2.8 IS Macro 135 f2 70-200 f4 IS  100-400 f4.5-5.6  IS II & 4x600EX-RT | 1x430EX-RT | ST-E3-RT | Ext. 1.4x-III

walkietv

  • Canonflex
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  • Posts: 1
After having read your post I remembered my dust-collecting Takumars and took them for a quick&dirty indoor test against the Canon 1.8 and the newly acquired 1.4 L IS.
Asked my wife to stand still a few minutes then showed her the results without telling her which is which.

Between the Canon 1.8 and the 1.4 it was a very close call, very slightly in favor of the 1.8.
Then showed her the Takumar and she immediately said  "yeah, that's much better, it has a special atmosphere"  ;D
despite looking evidently less sharp (or maybe right because of that?...)

Now, which one to keep, which one to sell, hmm...

I think both these Canon 85's are over-priced....the only way I could personally justify paying this high price for either of these lenses is if I actually made money doing portrait photography on a regular basis.

I do love the 85mm focal range though and have the Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 which is an awesome lens in my opinion, and a great alternative to Canons f/1.2 and 1.4 85mm lenses. (and is a lot cheaper). Yes it's just a 1.8 but this Tamron 85 is surprisingly sharp at f/1.8 and with it's VC can get sharp images at crazy slow shutter speeds. (and its weather sealed). It's fall off and background blur is beautiful!

I also have an approx. 45yr old S-M-C Takumar 85mm f/1.8 that'll give most modern 85mm's a good run for their money when it comes to image quality!!!!!

PS: Hello all, nice to be here. Been a reader for a long time now...

Durf

  • EOS Rebel T7i
  • ****
  • Posts: 123
    • Durf's Journal - Photography Art
After having read your post I remembered my dust-collecting Takumars and took them for a quick&dirty indoor test against the Canon 1.8 and the newly acquired 1.4 L IS.
Asked my wife to stand still a few minutes then showed her the results without telling her which is which.

Between the Canon 1.8 and the 1.4 it was a very close call, very slightly in favor of the 1.8.
Then showed her the Takumar and she immediately said  "yeah, that's much better, it has a special atmosphere"  ;D
despite looking evidently less sharp (or maybe right because of that?...)

Now, which one to keep, which one to sell, hmm...

I think both these Canon 85's are over-priced....the only way I could personally justify paying this high price for either of these lenses is if I actually made money doing portrait photography on a regular basis.

I do love the 85mm focal range though and have the Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 which is an awesome lens in my opinion, and a great alternative to Canons f/1.2 and 1.4 85mm lenses. (and is a lot cheaper). Yes it's just a 1.8 but this Tamron 85 is surprisingly sharp at f/1.8 and with it's VC can get sharp images at crazy slow shutter speeds. (and its weather sealed). It's fall off and background blur is beautiful!

I also have an approx. 45yr old S-M-C Takumar 85mm f/1.8 that'll give most modern 85mm's a good run for their money when it comes to image quality!!!!!

PS: Hello all, nice to be here. Been a reader for a long time now...

Some of these old lenses have a character to them that many modern lenses lack, I have a large collection of vintage glass and enjoy using them. When posting photos I take more often than not most people will like the pics I take with these old lenses over the pics I post taken with my Canon L-Glass! (go figure huh?)

It's an art form more so than high tech ability.....

keep em' all ;)
6D2 | 80D | T6i | 16-35mm f/4L | 50mm f/1.8 STM | Tamron SP 45mm & 85mm f/1.8  | 100mm f2.8L Macro | 70-300mm IS USM ii | Sigma 150-600mm | 
Pentax K1000 | Vintage Glass: Takumar-Pentax-Helios |
www.DurfsJournal.com

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YuengLinger

  • EOS-1D X Mark II
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  • Posts: 1762
I prefer a shot that's in focus with a great lens over a half-dozen just-missed-it shots from a magical lens. 


Exquisite is as exquisite does.


vscd

  • EOS 6D Mark II
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  • Posts: 429
  • 5DC
"The advantages of the new 85mm lens such as IS, faster AF, better built quality, and lighter weight were just too much for me to overlook."

I don't know what could be better in built quality. The 85L 1.2is built like a tank with beautiful haptics.

Apart from that I think the T-stop-difference is maybe larger because of the fewer glass used. I would bet full of half a stop difference... maybe DXO will clear this up.
5DC, 5DM3, 85 1.2L II, 80-200 2.8L, 100 2.8L IS, 14 2.8, 35 1.4, 75-300 IS, 135 1.8, 40STM, 24-85, Helios 44-2, Zeiss Lenses, and real cams like Zenza Bronica ETRSi or Fuji GX680

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