September 01, 2014, 04:07:02 AM

Poll

Which option is the best?

85mm L
6 (37.5%)
85mm EF and 35mm EF
2 (12.5%)
85mm EF and 35mm L
8 (50%)

Total Members Voted: 16

Author Topic: Do I go for the 85mm 1.2 L? Or do I go with this option instead...  (Read 3753 times)

theuserjohnny

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I'm looking to add an 85mm to add to the collection. I have a Mark II, my Dad likes to use it mainly for photography but I mainly use it for video. We have the stupid lens that came w/ the kit (we bought the original Mark I kit) and then we have a 50mm 1.8, 100-400 4.0, and then a Tamron 70mm-300.

I currently use the 50mm 1.8 for most of my shoots but been wanting to upgrade that to either the 1.4 or 1.2 but then decided that I should get other primes first before upgrading the 50.

So based from what I've been reading it seems that I should go with the 85mm EF and then get the 35mm L. I've just heard that the 85mm 1.8 is actually sharper than the 1.2 at 1.8 but also I've heard that if you're going to stop down with the 1.2 I might as well just get the 1.8.

Then again I know nothing of lens so I turned to you guys :)

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neuroanatomist

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Re: Do I go for the 85mm 1.2 L? Or do I go with this option instead...
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2012, 12:45:21 PM »
I've just heard that the 85mm 1.8 is actually sharper than the 1.2 at 1.8 but also I've heard that if you're going to stop down with the 1.2 I might as well just get the 1.8.

At similar apertures, the 85L is sharper in the center but less sharp at the borders, compared to the 85/1.8.  The 85L does have better bokeh, too, at equivalent apertures.  Both lenses suffer from longitudinal CA, but it's definitely worse with the 85/1.8.  The 85L also focuses much more slowly, and has electronic manual focus (turning the focus ring doesn't move gears, it actuates the AF motor to move the elements) - means that camera power is required for the lens to focus.

Bottom line, the 85L is just a magical lens, and delivers great portraits; the 85/1.8 is one of the best values in the Canon lineup.
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bchernicoff

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Re: Do I go for the 85mm 1.2 L? Or do I go with this option instead...
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2012, 01:03:53 PM »
Every time the 85mm f/1.2 L II comes up I encourage people to check out the Sigma 85mm f/1.4

It's less than half the cost, has MUCH faster AF, and is every bit as sharp. I've owned them both and kept the Sigma.
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anssu

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Re: Do I go for the 85mm 1.2 L? Or do I go with this option instead...
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2012, 01:09:37 PM »
I was pondering the exact same question a month ago. I have always been Canon believer and avoided 3rd-party manufacturers lenses like a plague. But something changed my mind and I ended up buying Sigma's 85mm f/1.4. No regrets.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Sigma-85mm-f-1.4-EX-DG-HSM-Lens-Review.aspx
« Last Edit: March 30, 2012, 01:11:57 PM by anssu »

bchernicoff

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Re: Do I go for the 85mm 1.2 L? Or do I go with this option instead...
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2012, 01:17:59 PM »
I have always been Canon believer and avoided 3rd-party manufacturers lenses like a plague.
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Sigma-85mm-f-1.4-EX-DG-HSM-Lens-Review.aspx

For what it's worth, Bryan at the-digital-picture.com always adds the caveat about focusing issues to his Sigma lens reviews. I have had zero problems with my Sigma 85mm. The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 had some focusing issues for me (though it is a very good lens). I point this out in case someone with experience with the 50mm but not the 85mm was to infer similar AF performance.
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bbasiaga

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Re: Do I go for the 85mm 1.2 L? Or do I go with this option instead...
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2012, 03:03:53 PM »
Don't discount the image quality of the Canon  85 1.8 either.  While the abberations and errors can be measured and compared to the 85 1.2L, the 1.8 version still prodcues stellar images.  Is the L version better in some respects - abosolutely and it should be for the additional cost.  But that doesn't mean you won't be happy with the slower lens.

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erwinrm

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Re: Do I go for the 85mm 1.2 L? Or do I go with this option instead...
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2012, 03:22:58 PM »
A lot of video guys love the Rokinon 85mm 1.4.  It's all manual, which I believe video folks prefer anyway.  I use it for portaits and love the images with it.  And for under $300, it's a winner in my book  :)

Check it out:
https://vimeo.com/20616881

Here's where I got mine:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/160720663997?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649
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Re: Do I go for the 85mm 1.2 L? Or do I go with this option instead...
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2012, 03:22:58 PM »

Tim Larsen

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Re: Do I go for the 85mm 1.2 L? Or do I go with this option instead...
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2012, 03:27:03 PM »
My 35L is absolutely my favorite lens.  I had the 85L II but the focus is SO slow.  The 85 1.8 is quick and sharp f2.2+, mine is anyhow.

Chris Burch

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Re: Do I go for the 85mm 1.2 L? Or do I go with this option instead...
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2012, 03:50:15 PM »
Given your set of lenses, I would actually encourage you to wait for the 24-70 f/2.8L II to be released and get that instead.  It should prove to be sharper than any lens you currently own and will be suitable for any application. 

I bought the 85L a few months ago and can confirm that it is an amazingly sharp lens -- I'm highly skeptical that the 85 1.8 is sharper at any aperture.  I do own an 85 1.8 and can confirm that it's a good and quite sharp lens, though.  I won't deny wondering if moving up the the L version was worth it.  When the L version locks focus, the level of details is remarkable and it easily exceeds any other lens I own.  Regardless, you should think about what is going to give you the biggest bang for your buck.  For you, it may be a much wiser investment to go with the non-L version.  Consider how often you would use either lens to decide if it's really worth paying the premium for the 85L.  Either way, I think you would still be better off with a top quality mid-range zoom.

The only Sigma lens I currently own is a 50 f/1.4.  It's horribly soft a anything below 2.8 to the point that I will probably never use it.  As a result, I'll be sticking with Canon L lenses from now on.
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StanFoxworthy

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Re: Do I go for the 85mm 1.2 L? Or do I go with this option instead...
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2012, 04:58:42 PM »
I don't think you would be very disappointed with any of the options. For video and stills, the 85L & 35L are gorgeous on the 5D MkII, but I tend to shoot them around f/4 as the subject can go out of focus by breathing when either of these lenses are shot wide open on video.

As far as the Canon / Sigma debate, part of it comes with how deep are your pockets and do you do this for a living? I happen to have a Sigma 50 1.4 (older finish, for what that's worth) that is sharp wide open and handles quite well. It gives a slightly different look that the Canon 1.4 or 1.2 and has a slightly wider field of view.

Chris brought up a good point though, you may want to wait for the new 24-70L II. I have heard through good sources that it is as sharp as the 70-200 2.8 IS II, which would keep you from having to switch lenses on a shoot (and keep dust out on location).

Last, but not least, erwinrm brought up a very good point on the Rokinon lenses. You can pick up several different focal lengths very inexpensively, and when shooting video, you are in manual focus mode anyway.

Good luck with your search!

skitron

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Re: Do I go for the 85mm 1.2 L? Or do I go with this option instead...
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2012, 01:44:28 PM »
If you aren't adverse to semi-manual focus, the Samyang/Rokinon/Bower 35mm with a programmable AF confirm chip added is a very, very nice lens. The IQ is fantastic, sharpness and bokeh definitely in the top of the roll call for 35mm lens from anyone at any price. The build is very good and the price is right. The down sides are it's kinda big and heavy and of course its manual. I'm loving it for both stills and video on both FF and crop with the caveat it is manual. However, it's easy to nail focus quickly with the AF confirm chip even for shallow DOF shooting f 1.4 on a FF.
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bchernicoff

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Re: Do I go for the 85mm 1.2 L? Or do I go with this option instead...
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2012, 11:54:32 AM »
Something that I should have mentioned... Canon 1.2L II has an extending barrel when focusing. By that I mean that the front element rides in it's own barrel which is smaller in diameter than the lens body. The gap between that barrel and the body is quite large and I wasn't comfortable using my 1.2 L II outside over the fear that one good gust of wind could blow crap right into the lens. The Sigma focuses 100% internally. This is a huge advantage in terms of lens construction.

One negative of the Sigma that I forgot to mention is the amount the AF/MF switch protrudes. I am constantly bumping it from AF to MF.
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wickidwombat

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Re: Do I go for the 85mm 1.2 L? Or do I go with this option instead...
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2012, 07:34:24 PM »
Every time the 85mm f/1.2 L II comes up I encourage people to check out the Sigma 85mm f/1.4

It's less than half the cost, has MUCH faster AF, and is every bit as sharp. I've owned them both and kept the Sigma.
Ditto
and mine was front focusing heavily when I got it but i sent it in to sigma through the shop i bought it from and about a week later I had it back and it was pretty much all sorted,
Its soo fast.
I would put its focusing speed as being very similar to the canon 100mm f2.8L IS macro when the focus limiter is set at 0.5 to infinity and I think the canon 100L is probably the fastest focusing lens shorter than the 300 f2.8L
its faster than the 70-200f2.8L II
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Re: Do I go for the 85mm 1.2 L? Or do I go with this option instead...
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2012, 07:34:24 PM »

bchernicoff

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Re: Do I go for the 85mm 1.2 L? Or do I go with this option instead...
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2012, 07:54:45 PM »
its faster than the 70-200f2.8L II

I'm not sure about that...
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Tcapp

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Re: Do I go for the 85mm 1.2 L? Or do I go with this option instead...
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2012, 02:39:48 AM »
Every time the 85mm f/1.2 L II comes up I encourage people to check out the Sigma 85mm f/1.4

It's less than half the cost, has MUCH faster AF, and is every bit as sharp. I've owned them both and kept the Sigma.

Yes to the sigma. I'm in love with my sigma 85 1.4
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Re: Do I go for the 85mm 1.2 L? Or do I go with this option instead...
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2012, 02:39:48 AM »