October 22, 2014, 01:27:35 AM

Poll

Which would you choose for portraits on a full frame?

Canon 85 1.8
2 (14.3%)
Sigma 85 1.4
3 (21.4%)
Canon 1.2 L II
5 (35.7%)
Zeiss 85mm 1,4
0 (0%)
Canon 135L
4 (28.6%)

Total Members Voted: 14

Author Topic: 85 mm Lens  (Read 4047 times)

TomazK

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85 mm Lens
« on: September 26, 2012, 09:22:05 AM »
Hey,

I am not a professional photographer, but I would like to buy a nice portrait lens. I have a full frame body (1ds mk3) so I am considering the following lenses:

Canon 85 1.8
Sigma 85 1.4
Zeiss 85 1.4

Which would you recommend and why? Do you think it is better to go with the 135L ?

85L is over my budget and is to slow...

Thanks

Tomaz
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85 mm Lens
« on: September 26, 2012, 09:22:05 AM »

gchin

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Re: 85 mm Lens
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2012, 09:59:41 AM »
Both lens (85, 135) are good for portraits. Depends on your needs. The 85 gives more coverage for head and shoulder portraits vs tighter coverage for the 135. The 135 gives really nice bokeh( better than the 85). The big difference is the price. The 135 is about 2x the price of the 85. For a full frame camera I would go with the 135. You might be able to save some money and buy it used, although with the 135 in good condition you're only saving about $100 and the sales tax.

SpareImp

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Re: 85 mm Lens
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2012, 10:01:18 AM »
I have both the Canon 85mm f/1.8 and the Sigma 85mm f/1.4. My opinion: the Sigma is worth the extra money. The Canon has a bit faster AF, but that’s about it. The Sigma can be used wide open, while I had to stop the Canon down to about f/2-2.8 to get great results. Both lenses are good, but the Sigma is just better. You definitely won’t regret getting it, but you might regret getting the Canon (extreme CA).

Nishi Drew

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Re: 85 mm Lens
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2012, 10:02:08 AM »
I have no experience with the Sigma but I have been looking at that lens for an eventual purchase. It has fast AF and the price is good. I don't like the Canon 85 so much for it's CA and purple flaring, although that's got great speed and super smooth bokeh, the Sigma has very creamy bokeh as well.
But if you're not limited by field of view than the 135L is wonderful, sharp at F/2 and the bokeh is as good as it gets

Standard

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Re: 85 mm Lens
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2012, 10:08:43 AM »
I have the 135L and it is a superb lens – Although more use it for street photography than for portraits. For portrait work, I would recommend any from the 85mm line as it's considered an ideal portrait focal length. But really any lens can be used for portraits, including the 35L and 50L. Some even use the 200L. It's really up to your shooting style and creativity. The 85mm 1.8 is a wonderful lens (and much more affordable than the 85L). The Zeiss is more expensive and is manual focusing. Don't know much about Sigma but have seen great results with it as well.

RLPhoto

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Re: 85 mm Lens
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2012, 10:24:21 AM »
Hey,

I am not a professional photographer, but I would like to buy a nice portrait lens. I have a full frame body (1ds mk3) so I am considering the following lenses:

Canon 85 1.8
Sigma 85 1.4
Zeiss 85 1.4

Which would you recommend and why? Do you think it is better to go with the 135L ?

85L is over my budget and is to slow...

Thanks

Tomaz

I prefer the Extra Compression of the 135L, its cheaper and just as good as the 85L.

PavelR

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Re: 85 mm Lens
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2012, 10:40:47 AM »
135/2 - great bokeh, the best sharpness @ 2.8, not super fast AF, prone to yellow cast in sun light near the frame
85/1.8 - purple flaring, not consistent AF
85/1.4 (I switched from 85/1.8 ) - the best sharpness @ 2.8, fast AF
200/2 - the best ;-) @ any aperture; but heavy and huge working distance

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Re: 85 mm Lens
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2012, 10:40:47 AM »

TomazK

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Re: 85 mm Lens
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2012, 10:41:37 AM »
Thanks for the answers so far. A lot of you prefer the 135, interesting.
Does anyone have hands on experience with the Zeiss. It really looks like a great lens, all metal and a smooth focus ring. I had a chance to briefly try it at a store but that is not enough to know how it fares in real world use.

Looks like I might have to give the 135 a little more consideration...
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neuroanatomist

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Re: 85 mm Lens
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2012, 10:48:54 AM »
Which would you recommend and why? Do you think it is better to go with the 135L ?

If you have adequate space where you'll be shooting, the 135L is a great choice (I have one).  Indoors, it's for tight portraits unless you've got a large space, outdoors it's great. 

I had the Canon 85/1.8, and now have the 85/1.2L II.  The latter is an awesome lens, and the focus on a 1-series body is usually fast enough (the higher voltage battery drives the AF motor faster than with a non-1-series body).  But a budget is a budget.  Given that constraint, if you choose the 85mm focal length, I'd go with the Sigma 85/1.4 (but that's based on reviews only, I have no direct experience with the lens). 
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Axilrod

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Re: 85 mm Lens
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2012, 11:04:33 AM »
I'd go with the Zeiss if you're trying to shoot video, but the AF of other 2 is a bit more appealing if you're shooting stills.  The look you get from the Zeiss 85 is definitely different (and not in a bad way).  But at the same time the Canon 85 1.8 is a stellar lens (especially at 1/4 of the price of the Zeiss).  I've never used the Sigma but have heard nothing but good things about it, so I would say that's a safe bet too. 
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tron

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Re: 85 mm Lens
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2012, 11:20:17 AM »
I'd go with the Zeiss if you're trying to shoot video, but the AF of other 2 is a bit more appealing if you're shooting stills.  The look you get from the Zeiss 85 is definitely different (and not in a bad way).  But at the same time the Canon 85 1.8 is a stellar lens (especially at 1/4 of the price of the Zeiss).  I've never used the Sigma but have heard nothing but good things about it, so I would say that's a safe bet too.
Just keep in mind that Zeiss 85 1.4 is reported to have focus shift. But I guess that is important for AF confirmation only which is programmed to report correct AF assuming an f-stop of 5.6 (if my memory serves me well).

Axilrod

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Re: 85 mm Lens
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2012, 11:26:26 AM »
Does anyone have hands on experience with the Zeiss. It really looks like a great lens, all metal and a smooth focus ring. I had a chance to briefly try it at a store but that is not enough to know how it fares in real world use.

Looks like I might have to give the 135 a little more consideration...

Yes, when I first tried Zeiss after using Canon glass, my first thought was "where have you been all my life?"  But keep in mind I shoot video 90% of the time, so I'd say it was more the ease of operability, not a huge jump in IQ or anything.  The Zeiss 21mm blew me away relative to my 16-35mm, the 50mm f/2 wowed me relative to my 50L, and the ZE100 was an improvement over my 100L (although I can't say it's worth 2x the price AND losing AF and IS).  The Zeiss lenses just have an amazing throw on the focus ring, hard stops at infinity and macro, and are built like tanks.  I found their color rendition to be extremely accurate (required much less color correction) and it's nice not having the overblown reds (like Canon does sometimes).  The bokeh is beautiful on all of them, there is just something about it that I really like, it's almost like you see these nice individual circles that are somewhat translucent in the middle (more of a cinema look), vs. the big (beautiful) blurred mush that the 50L/85L create.

Anyways, about the ZE 85.  Honestly I was the least impressed with this one relative to it's Canon counterpart (85mm f/1.2L II).  Granted the 85L is one of my sharpest Canon lenses and costs almost 2x what the ZE does.  I'd say if you really factor in the price (not head to head, but with price factored), that the ZE is just as good as the 85L II, and that's very respectable.  And although MF can sound scary, the times I've taken stills weren't bad at all, the AF confirmation is spot on and the focus ring has nice resistance so it feels as good as it gets for MF.

Anyways, about that 85mm f/1.8....
Look at this comparison between the 85mm f/1.8, 85mm f/1.2L II, and Zeiss ZE 85mm f/1.4:
http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Lenses/Compare-Camera-Lenses/Compare-lenses/(lens1)/329/(lens2)/270/(lens3)/241/(brand1)/Zeiss/(camera1)/483/(brand2)/Canon/(camera2)/483/(brand3)/Canon/(camera3)/483

Notice something strange?  Yeah, the 85mm f/1.8 has a higher resolution score than the ZE 85 and 85LII.  But at the same time the 85L was being tested at f/1.2 while the 85mm f/1.8 is being tested at f/2.8, stop the 85LII down to f/2.8 and it would be a different story.  And while it does exhibit a tiny bit more distortion, it has quite a bit less chromatic aberration.  It may not have the bokeh or the color of the other 85's, but for $300-$350 used it can't be beaten.  It may be worth picking that one up and seeing how you like the focal length, and then if you really feel like you need an upgrade go for it.  It's pretty much like you're renting the lens with a full deposit down, you'll get your money back out of it for sure, so why not?

Also:
This is a list of 94 pages of lenses from pretty much every brand you can think of, the scores ranked from high to low.  Notice what the #1 lens is:
http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Lenses/Camera-Lens-Ratings/Optical-Metric-Scores
Yup, the 85mm f/1.8.


 
« Last Edit: September 26, 2012, 11:48:01 AM by Axilrod »
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BruinBear

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Re: 85 mm Lens
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2012, 11:29:40 AM »
Just going to throw the samyang 85mm f/1.4 into this. MF only but amazing lens for the price.
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Re: 85 mm Lens
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2012, 11:29:40 AM »

Axilrod

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Re: 85 mm Lens
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2012, 11:36:31 AM »
Just going to throw the samyang 85mm f/1.4 into this. MF only but amazing lens for the price.

Yeah the Samyang is definitely a great lens, but only relative to it's $285 price tag.  But i'd say it's worth the couple extra bucks for the 85mm f/1.8.
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AJ

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Re: 85 mm Lens
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2012, 11:41:10 AM »
I like my Canon 85/1.8

Great lens for the money.

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Re: 85 mm Lens
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2012, 11:41:10 AM »