Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM

Viggo

EOS 5D SR
Dec 13, 2010
3,889
442
Love those color tones OlAf! great shot!

I've struggled with the kids shots lately, they can't seem to just look normal, so I thought I'd try something I haven't done before, try with the cat, and that was... well, more of the same :D

 

kaihp

I'm not new here
Mar 19, 2012
847
4
Viggo said:
Love those color tones OlAf! great shot!

I've struggled with the kids shots lately, they can't seem to just look normal, so I thought I'd try something I haven't done before, try with the cat, and that was... well, more of the same :D
They must be allergic to the new lens ;D

The cat looks pretty young, say around 6-9 months old. Didn't you used to have serve an older one, or was that Eldar?
 

Viggo

EOS 5D SR
Dec 13, 2010
3,889
442
kaihp said:
Viggo said:
Love those color tones OlAf! great shot!

I've struggled with the kids shots lately, they can't seem to just look normal, so I thought I'd try something I haven't done before, try with the cat, and that was... well, more of the same :D
They must be allergic to the new lens ;D

The cat looks pretty young, say around 6-9 months old. ;DDidn't you used to have serve an older one, or was that Eldar?
Well, I’d say you know your cats, she’s 7,5 months old ;D

That was Eldar yes, only cat we’ve had this. She has the exact behavior and personality as my daughter, uncanny at times ::)
 

kaihp

I'm not new here
Mar 19, 2012
847
4
Viggo said:
kaihp said:
Viggo said:
Love those color tones OlAf! great shot!

I've struggled with the kids shots lately, they can't seem to just look normal, so I thought I'd try something I haven't done before, try with the cat, and that was... well, more of the same :D
They must be allergic to the new lens ;D

The cat looks pretty young, say around 6-9 months old. ;DDidn't you used to have serve an older one, or was that Eldar?
Well, I’d say you know your cats, she’s 7,5 months old ;D

That was Eldar yes, only cat we’ve had this. She has the exact behavior and personality as my daughter, uncanny at times ::)
Thanks, I grew up with Cats so I have some sense of how they change in looks has they grow up. Ah right, apologies for mixing you up with Eldar.

You know how the saying goes: Dogs have owners, but Cats have staff. It's not far off the mark ;D
 

Viggo

EOS 5D SR
Dec 13, 2010
3,889
442
kaihp said:
Viggo said:
kaihp said:
Viggo said:
Love those color tones OlAf! great shot!

I've struggled with the kids shots lately, they can't seem to just look normal, so I thought I'd try something I haven't done before, try with the cat, and that was... well, more of the same :D
They must be allergic to the new lens ;D

The cat looks pretty young, say around 6-9 months old. ;DDidn't you used to have serve an older one, or was that Eldar?
Well, I’d say you know your cats, she’s 7,5 months old ;D

That was Eldar yes, only cat we’ve had this. She has the exact behavior and personality as my daughter, uncanny at times ::)
Thanks, I grew up with Cats so I have some sense of how they change in looks has they grow up. Ah right, apologies for mixing you up with Eldar.

You know how the saying goes: Dogs have owners, but Cats have staff. It's not far off the mark ;D
Haha! Spot on ;D I have a huge issue with authorities so I can really relate to cats that stare me down and knocks a glass off the table while they don’t even care a little bit, haha.
 

Viggo

EOS 5D SR
Dec 13, 2010
3,889
442
YuengLinger said:
Now if only Canon would get on the ball to produce a 50mm L that can capture a toddler in action...
Great shot! And Amen to that ;D a 50 f1.2 L IS that sits between the 35 L II and the 85 IS in IQ would be nice :p
 

hne

Gear limits your creativity
Jan 8, 2016
299
16
Really nice lens, this.

But I need to get a more powerful battery powered flash so I can use a larger aperture. This was a Yongnuo YN685 at roughly full power in an Elinchrom Rotalux 70cm deep octa just out of frame on the left and I had to stop down to f/2.8 to get X sync speed. HSS kills light output.
 

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Viggo

EOS 5D SR
Dec 13, 2010
3,889
442
hne said:
Really nice lens, this.

But I need to get a more powerful battery powered flash so I can use a larger aperture. This was a Yongnuo YN685 at roughly full power in an Elinchrom Rotalux 70cm deep octa just out of frame on the left and I had to stop down to f/2.8 to get X sync speed. HSS kills light output.
How about an AD600?
 

hne

Gear limits your creativity
Jan 8, 2016
299
16
Viggo said:
hne said:
Really nice lens, this.

But I need to get a more powerful battery powered flash so I can use a larger aperture. This was a Yongnuo YN685 at roughly full power in an Elinchrom Rotalux 70cm deep octa just out of frame on the left and I had to stop down to f/2.8 to get X sync speed. HSS kills light output.
How about an AD600?
It's been close. Real close, me buying an AD600.

I just don't think I could get it to balance well on top of a Manfrotto 5001b (which is the largest stand I've been able to fit in carry-on luggage). So I've contemplated getting a Profoto B2 but then I'd need either two sets of modifiers or a really bulky adapter. The Elinchrom Quadra or ELB400 seem a better option then, but if I am to live without TTL I want the ability to meter the light and the Sekonic 858 that seems to be the only one that can measure HSS and HS flash adds a significant overhead to the price...

Ask again in half a year and I might have a solution. But until then... I'll stop down a stop or add a second flash when really needed.
 

Viggo

EOS 5D SR
Dec 13, 2010
3,889
442
hne said:
Viggo said:
hne said:
Really nice lens, this.

But I need to get a more powerful battery powered flash so I can use a larger aperture. This was a Yongnuo YN685 at roughly full power in an Elinchrom Rotalux 70cm deep octa just out of frame on the left and I had to stop down to f/2.8 to get X sync speed. HSS kills light output.
How about an AD600?
It's been close. Real close, me buying an AD600.

I just don't think I could get it to balance well on top of a Manfrotto 5001b (which is the largest stand I've been able to fit in carry-on luggage). So I've contemplated getting a Profoto B2 but then I'd need either two sets of modifiers or a really bulky adapter. The Elinchrom Quadra or ELB400 seem a better option then, but if I am to live without TTL I want the ability to meter the light and the Sekonic 858 that seems to be the only one that can measure HSS and HS flash adds a significant overhead to the price...

Ask again in half a year and I might have a solution. But until then... I'll stop down a stop or add a second flash when really needed.
Yeah I can see the issue when traveling...

But you don’t need a meter :D I bought one once and it was just in the way..
 

aceflibble

EOS RP
May 8, 2015
296
61
If you're having trouble balancing wide aperture with sync speed, and can't/don't want to use HSS, get some ND filters. A 2- or 3-stop ND is usually enough to get you to regular sync speed and won't impact the base optical quality of a lens to any noticeable degree. (Assuming you use a single high-quality filter, of course, and not a cheap one or try to stack multiple NDs.)

If getting more power out of your lights is the primary concern, try playing with the orientation and zoom settings of your flashes. The difference in light you get out of a flash zoomed to 24mm and zoomed to 105mm is usually about a stop and a quarter in the center; to illuminate a whole person like that shot above, you can use the flash bare (again saving light compared to shooting through any modifier) and rotate the head so it's vertical. Most 'large' flashguns (580/600ex size or bigger) will easily illuminate a 6' person when positioned vertically and zoomed to 85mm or so. If you want to illuminate a whole person as well as part of the scene all from one direction, it can be cheaper to simply place two speedlights together (literally tape them, if you need to be quick) to double both your light output and coverage, rather than buying and transporting a larger head&pack system or other studio flash. Having used the currently-trendy Godox lights a fair bit over the last year, I don't find they're really any better than slapping two speedlights together; slightly more convenient in being one single package, but also less versatile and bulkier to carry, and the max light output is around that of two speedlights. The Godox lights are nice but if I were shooting in a cold snowy field in the evening like that, I know I'd rather have a couple of taped speedlights I can set up and tear down in half the time, and can sit on a lighter stand, while giving the same end result.

All that said, that shot looks great at f/2.8. The depth of field is just right, to me. If anything, if I were doing it, I'd be more likely to do down further to f/4 and use HSS specifically to increase the ambient-flash contrast by another stop, rather than either opening up the aperture or trying to get more light in the scene. Either way, it's a brilliant shot; I wouldn't say moving up to a bigger light source or opening up the aperture more would improve it. As tempting as it can be to always shoot these fast primes at their biggest apertures, sometimes stopping down just plain looks better!
 
Love the lens. Between the 1.4 aperture, IS, faster AF, and (very importantly) flatter sharpness across the field, It has transformed my portraits with the Canon. The flatter image field is critical to shifting the focus point off center yet still having critically sharp eyes. This was very difficult with the 85mm 1.2..

A much more usable shooting envelope.

This shot was with glorious window light. A gift.

Regarding sunlight sync with portable flash power, consider the Impact Venture TTL monolight. It is battery powered, 600WS, 4lbs, small, plenty of features, and fairly priced. I have two of these and they are easy to transport and has plenty of power.
 

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hne

Gear limits your creativity
Jan 8, 2016
299
16
Thank you for your clearly well thought-through critique, it is much appreciated. I'll break it up in three parts to give a short commentary to why I think some of it would not have worked the way I hoped.

aceflibble said:
If you're having trouble balancing wide aperture with sync speed, and can't/don't want to use HSS, get some ND filters. A 2- or 3-stop ND is usually enough to get you to regular sync speed and won't impact the base optical quality of a lens to any noticeable degree. (Assuming you use a single high-quality filter, of course, and not a cheap one or try to stack multiple NDs.)
You are absolutely right that even a one-stop ND would have allowed me to open up the aperture enough to raise the impact of the flash while keeping below X sync. Since this was a case of living on the limit it would probably have been enough. I had a 5-stop B+W in the bag but that was simply too dark (and interferes with AF). Having faster X sync or possibilities and/or lower ISO possibilities would have been even better. Walking around with sunglasses on my lenses feels wrong.

aceflibble said:
If getting more power out of your lights is the primary concern, try playing with the orientation and zoom settings of your flashes. The difference in light you get out of a flash zoomed to 24mm and zoomed to 105mm is usually about a stop and a quarter in the center; to illuminate a whole person like that shot above, you can use the flash bare (again saving light compared to shooting through any modifier) and rotate the head so it's vertical. Most 'large' flashguns (580/600ex size or bigger) will easily illuminate a 6' person when positioned vertically and zoomed to 85mm or so. If you want to illuminate a whole person as well as part of the scene all from one direction, it can be cheaper to simply place two speedlights together (literally tape them, if you need to be quick) to double both your light output and coverage, rather than buying and transporting a larger head&pack system or other studio flash. Having used the currently-trendy Godox lights a fair bit over the last year, I don't find they're really any better than slapping two speedlights together; slightly more convenient in being one single package, but also less versatile and bulkier to carry, and the max light output is around that of two speedlights. The Godox lights are nice but if I were shooting in a cold snowy field in the evening like that, I know I'd rather have a couple of taped speedlights I can set up and tear down in half the time, and can sit on a lighter stand, while giving the same end result.
My concern with the flash was that I did not want a hard light in an outdoor shoot full of haze. I would have preferred to have even slightly softer light and still have it a bit more directional but didn't have enough time to test without the diffusor on the octa (turning it into a beauty-dish-ish). The softbox would eat about a stop and a half so just removing the front diffuser probably would have saved me from the dark abyss that is HSS.

aceflibble said:
All that said, that shot looks great at f/2.8. The depth of field is just right, to me. If anything, if I were doing it, I'd be more likely to do down further to f/4 and use HSS specifically to increase the ambient-flash contrast by another stop, rather than either opening up the aperture or trying to get more light in the scene. Either way, it's a brilliant shot; I wouldn't say moving up to a bigger light source or opening up the aperture more would improve it. As tempting as it can be to always shoot these fast primes at their biggest apertures, sometimes stopping down just plain looks better!
I totally agree that opening up all the way to f/1.4 probably would have killed this shot. Still, although I wanted to have the background pretty much like that, I would have preferred the foreground slightly more out of focus and was hoping to be able to open up to f/2.2 or so. Simply not possible with my current gear.


I really enjoy working at the limits of my tools! And thank you, again, for your comments.
 

Viggo

EOS 5D SR
Dec 13, 2010
3,889
442
Don’t fear hard light 8) I can’t speak for you, but many people I know think of ugly shine and hot spots when they hear “hard light” which I also hate. But use high quality gear and you can have those deep sharp shadows and crisp detail without hot spots. Try also using a cir pol to further eliminate hotspots.

Yeah, my boy wasn’t to happy about me taking his picture this time, but I HAD to try it 8)

Shot uploaded from my phone, so please excuse the quality. Shot with a Broncolor P65 reflector with grid, beautiful modifier.
 

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