If you can only afford one L prime- which one do you choose?

JoTomOz

EOS T7i
Nov 21, 2018
59
39
www.flickr.com
Been thinking about pulling the trigger on the RF 85 as there is a sale on here in Australia. Although it is a focal length I would use I’m hesitant because to be honest, as expensive as they are I can probably only afford one RF L prime. I shoot primes mostly and can’t afford to shell out for the whole set when they all come out.

I realise everyone’s use case is different (mine is primarily nightscapes and family/portrait) but was curious if anyone had thoughts on this (and whether it is a lens that is released in RF yet or not)

Thanks!
 

Viggo

EOS 5D SR
Dec 13, 2010
4,336
933
I shoot a lot of family related stuff, and if I absolutely had to choose between the RF50 and RF85 I think I would have to go with the 50 as it is more versatile. But, glad I don’t have to make the choice though.
 
Apr 9, 2014
157
16
www.andrew-davies.com
just to throw a spanner in why only Canon - i chose the Sigma 85mm Art lens and it produces fantastic results and comes ahead of the Canon offering in tests.

Not sure on its fitment to RF though ?

A lot of people differ with 85 and 50 and a lot of people only like one or the other so its probably best to know which camp you fall in , personally i don't like 50 and prefer 35 and 85.

Wedding Photographer North East & Yorkshire Northumberland & Wedding Photographer Cumbria
 

JoTomOz

EOS T7i
Nov 21, 2018
59
39
www.flickr.com
I shoot a lot of family related stuff, and if I absolutely had to choose between the RF50 and RF85 I think I would have to go with the 50 as it is more versatile. But, glad I don’t have to make the choice though.
Yeah, I was thinking about this too- 50 may make more sense given it can do a lot
 
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sdz

EOS RP
Sep 13, 2016
238
139
Pittsburgh, PA
Depending on my mood, I'd take any or all of these lenses:

1. EF 200 F/2
2. EF 400 F/4 DO
3. RF 85 F/1.2

Collectively, they would set me back $15K retail....
 

JoTomOz

EOS T7i
Nov 21, 2018
59
39
www.flickr.com
just to throw a spanner in why only Canon - i chose the Sigma 85mm Art lens and it produces fantastic results and comes ahead of the Canon offering in tests.

Not sure on its fitment to RF though ?

A lot of people differ with 85 and 50 and a lot of people only like one or the other so its probably best to know which camp you fall in , personally i don't like 50 and prefer 35 and 85.

Wedding Photographer North East & Yorkshire Northumberland & Wedding Photographer Cumbria
Yeah in general I tend toward 35 and 85. It’s not that I don’t like 50, just that I am happy with what those two can cover and like a 2 lens solution for many outings.

In terms of Sigma, while I have thought about it I haven’t considered it seriously for the same reason I haven’t considered the 85 1.4- I see lenses as a very long term investment and don’t like the idea of using a mount adapter for 10+ years.
 

YuengLinger

EOS 5D MK IV
Dec 20, 2012
2,786
966
Southeastern USA
Yeah, I was thinking about this too- 50 may make more sense given it can do a lot
It is hard to argue against the 50, which is an amazing lens, but I think the answer depends on the photographer's primary interest--what type of photography is most important, most compelling? If it is strictly portraiture, even this wonderful Rf version of the 50 doesn't produce the most flattering head-and-shoulders shots if the subject has a very round face or is overweight. It works beautifully, to my eye, for children and slimmer faces, but it does emphasize roundness.

For some subjects, even an 85mm might not compress enough, and I'd be using 135mm and above--but on a 70-200mm zoom.

But for dynamic life-style portraits, intimate shots of couples, 3/4 to full body length portraits, and compelling still lifes, this 50mm would be my first choice.

When I saw one post above choosing a 400mm, at first I chuckled, but then realized it really depends on the preferred subject!
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
Mar 25, 2011
15,633
824
If I could afford one $13K Super Tele, I'd buy a whole host of lesser L Primes. The question does not make much sense, since the price varies by a very wide range.

I sold all of my L primes except for my 100L. Zooms replaced them. I guess 100L is my answer, I can't justify a $13K lens to use a few times a year.
 

SteveC

M50 & T6i
Sep 3, 2019
473
341
Agreed, a much better way to pose the question is, "My budget is X, what one lens would you buy with those funds for use case(s) Y?"
Or if he really wants to limit it to one lens, but one lens of any price, it could be "If your house burned down, destroying all your lenses, and you couldn't replace them at all, but someone were to offer to give you one lens, on the condition you use it and don't resell it, what would it be?"

The craziness of the hypothetical of course highlights how artificial it is.
 
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Viggo

EOS 5D SR
Dec 13, 2010
4,336
933
In all fairness he wrote RF-L, which is rather limited to the 50 and 85, that’s how I understood it at least.
 

AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
6,179
4,016
A 500mm f/4 L weighing 1.8kg. I'd even buy an EOS R to put it on.
 
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tron

EOS 5D SR
Nov 8, 2011
4,370
621
Probably the 600L III or the 400L III. I only bought the 500 because it was subsantially cheaper.
There were version II lenses back when I bought my own 500 II. I chose this as a compromise for size and weight.