The Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM: The developers answer 10 questions

stevelee

FT-QL
Jul 6, 2017
1,017
153
Davidson, NC
I have a general question for the portrait photogs... How can you get an entire face in focus at f1.2? When I shoot my 50mm at 1.8 on an 80D, it's basically a crapshoot if I get a subject's face entirely in focus, and I can't really tell until I'm watching on a monitor. Any tips?
Given the number of messages here about focusing on one eye or the other, folks must like really shallow depth of field and don't seek to get the whole face in focus.

For fairly normal looking perspective in a head-and-shoulders shot, you want the subject 10 or so feet from the lens, for typical faces; maybe a little closer for folks with flat faces and a little farther away for people with bulbous noses. That is why many photographers prefer 85mm to 100mm lenses for such full-frame portraits: it puts the subject in the ballpark of that distance. 85mm at f/1.2 will give you about five inches of depth of field on a subject 12 feet away. So you ought to get the ears and nose reasonably sharp with careful focus, though not right on the eyes. Put the subject a little farther away or stop down a little, and the whole face should be in focus more easily.

Your 50mm f/1.8 on an 80D will put you about the right subject distance or a bit closer. So at 10 feet and f/1.8, you should have about 9 inches to play with.
 
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degos

EOS 80D
Mar 20, 2015
177
103
The distance from the front of a lens to the focal plane can be less than its focal length. That, rather than the focal length itself, is actually the definition of "telephoto".
Indeed, which is why a "600mm" f4 lens is 480mm long. And conversely one particular reverse-telephoto 28mm lens is 116mm!
 

SecureGSM

EOS 6D MK II
Feb 26, 2017
936
67
Given the number of messages here about focusing on one eye or the other, folks must like really shallow depth of field and don't seek to get the whole face in focus.

For fairly normal looking perspective in a head-and-shoulders shot, you want the subject 10 or so feet from the lens, for typical faces; maybe a little closer for folks with flat faces and a little farther away for people with bulbous noses. That is why many photographers prefer 85mm to 100mm lenses for such full-frame portraits: it puts the subject in the ballpark of that distance. 85mm at f/1.2 will give you about five inches of depth of field on a subject 12 feet away. So you ought to get the ears and nose reasonably sharp with careful focus, though not right on the eyes. Put the subject a little farther away or stop down a little, and the whole face should be in focus more easily.

Your 50mm f/1.8 on an 80D will put you about the right subject distance or a bit closer. So at 10 feet and f/1.8, you should have about 9 inches to play with.
++++ 85mm at f/1.2 will give you about five inches of depth of field on a subject 12 feet away. So you ought to get the ears and nose reasonably sharp with careful focus...

Yup, 5 inches in total being 2.5 inches near focus and 2.5 inches far focus. Therefore Subjects ears won’t be in a critical focus at f1.2 in majority of cases.
 
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stevelee

FT-QL
Jul 6, 2017
1,017
153
Davidson, NC
Yup, 5 inches in total being 2.5 inches near focus and 2.5 inches far focus. Therefore Subjects ears won’t be in a critical focus at f1.2 in majority of cases.
If you focus on the eyes, the ears will definitely be noticeably out of focus. Focus a bit farther back, and maybe both nose and ears could be close enough in focus with a lot of faces. Autofocus is unlikely to hit the right spot. I'd personally stop the lens down a bit rather than risk it.
 

SecureGSM

EOS 6D MK II
Feb 26, 2017
936
67
If you focus on the eyes, the ears will definitely be noticeably out of focus. Focus a bit farther back, and maybe both nose and ears could be close enough in focus with a lot of faces. Autofocus is unlikely to hit the right spot. I'd personally stop the lens down a bit rather than risk it.
Hint: measure distance from tip of your own nose to the rear edge of your own ears. It would likely measure around 6 inches. Then consider how you fit 6 inches within the 5 inches of DOF.
Does it ring the bell? :)
Therefore, unless you are chasing a very particular look, I would suggest stopping down to f2.8 at least. Or increasing distance to subject.
 

shunsai

EOS 80D
Oct 15, 2011
191
58
Anyone with the EF 85 1.2L II and the EOS R? I'm curious about the mirror box clipping the bokeh balls. Since there is no mirror box, has that clipping been eliminated? Or was it from something else?
 

Del Paso

M3 Singlestroke
Aug 9, 2018
396
344
Why are you expecting a 1st party f/1.2 lens to be only 2.6% more expensive than a 3rd party f/1.4 lens?!?!
And I want the 2,8/400 mm to cost a maximum 10% more than the 5,6/400, otherwise I'll enter Wonderful Sony World!
Canon, be warned!:mad:
 
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Pape

EOS RP
Dec 31, 2018
252
106
And I want the 2,8/400 mm to cost a maximum 10% more than the 5,6/400, otherwise I'll enter Wonderful Sony World!
Canon, be warned!:mad:
sounds like canon needs learn use plastic 3d printer :)
I wonder if 3d printed plastic lenses would be good enough if made like 30cm diameter?
 

koenkooi

EOS RP
Feb 25, 2015
265
127
Anyone with the EF 85 1.2L II and the EOS R? I'm curious about the mirror box clipping the bokeh balls. Since there is no mirror box, has that clipping been eliminated? Or was it from something else?
The EF-RF adapter is doing a good job of pretending to be a mirror box.
 

SecureGSM

EOS 6D MK II
Feb 26, 2017
936
67
so far, there has been no evidence that ef-rf adapter affects image quality of adapted EF lenses used on R-series cameras. not a slight sign of vignetting levels being affected by the adaptor.