First Look Video: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM

Canon Rumors Guy

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<iframe width="728" height="409" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2cz5eTULLCM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p>
In case you missed it as I did. B&H Photo has posted a nice first look video for the highly anticipated EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM.</p>
<p>I have this lens preordered and cannot wait to use it.</p>
<p><strong>From B&H Photo</strong></p>
<blockquote><p>Announcing the new Canon 85mm f/1.4L IS USM lens. David Flores takes it out on a shoot working with some models to see what it can do.</p></blockquote>
<p><strong>Preorder the Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM:</strong></p>

<p>Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS $1599: <a href="https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1354803-REG/canon_ef_85mm_f_1_4l_is.html/bi/2466/kbid/3296">B&H Photo</a> | <a href="http://amzn.to/2vmIjTH">Amazon</a> | <a href="https://mpex.com/canon-ef-85mm-f1-4l-is-usm-lens.html?acc=3">Midwest Photo</a> | UK: <a href="http://tidd.ly/3daf76c3">Park Cameras</a> | Canada: <a href="http://www.gopjn.com/t/TUJGRU1GTEJGRk5HSklCRkhMRklH?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.henrys.com%2F98798-CANON-EF-85MM-F1-4-L-IS-USM.aspx">Henry’s</a></p>
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luckydude

1dxII, 5DIII, 7DII, lots of glass, tolerant wife
Aug 3, 2013
117
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That was, well, marketing. I'll wait to see what Bryan at the digital picture has to say, he actually does thoughtful reviews.

It's gonna be interesting to see how this stacks up against the Sigma 85mm art. I own that lens and it's becoming a favorite. It's big and heavy and the Canon looks lighter, I can see people liking that. I don't care, my favorite lens is Canon's 200mm f2, which is much heavier and I just deal with it, the images are that good. But the stuff I'm getting from the 85 is pretty close. Sigma did a good job with that.

That fluff piece made some noise about IS. Other than maybe wanting it if you were hand holding and taking 1/3rd second exposures of a stream to blur the water, when is IS @ 85mm really needed? You've got all that light, just crank the shutter speed up. I must be missing something.
 

Sabaki

EOS RP
Dec 4, 2012
799
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Seems Canon are producing some superb lenses over the last few years.

The reviewers images aren't spectacular but it does show what the lens is capable of. Can't wait to see/read some real world reviews.
 

Canon Rumors Guy

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luckydude said:
That was, well, marketing. I'll wait to see what Bryan at the digital picture has to say, he actually does thoughtful reviews.

It's gonna be interesting to see how this stacks up against the Sigma 85mm art. I own that lens and it's becoming a favorite. It's big and heavy and the Canon looks lighter, I can see people liking that. I don't care, my favorite lens is Canon's 200mm f2, which is much heavier and I just deal with it, the images are that good. But the stuff I'm getting from the 85 is pretty close. Sigma did a good job with that.

That fluff piece made some noise about IS. Other than maybe wanting it if you were hand holding and taking 1/3rd second exposures of a stream to blur the water, when is IS @ 85mm really needed? You've got all that light, just crank the shutter speed up. I must be missing something.

Well, to be fair, it's a pre-production version of the lens, so Canon doesn't allow actual "reviews".

I use the Tamron 85 f/1.8 VC, and it's one of my favourites. I'm looking forward to seeing how this stacks up. As far as stabilization, there is always going to be times where it is useful and other times it's not. I'm more than happy to pay a few more dollars to have it there if I need it.

The first place I used the Tamron 85 was in Rwanda on gorilla treks. The VC came in handy... Gorillas don't really move all that quickly, and light levels in jungle/forest settings is quite low. It was nice to be shooting ISO 100 and getting sharp shots at 1/50sec and slower.
 

hne

Gear limits your creativity
Jan 8, 2016
315
35
luckydude said:
That was, well, marketing. I'll wait to see what Bryan at the digital picture has to say, he actually does thoughtful reviews.

It's gonna be interesting to see how this stacks up against the Sigma 85mm art. I own that lens and it's becoming a favorite. It's big and heavy and the Canon looks lighter, I can see people liking that. I don't care, my favorite lens is Canon's 200mm f2, which is much heavier and I just deal with it, the images are that good. But the stuff I'm getting from the 85 is pretty close. Sigma did a good job with that.

That fluff piece made some noise about IS. Other than maybe wanting it if you were hand holding and taking 1/3rd second exposures of a stream to blur the water, when is IS @ 85mm really needed? You've got all that light, just crank the shutter speed up. I must be missing something.

IS is useful when you need to stop down, for high resolution sensors, at extreme low light and for video.

I'd like to see Dustin Abbot review the lens. Fewer test charts and more actual use.
 

H. Jones

Photojournalist
Aug 1, 2014
731
1,429
luckydude said:
That was, well, marketing. I'll wait to see what Bryan at the digital picture has to say, he actually does thoughtful reviews.

It's gonna be interesting to see how this stacks up against the Sigma 85mm art. I own that lens and it's becoming a favorite. It's big and heavy and the Canon looks lighter, I can see people liking that. I don't care, my favorite lens is Canon's 200mm f2, which is much heavier and I just deal with it, the images are that good. But the stuff I'm getting from the 85 is pretty close. Sigma did a good job with that.

That fluff piece made some noise about IS. Other than maybe wanting it if you were hand holding and taking 1/3rd second exposures of a stream to blur the water, when is IS @ 85mm really needed? You've got all that light, just crank the shutter speed up. I must be missing something.

As someone who uses the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II for portraits, I do appreciate the IS even at 70mm. It makes holding your composition in place much easier, especially if you're messing around with geometric objects in the background and need to keep the lines straight.

That said, with flash outdoors in fading light, I also find it useful when I have to drag the shutter a bit to get more out of the sky/background. Less camera shake means I can drop the shutter speed, and if the subject is able to stand relatively still, you can save more light post-sunset.

All in all, I'm very excited to see this lens and I'm sure it will end up in my kit soon. It saves me a lot in weight/size versus the 70-200, all while having a much brighter aperture. I could see this making a great feature news kit alongside the 24-70, giving me a variety of focal lengths in the zoom, and the ability to blur out the background and take beautiful portraits with the other. I'm also looking at buying the 35mm f/1.4L II, so we'll see which I grab first.
 

CanonFanBoy

Purple
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Jan 28, 2015
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Ahhhhh.... I've waited to see a new 85mm come out. Here's the caveat: The price has left room for a more expensive f/1.2 which Canon says the f/1.4 is not a replacement for.

So what is a person to do? Buy the f/1.4L and hope a new 85 f/1.2L IS isn't on the horizon? Or should one buy this f/1.4 and just forget about it? Honestly, would it be better than the 135 f/2L? I find that lens to be perfect for me. Yes, even with the CA it gives wonderful portraits.

I don't know about the rest of you, but this is a hobby for me. A lens lasts a long time and is a one time purchase at any focal length for me. It takes me well over a year to save for a new lens. I'll never wear out a camera or lens. I take less than 1,000 shots a year. Kind of drives a person crazy, doesn't it? All these possible choices with no crystal ball to see into the future? Will there be an 85 f/1.2L IS? Ahhhhhhh!!!!!!! *&^$*(&*(!!!!!

I have: EF 24-70 f/2.8L II, EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, Tamron 15-30 Di VC USD, and the EF 35 f/1.4L II, and 135 f/2L and a EF 2X III.

I'm waiting on a 85mm f/1.2L IS with BR if it would help and a 50mm f/1.2L IS also with BR if it would help (50mm probably doesn't mean much to me). Then my lens buying days are over (FOREVER) unless a new 135 f/2 IS comes to market or I win the lottery and can get a Great White.

Are any of you going to wait and see whether an 85 f/1.2L IS materializes? Anyone else a fanatical hobbyist that has to make darn sure a lens purchase is right the first time? I'm too gun shy to pre-order anything. I just couldn't do it. These are very major purchases for me. Both my cars together are worth less than $2,000. I have to wait for a bunch of reviews to come out before I pull the trigger. By then, maybe there will be news about an 85 f/1.2L replacement for no other reason than the awesome bokeh.

Note: Even if a new EF 85mm f/1.2L comes out and has no IS, surely it would have a USM motor and better CA control. Surely it would. Right? I'd scrimp and save to pay $2,100 for that (The Ramen noddle companies love me.). I like the idea of this new f/1.4 with IS. I just wonder what might be next at that focal length. The 85mm f/1.2 II was released early 2006. There must be a replacement coming in the next couple of years. Or not. An 85mm f/1.8 is out of the question for me. I'm a red ring snob. ;)
 

Talys

Canon R5
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@CanonFanBoy -- this seems like such a nice lens. Personally, I would just get the 85/1.4L if you can use it today; if you want the 1.2L instead, in the future, just sell it -- the value retention will be really good.

The other choice that you have, if it's being "just a hobby" as you put it, you have an alternative for it at the moment and not a mightier wallet than shutter finger, just wait for the first significant instant rebate. It will take a few months, though if you're lucky, it might hit as soon as black Friday/boxing day. I don't think so, but you never know.

The pattern with Canon with MIR's is that the price usually dips down, then it goes back up for a while after, before gradual price drops and then a stable price. If you game it, and get it for $200 less during MIR, you might be able to recover nearly all your purchase price if you later decide to sell it.

Or you can wait for the second MIR cycle about a year later, and after the first permanent price drop; plus, then you might hear about 1.2 news.

The problem with this, of course, is that life's short, and if you can make use of it today, there's a value to that. Me, I "really want this" -- it's perfect for my collection, but I want it a whole lot more than I have a use for it, because of what I enjoy shooting. So, I will wait til at least the first drops in price, or a really good sale (eg $400 or more discounted), and see what else comes along in the meantime :)
 
Sep 5, 2017
3
1
www.dpvue.com
Why should someone buy Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM to use it in studio? I was expecting a review of this lens in existing/natural light, but not in studio with strobe light where you can use the cheaper and lighter Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM.
 

Talys

Canon R5
CR Pro
Feb 16, 2017
2,099
385
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dpvue said:
Why should someone buy Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM to use it in studio? I was expecting a review of this lens in existing/natural light, but not in studio with strobe light where you can use the cheaper and lighter Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM.

1. Bokeh.
2. 85/1.8 needs to be stopped down if you want to maximize its contrast & sharpness -- so... Bokeh.
3. 9 blade diaphragm vs 8 blade diaphragm means 18 point stars vs 8 points. So... Bokeh.
4. Better MTF & contrast
5. Better autofocus. The 85/1.8 autofocuses like many of its non-L counterparts like 100/2.8 and 50/1.4.
6. Fluorine and ASC coatings
7. Weather sealed (ok, not very useful in a studio)
8. 1.8 has 9 elements in 7 groups vs 1.4, which has 14 elements in 10 groups
9. 4 stop IS, versus none
10. Construction
11. I could go on... but.. in case I missed it... Bokeh.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with the 85mm 1.8. It's just that the 85mm 1.4L is... a little better in every way, and unfortunately, the jump to the L comes at a huge premium. It isn't going to magically fix studio pictures that were going to suck with a 85/1.8; but I think that photographers will notice and appreciate that photos that would have been great with an 85/1.8 will get a little bit of magic oomph, and be just a little better.

There's also a secondary issue of resale; the 85 1.2L and 1.4L are going to resell for a much higher percentage of the purchase price than the 1.8 -- and they'll get snapped up a lot faster. With a tiny number of exceptions, non-L lenses retain value poorly and sell slowly :(

Also, it's 77mm, which is consistent with many other Canon L lenses, which means you can share expensive filters. It goes the other way too; the 85/1.8 uses 58mm filters, so if you have a whole bunch of smaller non-L lenses, that might be an incentive to not have to blow hundreds of dollars on CPs and NDs. But if you're going to spend thousands of dollars of Canon L lenses, 77mm is where you want to invest long term on filters.

Still, it's a question of diminishing returns and budget. If your choice is between 3-4 non-L lenses and one L lens, maybe you're better off with the former. I've certainly been in that position before, and don't regret spending money on more tools, than a much smaller number of better tools. I mean, for the price of some of the L lenses, you can buy a whole bag of gold-ring lens that can get the job done.

At least we have options!
 

niels123

EOS RP
Jan 27, 2015
278
1
This lens is the first release where I immediately thought: "I want it!". When will it be available in Europe?
 

Maximilian

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Talys said:
@CanonFanBoy -- this seems like such a nice lens. Personally, I would just get the 85/1.4L if you can use it today; if you want the 1.2L instead, in the future, just sell it -- the value retention will be really good.
+1
Even if you'd want to be a first adaptor you still got some time left to wait for reviews and rumors about other lenses. So just relax, collect info and then decide.

If I was going for this lens I'd wait for the first rebates - supposedly somewhere in 2018 - and until then the future is a little bit clearer.

Personally I'd prefer a new 85/1.8 because of the smaller form factor ;)
 

GMCPhotographics

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I think I'd rather see this lens under available light than in a studio under strobe lighting...coz that's what it's intended for. F1.4 and 4 stop IS and fast AF...come on...it screams available light.
Under a strobe and you will struggle to even fire at f1.4 /250th sec.

Oh and the min focus distance of the 85 f1.2L is pretty perfect for head and shoulder shots...which is what this focal length excels at. So the extra MFD isn't that useful.
 

SecureGSM

2 x 5D IV
Feb 26, 2017
2,376
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Rudy of Canon made a comment to the effect that the lens was designed to excell in studio and IS is usefull for video stabilisation. Hence they push the designation. Test shots in low light wide open would be great to see. I am particulary interested to see how the lens renders out of focus transition areas in low light situation.
Still, studio shots are very usefull for colour, saturation, contrast, distortions and low light AF accuracy judgement as many studios are dimly lit.

GMCPhotographics said:
I think I'd rather see this lens under available light than in a studio under strobe lighting...coz that's what it's intended for. F1.4 and 4 stop IS and fast AF...come on...it screams available light.
Under a strobe and you will struggle to even fire at f1.4 /250th sec.

Oh and the min focus distance of the 85 f1.2L is pretty perfect for head and shoulder shots...which is what this focal length excels at. So the extra MFD isn't that useful.
 

Viggo

EOS R5
Dec 13, 2010
4,775
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GMCPhotographics said:
I think I'd rather see this lens under available light than in a studio under strobe lighting...coz that's what it's intended for. F1.4 and 4 stop IS and fast AF...come on...it screams available light.
Under a strobe and you will struggle to even fire at f1.4 /250th sec.

Oh and the min focus distance of the 85 f1.2L is pretty perfect for head and shoulder shots...which is what this focal length excels at. So the extra MFD isn't that useful.

HSS and HS.

I intend to use it with strobes, but mostly outside. I can't think of one reason why IS is not helpful. Even with fast action the IS helps to keep exact placement of my focusing points. And I have tried both the 1.2 and the 1.8 for portraits and action, and both of them struggle bad compared to for example the 135 L. Can't wait for reviews.
 

msatter

EOS 90D
Oct 23, 2012
141
1
Horrible!! Not the lens brcause that will be fine, but the video. It starts with shooting angle changing every few seconds. I am not even try to watch it any further. It could also be ye music that put me watching any further.

I was in a such good mood this evening an that gone now.
 

pwp

EOS R6
Oct 25, 2010
2,530
24
Hah! That's not a review, it's an advertisement. Like someone else mentioned, I'm also looking forward to Brian Carnathan or Dustin Abbots genuine reviews. Regardless, this is sure to be a big seller for Canon.

-pw
 

Talys

Canon R5
CR Pro
Feb 16, 2017
2,099
385
Vancouver, BC
pwp said:
Hah! That's not a review, it's an advertisement. Like someone else mentioned, I'm also looking forward to Brian Carnathan or Dustin Abbots genuine reviews. Regardless, this is sure to be a big seller for Canon.

-pw

lol, yeah :D

Still, it was fun to watch.
 

GMCPhotographics

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Yep....who is Rudy of Canon again? Chuck I know...but who is Rudy?
Anyone who thinks that Canon have designed an f1.4 lens for studio work has obviously never worked a studio before. Sure...it might work fine....but good luck in trying to get the light levels low enough to fire at f1.4 @ 60th sec. Most stobes stuggle at the lower light stuff. It's easy to fire off at max power...just try and get those 4 mono blocs down to 1/64th and see the EV levels. No...it's an available light lens...come on...
 

arthurbikemad

EOS RP
Jul 19, 2015
508
126
UK
Not wrong! Gnats fart at three hundred paces comes to mind.

The one time I love my speedlights, small pops go a long way!