I don't like the new lens designs

Ruined

EOS R
Aug 22, 2013
930
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. As long as the RF 70-200 commands nearly $1,000 over the EF version, I'm not tempted. For the remaining 1%, I have plenty of EF lenses that work just fine with adapters and I'm not seeing much that makes me say I have to have the RF version of an EF lens I seldom use.
Keep in mind while the RF version is smaller in the bag (tho same size @200mm), it zooms slower and is more challenging to accurately zoom compared to the EF version. If you are shooting sports or fast action might make a difference in favor of the EF. Like most things there was a tradeoff with the change in the RF 70-200.
For the record... I like the 85 non-DS over the DS. I commented about the DS because it sounded like you implied a general smoothing effect, when it's really more smoothing of the bokeh.

However this is all opinion in what people prefer. If you don't like the new lenses, that's great... however, I do.

But it sounded like you were implying that people are getting these lenses just to smooth filter over them. So now I'm curious... how many here with the RF L's are actually doing that? (Not counting artsy effects that they would put over a picture from any lens).
That's the thing, the DS version *IS* getting the super corrected lens just to "smooth filter" over it. So anyone who got that lens is one of those folks. You are right it is only targeting the bokeh, but the reason they had to offer that in the first place is because they overcorrected the spherical abberation in the non-DS so it would look cleaner and sharper at the expense of less creamy bokeh. Since they didn't want to release an 85 1.2 with worse bokeh than the previous version, they offered the DS "add on" as an IMO inferior compromise - it wouldnt be cost effective to try to market a version with true better bokeh like the previous 85 1.2 at the same time as the new one as optical design would be different. If Canon had left in more SA like the prior 85 1.2 design there would be no need for the DS version - and the lens would be smaller, lighter, and cheaper.

When you say "this is what people prefer," first of all it's not like they have a choice if they have an RF camera and want a native 50 1.2 / 85 1.2 lens. Second, that is basically the point of this thread, that IMO this new trend to pursue hyper corrected sharpness is artistically misguided, especially when it compels people to further modify the optical path because the image looks too sterile, and bokeh too neutral or nervous.
 
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H. Jones

Photojournalist
Aug 1, 2014
731
1,429
When you say "this is what people prefer," first of all it's not like they have a choice if they have an RF camera and want a native 50 1.2 / 85 1.2 lens. Second, that is basically the point of this thread, that IMO this new trend to pursue hyper corrected sharpness is artistically misguided, especially when it compels people to further modify the optical path because the image looks too sterile, and bokeh too neutral or nervous.
I will say, looking at Canon's RF line-up, I'm a bit hopeful the expensive, "perfect" f/1.2 lenses give Canon more room to release F/1.4 primes that don't search for "perfection" and instead value size over optics. I personally don't see a reason why F/1.4 primes would have to chase pure sharpness if Canon already has a $2500 option for that reason, I'd rather have weather-sealed L lenses that are rough around the edges but get the job done in a smaller package. It sounds like Sony already did something similar to this with their new small-ish 35mm F/1.4, and I'm hopeful that Canon will also come out with a smaller set of F/1.4 primes.


On a sidenote, everyone's needs are clearly different, but the first lens I jumped on when I got for my R5 was the RF 70-200 F/2.8L IS, and I have used it for all kinds of sports and fast action without an issue. I still have my EF 70-200 F/2.8L IS II briefly while I wait to swap the 1DX2 for an R3, but I far prefer using the RF lens over the EF lens. The RF 70-200 truly changes the way I think about the 70-200 as a lens, and it feels no different than using a 24-70. So for a lens I use all day every day on every shoot I go on, I greatly, greatly appreciate the weight and size difference. Anyone who has used a 100-400 IS II for sports will already know how to properly handle the longer throw for the zoom ring.
 

sagittariansrock

EOS 5D Mark IV
Sep 20, 2012
1,690
1
Houston, TX
Isn't this just the norm? Technology developing more and more, and things becoming more and more perfect and losing the flaws that gave them character? Which is why handmade clothing is still valuable and so much more expensive, old hand-ground lenses ground are desired by filmmakers over modern lenses, and handmade pottery is worth so much more than the perfections churned out by ceramic factories every day? I feel I am really lucky that has not happened so far with Canon lenses. As @privatebydesign pointed out, you can get great EF lenses with 'character' for low prices if that's what you want, or go with the best that technology can provide if that's what you want instead (and can afford it). I really enjoy the speed and accuracy of my RF 50/1.2 but when it comes to color and look, I love my EF 35/1.4 v1 (whose price dropped like a stone after the v2 came out) far more.
 

Ruined

EOS R
Aug 22, 2013
930
59
Isn't this just the norm? Technology developing more and more, and things becoming more and more perfect and losing the flaws that gave them character? Which is why handmade clothing is still valuable and so much more expensive, old hand-ground lenses ground are desired by filmmakers over modern lenses, and handmade pottery is worth so much more than the perfections churned out by ceramic factories every day? I feel I am really lucky that has not happened so far with Canon lenses. As @privatebydesign pointed out, you can get great EF lenses with 'character' for low prices if that's what you want, or go with the best that technology can provide if that's what you want instead (and can afford it). I really enjoy the speed and accuracy of my RF 50/1.2 but when it comes to color and look, I love my EF 35/1.4 v1 (whose price dropped like a stone after the v2 came out) far more.
For me, at least, it seems like the "golden age" of canon lens design was like 2005-2017. Starting with lenses like the EF 50 1.2 / 85 1.2 II and ending with lenses like the 16-35 III

I am not saying that I want some blurry totally flawed lens. I do believe there is value in some corrections. Like, if you compare the EF 50mm f/1.0 to the 50 f/1.2 or 85 f/1.2 II, the EF 50 1.0 will show rainbows, massive amounts of flare, the bokeh balls are onioned, etc. Those are things I think you can apply a bit of correction to and improve in all dimensions like we saw with the EF 50 f/1.2 and 85 f/1.2 II. For portraits, I personally would rather shoot with the EF 50 1.2 over the EF 50 1.0, but Id also rather shoot with the EF 50 1.2 over the RF 50 1.2. Similarly I'd take the EF 85 1.2 II over the EF 85 1.2 I, EF 85 1.4, and RF 85 1.2 (both versions)

This latest crop of 2018-2021 lenses, I really feel they are going overboard on the corrections on the portrait primes especially, and now the lenses are too clinical with less pleasing bokeh than the ones they replaced while also being much larger and more expensive. The EF 50 1.2 rendered beautifully and was not much bigger than the 35 f/2 IS. The RF 1.2 is so much larger and more expensive, sure maybe sharper and easier to use but the bokeh is not as nice as a result of all the corrections.
 
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Sporgon

5% of gear used 95% of the time
CR Pro
Whilst I too am not that keen on the very large, ultra fast lenses being offered in the RF mount I do like the accuracy of the AF that the mirrorless R series brings. No great photo ever had the subject unintentionally out of focus, and the wide open accuracy and sharpness I'm seeing with the RP is really much better than I could guarantee to achieve with a dslr when shooting through the viewfinder. Fortunately we can still use the old EF lenses and that's what I will be doing.
 
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privatebydesign

I post too Much on Here!!
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Jan 29, 2011
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Whilst I too am not that keen on the very large, ultra fast lenses being offered in the RF mount I do like the accuracy of the AF that the mirrorless R series brings. No great photo ever had the subject unintentionally out of focus, and the wide open accuracy and sharpness I'm seeing with the RP is really much better than I could guarantee to achieve with a dslr when shooting through the viewfinder. Fortunately we can still use the old EF lenses and that's what I will be doing.
Whilst I'd broadly agree I would also say there is a big difference between "No great photo ever had the subject unintentionally out of focus" and the current reality of general expectations from photographers. Now it seems if you can't cut yourself on it it isn't 'sharp enough' yet there are countless 'great' images out there that are not 'sharp'.

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Sporgon

5% of gear used 95% of the time
CR Pro
Whilst I'd broadly agree I would also say there is a big difference between "No great photo ever had the subject unintentionally out of focus" and the current reality of general expectations from photographers. Now it seems if you can't cut yourself on it it isn't 'sharp enough' yet there are countless 'great' images out there that are not 'sharp'.

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As you say, a photograph doesn't have to be digitally sharp to be in focus, the two things are not necessarily the same. Take your examples; in the CB photo the point of focus is spot on - look at the duck boards, but CB has used motion blur to emphasis the shot. The same in the second image; the focus is bang on as intended with the hand of the girl pressed up against the window of the car in focus and their faces just beyond the dof. In fact this image rather emphasises my point. In the last image - the falling soldier by Capa: it looks in focus to me ! (It should have been if it was staged as has been suggested).

What I have found with the RP is that I can shoot wide open with impunity, even when the point of focus is well to the side of the frame, something I wouldn't have dared do with the slr in a critical shot on the fly as it were. The RF mount is definitely offering us something more in this respect. The elephant in the room of course is the EVF vs the OVF. It's a pleasure to go back to using the sir's viewfinder, though after holding the RP the 5DS feels like it's been at the pies and ale too much. I must say the RP fits in my hand like a double scotch that PBD has just paid for :)
 
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Dockland

EOS RP
Nov 14, 2019
228
542
Sweden
I've been saying the same thing here for a while, with differing levels of pushback. The size and price of lenses nowadays for questionable 'image quality improvements' has far surpassed the level of common sense or general need. But as soon as you say that some dish!t pipes up that they need f1.2 instead of f1.4, or they need 50lppmm 'more' because their 'sensor can out resolve their current lens', which just shows they have no understanding of how system resolution works.

The only group of posters that I see that genuinely do need 'more' are the wildlife people, particularly birders, that have small subjects often at some distance so they do regularly push the boundaries of resolution and pixel density. For most of the rest of us thinking we 'need' this bigger, heavier, faster, more exotic glass is just a crutch to support our own photographic inadequacies.

I'm pleased with my RF 85 f/1.2 if i compare it to my (now sold) EF 85mm f/1.4. The CA is way better on the f/1.2. Way better.
 

Dockland

EOS RP
Nov 14, 2019
228
542
Sweden
Seriously, who cares about CA, it is so easy to correct in post it is a complete non issue.

Ok. Then it's no meaning Canon develops anything to correct this in the optics. Completely meaningless. They can just state any aberrations with a simple "just correct that in post" and continue to produce cheap shitty lenses like EF 85mm f/1.8 f/1.4.

I rather have as little aberrations in the first step myself, but that's just me perhaps.
 

privatebydesign

I post too Much on Here!!
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Jan 29, 2011
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Ok. Then it's no meaning Canon develops anything to correct this in the optics. Completely meaningless. They can just state any aberrations with a simple "just correct that in post" and continue to produce cheap shitty lenses like EF 85mm f/1.8 f/1.4.

I rather have as little aberrations in the first step myself, but that's just me perhaps.
No, it’s just a compromise between size weight and cost vs minor aberrations that can be easily and effectively removed if necessary. Very few people would agree with you that the EF 85 f1.4 L IS is a “cheap and shitty lens”. Sounds like you have a touch of buyers guilt or gear insecurity.
 
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Dockland

EOS RP
Nov 14, 2019
228
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No, it’s just a compromise between size weight and cost vs minor aberrations that can be easily and effectively removed if necessary. Very few people would agree with you that the EF 85 f1.4 L IS is a “cheap and shitty lens”. Sounds like you have a touch of buyers guilt or gear insecurity.

I wasn't pleased with the 85 f/1.4. There's certainly a market for those kind of lenses, no doubt.
 

privatebydesign

I post too Much on Here!!
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Jan 29, 2011
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I wasn't pleased with the 85 f/1.4. There's certainly a market for those kind of lenses, no doubt.
Can you post some images you took with the EF85 f1.4 L that you are disappointed with because the CA was unacceptably bad?
 

gruhl28

Canon 70D
Jul 26, 2013
145
47
People keep talking about "overcorrected" lenses having a "clinical" look, but I don't really know what people mean by "clinical". I understand that some lenses have smoother bokeh and others have "busier" looking bokeh, but the word "clinical" seems to imply something else. I can't help wondering whether some of the people using that term even really know themselves what they mean by it. I've noticed that even in articles about this, I've never seen side-by-side identical shots taken with different lenses to illustrate what is meant. The articles always have examples of totally different photographs taken with the different lenses, which doesn't really illustrate anything.
 

Dockland

EOS RP
Nov 14, 2019
228
542
Sweden
People keep talking about "overcorrected" lenses having a "clinical" look, but I don't really know what people mean by "clinical". I understand that some lenses have smoother bokeh and others have "busier" looking bokeh, but the word "clinical" seems to imply something else. I can't help wondering whether some of the people using that term even really know themselves what they mean by it. I've noticed that even in articles about this, I've never seen side-by-side identical shots taken with different lenses to illustrate what is meant. The articles always have examples of totally different photographs taken with the different lenses, which doesn't really illustrate anything.

According to the "dirtiness" as old school cool-images, it's easy fixable in post :p
 

stevelee

FT-QL
CR Pro
Jul 6, 2017
2,125
830
Davidson, NC
People keep talking about "overcorrected" lenses having a "clinical" look, but I don't really know what people mean by "clinical". I understand that some lenses have smoother bokeh and others have "busier" looking bokeh, but the word "clinical" seems to imply something else. I can't help wondering whether some of the people using that term even really know themselves what they mean by it. I've noticed that even in articles about this, I've never seen side-by-side identical shots taken with different lenses to illustrate what is meant. The articles always have examples of totally different photographs taken with the different lenses, which doesn't really illustrate anything.
The only time I have used the word "clinical" in criticism of a lens was of the portraits I took with my 100mm macro. It's a great lens, and 100mm is perfect for portraits. But I didn't like the look. I liked better the portraits made with my 24mm–105mm zoom, but of course the aperture doesn't open as wide. I've since bought a refurbed 85mm f/1.8 and like it, too in that range.
 

Ruined

EOS R
Aug 22, 2013
930
59
People keep talking about "overcorrected" lenses having a "clinical" look, but I don't really know what people mean by "clinical". I understand that some lenses have smoother bokeh and others have "busier" looking bokeh, but the word "clinical" seems to imply something else. I can't help wondering whether some of the people using that term even really know themselves what they mean by it. I've noticed that even in articles about this, I've never seen side-by-side identical shots taken with different lenses to illustrate what is meant. The articles always have examples of totally different photographs taken with the different lenses, which doesn't really illustrate anything.
IMO clinical generally means an ultra sharp image combined with bokeh and/or color rendering that is less impressive than other options available. An example can be found in the bokeh section of this RF 85 1.2 analysis, the EF 85 1.2 II does notably better than this
 
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privatebydesign

I post too Much on Here!!
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Jan 29, 2011
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According to the "dirtiness" as old school cool-images, it's easy fixable in post :p
Nope, bokeh and falloff are impossible to 'fix' in post, as opposed to CA which is a simple fix. Funny how you can argue the opposite of both...
 

gruhl28

Canon 70D
Jul 26, 2013
145
47
The only time I have used the word "clinical" in criticism of a lens was of the portraits I took with my 100mm macro. It's a great lens, and 100mm is perfect for portraits. But I didn't like the look. I liked better the portraits made with my 24mm–105mm zoom, but of course the aperture doesn't open as wide. I've since bought a refurbed 85mm f/1.8 and like it, too in that range.
Can you explain what was different about the look between the two lenses?

Are you referring to the 100mm macro L or non-L?
 

gruhl28

Canon 70D
Jul 26, 2013
145
47
IMO clinical generally means an ultra sharp image combined with bokeh and/or color rendering that is less impressive than other options available. An example can be found in the bokeh section of this RF 85 1.2 analysis, the EF 85 1.2 II does notably better than this
Thanks. I agree that the bokeh in the photo of the bird is not attractive, very "busy", not smooth. It's never been clear to me what causes this - I've heard it blamed on aspheric elements but I don't really know whether that has anything to do with the issue or not. If this is what people mean by "clinical" - sharp in focus but with busy bokeh - I wish they would say that, as I don't think the word clinical conveys that very well. But I'm not sure if some people mean more, or something else, by clinical.