Canon 50mm 1.4 or 85mm 1.8?

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by PictureThisx2, May 12, 2008.

  1. PictureThisx2

    PictureThisx2 TPF Noob!

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    Hi
    I am looking to purchase a portrait lens for my Canon 20D camera. I am on the fence whether to purchase to Canon 50mm 1.4 or the 85mm 1.8? I normally shoot with the 70-200mm 2.8. Can anyone offer me their opinion on either lens? Thanks
     
  2. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I don't know if this helps any but all of the following lenses are in my portrait kit.

    16-35mm f2.8L II, 24-70mm f2.8L, 70-200 f2.7L, 35mm f1.4L, 50mm f1.4, 85mm f1.8, 100mm f2.0 Macro, 135mm f2L, 200mm f2.8L.

    Both lenses you are inquiring about are in there. Both are very good glass that provide excellent results. The fill different functions due to the focal length. Personally I prefer primes for portraits, however I use zooms when it is more practical. Personally I would start with the 50 if you don't have one in your kit and add the 85 later. I'm old school and can't imagine not having a good 50 in the bag. Much of it will depend on what kind of shots you plan to take and where you will be.
     
  3. RKW3

    RKW3 TPF Noob!

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    I'd say get the 50. The 85mm on a DX camera is a lotta range, it would be good for head shots but not for group or full-body pics probably.
     
  4. Rhubarb

    Rhubarb TPF Noob!

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    Both excellent portait lenses IMO. It all comes down to working distance. What type of environments are you going to be shooting in? Are you going to have enough room to back up with the 85mm? Do you like to be working at a closer distant to your subjects or do you like to give them more room?
     
  5. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Both are good for the application, I would go with the 50mm first and then make the 85mm your next lens purchase.
     
  6. Cuervo79

    Cuervo79 Guest

    I have both, and although in the 20D the 50 becomes 85 and the 85 135 it depends on what kind of portraits you want, I find the 50 is on my camera most of the time, but I find it that I love the look that the 85 gives for closeups. The space you have to shoot becomes a very important factor between the two if you're interested in having a half body of full body shot the 85 or even the 50 make you need allot of room.
    For the photos I take I would recommend starting with the 50 and after when you have the money buy the 85
     
  7. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Also, the extra stop can be useful for the same price. 50mm on a crop is actually a short telephoto, so 85 will put you back pretty far.
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Seeing as how you already have the 70-200mm F2.8...I'd go for the 50mm F1.4.
     
  9. Jim H

    Jim H TPF Noob!

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    +1
     
  10. Jus7 A Phas3

    Jus7 A Phas3 TPF Noob!

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    +2

    You already the length of 85 with your 70-200 and the 50 is really light weight and also can be used as a travel lens.
     
  11. PictureThisx2

    PictureThisx2 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everyone for your input. My 70-200 is great but cumbersome. I am looking for something a little lighter. I'm getting to 50mm!!!
     

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