Canon 85MM 1.8 thoughts

Discussion in 'Canon Lenses' started by mcera76, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. mcera76

    mcera76 TPF Noob!

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    I just started shooting weddings and want to buy the 85MM 1.8. What are your thoughts for this type of event with this lens?

    I currently shoot with.
    Canon 24-105
    Canon 50MM 1.2
    Canon 70-200MM 2.8 IS
    and I rent a Macro

    I was interested in the 85MM 1.2 but the price is just too much right now. Is there any comparison?


     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    For about six years I had a 20D and a 5D and the 50/1.8 EF-II, the 24-105-L zoom, the 70-200/2.8 L-USM IS, 50/1.4,100 macro, 135-2-L,the 135 Soft Focus,100/2.8 Macro, and the 85/1.8 EF. Overall, I thought the 85mm was a good lens, with good value and performance for the money. Compact in size and light, good optics, good value for dollar spent.

    I dunno...the 85/1.2 has a very strong longitudinal color (purple and green fringing) signature at wide f/stops. YES, it has shallow DOF, but that purple and green color fringing, the longitudinal CA signature, makes me consider it an ugly lens at wide f/stops for a bokeh nut like me: I do not like strong color fringing on 3-D items, but some people do not, and this is not lateral CA which is easy to remove, but this is another type of color fringing that's harder to eliminate. This type of color fringing is fairly common on many telephotos at their widest f/stop or two, and it usually improves a lot as the lens is stopped down--so there goes the advantage of the fast-aperture lens.

    Compare the weight of the 85/1.2 against the f/1.8 model.One is a MASSIVE hunk of glass, the other feels light and airy on the camera. The earlier 85/1.2 EF was very SLOW on autofocusing, and had offer high-precision focus placement for use at wide f/stops; the Mark II version was made faster in focusing, but I think the 85/1.8 might actually tend to be faster still.

    Sigma has a new, fast-aperture 85mm offering in the ART series https://petapixel.com/2016/10/17/review-sigmas-85mm-f1-4-art-lens-exceeds-expectations/

    , and has had another model of 85/1.4 for several years now, so that's another potential 85mm lens avenue. I dunno...I kind of like the compact f/1.8 85mm lens Canon has had for years now. It's a solid performer, does its job, cost is affordable. I personally like a SMALL LENS for a lot of people picture uses, and I favor apertures in the f/4 to f8 region, so I see little use for an f/1.2 lens and its size.
     
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  3. mcera76

    mcera76 TPF Noob!

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    I have held the 85 1.2 on a body and it IS heavy and I honestly don't want to be carrying that type of weight in my bag along with the 50 and 70-200 through out the day. I think you just helped me make my decision :)

    Thanks
     
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  4. ashleykaryl

    ashleykaryl TPF Noob!

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    I've had the 85mm F1.8 for many years. It's a good performer optically with super fast focus. On the downside it doesn't allow you to focus very closely and on a full frame camera it's basically limited to head and shoulders. The 24-105L will go closer at 85mm.

    On occasions when I've needed to go closer I've used the 100mm macro that is a good portrait lens in the studio, but at a wedding I think the 24-105L would be the better bet. Frankly I very rarely remove the 24-105L these days.
     
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  5. dasmith232

    dasmith232 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Briefly, I like it.

    I happen to have a bunch of lenses, and many of them are "L" types. And it's not to "show off" or anything, but it allows me to be selective on which lenses I use. Several never even see the light of day. However, the 85/1.8 is one that does.

    I like it for portrait stuff. I also have the 135/2 and for me, I like those two lenses almost the same amount (but for different reasons).

    The 135/2 is sharper, and stays sharper out to the edges. But the 85/1.8 isn't a slouch.

    The 135/2 has a narrower angle of view which often helps if you're shooting against a backdrop. But that narrower angle of view pushes you back further from the subject. If you're using a crop-sized sensor, then you could be getting pushed pretty far back. Some people like that. I like to be closer to (and more interactive with) the person.

    The 85/1.8 is WAY lighter and smaller. That can be helpful if you want to be less imposing or less intimidating for the subjects.

    Like what Derrel said, I find the 85/1.8 to be faster focusing than the 135/2. (This is on a 5D3.)

    The lens hood on the 85/1.8 feels a little bit flimsy compared to several of my other lens hoods. There is a pair of push "buttons" on the 85's hood that retracts some teeth that grip the front of the lens (instead of a 1/4 turn twist). It feels a little bit more like it could break if it were bumped hard. But honestly, it's never been a problem.

    Let's see... what else? Oh, yeah. The 135/2 has a red ring, and the 85/1.8 has a gold ring. It's kind of messed up that that's a criteria, but some red nail polish can fix that, if that's an issue. (Just kidding!)
     
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  6. dasmith232

    dasmith232 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    @ashleykaryl brings up a really good point about events. I was comparing one portrait lens with another, but didn't comment about using that lens for shooting a wedding. I don't recall using the 85/1.8 (nor the 135/2) for a wedding very often, if ever.

    During the wedding ceremony, I typically use a 70-200/2.8 on one camera and the 24-105/4 on another. During the reception, I switch to a 17-40 and 24-105 setup. I'll switch lenses for specific situations, but these are my starting point. When I need that compressed and shallow DOF look I'll use the 70-200 zoomed in tighter.
     
  7. nickgillespie

    nickgillespie TPF Noob!

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    I shot with the 1.8 for years until I could afford the 1.2. Great lens, especially on full frame.
     
  8. table1349

    table1349 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The 85 f1.8 is a decent all around lens, but for portraiture there are better. It is a great sports lens with fast AF. For portraits, if you don't want to spend the money on the f1.2 then look at the 100 f2.8 or as Derrel suggested the Sigma Art lens.
     
  9. goodguy

    goodguy Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    There are a million different approaches to which lenses to shoot a wedding
    Lenses I own
    12-24mm 4-5.6
    24-70mm 2.8
    70-200mm 2.8
    35mm 35mm 1.8
    85mm 1.8
    50mm 1.8

    I started with the 24-70mm and 70-200mm
    Got the primes thinking I will use them more.
    Today I can tell you 95% I use the 24-70mm, to me its GOLD. pure gold, wouldn't want any other lens.
    I will shoot a whole wedding with it and wouldn't need another lens.
    Saying that I do use the 85mm for very, very specific shots, will use it once for maybe 10 shots every wedding, could get them with the 24-70mm but the 85mm does have advantage there.
    In weddings all my lenses get used from time to time but really the 24-70mm is the main tool I use.
    The 24-105mm is a nice lens and you can get it but I would recommend the Tamron 24-70mm 2.8 with its extremely effective VC.
    My buddy just bought one and I am super impressed with it, if I didn't have already 24-70mm native to my system I think I would have bought it myself.
    Shooting at f2.8 gives you an extra stop of light and this can come in handy lots of times.
     
  10. ronlane

    ronlane What's next? Supporting Member

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    Love my 85mm f/1.8. I got it for Christmas and I have it on my camera as much as any lens I have. (50mm f.1/8, 24-70mm f/2.8, 70-200mm f/2.8, 15-30mm f/3.5-4.5 and the 85mm f/1.8)

    I use it on a 7D mk II and an old 1D mk II.
     
  11. mcera76

    mcera76 TPF Noob!

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    Thank you everyone! I have purchased this lens and it IS great! It now never leaves my bag!:1219:
     
  12. TCampbell

    TCampbell Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    One fairly significant difference between the f/1.8 version and the f/1.2L version is the speed of the focusing motors. The f/1.8 is snappy. The f/1.2L is one of the slowest focusing lenses in the line-up. I love the look of the images from the f/1.2L, but I wouldn't use it for candids -- it's more useful for portraiture where you're setting up the shots.
     
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