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JPlayer

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« on: June 23, 2006, 02:48:56 PM »

Again, I find myself agonising about the best portrait lense.

The 85mm II 1.2 L is pretty expensive.

But, how much better is it than the first 85mm 1.2 L?

And in terms of focal length, is 85mm just right or maybe 100 or so would be better?

I would be extremely grateful for your opinion and advice. And, Bob Kolun, I would in particular like to know what you think.
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boku

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« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2006, 05:31:00 PM »

Quote
Again, I find myself agonising about the best portrait lense.

The 85mm II 1.2 L is pretty expensive.

But, how much better is it than the first 85mm 1.2 L?

And in terms of focal length, is 85mm just right or maybe 100 or so would be better?

I would be extremely grateful for your opinion and advice. And, Bob Kolun, I would in particular like to know what you think.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=68999\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

J -

I don't own an 85, so all I know is the lens is supposed to have beautiful bokeh and the new version is supposed to focus fast. That's a lot of bread for a fixed lens. I think it is intended for street journalists.

I would use the 100 macro - does the job and much less $.

The focal lenght is right on for full-frame (35mm) studio portature. Might be a bit long for cropped sensors, but most folks feel differently. I used to like to interact with the subject, not stand accross the room.
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Bob Kulon

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David Anderson

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« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2006, 01:02:36 AM »

I got an 85 1.2 a few weeks before the new model was anounced ! DOH !
The focus is a little slow in lower light, but not a huge problem, the look you get from this lens near wide open IMO is just beautiful, I like it for outdoor portraits more then studio work.
It would also be nice if it focused a bit closer.

The 100 Macro is also a great lens and much cheaper, it's as sharp as the day is long and very useful for portraits because of the close focusing.
Also doubles as a macro lens   ..

I agree with Boku about the working distance in the studio with the 100 as being about right.
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pobrien3

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« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2006, 07:44:33 AM »

I think you'll find these tests very interesting.  The same site also tests the Canon EF 100mm f/2 vs EF 85mm f/1.8 and EF 135mm f/2 L Lenses.  I decided long ago (in the days of film) to use the 85mm f/1.8 after comparing it to the far more expensive L lens.  It remains one of my favourite lenses.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2006, 08:57:31 PM by pobrien3 »
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Geoff Wittig

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« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2006, 05:14:23 PM »

Quite so! After considering options for about 30 seconds I purchased the 85 f:1.8, and have no regrets. It's razor sharp at all apertures, and so light and compact it's easy to bring along on any photo trip for informal portraits. It's worth springing the extra $25 or so for the optional hood to keep light off the big front element to limit flare. A total bargain compared to the massive f:1.2 lens, which is ever so slightly sharper.
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Sune Wendelboe

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« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2006, 01:28:58 PM »

Hi

I've got the 85mm f/1.2L and use it a lot. On the 20D it was too narrow but on the 5D it's really good.

It's slow but not too slow for portraits (definitely for sport). Could it be sharper?
Maybe but I've never seen anything like it.
Check some samples here:
The Vietnam and Panamáportraits are made using it.

http://www.globalphotographic.net/Portraits.htm

Sincerely
Sune Wendelboe
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boku

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« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2006, 02:44:45 PM »

Quote
Hi

I've got the 85mm f/1.2L and use it a lot. On the 20D it was too narrow but on the 5D it's really good.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=69175\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Exactly - on a 10D-20D-30D-etc, a 50mm would be what I would use (or the 65mm macro). Think of how much le$$ the 50mm f/1.4 would be with stunning results on a 20D.

For the 5D-1D-1Ds-etc, the 85mm or 100mm choices make sense.

I guess it all depend on what you call a studio and what you call a portrait. There are tight face shots and full length groups. Small rooms and infinite space. I still hold by my original indication that it is important to interact with the client (after having established a supportive, non-threatening, sense of rapport).

You need to "work" the model, and you can't do that from across the room yelling instructions.
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Bob Kulon

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benInMA

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« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2006, 04:27:11 PM »

The 50/1.4 on a 20D is going to work just fine but keep in mind it is not the same thing as an 85/1.2 on a 5D/1Ds.

But if you have to ask this question you probably shouldn't bother buying the 85/1.2.  Buy the 85/1.8, 100/2, 135/2, 100/2.8 Macro, etc..

I've had the 50/1.8, 50/1.4, 85/1.8, etc.. on a 10D, and 50/1.4, 85/1.8, and now 100/2.8 Macro on the 5D.

The 50mm lens is going to give you a lot more DoF no matter what camera you use it on, it's not going to look terribly like any of the others.

But all the other combos whether with a 1.6x or FF body are going to give you the ability to blow the background way out of focus.

Only if you are a specialist in this area of next-to-zero DoF portraits and unhappy with the other lenses would it be worth it to go get an 85/1.2.    The 85/1.8 has more then enough DoF control on either type of camera to get focused eyes and an out of focus nose tip & ears.   The 1.8 also is of course inexpensive, small, has blazing fast A/F, and has excellent image quality.   You can't do any harm trying the 85/1.8 first before going for the f/1.2 lens.

The bigger question is whether you want a field of view of 85/100/135.   Everyone has a different preference there, that is much harder to figure out without trying all the lenses yourself, perhaps over an extended period of time.
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pobrien3

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« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2006, 08:42:27 PM »

JPlayer didn't specify the camera the lens would be used on, but the field of view with the cropped sensors will of course be restricted.  To my mind it's about DoF control and the mildly compressed image you get from short tele lenses which make a portrait lens.  The 50mm lens for me doesn't satisfy those requirements, whether you get the smaller FoV of a cropped sensor or full frame.

Take your camera to a dealer and try the lenses out.  As for shallow DoF with the 85mm f/1.8, it's sometimes a challenge to keep all of the face in focus!  The shot below was with the 85mm f/1.8 wide open.  The eyes are about the only thing in focus - tip of the nose is slightly out, the ears are well out.
[attachment=741:attachment]
<for some reason the attached jpeg shows up far darker than my original   >
« Last Edit: June 26, 2006, 08:51:56 PM by pobrien3 »
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pfigen

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« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2006, 09:29:54 PM »

If you can afford the 1.2, go for it. It's sharper and contrastier than the 1.8 but it is slower focusing. Even though it's big and heavy and slow, it does something that few other lenses can, and you'll never have to make the excuse of thinking you should have spent the extra dough. Sure, it ain't cheap, but life is short. If you don't like it there are plenty of folks who will be there to buy it from you. While of course the lens will work on any camera, it seems tailor made and is a perfect match for the 5D. That combo is just amazing, and considering the low light/ high ISO ability of that camera, you'll make images that you could never make otherwise. Do get the 12mm extension as well.
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Akiss

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« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2006, 08:43:42 AM »

I own the 85mm 1.2 L and I think is the sharper lens from canon together with the 135/f2 L. Yes it is expensive and slow in focus and bubulky but the image quality is outstanding.

JPlayer

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« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2006, 06:23:49 PM »

With all my heart I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to contribute.

I have the 5D, so it would appear the 85mm 1.2 L is a good match. I have noted all your comments and appreciated the link to the Vietnam and Panama photos. It is not quite clear whether most of the reports refer to the mark I or mark II 85mm  1.2. The mark II version is supposed to compatible with the flash and am I wrong in understanding it is faster than mark I?

There is a case in trying the 85mm 1.8 esp if faster AF, though.
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pobrien3

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« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2006, 12:52:33 AM »

JPlayer, the website reviews I posted compare the MkI and the MkII as well as with the f/1.8.  The way I interpret their results bore out my own conclusion, reached quite some time ago - I couldn't see the justification for the extra cost of the f/1.2, but that's just my opinion!
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JPlayer

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« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2006, 05:39:36 PM »

Thanks for all the input, I have read and read again.

I ended up purchasing the 100mm 2.8 and the 85mm 1.2.

I like them both. Both quite sharp. A bonus is the 100mm being a macro and the bokeh on the 85 at large appeture. I wish the 85 can focus closer. Would a magnifying lens help, without compromising quality?

I do find that for head shots the the distance is a bit close to the 'subjects' and that can make some people shy and nervous. So, I am thinking the 135mm 2.0L sounds like the right focal length and if the reports of it being one of the sharper lenses are true, I am this close to putting an order tomorrow.

Would anyone disagree?

Any opinions a would be seriously considered and appreciated.

Thanks
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jani

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« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2006, 06:26:03 PM »

Quote
I like them both. Both quite sharp. A bonus is the 100mm being a macro and the bokeh on the 85 at large appeture. I wish the 85 can focus closer. Would a magnifying lens help, without compromising quality?
No, that will compromise quality, but how much depends on the quality of the magnifying lens. It might be worth it for some uses.
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996sps

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« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2006, 12:17:47 AM »

Quote
I do find that for head shots the the distance is a bit close to the 'subjects' and that can make some people shy and nervous. So, I am thinking the 135mm 2.0L sounds like the right focal length and if the reports of it being one of the sharper lenses are true, I am this close to putting an order tomorrow.

Would anyone disagree?

Any opinions a would be seriously considered and appreciated.

Thanks
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I have a 5D tried both the 85 mm f1.2L Mk1 and 135mm f2.0L. The 85 mm was way off my budget but I  am pleased to say the 135 mm is superb value for money. Extremely fast in focussing and contrast and bokeh very good. I have done studio shots as well as outdoor ones with no regrets whatsoever.
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pfigen

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« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2006, 05:31:57 PM »

If you need to focus closer with the 85, get the Canon 12mm extension tube. Works great. Still sharp.
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