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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses
Thread started 05 Nov 2012 (Monday) 14:19
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Is the 85mm 1.2 II that slow to focus?

 
Eyal
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Nov 05, 2012 14:19 |  #1

I was testing a second hand 85 1.2 on saturday, and the AF was extremely slow going from one point to another when testing AF responsiveness.
It took almost 2 seconds to focus from infinity to an object about 2m away from me.

I heard that the AF was slow, but is it that slow or am I missing something?
Also just to confirm, because of the focus-by-wire thingy, manual focusing does sound a bit... strange... compared to the other lenses.

I plan to test two more lenses before I make up my mind.

But I have to say, that the IQ at F/2.8 and above is just insane. The lens I tested might need a bit of MA, but damn :-o


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16-35mm F/2.8L II | 24-70mm F/2.8L II | 70-200mm F/2.8L IS II
Σ 50mm F/1.4 | 85mm F/1.2L II | 100mm F/2.8L IS Macro | 135mm F/2L | 300mm F/2.8L IS

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Bonbridge
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Nov 05, 2012 14:26 |  #2

It's pretty slow, but more than usable imo. The focus is always spot on, even on F1.2. I really don't care about the slow focussing at all.

Did you try the version I or II? The version 1 is even slower.


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cdifoto
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Nov 05, 2012 14:30 |  #3

In reality, how often do you go from infinity to minimum or vice-versa and need it instantly?


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btmlinedan
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Nov 05, 2012 14:38 |  #4

i have the v1 and it's pretty slow. I wouldn't recommend it for sports, that's when i'd grab the 135, but for portraits, it's very usable. I was tracking dogs (once focus was locked) and it was pretty good on sudden movements, just if they were running front to back it may not be that.

the sigma 85mm is supposedly twice as fast as the v2. i'd love to see a video of the 85 v1 vs the v2 in autofocus speeds.


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xhack
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Nov 05, 2012 14:49 |  #5

^^ Agreed. In the two years I had the 85 1.2 II, it was really leisurely in end-to-end traverse.

However, in real life, when in the normal shooting zone of 2m to 5m (6' to 15'), I really noticed no problems in achieving fast focus.


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Jericobot
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Nov 05, 2012 14:50 |  #6

^ditto


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Eyal
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Nov 05, 2012 15:16 |  #7

Thanks for the input.

I was looking at a version II of the lens.
The copy I checked felt a bit too soft at 1.2 so I plan to check another copy.
They go for about 1500$ used (before tax) vs 2000$ new, so it might be an oppertunity to finally get one.


5DMarkIII+Grip | Extender 1.4x III / 2x III
16-35mm F/2.8L II | 24-70mm F/2.8L II | 70-200mm F/2.8L IS II
Σ 50mm F/1.4 | 85mm F/1.2L II | 100mm F/2.8L IS Macro | 135mm F/2L | 300mm F/2.8L IS

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btmlinedan
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Nov 05, 2012 15:37 |  #8

5d3 + 85L v1 @ f1.2 . not an AMAZING shot but you get the idea. focused on his eyes.

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Eyal wrote in post #15210510 (external link)
Thanks for the input.

I was looking at a version II of the lens.
The copy I checked felt a bit too soft at 1.2 so I plan to check another copy.
They go for about 1500$ used (before tax) vs 2000$ new, so it might be an oppertunity to finally get one.



ps where do you see the v2 go for $1500?


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marekknowak
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Nov 05, 2012 16:29 as a reply to btmlinedan's post |  #9

It's not a good lens to shoot something that moves quickly.

With the 1DX, though, it seems to focus faster than with my old 5DM2.




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SiaoP
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Nov 05, 2012 17:15 |  #10

I've been spoiled by the 24-70 and 70-200. When I got my 85mm f/1.2 II last Friday I was not too upset by its AF speed. I knew it would be retarded but it wasn't as bad as people said it to be. It isn't nearly as fast as the other L zooms. The AF is accurate and it doesn't muddle around like the cheapo 50mm f/1.8. It does however feel like dripping molasses when shooting moving people.

The problem I have is getting the focal point right on at f/1.2. That aperture poses a real challenge and even if the AF is spot on, I might miss the subject if he or she moves a little bit. I think coupled with the fact that the AF is not as fast and you are at f/1.2 this lens isn't that much of a cakewalk to use.

The results I got from this though were completely different from anything I had got before. It is really unique and I will live with its quirks to get those shots.


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snake0ape
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Nov 05, 2012 20:52 |  #11

I have the mk1. Autofocus is slow but very usable. There is no problem on static objects. I use Al-servo mode on walking subjects and once you get it close to focus range, it will follow the subject quite well. But if you are using f1.2 on a walking object at close range, set to multi-frames. Good luck on getting a picture of what you want in focus. I use it for portraits and walk-arounds with smashing success.


5Diii | 50D | 8-15L 4| 16-35L 2.8 II| 24-70L 2.8 II | 70-200L 2.8 IS II |Tamy 150-600 | Σ35Art 1.4 | 40 2.8 | Σ50Art 1.4 | 85L 1.2 II | 100 2.8 Macro | Helios 44-3 58mm f2.0 |Helios 40-1 85mm f1.5 | 1.4x & 2x teleconverters

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JeffreyG
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Nov 05, 2012 20:57 |  #12

The lens is certainly fast enough to track action. But it is slow when you ask it to make jumps. Using volleyball as an example, the lens is competent to track athletes. But compared to the 70-200 it is a slow lens to use because you cannot shoot the pass, set and hit all in one sequence. The lens takes too long to jump from one athlete to the next.

But it can do action, even at large apertures.

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smorter
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Nov 05, 2012 23:00 |  #13

When I used it on a 5D2, I deemed it slow but usable. My expectations were never really high anyway.

Since moving to the 5D3, were AF expectations have raised a lot, it's a dream in good light, zippy and confident, but in low light it is sometimes unusable to the point where it is so slow that I am missing shots.

There's something seriously wrong with the 85LII and the 5D3 that causes it to lag and hunt like a dog. It's a bit disappointing.

My "barometer" is the "hug photo", where the bride reaches over to hug an arriving guest. The 85LII and 5D3 combo is sometimes so slow that it won't be complete focusing until after the whole hug is already finished. I have missed photos because of this speed issue.

Sounds silly, but yeah, the 85LII in low light will often take longer to focus than it takes 2 people to have a hug.


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MrDurden1978
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NJ
Jan 15, 2015 07:55 |  #14

lens is slow as molasses. And I'm talking about version 2 on a 5d3.


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Harm
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Jan 15, 2015 08:01 |  #15

this thread is more than 2 years old...

Sure the 85II is slow with AF, but it more than makes up for it with the quality of images that come from it.


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