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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses
Thread started 14 Mar 2015 (Saturday) 16:12
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The 85mm Lens I Want

 
corndog ­ cabernet
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State of chaos
Mar 14, 2015 16:12 |  #1

I want an 85mm prime lens. It could be 100mm, but no more. Nothing out there is pushing my buttons. But I have hope that Canon will bring us a new version of their 85 f1.8 with better corrected optics and IS. Sell it in the $500-600 range like their revised 24 and 35mm lenses and watch them fly out the door.

I've looked hard at what's currently available and IMO there is a strong case for this lens.

Current Canon 85 f1.8:
Not that sharp wide open and lots of chroma (purple and green) under some conditions. I had this lens before and consider it a good lens, not great.

Canon 85 f1.2:
Too expensive, too large and heavy, slow focusing, and I don't need my 85 to be that fast. f1.8-2.0 is fine thanks.

Sigma 85 f1.4
Again large and somewhat expensive, although not too bad. I desire compatibility and reliable focusing over the extra lens speed and, maybe, slightly improved optics this lens promises. The idea of having to use Sigma's proprietary software to dial in focus combined with the thin DOF f1.4 affords add up to more trouble than I care to deal with.

Canon 100 f2.8 IS macro:
Nice lens but not fast enough for my purposes. It is also quite large and heavy. IS is nice though as well as the macro ability.

Rokinon and their kind:
I want AF. I also suspect these lenses are fragile and become de-centered easily if not babied. I know some really like these but the one I had was not good and sent it back.

Zeiss:
No AF. Bummer.

So Canon, bring us the updated EF85 f1.8 with IS and modern optics. If it's in the same league as the 35mm f2 IS, I'll be thrilled.




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msowsun
Cream of the Crop
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Joined Jul 2007
Oakville Ont. Canada
Mar 14, 2015 16:18 |  #2

You might want to consider the EF 100mm 2.0 instead of an 85mm. There is not much difference in focal length and I find it much nicer than the EF 85mm 1.8 I used to own. It has less CA wide open and is sharper as well.


Mike Sowsun / S110 / SL1 / EF-S 24mm STM / EF-S 10-18mm STM / EF-S 18-55mm STM / EF-S 18-135mm STM / EF-S 55-250mm STM
5D3 / Samyang 14mm 2.8 / EF 40mm 2.8 STM / EF 50mm 1.8 STM / EF 100mm 2.0 USM / EF 100mm 2.8 USM Macro / EF 24-105mm IS /
EF 70-200mm 2.8L IS Mk II / EF 1.4x II
Full Current and Previously Owned Gear List over 40 years Flickr Photostream (external link)

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MalVeauX
"Looks rough and well used"
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Joined Feb 2013
Florida
Mar 14, 2015 16:26 |  #3

Hrm,

The 85 F1.8 is fairly sharp wide open. Sharp enough to not worry at all. Yes, it has CA. But so does the 85L, 50L, etc. All fast glass tends to have some CA to an extent. All of which is generally quite easy to fix in post, so not an issue to me. The 85 at F1.8 is actually sharp. And it's plenty sharp at F2. I'm not quite sure just how sharp you need things to be. I guess it depends on the use. But sometimes you have to actually soften up an image if you do a head shot and see all those pores just glistening. It's plenty sharp. It's actually a great lens. Not just good. The 50 F1.4 and 50 F1.8 are just "good." The 85 F1.8 is great because it's an inexpensive, fast, sharp piece of glass that focuses lighting quick.

The 85L is indeed slow, it's a huge piece of glass. F1.2 is too fast for you? You need faster focus? Ok.

Sigma's 85 F1.4, not that large, yes expensive, because it's F1.4. Faster than the 85L to focus, but not nearly as fast as the 85 F1.8. This is the lens to get, if you want something between the 85L and the 85 F1.8 with AF. You're just worrying about some focus issues. The 85L has focus issues at F1.2 and you'll probably miss more often with that.

Yes, there are awesome MF lenses out there. But you want AF, so, that goes on.

What about the 100 F2?
What about the 135 F2?
Too long for you?

I would love to see Canon produce an 85mm F1.4 or 85mm F2 lens with IS, with better optics, same fast focus speed, etc. It will certainly be $600 or more. I would hate, hate, hate to see an 85 F2.8 IS, which is kind of the direction they've gone lately.

Really, it comes down to what you're shooting.

I shoot the Samyang 85 F1.4 for my F1.4 85mm stuff. But I'm proficient with manual glass.
I shoot the Canon 85 F1.8 when I need AF for action and need fast, sharp wide open. Great for indoor action.
I shoot the 35 F2 IS when I need wide, and I manual focus it often, AF sometimes. I've yet to find it's IS useful though for my purposes.

Very best,


My Flickr (external link) :: My Astrobin (external link) :: Canon 17-40L For Sale

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corndog ­ cabernet
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State of chaos
Post has been edited over 2 years ago by corndog cabernet.
Mar 14, 2015 16:30 |  #4

msowsun wrote in post #17474993external link
You might want to consider the EF 100mm 2.0 instead of an 85mm. There is not much difference in focal length and I find it much nicer than the EF 85mm 1.8 I used to own. It has less CA wide open and is sharper as well.

I thought I might rent one of these to check it out. Thanks for your thoughts about it.
The 100 f2 dates from about the same time as the 85 f1.8. Other's comments I've read indicate it's very similar to the old 85, though your experience is somewhat different.
Problem is it's still an old design, and I'm a bit reticent to plunk down for one of these when an update might be around the corner. I'll keep an eye out for a good used one but I've noticed they are not nearly as common as the 85. Still, I will probably rent one to try.




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FEChariot
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Post has been edited over 2 years ago by FEChariot.
Mar 14, 2015 16:42 |  #5

Canon will update the 85/1.8 at some point but who knows when. I probably wouldn't pay to upgrade my 85/1.8 but if I were in the market for an 85 now, I'd pay $600 for a 35/2 IS quality 85/1.8 IS.


Canon 7D/350D, Σ17-50/2.8 OS, 18-55IS, 24-105/4 L IS, Σ30/1.4 EX, 50/1.8, C50/1.4, 55-250IS, 60/2.8, 70-200/4 L IS, 85/1.8, 100/2.8 IS L, 135/2 L 580EX II, 430EX II * 2, 270EX II.

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GeoKras1989
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Mar 14, 2015 16:51 |  #6
banned

I sold my 85 1.8 and got a 100 f/2. Less CA. I'm happy with it.


WARNING: I often dispense advice in fields I know little about!

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corndog ­ cabernet
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State of chaos
Post has been last edited over 2 years ago by corndog cabernet. 3 edits done in total.
Mar 14, 2015 17:12 |  #7

MalVeauX,

Sharpness may not be quite correct for my assessment. Maybe it was low contrast. Anyway, I'm going from recollection as I haven't had the lens for a few years, but just remember a lack of snap wide open. Regarding correcting fringe color… my experience is that sometimes it's correctable and sometimes it's not without leaving artifacts.
As I mention in my other reply, I'll give the 100 f2 a go with a rental. I am curious about this 24 year old lens.
The 135 f2, I have little doubt, is certainly a great lens but a little long for me and the lens is physically larger than I'd like.

Just to be clear, I'm not saying I wouldn't find one of the lenses currently available acceptable, it's that (on paper at least) they all leave something to be desired, for me.
The modernized 85 f1.8 would fire on all cylinders, so to speak.




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msowsun
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Joined Jul 2007
Oakville Ont. Canada
Post has been edited over 2 years ago by msowsun.
Mar 14, 2015 17:34 as a reply to corndog cabernet's post |  #8

There are lots of lenses that may be old, but still have very good image quality. No reason to mess with perfection. ;-)a

1998 35mm 1.4L
1996 200mm 2.8L II
1996 135mm 2.0L
1993 400mm 5.6L
1992 85mm 1.8
1991 100m 2.0
1991 200mm 2.8L


Mike Sowsun / S110 / SL1 / EF-S 24mm STM / EF-S 10-18mm STM / EF-S 18-55mm STM / EF-S 18-135mm STM / EF-S 55-250mm STM
5D3 / Samyang 14mm 2.8 / EF 40mm 2.8 STM / EF 50mm 1.8 STM / EF 100mm 2.0 USM / EF 100mm 2.8 USM Macro / EF 24-105mm IS /
EF 70-200mm 2.8L IS Mk II / EF 1.4x II
Full Current and Previously Owned Gear List over 40 years Flickr Photostream (external link)

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Thorsten
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San Jose, California
Mar 14, 2015 18:22 |  #9

Maybe your earlier 85/1.8 sample wasn't that good. I don't have any sharpness or contrast concerns with mine (sample below). So you may want to try one again? That said, I recently got the Sigma 85/1.4 and like that one even better (though the difference in output is not big). BTW there is no Sigma proprietary software to deal with (you may be thinking of Art lenses that work with the dock, this one does not). Mine focuses fine out of the box.

85/1.8 at f/1.8

IMAGE: http://www.tkphoto.me/Family/2014/i-GfpTxw7/0/XL/Pool-20140526-045-XL.jpg
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IMAGE: http://www.tkphoto.me/photos/i-jJSGknC/0/M/i-jJSGknC-M.jpg

Thorsten (external link)
Canon 5D3, 80D, 24 IS, 35L, 50/1.8 STM, 85/1.8, 100L, 135L, 400/5.6L, 16-35/4L, 70-200/4L IS, Rokinon 12/2.8

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PineBomb
I have many notable flaws
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Joined Apr 2014
Psych Ward, East Wing, USA
Mar 14, 2015 18:42 |  #10

Thorsten wrote in post #17475151external link
Maybe your earlier 85/1.8 sample wasn't that good.

I'm wondering about this too. Mine has delivered a more than acceptable percentage of keepers wide open and in challenging light situations. And the CA hasn't been much trouble to deal with in PP.

I think the 50 1.4 is due for a refresh far more than the 85 1.8.


-Matt
Website (external link) | flickr (external link) | instagram (external link) | street portrait project on instagram (external link)

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mickeyb105
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Joined Dec 2011
Vero Beach, FL
Mar 14, 2015 19:40 |  #11

corndog cabernet wrote in post #17475060external link
MalVeauX,

Sharpness may not be quite correct for my assessment. Maybe it was low contrast. Anyway, I'm going from recollection as I haven't had the lens for a few years, but just remember a lack of snap wide open. Regarding correcting fringe color… my experience is that sometimes it's correctable and sometimes it's not without leaving artifacts.
As I mention in my other reply, I'll give the 100 f2 a go with a rental. I am curious about this 24 year old lens.
The 135 f2, I have little doubt, is certainly a great lens but a little long for me and the lens is physically larger than I'd like.

Just to be clear, I'm not saying I wouldn't find one of the lenses currently available acceptable, it's that (on paper at least) they all leave something to be desired, for me.
The modernized 85 f1.8 would fire on all cylinders, so to speak.

As someone who had a nice two-year run with the 100 f2, it was a really nice lens--I used it for everything from photojournalism to low-light sports. It was a very manageable size, focused fast and it was sharp. But then I borrowed a friend's 70-200 2.8 ii for the first three quarters of a high school football game and the cat was out of the bag--the colors and contrast were just in another league. Plus the reach was super-useful, of course, but OT.

I wanted the colors and contrast of that $2k lens, but I definitely couldn't afford it. After some research, I settled on a like-new copy of the 200 2.8 ii prime and I've been very happy ever since. In fact, I liked it so much that I decided I needed to have it's little brother--the 135L. I could definitely do fine with the 100 f2 again, but the 135L is just better. Mostly, I do think it is the higher contrast and color rendition.


Sony A99ii, RX-100ii, Sonnar T* 135mm f/1.8 ZA, Minolta HS 200 2.8 APO, Zeiss 24/2 ZA, Minolta 2xTC APO, HVL-F43M
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Tom ­ Reichner
"I am a little creepy"
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Joined Dec 2008
Omak, in north-central Washington state, USA
Mar 16, 2015 10:31 |  #12

I understand the OP's needs. He/she says that IS is very important to him/her......yet, there have been so many suggestions that he/she try lenses with no IS.

I would actually like the same thing the OP is looking for - an f1.8 or f2 lens between 80mm and 100mm that has fast, "snappy" autofocus and also has the latest (4-stop) stabilization. No IS is a huge disadvantage for what I shoot, as is the older 2-stop IS found on many of the older lenses.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "peace of mind", NOT "piece of mind".

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LonelyBoy
Goldmember
Joined Oct 2014
Mar 16, 2015 15:44 |  #13

Tom Reichner wrote in post #17477344external link
I understand the OP's needs. He/she says that IS is very important to him/her......yet, there have been so many suggestions that he/she try lenses with no IS.

I would actually like the same thing the OP is looking for - an f1.8 or f2 lens between 80mm and 100mm that has fast, "snappy" autofocus and also has the latest (4-stop) stabilization. No IS is a huge disadvantage for what I shoot, as is the older 2-stop IS found on many of the older lenses.

It seems they're wandering up the FL list - 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, and now we have rumors that the 50mm is coming soon. Next in line, following that trend, would be the 85mm.


Vice President of the No-Talent Gear Head club
SL1 | 24 STM | 18-135 IS STM | 55-250 IS STM
5D3 | 35/2 IS | 40 STM | Σ50A | 50 STM | 100L | 24-70L 2.8 II | 24-105L | 70-200/2.8L IS II | 70-300L | 100-400L II

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smythie
I wasn't even trying
Joined Jun 2009
Sydney - Australia
Mar 17, 2015 03:32 |  #14

corndog cabernet wrote in post #17474985external link
Sigma 85 f1.4
Again large and somewhat expensive, although not too bad. I desire compatibility and reliable focusing over the extra lens speed and, maybe, slightly improved optics this lens promises. The idea of having to use Sigma's proprietary software to dial in focus combined with the thin DOF f1.4 affords add up to more trouble than I care to deal with.

Fwiw the current Sigma is not compatible with their dock.


Gear List

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DoughnutPhoto
Senior Member
Joined Aug 2014
the Netherlands
Mar 17, 2015 03:59 as a reply to LonelyBoy's post |  #15

Unfortunately, the 50mm is an STM lens as rumor has it. I am hoping for a 50 and an 85mm to complement the wider primes...


Canon 5d, 60d, 17-40mm L, 30mm Art, 50mm, 85mm

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The 85mm Lens I Want
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