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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses
Thread started 06 Nov 2017 (Monday) 11:38
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85mm upgrade

 
dan.k78
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Joined Mar 2009
Cheektowaga, New York
Nov 06, 2017 11:38 |  #1

Seems like there is no shortage of options for us Canon shooters looking for an 85mm lens. Currently I have the 85 f/1.8 and am looking to upgrade as my current lens isn't quite as sharp wide open as I'd like. The most likely contenders are either the Sigma Art 85 f/1.4 or Tamron 85 f/1.8 VC. I've watched all the video comparisons, but I'd be interested to hear firsthand experience from people who aren't shooting brick walls.
I know that the Sigma is razor-sharp and can do 1.4, and that some said the Tamron isn't as sharp and can "only" do 1.8. However, the Sigma is one big 'ole hunk of lens and doesn't have VC/IS/OS. Anyone care to weigh in on how the pros and cons of each lens impact your actual use?


Gear: 5DIII; 6D; Canon 16-35 f/4L; Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 VC, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 VC; Sigma 35mm f/1.4A; Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Macro; Canon 85mm f/1.8; Phottix Mitros+;580exii; Metz AF 50-1

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MalVeauX
"Looks rough and well used"
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Joined Feb 2013
Florida
Nov 06, 2017 11:41 |  #2

What do you plan on doing with the lens? That will tell you which direction to go.

You have an 85 F1.8 it seems, so what about it do you want to improve on?

The Sigma ART is probably the best affordale 85mm on the market right now with Autofocus.

But, maybe you need image stabilization more than a 1/3rd stop focal-ratio difference?

Also, why a prime, over say... your 70 F2.8 with stabilization (you have two of these)?

Very best,


My Flickr (external link) :: My Astrobin (external link)

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dan.k78
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Cheektowaga, New York
Nov 06, 2017 11:46 |  #3

It's predominately for portraits of people. I find that I like the focal length for that purpose. My current 85 is nice and light (which I know is the exact opposite of the Sigma) and makes for a nice pairing with my Sigma 35 art on my other camera. That being said, I'm not a weakling either; a little lens weight isn't going to bother me or deter me from using it. Also, I typically don't use filters, so the huge 86mm filter size isn't an issue.

I guess I'm most concerned with nice sharp images and reasonable focus speed.


Gear: 5DIII; 6D; Canon 16-35 f/4L; Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 VC, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 VC; Sigma 35mm f/1.4A; Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Macro; Canon 85mm f/1.8; Phottix Mitros+;580exii; Metz AF 50-1

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MalVeauX
"Looks rough and well used"
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Joined Feb 2013
Florida
Nov 06, 2017 11:49 |  #4

Right,

Is your primary concern with shallowest depth of field, or do you stop down ever?
And again, do you consider 4 stops of image stabilization more or less important than the difference of 1/3rd of a stop of focal-ratio (F1.4 vs F1.8)?
Both focus fast.
Both are sharp.
One has F1.4.
One has VC.

And then of course Canon's 85mm F1.4L IS where you can get all of the above perhaps.

Still curious what exactly you are going for with the 85's, when you already have something that produces nearly the same kind of look, in your 70-200 and your Macro lens. And of course, curious what you're looking to improve about your current 85 prime.

Very best,


My Flickr (external link) :: My Astrobin (external link)

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dan.k78
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Cheektowaga, New York
Nov 06, 2017 11:53 |  #5

I can't imagine that 1.4 vs. 1.8 is going to make or break an image, so i guess DOF isn't a factor.
I think the VC would be a nice feature as I find with my current 85 that for me to get nice sharp shots I need to be at least at 1/160th.

Yes, the new Canon 85 caught my attention. The price however, is a limiting factor.

My 105 macro focuses way too slowly to use it for any light candid work.
My 70-200 is a great lens, but sometimes I need the extra stops of light that 1.4/1.8 offer.
My current prime just isn't sharp enough for wide open usage.


Gear: 5DIII; 6D; Canon 16-35 f/4L; Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 VC, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 VC; Sigma 35mm f/1.4A; Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Macro; Canon 85mm f/1.8; Phottix Mitros+;580exii; Metz AF 50-1

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MalVeauX
"Looks rough and well used"
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Joined Feb 2013
Florida
Nov 06, 2017 12:03 |  #6

Thought about renting both lenses to do a head to head? They're so close in many ways, that often times, it's the subjective character stuff that matters.

The 85 ART again is easily the best affordable AF 85mm on the market right now, wide open. But, that doesn't mean it's the best 85mm for someone.

I too use 85mm for portrait more than anything. I had to juggle 3~4 85's for a while. I was using an 85mm F1.4, the 85mm F1.8, a 90mm F2.8 VC macro, an 85mm F2, etc. The 85 F1.4 was sharp wide open, loved it. The 85 F1.8 was sharp and super fast AF, enjoyed it. I ended up selling all of them and only kept the 90mm F2.8 VC macro lens (basically an 85mm F2.8 with macro distance focus, fast focus still, weather sealing and 4 stop image stabilization). I very often shoot my portraits with lighting. So I'm commonly using F2 and F2.8 a lot, so I found I just didn't need the F1.4 anymore and let it go. Even in natural light, I don't need to obliterate backgrounds, I like a soft background, but not something totally obliterated. So ultimately I let go of all my 85's and kept the 90mm F2.8 VC macro. It's fast enough to focus on a running kid, so I don't miss the 85 F1.8 AF speed. And it's tack sharp wide open at F2.8 so I can shoot it wide open. So for me, the Tamron 90mm F2.8 VC replaced my 85's and macro needs and does triple duty. But that's just how I went with things.

Later I added a 135L to get that "obliterate the background" thing going and immediately felt the the working distance issue, as I don't like being that far from the subject, so I still prefer 85mm working distance over the 135L by a long shot.

Personally, having used image stabilization on portrait lenses, I actually like stabilization over focal-ratio because I have more creative options with slow shutter speeds, in natural light and with lighting, because I can successfully drag the shutter in lower light.

When I look back at images I did with my various 85's, I can definitely tell which one was the F1.4 because F1.4 obliterates backgrounds more than the 135L does by a little bit. But I can't tell the difference between my other 85's and my 90 F2.8 as the DOF difference even at F2 or F2.8 isn't so starkly different that I gravitated to one or the other. Ultimately I went with what was more versatile and flexible and offered me more options, which happened to be the one with image stabilization and more focusing options (macro).

I too am looking all the time at 85's. None of the newest fast primes interest me though, not even the Sigma ART, despite it being super good. I'm more interested in the 85L with IS and the Tamron 85 with VC because I'll take image stabilization for the long run as an option over not having it, as it opens different doors for creative portrait/lighting work. But that's just my take.

Very best,


My Flickr (external link) :: My Astrobin (external link)

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dan.k78
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Cheektowaga, New York
Nov 06, 2017 12:06 |  #7

Funny you should mention the rental option. I was contemplating renting both the Sigma and the Tamron, borrowing a friend's 85 1.2 (for giggles), and comparing them to my current 85 and see which one I like the best. I agree that sometimes it isn't just about the specs, but rather which one you just like using.
Thanks for all the info :)


Gear: 5DIII; 6D; Canon 16-35 f/4L; Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 VC, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 VC; Sigma 35mm f/1.4A; Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Macro; Canon 85mm f/1.8; Phottix Mitros+;580exii; Metz AF 50-1

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James ­ P
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Joined Aug 2008
Chatham, Ontario, Canada
Nov 07, 2017 06:00 |  #8

I recently sold my much loved Canon 135L and bought the Sigma 85 ART. The first thing I noticed of course was the weight difference, but now that I've had it for a few weeks and used it on over a dozen shoots, the extra weight doesn't bother me at all, even when paired with the 1DX. The reason I chose the Sigma over the new Canon 85mm was the price. At the time, a local camera store wanted $2,200 CDN for the Canon and $1,288 for the Sigma. For me, the image quality of the Sigma is outstanding and I couldn't be happier.


1Dx - 5DIII - 40D - Canon 24-70LII, 100L macro, 135L, 16-35L, 70-200 f4 and 100-400L lenses

- "Very good" is the enemy of "great." Sometimes we confuse the two.

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P4ulG
Senior Member
519 posts
Joined May 2010
Norfolk UK
Nov 07, 2017 07:11 |  #9

Canon have an 85mm f1.4 L on preorder currently Price £1500 - £1600.


Canon 6D Canon 600D Canon M Canons 24-105mm L 70-300mm L. 100mm F2.8 macro L IS. nifty fifty. 22mm macro, 55-250mm IS. Siggys 12-24mm 28-70mmf2.8 120-400mm Speedlights Siggy DG530 super Canon EX430II Vivitar 3700

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TeamSpeed
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Joined May 2002
Northern Indiana
Nov 07, 2017 07:51 |  #10

It was already mentioned and mostly dismissed at this point.


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DaviSto
... sorry. I got carried away!
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Joined Nov 2016
Abuja Nigeria
Nov 07, 2017 08:07 |  #11

TeamSpeed wrote in post #18490667 (external link)
It was already mentioned and mostly dismissed at this point.

Sorry, TS, you've lost me here. What "was already mentioned and mostly dismissed"?


Comment and (constructive) criticism always welcome.

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John ­ from ­ PA
Cream of the Crop
7,449 posts
Joined May 2003
Southeast Pennsylvania
Nov 07, 2017 08:13 |  #12

DaviSto wrote in post #18490679 (external link)
Sorry, TS, you've lost me here. What "was already mentioned and mostly dismissed"?

Maybe reply #5?

dan.k78 wrote in post #18489984 (external link)
Yes, the new Canon 85 caught my attention. The price however, is a limiting factor.




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dan.k78
THREAD ­ STARTER
Senior Member
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Joined Mar 2009
Cheektowaga, New York
Nov 07, 2017 08:27 |  #13

The new Canon 85 with IS would be a nice little addition to my bag as it has both f/1.4 as well as IS. As this lens isn't even shipping yet, the reviews have been rare, so not too much to go on. If, when the lens starts shipping, the reviews are glowing and people begin making comparisons to sliced bread, I may reconsider my budget and make it a contender.
For now however, I think i'm going to rent both the Tamron and Sigma and do a direct comparison.


Gear: 5DIII; 6D; Canon 16-35 f/4L; Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 VC, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 VC; Sigma 35mm f/1.4A; Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Macro; Canon 85mm f/1.8; Phottix Mitros+;580exii; Metz AF 50-1

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Bassat
"I am still in my underwear."
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6,550 posts
Joined Oct 2015
Bourbon, Indiana - USA
Nov 07, 2017 15:57 |  #14

OP, I was struck by your 'not sharp enough' comments about the 85 1.8. I've had two copies of this lens. The first was not real good at f/1.8. I just looked through my catalog at shots taken with the second copy, which I really like. I have no complaint about the lens' sharpness, though when it matters, DOF is too thin at f/1.8 for me.

I can't see paying the going rate to upgrade my 1.8 to a 1.2L, 1.4L IS, or the Sigma options. I really like my 85 1.8 on 6D. To those of you who've used the better glass, is there that much of a difference in IQ wide open, or up to f/1.8 anyway? Not talking bokeh, but subject matter IQ.


Tom

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umphotography
grabbing their Johnson
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Joined Oct 2007
Gig Harbor, Washington
Nov 07, 2017 16:29 |  #15

There is no better 85 on the market right now than the 85 Art

Yes I tried them all including the Otus. I think the sigma is very much on par IQ wise and Bokeh wise as the otus .....and I could buy 4 arts for the price of 1 Zeiss Otus....and the Art has AF

I know 3 people that have sold off the new tammy 85's after putting the art on the body

many people who are very knowledgable including Roger at lens rentals are giving the Sigma Art the nod

Read the articles on the net. Start here

https://www.lensrental​s.com ...5mm-f1-4-art-series-lens/ (external link)


Mike
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