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Old 19th of November 2006 (Sun)   #1
ust82gopher
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Default EF 85 1.2L for indoor sports

I have a terrible gym light situation for basketball this year. Lousy enough, that I had trouble this weekend with my 70-200 2.8L IS.

Distance is not an issue as I can be almost right on top of the court. So, I am seriously considering investing in the EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM. (Use it for the season and likely sell it afterwards for a few hundred less). But I have seen several reviews that say that the AF is rather slow. If so, that would be a serious negative to me and I would probably not invest.

Does anyone here us the EF 85mm f/1.2L II in low light shooting sports (basketball preferably)? Can you comment on the AF?

Thanks.

Tim
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Old 19th of November 2006 (Sun)   #2
illy
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Default Re: EF 85 1.2L for indoor sports

I don't own the lens but have heard that the AF is very slow (as it has to move all that glass around). The f/1.8 is significantly faster and if worst comes to worst shoot in RAW and underexpose by 1/3 of a stop to get the same aperture.
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Old 19th of November 2006 (Sun)   #3
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Default Re: EF 85 1.2L for indoor sports

I would be concerned about depth of field at that large an aperature, especially with sports. With the 70-200 2.8 IS you should be able to shoot ISO 1600 F/4 and maintain 1/250th shutter speed.

I shot a cheer competition that was very poorly lit with the above settings and got very good results with my Sigma 70-200 EX APO. I had to use aome serious noise reduction software, however, of the 1700 shots I took, I ended up with about 700 acceptable quality shots (printable at 5x7) and about 200 really good shots that would look great at 8x10.

I doubt that a gym could be worse lit than an auditorium with only stage lights and three spots to light the action.
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Old 19th of November 2006 (Sun)   #4
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Default Re: EF 85 1.2L for indoor sports

You need the 85mm f/1.8 lens. I use it to shoot basketball throughout the season, and it's autofocus is much faster than the f/1.2 version. You need to maintain a shutter of at least 1/400 with 1/500 being optimal for basketball. I also use ISO 1600 and f/2.2 when I shoot. Samples of my basketball shots are on my Smugmug site (link below).
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Old 19th of November 2006 (Sun)   #5
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Default Re: EF 85 1.2L for indoor sports

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Originally Posted by mshill View Post
With the 70-200 2.8 IS you should be able to shoot ISO 1600 F/4 and maintain 1/250th shutter speed.
That is the basic settings I used last year and got 60%+ acceptable shots after using a Noise Ninja profile I set up. But for some reason, there is less light this year (and somewhat yellow). Not sure why..if it's the lights are just dimmer or something else in the gym is reducing effective lighting.
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Old 19th of November 2006 (Sun)   #6
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Default Re: EF 85 1.2L for indoor sports

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Originally Posted by liza View Post
You need the 85mm f/1.8 lens. I use it to shoot basketball throughout the season, and it's autofocus is much faster than the f/1.2 version. You need to maintain a shutter of at least 1/400 with 1/500 being optimal for basketball. I also use ISO 1600 and f/2.2 when I shoot. Samples of my basketball shots are on my Smugmug site (link below).
Liza,

Thanks so much for the hints. I am going to seriously investigate the 85 f/1.8.

Tim
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Old 19th of November 2006 (Sun)   #7
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Default Re: EF 85 1.2L for indoor sports

I have the 85mm 1.2 II and it's an excellent lens for what it was designed for, but even with the improved focus over the original version it's never going to be front runner for sports use. It's not impossible of course, but hardly the first choice. You'd be far far better off getting the 85mm 1.8 if your primary use is sport rather than portraits.

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Old 19th of November 2006 (Sun)   #8
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Default Re: EF 85 1.2L for indoor sports

I agree with Bill here - the 85/1.2L is a staggeringly good lens for its intended purpose, and that's not sport. Look to the 85/1.8/100/2, 135/2L trio for that.
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Old 19th of November 2006 (Sun)   #9
liza
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Default Re: EF 85 1.2L for indoor sports

The 50mm prime is also great for under the basket shots. And I LOVE the 100 f/2, because I like to shoot tight.
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Old 19th of November 2006 (Sun)   #10
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Default Re: EF 85 1.2L for indoor sports

The 85 1.2 AF is slow for a reason, it's slow to get very accurate focusing.
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Old 19th of November 2006 (Sun)   #11
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Default Re: EF 85 1.2L for indoor sports

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Originally Posted by liza View Post
And I LOVE the 100 f/2, because I like to shoot tight.
Liza,

I have the 135 f/2 on my Christmas List. Is there any advantage/performance difference shooting sports (other than reach, obviously), between the 135 f/2 and the 100 f/2?
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Old 19th of November 2006 (Sun)   #12
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Default Re: EF 85 1.2L for indoor sports

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Originally Posted by Bill Roberts View Post
You'd be far far better off getting the 85mm 1.8 if your primary use is sport rather than portraits.

Bill
Thanks Bill. Sports is the use, so I think the 85 f/1.8 is the answer!
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Old 19th of November 2006 (Sun)   #13
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Default Re: EF 85 1.2L for indoor sports

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Originally Posted by jcw122 View Post
The 85 1.2 AF is slow for a reason, it's slow to get very accurate focusing.
Nah, it's just slow because of it's focus design.
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Old 19th of November 2006 (Sun)   #14
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Default Re: EF 85 1.2L for indoor sports

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Originally Posted by ust82gopher View Post
Liza,

I have the 135 f/2 on my Christmas List. Is there any advantage/performance difference shooting sports (other than reach, obviously), between the 135 f/2 and the 100 f/2?
The 135 reportedly has superior image quality. I like the 100 because I shoot from the sidelines and the 135 would be a bit too long. I would like to have the f/2 version of it (I have the f/2.8.) for volleyball, though.
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Old 19th of November 2006 (Sun)   #15
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Default Re: EF 85 1.2L for indoor sports

You could sell the 70-200L and get a 85 1.8 and a 135L.
When I had the 85L I tried it on my daughters skating and gymnastics with no luck.
It's not what it's designed for and you would only end up being frustrated.
Crank up the ISO and use noise ninja if it's a problem.

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