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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 15 Aug 2011 (Monday) 05:33
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Those that own both 85 1.2 and 1.8; need your opinion

 
nikesupremedunk
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Aug 15, 2011 05:33 |  #1

I know, I know, sorry for the repetitive topic. Anyway, I'm still having trouble deciding between the 85mm 1.2 and 1.8. Probably the hardest decision since 70-200 f4 IS vs f2.8 Mk II (still not sure if I made the right choice :lol:). Anyway, I would like opinions from those that own (or have owned) both the 85mm f1.2 and the f1.8. If you had to go back to day 1 and had to choose either one, which would be your choice? Yes, money is also a huge factor so I want to know mostly if current owners still think this lens is "worth every penny", or would rather save the $1,500 and stick with a 1.8.

Also, is it just me, or does the 85L just have a "different" look to it? When I look at samples from the 85L, it just looks completely different from the 85 1.8. I'm not sure if that difference is entirely due to the lens' themselves or the fact that most owners of a 85L also are using it on FF and probably know a little more than most users of the 1.8? Please, owners of the 85L, give me some feedback, thanks.


| Andrew | 5D Mark II | EOS-M | Canon 17-40mm f 4 L | Canon 35mm f 1.4 L | Canon 100mm f 2.8 L Macro | Canon 70-200mm f 4 L IS | Canon EF-M 22mm f 2.0 | Speedlite 430EX II|

  
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Mike
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Aug 15, 2011 05:37 |  #2

I can't comment about the L but my 1.8 is just great on my 5DII and I couldn't imagine ever wanting to upgrade.


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wimg
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Aug 15, 2011 05:54 |  #3

Hi Andrew,

IMO, there is no comparison. At F/2 the L is better than the F/1.8 at any aperture. I absolutely hated the 85 F/1.8 when I got my first set of low light primes (28 F/1.8, 50 F/1.8 Mk I, 85 F/1.8), while I loved the other two. Getting an 85L actually triggered the replacment of the other two with Ls, too, although I was very worried with the 28, as I had a very good copy indeed.

Why did I hate the 85 F/1.8 you may ask. Well, I had to get three copies to get one that didn't have any major optical defects, and the third one still wasn't very satisfying due to the fact that it wasn't all that sharp close up, had a lot of PF, and really only became usable for my purposes from about F/2.2. In contrast, the 50 and 28 both were very sharp at F/2, with none of the other "defects" the 85 had.

When I got the 85L, a new world opened for me ... Oh, I use it mostly at F/2, just to get that little bit of extra DoF I need most of the time, especially as I tend to frame quite tightly.

HTH, kind regards, Wim


EOS R & EOS 5 (analog) with a gaggle of primes & 3 zooms, OM-D E-M1 Mk II & Pen-F with 10 primes, 6 zooms, 3 Metabones adapters/speedboosters​, and an accessory plague

  
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Greenjacket6202
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Aug 15, 2011 06:23 |  #4

I have had the f1.8 and sold it for the f1.2.

Opened wide it is magical! This shot was at f1.2!


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nikesupremedunk
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Aug 15, 2011 12:33 |  #5

thanks for the responses. it seemed that people that own the 85 1.8 love that lens but once they upgrade to the 1.2 no one ever misses it. i think i might be saving up for the 1.2 since i know i'll always feel like "shoot, i wish i saved up for that 1.2".


| Andrew | 5D Mark II | EOS-M | Canon 17-40mm f 4 L | Canon 35mm f 1.4 L | Canon 100mm f 2.8 L Macro | Canon 70-200mm f 4 L IS | Canon EF-M 22mm f 2.0 | Speedlite 430EX II|

  
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bpark42
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Aug 15, 2011 13:02 |  #6

What are you going to be using the lens for?

The 85L is a very expensive, specialized lens. The 85/1.8 is a lightweight lens with faster AF and is one of the best bang-for-your-buck lenses in Canon's lineup.

If you need or want f1.2 then the choice is fairly obvious. If you don't, why not pick up the 85/1.8 and see if you are happy with it? You can always resell it at a minor loss. At most you would be out the equivalent of a rental fee.

I've owned two copies of the 85/1.8 and both were excellent. They performed in line with the figures posted in Photozone's review (which is to say it is very sharp across the frame even wide open.)

http://www.photozone.d​e …19-canon_85_18_5d?start=1 (external link)




  
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snaphappyphotography
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Aug 15, 2011 13:04 |  #7

I have never used the 1.8, but I know it's a great lens and skilled photographers take amazing pictures with it everyday. It focuses faster and offers so much glass for not so much money.

I do own the 85 1.2 II and I think it's truly exceptional in every way. I would encourage any photographer to buy it based on my experience with it. And it's in stock right now at Canon's refurbished site ;)

You should probably know, or maybe you already do know, that many photographers decide to buy the 1.8 and for whatever reason, they decide to upgrade to the 1.2 later. That's the kind of thing I try to avoid. I want to buy with confidence and not look back. I want to know that I have the best. I think the reason photographers upgrade to better equipment is mostly psychological, it just makes them feel better. I've been there myself. But you see this all the time, someone buys a 50D and 6 months later they buy a 5D. Or someone buys a 50 1.8 and a few months later they buy the 50 1.4. Canon resale value is very high, but ultimately you're going to lose money if you feel the necessity to upgrade.

So with the 1.8, unlikely you will regret buying it.

But with the 1.2 you will never regret buying it.


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pyrojim
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Aug 15, 2011 13:07 |  #8

nikesupremedunk wrote in post #12937411 (external link)
Also, is it just me, or does the 85L just have a "different" look to it? ..... I'm not sure if that difference is entirely due to the lens' themselves or the fact that most owners of a 85L also are using it on FF and probably know a little more than most users of the 1.8?....


I feel you are correct, there is a unique look and feel of the 85L. The digital picture I believe said there is a significant difference between the background blur from 1.8 to 1.2.


Also, the proposition of the 85L on a crop body!?!?!?!? Even with my IS2, I still think about it... and I love love love my IS2. its 'meh baby'

Mike wrote in post #12937420 (external link)
I can't comment about the L but my 1.8 is just great on my 5DII and I couldn't imagine ever wanting to upgrade.

These are very compelling words( he has 11k posts! )


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amfoto1
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Aug 15, 2011 13:45 |  #9

The L is a lovely lens and if I were a full-time wedding and portrait photographer, I'd want it in my kit.

But instead I want a reasonable fast, versatile lens with fast/accurate AF, that's smaller and more unobtrusive. The 85/1.8 fits my needs well. I use it for a variety of things, occasionally portraits and candids. It's simply a lot less lens to carry around and use, yet offers excellent image quality.

Neither lens is perfect. I am not a fan of the f1.8's lens clip-on lens hood, though I must admit it's more durable and stays in place better than I would have expected. And maybe some day Canon will give it curved aperture blades... Or not because it would then approach the L's bokeh qualities, perhaps too closely.

So, consider what you need and how you'll use the lens, then you should be able to make a choice. If you need an uncompromising image quality and the trade-off of higher cost, bigger size and greater weight, and slower focusing are less important than the IQ to you, then the f1.2L would likely be your better choice. On the other hand, if a smaller, lighter and less obtrusive lens with quick AF, at a considerably lower price and with a wee bit of compromise in IQ fits into your lens kit better, then there is your answer.

Worst case with either choice, if you get it wrong or your needs change, you can resell the lens with relatively little loss and buy the other one.

There's also the Sigma 85/1.4 to consider, sort of positioned in between the Canon f1.8 and f1.2L in many respects.


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bpark42
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Aug 15, 2011 14:22 |  #10

snaphappyphotography wrote in post #12939425 (external link)
You should probably know, or maybe you already do know, that many photographers decide to buy the 1.8 and for whatever reason, they decide to upgrade to the 1.2 later. That's the kind of thing I try to avoid. I want to buy with confidence and not look back. I want to know that I have the best.

"Best" means different things to different people. I would rather say that I want to know that I have the best for my needs (and budget).

Unless I have a particular need for a specialized tool like the 85L, I don't think it makes sense to spend a relative fortune just because of the "it's an L, so it must be better" logic.




  
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yashart
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Aug 15, 2011 14:51 |  #11

I've owned both. 85L @ 1.2 will always put a smile on your face :)


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nikesupremedunk
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Aug 15, 2011 14:52 |  #12

see, this is the reason why i don't think i'll ever be able to make up my mind. pics from the 85L is truly unmatched by the 85 1.8. but the price of the 1.8 is unmatched by the 85L.

i have briefly tested out both lenses at b&h a few weeks back and i can def. see a difference between the shot taken w/ 1.2 and 1.8, but not sure if that's a $1500 worth of difference. i'm going back today to test all 3 85's out thoroughly so i'll report back tonight.


| Andrew | 5D Mark II | EOS-M | Canon 17-40mm f 4 L | Canon 35mm f 1.4 L | Canon 100mm f 2.8 L Macro | Canon 70-200mm f 4 L IS | Canon EF-M 22mm f 2.0 | Speedlite 430EX II|

  
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yashart
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Aug 15, 2011 15:02 |  #13

Ahhh, now there you go. The Sigma 85 f/1.4 is the best bargain IMO


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Edwin ­ Herdman
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Aug 15, 2011 15:12 |  #14

Option 3 (or is it option 4 or 5 now?) - TS-E 90mm! Yes, unfortunately it's around the $1000 mark as well but a very fine lens and it performs double duty as a near-macro.




  
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nicksan
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Aug 15, 2011 15:13 as a reply to  @ yashart's post |  #15

When I switched back from Nikon, I went with the Sigma 85. Last week, I "downgraded" that to the 85 1.8. I shoot weddings. I'll mention that typically, 85mm isn't my bread and butter focal length. I shoot with the 24L, 50L, far more often, and if I need 85mm, I usually have the 70-200 f2.8 IS MKII mounted.

That said, I definitely do use the 85mm prime at every wedding. On Sunday I shot one for the first time with the 85 1.8 and quite honestly, I find it good enough. There's a lot to like about the lens. The AF is tons faster than the 85L or even the Sigma. It's sharp enough at f1.8. While it's not built like a tank, I also like that it's a lightweight. It's also not too expensive either.

I would say if you LIVE 85mm, then the 85L is probably a very nice lens to have, much like my 24L and 50L. I use those A LOT. That's why I have them. I already knew when I switched back to Canon I won't be getting the 85L.




  
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Those that own both 85 1.2 and 1.8; need your opinion
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