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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 08 May 2012 (Tuesday) 03:06
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Quick Question, Huge Headache. 85mm or?

the ­ flying ­ moose
1,640 posts
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Joined Dec 2006
May 08, 2012 17:04 |  #16

Sirrith wrote in post #14397457 (external link)
Light will matter more than new lenses.
Far more.

Gear is too overhyped on these forums, light is underhyped.

I agree completely. After getting the most basic of lighting systems, I am blown away at how much better I feel my shots look with lighting as opposed to using natural light and/or an on camera flash.

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May 08, 2012 17:04 |  #17

I recommend the 35f2. AF is fast and accurate and it will do fine for portraits. A more expensive option for head and shoulders portraits is the Canon 85f1.8. I have one and like it, but it is better for headshots and outside work. The 35f2 gets the most use of any of my lenses.

54 posts
Joined May 2012
May 08, 2012 19:15 |  #18

Between the 35mm F/2 and the 28mm F/2.8, besides the aperature and the length, which is the superior lens?

Canon 60D | Samyang 35 1.4 | Canon 50mm 1.8 II | FlickR (external link)

Tupperware Party Sheep
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Joined Nov 2007
Location: Sydney
May 08, 2012 22:06 |  #19

omeqa wrote in post #14401415 (external link)
Between the 35mm F/2 and the 28mm F/2.8, besides the aperature and the length, which is the superior lens?

Sigma 1.4 is better than both of those lenses.

1N - 5D2 - 15 2.8 - 17-40L- 24LII - 50L - 85 1.8 - 70-200 2.8
O-MD - 20 1.7 - 50 1.8 - 135 3.5 (external link) - facebook fanpage (external link) - twitter (external link) - 500px (external link)

Cream of the Crop
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May 08, 2012 22:48 |  #20

omeqa wrote in post #14397347 (external link)
....recently the Rokinon 85mm 1.4 caught my eye. I know on a crop sensor camera, its around 136mm.

No it's not. It will be an 85mm lens regardless of the camera it's put on. Adjust your 18-200 to 85mm and look through the viewfinder. What you see then is precisely what any 85mm lens will have for a field(angle) of view (disregarding tolerances of indicated focal length).

Skip Douglas
A few cameras and over 50 years behind them .....
..... but still learning all the time.

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May 09, 2012 11:10 |  #21

omeqa wrote in post #14397389 (external link)
So the Rokinon lens is a no no?

I wouldn't say its a no-go, but for someone just starting out in photography, a MF lens might give you a lot of headache.

I shot a lot with AF lenses before I bought my Samyang/Rokinon 35mm f/1.4 for "fun." Sometimes its a hassle to focus, but I can live with it because I am aware if its limitations.

Many people say that the Rokinon 85mm has awesome IQ, but I agree with the others: get the Canon 85mm f/1.8 first. Its a brilliant little lens.

Sony a7 / Sony a7s / FE 24-70mm / FE 28mm F/2 / Samyang 135mm
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Cream of the Crop
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May 09, 2012 11:35 |  #22
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omeqa wrote in post #14397389 (external link)
So the Rokinon lens is a no no?

I had a Bower 14mm and I loved the fact that it was wide. What really bothered me was the manual focus! So I got rid of it. A 14mm is easier to focus than 35mm or 85mm so it'll annoy the heck out of you. I'd rather lose 1/3 fstop and get a Canon 85mm 1.8 than mess around with 85mm 1.4 manual focus.
For video, it's totally different.

So it's your call. If manual focus is your thing, go for it.

Ilya | Gear | flickr (external link) D800| 14-300mm f/1.4GL ED VR III USWM

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May 09, 2012 11:46 as a reply to  @ iLvision's post |  #23

It's fun to buy gear but you already have two lenses that should cover you in almost every situation (except those situations where you want to impress somebody with how much money you've blown on lenses).

Even without knowing your skill level, you could probably publish ten or twenty thousand photos before someone will say that your equipment is holding you back. (Lighting gear is the one exception, if you are doing portrait and/or indoor work.) Put your money and time (mostly time) into learning, not shopping.

Replacing my Canon 7D, Tokina 12-24mm, Canon 17-55mm, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.4, and 150-500mm with a Panasonic Lumix FZ1000. I still have the 17-55 and the 30 available for sale.

Senior Member
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May 09, 2012 11:47 |  #24

If you're shooting portraits in a controlled environment like a studio, MF shouldn't be too big of a deal.

Now looking at $90 difference to lose 1/3 of a stop and gain USM focus for the canon 85 1.8 is probably worth the money if you plan to shoot outdoors.

If you're bouncing around different lenses and focal lengths, stop for a few minutes and use your 18-200 to figure out what length you like best. There's a big difference between positioning, perspective, and style between a 30mm (28, 35 included), a 50mm, and 85mm. Once you pick the range that fits you the best, then start deciding on a lens and what you need.

Don't worry about effective focal lengths right now. You're not gaining length, you're adding more pixel concentration to a smaller area than FF at a said focal length which gives the appearance of more length when viewed at 100% side by side.

T3i, Sigma 10-20, Sigma 30 1.4, 18-55 kit, 55-250, YN-565, a few books, some software, and a desire to get good.....

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May 09, 2012 11:52 |  #25

Things to keep in mind...

  • The use of a manual focus fast aperture lens will be prone to focus error simply because the focusing screen is NOT OPTIMIZED for focus accuracy with fast is optimized for viewfinder brightness, which is less suited for focus accuracy! It is often stated that focusing screens in dSLRs are suited for f/4 lenses, and if you routinely use faster max apertures and manual focus, you need a more precise focusing screen (the Ex-S screen for a body)
  • An 85mm lens is a bit too long of FL for shooting portraiture on an APS-C body; the optimal 'portrait' FL for APS-C is actually about 65mm. With 85mm lens, you have to back up to 12' to frame a 2' x 3' area (wide enough for shoulders to be contained); with 65mm lens you can frame same area at 9' from subject. Shooting indoors, extra distance can be impossible!
  • With a manual focus lens, you need to keep in mind that the camera meter will NOT necessarily be an accurate way to set ambient exposure! All of these frames should have resulted in the same density at different f/stops, but the Av meter did NOT suggest the right shutter speed to make that happen!
    http://i69.photobucket​.com …nciples/28200_f​35_40D.jpg (external link)
    I did this test with a number of different lenses, and the results were different for each! So one cannot generalize a workaround. a handheld meter is essential.

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Canon dSLR system, Olympus OM 35mm system, Bronica ETRSi 645 system, Horseman LS 4x5 system, Metz flashes, Dynalite studio lighting, and too many accessories to mention

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May 09, 2012 12:16 |  #26

I have taken hundreds of portraits with MF lenses on a Canon XSI and chipped adapters. All outside of a studio. I sold my canon 85 1.8 (great lens, but wanted funds to get more MF primes).

A Nikkor 105 2.5 AI or AIS is relatively cheap and works well on an EOS body. I also use a 135 2.0.

The 105 runs near a $100 and you can resell it for what you purchase it - if it turns out not to be your thing.

Search for it and you will find it has quite a following.

Your EOS body will take M42, Contax/Yashica (Zeiss & Yashica versions), Nikkor, Olympus.

Canon XSI, Asahi Pentax Auto Bellows, 50 Fujinon EP, 80 El Nikkor, 105 El Nikkor, 135 Fujinon EP​om …xpensivemacroph​otography/ (external link)

Senior Member
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May 09, 2012 14:04 |  #27

I agree with your comments as to focusing a wide aperture lens, and the 85mm FL for indoor use.


Senior Member
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May 09, 2012 14:18 |  #28

Ok, never mind. I just shot my 28 2.8 manual on each full stop at the same scene. You are correct. With 'evaluative' metering the exposure seems to vary a LOT. It is much better with 'partial' metering, but it is still variable.

Senior Member
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Joined Aug 2011
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
May 09, 2012 14:19 |  #29

omeqa wrote in post #14397347 (external link)
Hello there!

I'm a newbie to photography and well, new to this forum as well. I've been lurking though, and I must say, there is some unbelievably crazy talent hidden in some of the posts on here. Glad I finally signed up!

Anyways, to the actual question. I just recently purchased a Canon EOS 60D, it came with the stock 18-200mm lens, and I had the Canon 50 1.8 from my T2I. I'm mostly interested in portrait photography, and recently the Rokinon 85mm 1.4 caught my eye. I know on a crop sensor camera, its around 136mm. Theres no autofocus. I'm scared to jump the gun after reading about needing an "EF-S focusing screen", "auto confirmation chips", etc etc.

So, in your opinion and in my situation, is this lens worth purchasing? I was also looking at the 35mm f/2 which does have autofocus. I'm kind of torn, because for only $300, it seems like it'd be a great portrait lens. Thank you for your input!

Are you glad you signed up now!!:):)

Of course there is no black and white answer....but the advise and knowledge given is priceless. Why I love these forums as well.


Canon 5D Mk III | 24-105 F4 L IS USM | 100 F2.8 L Macro IS USM | 70-200 MK II F2.8 L IS USM|580 EX II

116 posts
Joined Mar 2012
May 09, 2012 16:15 |  #30

omeqa wrote in post #14397429 (external link)
For the money of the lens, I was thinking of buying a cheap continuous lighting kit or a flash + umbrella kit to kind of start and get the feel for studio lighting in shots. So should I buy new glass, or will I benefit from the lighting setup with just my 50 1.8 and the 18-200?

Continuous lighting, especially when you're indoors is just amazing, but it's not really cheap... it's so much easier to visualize and dial in than using manually set flashes. That being said, it's not really difficult adjusting off camera flash... it's just a bit more trial and error time consuming since you actually have to see the images to check your levels, but after a while you know what levels your flashes should be at for whatever you're doing so your initial trial and error later becomes a couple of test shots to fine tune... it's not really rocket science.

Unless you're doing this for work, a couple of cheap flashes and a cheap trigger set is all you really need, and it's quite easily portable.

With your lenses though, I'd probably add a new lens.

■ Canon 5D MkII ■ 14LII ■ 35L ■ 85LII ■ 100L ■ 24-105L ■ 70-300L

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Quick Question, Huge Headache. 85mm or?
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