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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 15 Feb 2013 (Friday) 21:21
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85 1.8 or 70-200 f4??

 
EmyB
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Feb 15, 2013 21:21 |  #1

I shoot mainly portraits and candids, mostly of family but some street photography also.

I have a crop sensor and you can see my lenses below. I love love LOVE my sigma 30 1.4 for indoors portrait work. In fact it lives on my camera 98% of the time.

Applications I can think of this next lens for - little kids soccer/swimming, kindergarten plays/concerts, baby and child portraits/candids outdoors, possibly adult portraits if I can get my friends/family to cooperate. :)

The 85 1.8 calls strongly to me because of the beautiful shallow dof possible, and the lovely bokeh, but I wonder whether practically I would find the fixed focal length difficult to work with in the above situations... And perhaps I wouldn't notice the aperture tradeoff for the 70-200 because how often would I actually use it wide open?? (a little voice says a lot! Hmmm). It's the IS version of the 70-200 I am considering.

Help, I need any advice and opinions people can give me.

(I will add - I hate my 50 1.8. It's slow focus and clunky and my copy seems to miss focus all the time. So it's not a viable alternative for me to an 85 1.8)


Emily. :)
Canon 60D | Canon 15-85mm | Sigma 30mm 1.4 | Canon 50mm 1.8 | 430EXII | Bits & Bobs

  
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blindman9135
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Feb 15, 2013 21:32 |  #2

My 70-200 F4 non IS is the sharpest lens i've ever owned. I would say because of the soccer pictures and kids plays go for the 70-200. I think you'll get more use out of the reach then you will the depth of field and lowlight of the 85 1.8 Just my $0.02 :)

Best of luck!


5D Mark ii, Canon 24-105, Sigma 17-35, Canon 50 f/1.8, YN460 II Flash(s).

  
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Leesub090
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Feb 15, 2013 22:04 |  #3

I've ever owned Canon 85 1.8 before getting 70 200 f4. About the sharpness and image quality, i think these lens are nearly the same ... but 85 1.8 is a little bit better. If you only shoot portrait and something in low-light condition, 85 1.8 is the best choice... but 70 200 f4 is more flexible in almost activites, you'll find it more convinient when using this amazing Zoom Lens, despite of is't weight and the F4 .




  
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gall551
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Feb 15, 2013 22:23 as a reply to  @ Leesub090's post |  #4

Im in the same boat as you at the moment, where im unsure if i want the 85 or the 70 - 200 (i'll be getting the Non IS though).

I just take photos as a hobby, so don't shoot anything specific per say. I will be getting both eventually, just unsure which first.

But i also want the 15 - 85...which you already have!


Canon 60D : Sigma 18-35 1.8 : 55-250mm IS : 430ex II

  
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nes_matt
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Feb 15, 2013 22:27 |  #5

both great lenses. Now that I have my 70-200, I rarely pull out my 85 f1.8. I shoot similar stuff...

The canon is spectacular, but I wanted the extra stop and went for the sigma and am very happy.


Canon 6D & Rebel T1i | Tokina 11-16 F2.8 | Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC Macro | Nifty-Fifty |85mm f1.8 | Canon 24-105 F4 | Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM
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vorlon1
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Feb 15, 2013 22:29 |  #6

I have the 85 1.8 and the 70-200 f/4 non IS, and they are both great lenses. For outdoor stuff and sports, I would go with the 70-200, as you need the length. I mostly use the 85 1.8 for portrait work, but if you can get close enough it is good for sports. I don't think you can go wrong with either, but if you need the longer focal length, go with the 70-200.


"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." -- Anais Nin
5Dc Gripped, 6D Gripped, Nikon D300, Olympus OMD-EM1, Fuji XT-20, Pentax 50 1.4, 40mm f/2.8 Pancake, 24-105 mm L, 85mm 1.8, 18-200mm 3.5-5.6, Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8, Tamron 60mm f/2 Macro, 70-200mm f/4 L, etc.
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grasshopper315
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Feb 15, 2013 22:53 |  #7

Agree with vorlon1. One thing to add- the 85 is great for indoor sports. I typically shoot around ~f2 to keep the shutter speed up. My 70-200 f/4 is too slow for me for indoor sports. f2.8 would be borderline.




  
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marcosv
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Feb 15, 2013 22:57 |  #8

Personally, I found the 70-200/4L optical quality to be so good, it was easy to figure out how much sharper my shots came out when I use IS and so I soon sold it for the 70-200/4L IS version.

The 85/1.8 is nicely light and compact, but, personally I do like the flexibility of a zoom over a prime when I got just one telephoto lens in my bag. I don't shoot enough portraits outdoors with blurred backgrounds to want the 85/1.8 over the 70-200/4L and with enough subject to background separation, the 70-200 does produce nice bokeh too.


EOS-M | 40D | 5DII | 5DIII | EF-M 22 | EF-M 18-55 | 10-22 | 17-55 | 17-40L | 24-70L mk II | 24-105L | 70-200/2.8L IS mk II| 35L | 85L II |35/2 | 40/2.8 pancake | 50/1.8 | 50/1.4 | 100/2 | Rokinon 14/2.8 | 90 EX | 270 EX II | 580 EXII | 600 EX-RT

  
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vorlon1
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Feb 15, 2013 22:59 |  #9

grasshopper315 wrote in post #15615141 (external link)
Agree with vorlon1. One thing to add- the 85 is great for indoor sports. I typically shoot around ~f2 to keep the shutter speed up. My 70-200 f/4 is too slow for me for indoor sports. f2.8 would be borderline.

Yes, very true about indoor sports, you can usually get close enough unless it is a gigantic arena, and the the 85mm is pretty sharp at 1.8 and certainly at f/2.


"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." -- Anais Nin
5Dc Gripped, 6D Gripped, Nikon D300, Olympus OMD-EM1, Fuji XT-20, Pentax 50 1.4, 40mm f/2.8 Pancake, 24-105 mm L, 85mm 1.8, 18-200mm 3.5-5.6, Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8, Tamron 60mm f/2 Macro, 70-200mm f/4 L, etc.
Smugmug: http://paladinphotos.s​mugmug.com/ (external link)

  
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tkbslc
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Feb 15, 2013 23:01 |  #10

You can get just as much BG blur at 200mm f4 as 85mm f1.8, you just have to stand a little more than twice as far back.

I was testing this on the 70-210 f3.5-4.5 which would be close to the 70-200 f4 in this regard (kid was VERY excited to model :)):


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Not to mention the 70-200 is going to be WAY better for outdoor sports by like a mile.

I'd go 70-200.

Taylor
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60D | ELPH 330 | iPhone 5s

  
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Kylemorgan88
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Feb 15, 2013 23:27 as a reply to  @ tkbslc's post |  #11

85 1.8




  
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BobDawg
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Feb 16, 2013 00:17 |  #12

I have a 60D as well and played with a 28mm, 50mm, and 85mm last week. For portraits I loved the 28mm for full body to 1/2 body shots, and the 50mm from 1/2 body to head shots. The 85mm is a great piece of glass, but I found it too tight and made it hard to shoot if you are indoors/small area. It has great bokoeh though.

But it sounds like you need something more of a zoom since sports the distance always changes of your object, you're at a concert and can't move around, etc... I'd go for the 70-200 f/4 and then sling your 50mm f/1.8 for the f/1.4.


Canon 60D, Canon 10-22mm, Sigma 30mm 1.4, Tamron 17-50mm, YN-560 IV Flash (2)

  
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amyandmark3
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Feb 16, 2013 00:29 |  #13

All of the 70-200's are great lenses. But, since you said you're going for the f/4 IS version, your budget is probably in the $800-900 range (assuming you're buying Used)... with that in mind, I'd suggest giving SERIOUS consideration to a 135L (they're $700-800 used). You can shoot indoors sports with it plus it's one of the best portrait lenses around with crazy IQ and unreal bokeh. Also, if you get a 1.4x TC (an older version for $150-175), it will also do pretty well as a 189mm f/2.8 lens for outdoors sports. The only shortcoming when compared to the 70-200 you're considering is that the 135L doesn't have IS, which may or may not be a problem. I sold my 135L a few months ago to fund another "need" and I've regretted it ever since... It really is a great lens.


Mark

  
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T2i4me
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Feb 16, 2013 00:36 |  #14

I use my 70-200 a lot because it's versatile, the 85 is more of a special purpose lens that I use mainly for low light and specific portrait shots. What I like about the 85 is when I put it on my T2i it's like a 135 which is also a great portrait FOV. So I feel both are great lenses. I do find the prime a bit challenging for use on the street as often I may not have time or opportunity to "foot zoom", but it's small and compact and much less conspicuous than the white zoom. Tough decision but in loking at your lens selection you are lacking in the longer focal lengths, so I'd go for the 70-200.


-- Eric --
5DC - T2i - 100-400 L IS - 70-200 F4 L - 17-40 L - EF 85 1.8 - EF-S 10-22 - EF-S 15-85 IS - EF-S 60 macro - 430EX II

  
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tkbslc
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Feb 16, 2013 00:40 |  #15

amyandmark3 wrote in post #15615335 (external link)
All of the 70-200's are great lenses. But, since you said you're going for the f/4 IS version, your budget is probably in the $800-900 range (assuming you're buying Used)... with that in mind, I'd suggest giving SERIOUS consideration to a 135L .

The serious shortcoming is that 135mm is going to be too long as often as it is too short. Not a terribly versatile focal length with the 1.6x crop factor. It's going to be outdoor only, but then it's also not terribly long, either. Poor value for a smaller kit.


Taylor
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60D | ELPH 330 | iPhone 5s

  
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85 1.8 or 70-200 f4??
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