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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 12 Nov 2012 (Monday) 15:23
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85mm f/1.2L II vs 135mm f/2.0L depth of field

 
SiaoP
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Nov 12, 2012 15:23 |  #1

Does anybody have pictures of these two lenses shooting the same subject with the same framing wide open (85 closer than 135 to subject). I am mainly interested to see the depth of field difference between the two and how each glass renders the background.


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RPCrowe
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Nov 12, 2012 22:34 |  #2

As per the Kodak Library of Creative Photography, using a full frame camera; the camera to subject for a head and shoulder portrait with an 85mm lens would be 8.25 feet. The DOF of the 85mm lens at f/1.2 would be 2.4 inches. The camera to subject distance for a head and shouders portrait with a 135mm lens is 13.25 feet. The DOF using f/2 is just about 4 inches.

IMO, neither 2.4 inches nor 4 inches DOF is sufficient for head and shoulders photography. Would you like the eyes or the nose in focus?


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JeffreyG
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Nov 12, 2012 23:36 |  #3

It's also worth pointing out that when we are considering different focal lengths, the DOF and degree of background blur are not perfectly correlated when we shoot the same framing.

For example, let's suppose two lenses used for a shot with one framing. We use a 100mm lens at 10 feet and f/2.8 vs. a 200mm lens at 20 feet and f/2.8. In this scenario we will get the same subject framing and the same DOF at the subject. But the longer 200mm lens will render the background much, much blurrier.

As a general rule, if you have the working space to use and don't mind the distance, longer and slower lenses will pop subjects out from busy backgrounds much better than shorter, faster lenses.

Of course, we don't always have the space or want that perspective from the longer lens, so wider fast lenses are of course often useful. But when you are looking at telephoto lenses for this type of look it's sure helpful to understand how background blur is not simply a 1:1 relation to DOF. Long lenses will give huge blur with more DOF - and this look yields superlative 'pop' in bringing out the subject.


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SiaoP
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Nov 13, 2012 00:52 |  #4

I like the brief explanations. I will touch up on the math behind this a little more.


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mckay ­ photography
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Apr 04, 2014 01:12 |  #5

JeffreyG wrote in post #15239304 (external link)
As a general rule, if you have the working space to use and don't mind the distance, longer and slower lenses will pop subjects out from busy backgrounds much better than shorter, faster lenses.

Great advice :)


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Nigi
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Apr 04, 2014 02:45 |  #6

In fact the most significant impact on the amount of background blur (all else being equal) has the REAL aperture size in cm or inch not in f numbers.
Lots of interesting reading and background blur calculator by Bob Atkins here (external link).
It does not work with Windows 8.1, possibly 8 and 7 too. I wish someone would come up with something like that for android/IOS.




  
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Apr 04, 2014 05:49 as a reply to  @ Nigi's post |  #7

I read a great reply to this yesterday :
There's no "better" or "worse", they're just different.
If you want the effect of a sharp head and shoulders against a blurred background, use the longer lens; if you want a sharp face fading into blurred ears/hair, use the shorter lens.

I had 85 1.2L on my 5DII in past, I didn't like the narrow field of sharpness (only 1 eyelash sharp,...), 1.2L is meant to use wide open as you pay so much for this lens.
Offcourse you can have sharp pics of both eyes at f1.2, but the subject had to look straight with the eyes about on the same line! Didn't like this and either the slow AF!

Personally I find f1.8-f2 narrow enough, thanks to the longer focal length this gives the bokeh/dof also an extra softer advantage to compensate for not having f1.2.
And important for me : you have more chance that both eyes are sharp directly and a razorfast AF on the 135L.


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mckay ­ photography
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Apr 04, 2014 17:20 |  #8

CanonYouCan wrote in post #16808912 (external link)
I read a great reply to this yesterday :
There's no "better" or "worse", they're just different.
If you want the effect of a sharp head and shoulders against a blurred background, use the longer lens; if you want a sharp face fading into blurred ears/hair, use the shorter lens.

I had 85 1.2L on my 5DII in past, I didn't like the narrow field of sharpness (only 1 eyelash sharp,...), 1.2L is meant to use wide open as you pay so much for this lens.
Offcourse you can have sharp pics of both eyes at f1.2, but the subject had to look straight with the eyes about on the same line! Didn't like this and either the slow AF!

Personally I find f1.8-f2 narrow enough, thanks to the longer focal length this gives the bokeh/dof also an extra softer advantage to compensate for not having f1.2.
And important for me : you have more chance that both eyes are sharp directly and a razorfast AF on the 135L.

The fast AF sounds awesome.....I think you've convinced me to get the 135 vs the 85. Plus I have a 35 1.4 and 50 1.4 and 24-70 mk II so the wide to medium range feels pretty well covered.


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omegaone
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Apr 05, 2014 22:39 |  #9

In my experience, once I have 135L. After couple session, I feel 135L is too tight. Sold it and now very happy with 85L :)


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Apr 05, 2014 22:54 |  #10

omegaone wrote in post #16812708 (external link)
In my experience, once I have 135L. After couple session, I feel 135L is too tight. Sold it and now very happy with 85L :)

I have both (well mine is the sig 85) I find the 85 much more useful in situations like birthday parties/walkaround. Portraits w/ the 85 are awesome.

135 is long. but it has it's uses also.

From my experience for same framing I get more blur with the 85 than the 135.


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anscochrome
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Apr 05, 2014 23:26 as a reply to  @ Talley's post |  #11

This will help: http://lewiscollard.co​m/technical/background​-blur/ (external link)


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Nigi
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Apr 06, 2014 11:15 |  #12

85 will let you shoot full body pictures with isolating subject from background. Longer lens can be too long. And always is easier to crop then to change to wider lens in hurry if 135 is too long.




  
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85mm f/1.2L II vs 135mm f/2.0L depth of field
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