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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 14 Mar 2015 (Saturday) 10:32
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Do I need my 85 1.8 when I have a 24-70 Mk II?

 
Grumpy_one
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Mar 14, 2015 10:32 |  #1

This thing just sits. My 24-70 is my goto, can't beat the sharpness. I shot some T&I for the HS the other day and decided to use the 1.8 due low light. I shot at 2.0 and 2.2, it seemed a bit soft. Any real reason to hold on to this lens? Thinking of dumping it. Thanks.
Camera body 5D3, 7D back up.


I shoot Canon's
1DX II, Canon 7D Gripped, 5D3, 24-70L II, 70-200L 2.8 IS Mk I, 85 1.8, Pocket Wizard II triggers, assorted speedlites and modifiers, 580EX, 580EXII, YN560's (6 or so) 50 1.4, t/c 1.4 MkII
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MalVeauX
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Mar 14, 2015 11:07 |  #2

Grumpy_one wrote in post #17474603 (external link)
This thing just sits. My 24-70 is my goto, can't beat the sharpness. I shot some T&I for the HS the other day and decided to use the 1.8 due low light. I shot at 2.0 and 2.2, it seemed a bit soft. Any real reason to hold on to this lens? Thinking of dumping it. Thanks.
Camera body 5D3, 7D back up.

Heya,

If you thought it was soft, then you probably just have a bad copy. The 85 F1.8 is sharp wide open, and very sharp stopped down a touch. It's actually too similar to the 85L, realistically, but you wont see someone toss that for the 24-70 unless they just want versatility and only one lens.

If you think the difference of one stop was worth using it, in that last situation, what ISO were you shooting at? I would understand on the 7D. I'd be comfortable with ISO 6400 on there. And I'd shoot ISO 6400 without hesitation on the 5D3. But maybe your comfort level of ISO use and practice has you using much lower ISO when needed? I would look into this for next time. Because unless you found yourself at the ISO 12,800 level and that's with ETTR and RAW in mind for post work, then yes, 1 stop makes a difference. If not, however, and you were much lower (1600~3200), then the 1 stop in my mind is not a big deal and that's where the 24-70 makes more sense for versatility.

The 24-70 MKII is one of the best lenses Canon has made. It's sharp wide open at the level of most primes (most). While it does not have IS and it's not as fast as a prime can be, it does most of what they do (on the right camera) very well, compromising a little bit of that for the versatility of the zoom range.

If you don't use it, dump it.

It comes down to you. I don't think you need the aperture for light, with the 5D3. It's not like you were shooting at 1/1000s action indoors in a gym, where 1 stop matters. I would be looking mainly at the isolation qualities. And while 1 stop does matter there, it may not matter enough for your needs, to give up the flexibility and versatility of the zoom.

If I had the 24-70 MKII and a 6D or 5D3 or 1DX, I would definitely have a hard time picking up the 85 F1.8 if I were doing an event of any kind, where I have the power of high ISO use, and the flexibility of a zoom that is sharp as a prime, spending less down time swapping gear, and increasing my options with two bodies instead or worrying about glass.

But if we were talking about the 85 F1.2 or 85 F1.4, and talking portrait or extreme low light, then there would be a big difference. Because then we're talking 2 and 2+ stops difference, which can really matter in many ways.

I'd dump the 85 F1.8 and if you feel the need for a faster telephoto in the range, maybe look into the 100 F2 or 135 F2. But if you really don't need those ranges, I don't see a real need for the primes here, if you're happy at F2.8, there's no need for any prime if you're ok at F2.8.

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Grumpy_one
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Mar 14, 2015 12:06 |  #3

Thinking back, the only time it came in real useful was shooting an indoor event, basketball game, and the one stop came in handy on the 7D. I'm wanting to fund my next purchase, I really don't like getting rid of equipment already in hand. Thanks Mal for the insight.


I shoot Canon's
1DX II, Canon 7D Gripped, 5D3, 24-70L II, 70-200L 2.8 IS Mk I, 85 1.8, Pocket Wizard II triggers, assorted speedlites and modifiers, 580EX, 580EXII, YN560's (6 or so) 50 1.4, t/c 1.4 MkII
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burb1972
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Post edited over 4 years ago by burb1972. (2 edits in all)
     
Mar 14, 2015 16:02 as a reply to  @ Grumpy_one's post |  #4

I would dump for the 135f2. Im always on the fence about trading in my 100f2. the 135 is a special lens, see the photo archives, and would give you a bigger range 24-70/85 vs 24-70/135.135 might however be a hair long on a crop. i dont know why they redid the 35 f2 before they redid the 135, IS would be amazing on the 135, imagine 3-4 stops at 135 damn, 1/30s at 135. thats part of why im waiting, im happy with what i have and see no reason to upgrade, until something is vastly superior at 50 mm and 100-135mm(which means IS for 135, and just a decent 50mm)


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amish
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Mar 14, 2015 23:59 |  #5

I personally would not get rid of the 85. Mine is tack sharp wide open and I cant beat the af speed and bg seperation is gets with the 24-70.




  
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Mar 15, 2015 06:04 |  #6

I think you should dump it. I'll PM you my address.... :)


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sapearl
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Post edited over 4 years ago by sapearl. (2 edits in all)
     
Mar 15, 2015 06:31 |  #7

Grumpy_one wrote in post #17474603 (external link)
This thing just sits. My 24-70 is my goto, can't beat the sharpness. I shot some T&I for the HS the other day and decided to use the 1.8 due low light. I shot at 2.0 and 2.2, it seemed a bit soft. Any real reason to hold on to this lens? Thinking of dumping it. Thanks.
Camera body 5D3, 7D back up.

The sharpness of an image is comprised of a number of factors, not all of them due to the optics and physical construction of just the lens. The lens is only one part of the process.

You mentioned the conditions were "low light". Was the quality of the light also poor for an optimum photograph?

What I mean is was the light flat and lacking in contrast in a way that made objects appear soft and missing sharp definition? I have both the 85 f/1.8 and the 135 L f/2 which are incredibly sharp lenses. I've taken beautifully focused images with them in strong light with good contrast. I have also made poor, uninspiring, flat and lackluster shots with them in low light situations that looked like they missed focus. So much of the final product depends upon the type of light you use.

I'm assuming you have good technique and that you nailed the focus. However I suggest that your flat low light environment gave you what appears to be a soft image that lacks defining contrast. This is a wonderful, sharp, fast focusing, compact and light weight lens that will deliver great images as long as provide the right kind of light - as is the case with any other quality lens. I don't use my 85 f/1.8 every day but it takes up little space and is a valued part of my kit.


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sapearl
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Mar 15, 2015 09:29 |  #8

Grumpy_one wrote in post #17474603 (external link)
This thing just sits. My 24-70 is my goto, can't beat the sharpness. I shot some T&I for the HS the other day and decided to use the 1.8 due low light. I shot at 2.0 and 2.2, it seemed a bit soft. Any real reason to hold on to this lens? Thinking of dumping it. Thanks.
Camera body 5D3, 7D back up.

David - can you provide a sample of the "soft" image. Assuming good focus - and your work demonstrates quality photography - these images can often be improved with a little selective post processing.

I do a lot of social event work and sometimes the quality of the light is quite poor, even with controlled bounce flash or modest fill. Unfortunately this leads to more PP work in order to deliver superior work. Exposure adjustment layers have often come to my rescue in photoshop. Typically I will create a layer to work on just that portion of the image, either boosting exposure and/or tweaking the brightness/contrast slider to give more apparent sharpness and clarity to the "flat" seemingly soft area. Once that is done I will administer final sharpening to that area, either greater than the surround area, or with NO sharpening applied to the unimportant part of the image.


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agedbriar
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Mar 15, 2015 16:17 |  #9

Not the everyday solution, I know, but for the most critical images, the Digital Lens Optimizer in DPP does a good job on 85/1.8 images.




  
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Grumpy_one
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Mar 15, 2015 17:00 |  #10

Operator error. Focus point was on her shoulder. Just confirmed this. First one is on her eye, second on her shoulder. I usually do "one shot" place focus point on eye, half squeeze, frame shot and shoot. For some reason it didn't happen for the second, I was blaming the equipment. Probably got complacent. Turns out I have enough funds for my next purchase and the 85 gets a reprieve. Thanks all.


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I shoot Canon's
1DX II, Canon 7D Gripped, 5D3, 24-70L II, 70-200L 2.8 IS Mk I, 85 1.8, Pocket Wizard II triggers, assorted speedlites and modifiers, 580EX, 580EXII, YN560's (6 or so) 50 1.4, t/c 1.4 MkII
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Post edited over 4 years ago by agedbriar.
     
Mar 15, 2015 17:13 |  #11

If you want sharpness at wide apertures, you shouldn't use the focus-recompose technique.




  
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Grumpy_one
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Post edited over 4 years ago by Grumpy_one. (2 edits in all)
     
Mar 15, 2015 17:50 |  #12

Pixel peeping, had it on AWB, color shift as well. No post on these pics. ISO 100 2.5 1/250 both. No critiquing on pose, I usually have one shoulder down and feet at a 45 deg and chin down. Again, I got complacent. First shoot of the season. Always happens this way.


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I shoot Canon's
1DX II, Canon 7D Gripped, 5D3, 24-70L II, 70-200L 2.8 IS Mk I, 85 1.8, Pocket Wizard II triggers, assorted speedlites and modifiers, 580EX, 580EXII, YN560's (6 or so) 50 1.4, t/c 1.4 MkII
www.happyvalleyphotogr​aphy.com (external link)

  
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Mar 16, 2015 06:19 as a reply to  @ Grumpy_one's post |  #13

Glad you got to the bottom of the issue David - in the heat of the moment I've done the same sort of thing so I know how that can happen when you're in a hurry.


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Do I need my 85 1.8 when I have a 24-70 Mk II?
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