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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 08 Mar 2016 (Tuesday) 04:20
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85mm f1.2 vs 70-200mm f2.8 II Which one to get for portraits?

 
NemethR
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Mar 31, 2016 06:55 |  #16

wallstreetoneil wrote in post #17927789 (external link)
When you take it out of your bag, you do so slowly. When you remove the rear cap, and you look at the glass flush with the mount, you do so in a scared I'm going to damage it kind of way - but you know, once it is attached, it is simply the best at what it does. I equate it to owning and driving a GT3. 97% of the time, it is easier to jump into the SUV to take the kids to sports or get groceries but when you get into a GT3, there is nothing like it, it is beyond description - it is simply the best driving experience.

Sometimes you just have to own something and decide if it is your thing so I say do it - if it doesn't work sell it. The 85L thread has some of the most beautiful portraits and yet it is not a lens for everyone.


NOW I start to understand how it would be to own a Porsche GT3...
Damn, I have a new lifegoal now :D


Roland | Amateur Photographer
Nikon D850 | Nikon D80 | Nikon 70-200 f/2.8G ED VR II | Nikon 24-70 f/2.8G ED

  
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NemethR
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Mar 31, 2016 07:05 |  #17

More on the Topic.


I used to shoot portaist/nudes, mainly outdoor, but sometimes indoor too.

I prevoiously owned a 5D2 + 70-200 2.8 IS II + 24-70 2.8 + 16-35 2.8 + 580EX II

The 5D2 and 70-200 2.8 IS II was a great combo for portraits especially around 135mm
Yet it was not so great around 70mm.

So I always wanted to try a 85mm 1.2L
When the Canon 5Ds was released, I rented it with the 85mm L frm Canon for a Photoshoot.

That one photoshoot (outdoor and indoor, portrait/glamour/nude) convinced me pretty much of the 5Ds 85L combo.

So I sold all of my gear, and purchased the 5Ds with the 85mm 1.2 L for Xmas.


I can say, that I never regreted this decision, and that this is the best camera-lens combo I ever owned for those kind of pictures I shoot.
The 85L has the potential to make the best looking pictures I ever created, and the 5Ds has everything I ever wanted from a Camera.

I would go for the 85mm again if I would have to make the coice.


Roland | Amateur Photographer
Nikon D850 | Nikon D80 | Nikon 70-200 f/2.8G ED VR II | Nikon 24-70 f/2.8G ED

  
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wallstreetoneil
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Mar 31, 2016 07:08 |  #18

NemethR wrote in post #17955617 (external link)
NOW I start to understand how it would be to own a Porsche GT3...
Damn, I have a new lifegoal now :D

If you have a track in your area, and porsche or other clubs rent it for track days (there will be lots of gt3s there), contact one of the clubs and ask to come and take pictures - do this as a pro bono thing etc etc. Eventually you will meet the owners and figure out one way or another to get a drive in the passenger seat. Once you do, your life will change forever. Being in a well driven car at speed on a real race track is a life bucket list thing. If this isn't something you haven't done before (most haven't) there is really no way to prepare yourself for how frightening it is and how you feel you are going to die coming into every corner. I did this for a period in my life. If you think camera gear is addicting, driving a gt3 on racing slicks on fast scary racetracks is an entirely different galaxy of addiction.


Hockey and wedding photographer. Favourite camera / lens combos: a 1DX II with a Tamron 45 1.8 VC, an A7Rii with a Canon 24-70F2.8L II, and a 5DSR with a Tamron 85 1.8 VC. Every lens I own I strongly recommend [Canon (35Lii, 100L Macro, 24-70F2.8ii, 70-200F2.8ii, 100-400Lii), Tamron (45 1.8, 85 1.8), Sigma 24-105]. If there are better lenses out there let me know because I haven't found them.

  
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rebelsimon
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Mar 31, 2016 07:15 |  #19

FTb wrote in post #17953681 (external link)
For example, here's a typical shot I might have missed with a longer or slower lens than the 85mm f1.2. This was all natural window light shot wide open at 1/90 sec.. I was already having to boost ISO in order to get a high enough shutter speed, so a slower lens -- even just one or two stops so -- wouldn't have worked nearly as well.

Also, my back was against a wall or some other structure so I couldn't back up any farther. I distinctly remember thinking at the time, "thank goodness I brought the 85mm f1.2".

QUOTED IMAGE
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/psYD​2J  (external link) Nice Perfume_MG_2924-1 (external link) by brusbybrusby (external link), on Flickr

Very pretty portrait! But also totally do-able with a 2.8 lens. Two and 1/3 stops up from 250 isn't that bad, and you've usually got the option of moving the subject closer to the window. There's lots to be said for the awesome DOF the 85L brings, but windows + 2.8 zooms usually bring more than enough light.


Toronto area photographer http://www.SimonMellic​kPhotography.com (external link)
Cameras:5Diii (x2), 70D
Lenses:Rokinon 14mm f2.8, Voightlander 20mm f3.5, Canon 24-70 f2.8ii, Tamron 35mm f1.8 VC, Canon 50mm STM, Tamron 90mm 2.8 VC, Canon 135mm f2
Lights: AD600, AD200 (x2), V850 (x4)

  
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windpig
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Mar 31, 2016 07:43 |  #20

NemethR wrote in post #17955624 (external link)
More on the Topic.

The 5D2 and 70-200 2.8 IS II was a great combo for portraits especially around 135mm
Yet it was not so great around 70mm.

Perspective or you had to shoot to close to the subject to fill the frame?


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I'm accross the canal just south of Ballard, the town Seattle usurped in 1907.

  
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Moncho
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Mar 31, 2016 07:50 |  #21

The 85L is singing it's sweet siren song. As soon as I see one for sale (used) I will be on it like a green snake on a sugarcane!


Carpe Diem
(Seize the carp!)

  
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NemethR
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Mar 31, 2016 07:53 |  #22

windpig wrote in post #17955659 (external link)
Perspective or you had to shoot to close to the subject to fill the frame?

I had less space to the subject, and the subject-seperation was not so great at 70mm at 2.8
The sharpness was good, and all, but I did not like the subject-seperation.


Roland | Amateur Photographer
Nikon D850 | Nikon D80 | Nikon 70-200 f/2.8G ED VR II | Nikon 24-70 f/2.8G ED

  
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windpig
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Mar 31, 2016 07:54 |  #23

Moncho wrote in post #17955669 (external link)
The 85L is singing it's sweet siren song. As soon as I see one for sale (used) I will be on it like a green snake on a sugarcane!

PM me

NemethR wrote in post #17955673 (external link)
I had less space to the subject, and the subject-seperation was not so great at 70mm at 2.8
The sharpness was good, and all, but I did not like the subject-seperation.

Thanks


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Charlie
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Mar 31, 2016 07:56 |  #24

Very different lenses.

85L is borderline the best indoors portrait lens or if you don't like/can't handle the working distance of the longer lenses.

The 70-200 is more the versatile Jack of trades. Good at sports, excellent with studio portraits, good with available light portraits.

For portraits, 85 of any kind + 135L > 70-200.


Sony A7siii/A7iii/ZV-1 - FE 24/1.4 - SY 24/2.8 - FE 35/2.8 - FE 50/1.8 - FE 85/1.8 - F 600/5.6 - CZ 100-300 - Tamron 17-28/2.8 - 28-75/2.8 - 28-200 RXD
Panasonic G9 - Laowa 7.5/2 - PL 15/1.7 - P 42.5/1.8 - OM 75/1.8 - PL 10-25/1.7 - P 12-32 - P 14-140

  
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Nethawked
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Mar 31, 2016 10:13 |  #25

I love my 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, it is my favorite lens. Bear in mind though that it's a heavy beast. If you go with the primes and need reach more than wider aperture you may want to consider the 70-200mm f/4L IS instead.




  
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FTb
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Post edited over 5 years ago by FTb.
     
Mar 31, 2016 11:09 |  #26

rebelsimon wrote in post #17955630 (external link)
Very pretty portrait! But also totally do-able with a 2.8 lens. Two and 1/3 stops up from 250 isn't that bad, and you've usually got the option of moving the subject closer to the window. There's lots to be said for the awesome DOF the 85L brings, but windows + 2.8 zooms usually bring more than enough light.


Thanks. And do-able at 2.8, I agree. But why? Do-able and optimal often yield very different results.

If you move closer to the window you risk losing the preferred composition. Plus the character and intensity of the light on the subject changes, with a corresponding change in the balance of light on the model vs light on the background. And why accept a higher ISO and greater S/N ratio than necessary?


My flickr (external link)
Favorite lenses: Canon 200mm f2, 16-35 f/4, 24-70mm f2.8, 50/1.2L, 85/1.2L II, 135/2L, 70-200L IS II, TS-E 17mm f/4L, RF 24-105, RF 35mm f1.8

  
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ddpham
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Apr 05, 2016 01:10 |  #27

85mm F1.2 is by far the best lens i shot with for portraits.




  
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MatthewK
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Apr 05, 2016 06:16 |  #28

Strictly portraits? 85L, no question.

Portraits, but also other types of shots thrown in? 70-200.




  
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CanonYouCan
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Post edited over 4 years ago by CanonYouCan. (2 edits in all)
     
Apr 05, 2016 17:58 |  #29

I have both of them, they indeed have both their qualities and unique looks, if they where the same I would only keep one :)

For modelshoots it's great that you can take your time, switch lenses, talk to the model,... no stress.
You can switch between all your best primes and be as creative as you want.
It's also nice to walk around with relative lighter primes than a heavy big white tele.

But for portraits during events (miss election, wedding,...) the 70-200 2.8LII is a must as time is limited.
I will definitely do some more modelshoots with my 70-200 2.8LII in future, but with a 6D body compacter lenses have better handling :)


Sony A7 III | Metabones V | Canon 16-35 F4 L | Sigma 85 1.4 Art | 70-200 2.8L II
Lighting : Godox AD600B TTL + Godox V860II-S + X1T-S
Modifiers: 60cm Collapsible Silver Beautydish + grid | Godox 120cm Octagon softbox + grid + Speedlite Flash bender
Tripod: Vanguard Alta 253CT carbon

  
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jonneymendoza
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Apr 08, 2016 10:27 |  #30

wallstreetoneil wrote in post #17927789 (external link)
You can shoot the 85L at 1.2 for portraits but to get enough DOF you need some distance and they are full body portraits. Obviously you can do the crazy DoF shot of the eyelash at 1.2 and it will be sharp unlike the 50L which isn't at 1.2.

Since you have both the 50 and 135, you may find that you now have 3 'close' lenses and you are not using them enough to justify it - but it is only money and gear lust is hard to stop sometimes.

One of the things that hit me when I bought it, and I had the 50 and 135 at the time also, is the min focus distance is longer than you want it to be - unlike the 50 - so it is not a tight quarters lens.

In terms of crisp portriats that are sharp the 70-200 f4 is perfect for that and that isn't something you should necessarily give up - sometimes that is 100% desired - it isn't a bokeh special but it is sharp.

If you have the space, the 135 is going to create as good if not better portraits - the 85 at closer quarters is like the 135 but you can't use it at a close quarters party like you can with the 50. The 50 is more usable.

If you are a 85 person you may find you need to be a 35 person instead of a 50 - otherwise you are going to have 3 lenses and not get enough use of them.

I have moved on to high megapixel cameras and the SS you need with the 85 and 135 are very high so I have moved using these two lenses to my A7Rii and don't use them on my 5dsr - I am actually going to be buying the new Tamron 85 1.8 because it has IS and I want an 85 that I can use on my 5dsr.

The 85L is kind of like owning an Otus - it is just different. When you take it out of your bag, you do so slowly. When you remove the rear cap, and you look at the glass flush with the mount, you do so in a scared I'm going to damage it kind of way - but you know, once it is attached, it is simply the best at what it does. I equate it to owning and driving a GT3. 97% of the time, it is easier to jump into the SUV to take the kids to sports or get groceries but when you get into a GT3, there is nothing like it, it is beyond description - it is simply the best driving experience.

Sometimes you just have to own something and decide if it is your thing so I say do it - if it doesn't work sell it. The 85L thread has some of the most beautiful portraits and yet it is not a lens for everyone.

OMG i thought it was just me that had that feeling when i use my 85L


Canon 5dmkIII | Canon 85L 1.2 | Sigma 35mm ART 1.4|Canon 16-35mm L 2.8 |Canon 24-70mm L f2.8 | Canon 70-200mm F2.8L MK2 | Canon 430EX MK2 Flickr (external link)

  
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85mm f1.2 vs 70-200mm f2.8 II Which one to get for portraits?
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