vietnameseamateur wrote in post #18176318
Love portrait photography: with 2000$, should i buy a 5d mark iii or 85mm f/1.2 L II USM?
I currently own a 5D Mark II and a 70-200mm f/2.8 l is ii usm, I frequently doing portrait photography
If i buy a 5D Mark III: will it bring significantly better image quality than 5D Mark II?
If i buy a 85mm f/1.2 L II USM: with dreamy bokeh, it's so perfect for portrait photography, it can bring significantly thinner DOF than the 70-200mm f/2.8 l is ii usm. But i will keep the 70-200mm f/2.8 l is ii usm for birding photography (with the 2.0 extender)
The primary difference between 5DII and 5DIII is the huge improvement in the AF system. That's largely unnecessary for portraiture.... but would be very nice for birding.
So, I'd say you should look at lenses first. But I'm not sure the 85/1.2 is "necessary". It's big, heavy, expensive ($1900 right now), and slower focusing. Lovely bokeh, though... if you really need it.
- Canon 85/1.8 USM.... much more compact and faster focusing.... $350 + hood presently
- Sigma 85/1.4 HSM "Art".... relatively large and heavy, 2/3 stop faster than f1.8, 2/3 stop slower than f1.2.... currently $1200
- New Tamron 85/1.8 USD V"VC".... larger than the Canon f1.8, but not as big as the f1.2 or Sigma f1.4. Appears to have very nice bokeh. Only 85mm with stabilization.... $750.
The Canon 135/2L is another superb portrait lens on full frame. It's now a relatively old design, but still has lovely image quality. $1000.
Used wide open or nearly so at portrait distances, the 135/2L has a really dreamy look. But stopped down a bit it gets really sharp. It's also quite fast focusing, so can be useful for sports/action shooting. (It also works really well with a quality 1.4X teleconverter, very ossibly making a 200/2.8 prime unnecessary. Of course, that's not a consideration here, since you already have 70-200/2.8.)
Personally, if it were me I'd go for a combination of the 135mm together with one of the less expensive 85mm (Well, actually that's exactly what I did.... I use the Canon 85/1.8 and 135/2L, but I'd be tempted by the Tamron 85mm, if I were buying the lenses today).
If I were a wedding photographer, I'd want the 85/1.2L II, most likely in combination with the 50/1.2L. However, for other types of portraiture I just don't see the need to spend the extra for f1.2 lenses. I rarely use larger than f2, in fact.
I do prefer prime lenses to zooms, for post portrait work. Especially compared to the "big white" Canon zooms, all the above primes smaller and less noticeable or intimidating when shooting candid shots and amateur subjects.