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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 11 Nov 2016 (Friday) 08:10
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What is best prime for portrait with price <$1000? Sigma 50 or 135 F/2

 
vietnameseamateur
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Nov 11, 2016 08:10 |  #1

What is best prime for portrait with price <$1000? Sigma 50mm art f/1.4 or 135 F/2?

The 85mm f/1.2 L II USM is very expensive and slow. It is $1000 more expensive than Sigma 50mm art f/1.4 and 135 F/2. With $1100-1200 I even can buy a used Canon EOS 6D




  
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dochollidayda
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Nov 11, 2016 08:32 |  #2

What about 85 1.8? Are you using a crop body? 85mm onwards creates magical separation for head shots. On a crop 50 might work, although I'd recommend 50 1.4 Canon over Sigma.

I will be sent to the gallows by Sigma police for this but Sigma can't focus worth a damn and the bokeh is downright ugly. Not ideal for portraits shot wide open.

I suspect an onslaught of cat and baby photos is about to commence.

Good luck with your decision.


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Nov 11, 2016 08:45 |  #3

What lenses do you currently have?

The 85mm f/1.8 and 100mm f/2 are very nice portrait lenses on a full frame, and quite a bit cheaper. I think the 100mm f/2 is one of the most underrated lenses in Canon's lineup.

On a crop, the 50 STM or 85mm f/1.8 are good choices as well. I think the bokeh on the STM is excellent for it's price point.




  
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Bassat
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Post edited over 2 years ago by Bassat.
     
Nov 11, 2016 09:19 |  #4

vietnameseamateur wrote in post #18181608 (external link)
What is best prime for portrait with price <$1000? Sigma 50mm art f/1.4 or 135 F/2?

The 85mm f/1.2 L II USM is very expensive and slow. It is $1000 more expensive than Sigma 50mm art f/1.4 and 135 F/2. With $1100-1200 I even can buy a used Canon EOS 6D

The 85 1.8 II is a specialty lens. Special talents, and some voodoo, are required to make an f/1.2 portrait look good. I prefer the 85 1.8, primarily because it is cheap. You may wish to consider the new Σ85mm f/1.4A, also.

I agree with the above statement that the EF 100mm f/2 is a very good, and very under-rated lens. I started with and 85 1.8 & 135L. Then I sold them both for a 100mm f/2. After a year or so, I sold the 100 f/2 and re-purchased the 85 1.8, and the 135L. If you can only afford one lens, get the 100 f/2. You will not be disappointed. If you can afford the 85 1.8 & 135L, you get better, more versatile glass.

No way the Σ50A is worth the money. I got a 50 STM for $89. It does everything I need a 50' to do.

Portrait means a lot of things. If you are doing studio work, with controlled lighting, and controlled backgrounds, huge apertures lose their appeal over getting the entire subject in focus. There isn't a hill of beans IQ difference between any L' and the corresponding consumer lens (85L II/85 1.8 or 35L II/35 IS, and so on) at f/8. Well, except for cost. I would never pay $1,000+ for less than one stop of light. A better investment for an amateur (like me) would be some lighting equipment and a book or two on lighting/shooting people.

With all that said, I'd dearly love to trade my 28 1.8 for a 24L II, or a Σ24A.




  
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FuturamaJSP
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Nov 12, 2016 04:04 |  #5

by your definition the Zeiss Otus lenses are probably the worst. no af and cost 4k each
with that much money you can buy a 5dmk4 plus a 17-40L... :rolleyes:


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Nov 12, 2016 04:40 |  #6

vietnameseamateur wrote in post #18181608 (external link)
What is best prime for portrait with price <$1000? Sigma 50mm art f/1.4 or 135 F/2?

The 85mm f/1.2 L II USM is very expensive and slow. It is $1000 more expensive than Sigma 50mm art f/1.4 and 135 F/2. With $1100-1200 I even can buy a used Canon EOS 6D

Best is relative here, so you're going to get a lot of "bests" but maybe not for the reasons or uses that you would consider best for what you do. A portrait lens is not ideal based on it being a long fast prime to generate that "look." For example, shooting in a studio with controlled lighting and limited space, a 135L is not an ideal lens at all for portrait. You really need to figure out what you feel is a good working distance for you, in your space, where you shoot, how you shoot, with your subject(s) and if it's full body or not and what your goal is for the overall composition. A wider angle lens is going to be more versatile in general for portrait and many other things, while a longer lens is going to limit a lot more while achieving a very specific look (when used in conditions that promote that look).

So really you should describe:

* Where you plan to shoot mostly.
* Full Frame or APS-C.
* Subject composition goal (full body, busts, head shots, etc).
* Indoor, outdoor.
* Studio or not.
* Goal for the look (shallow depth of field outdoor with tons of distance behind the subject, versus full depth of field or less limited depth of field and less space).
* Goal of environmental or subject isolation, etc.
* How much working distance do you have/want for your distance to subject and full body or not goals.

The more you can narrow down what you actually do and will do will help you figure out a best lens for you.

Otherwise, you might as well just throw in other popular lenses... like the various 24-70's, 70-200's, other 50mm's, other 35mm's, some 100mm flavors, lots of 85mm flavors, etc. Really every lens out there, you'll find someone who does incredible portrait work with nearly anything.

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Nov 13, 2016 09:12 |  #7

There is no "best prime" for portraits, there are lots of them, -$1000 I have the 3 best :
Sigma 50 1.4 Art, 85 1.2L (MKI), 135 f2L
(I could add the 200 2.8L MKI (only 540$ secondhand) but the focal length is a bit unhandy as a prime).

But if you have budget of $1000, I would chose :
-85 1.2L MKI (950$ secondhand)
or 85 1.8 + 135L secondhand (if you really need fast focussing on both)

Best IQ is the 135L (perfect colours, sharpness, bokeh due to the longer focal length).
The 85 1.8 is best price/quality, only some copies have too much purple fringing, easy to correct, but disturbs sometimes.
50 1.4 is more for halfbody (fashion) shoots with clothes in the picture.


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Post edited over 2 years ago by CheshireCat. (2 edits in all)
     
Nov 13, 2016 11:43 |  #8

vietnameseamateur wrote in post #18181608 (external link)
What is best prime for portrait with price <$1000? Sigma 50mm art f/1.4 or 135 F/2?

The one with the focal length you use most for portraits.

My very personal preference on full frame: 135/2


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Nov 13, 2016 12:24 |  #9

I loved the 135 until I got my 5DS. Now I get ghosting at 1/200 with strobes. My new fav is the Tamron 85 1.8 VC. No more ghosting and if I can get my subjects to hold super still I can shoot at really low SS.


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Nov 13, 2016 13:13 |  #10

dochollidayda wrote in post #18181624 (external link)
What about 85 1.8? Are you using a crop body? 85mm onwards creates magical separation for head shots. On a crop 50 might work, although I'd recommend 50 1.4 Canon over Sigma.

I will be sent to the gallows by Sigma police for this but Sigma can't focus worth a damn and the bokeh is downright ugly. Not ideal for portraits shot wide open.

I suspect an onslaught of cat and baby photos is about to commence.

Good luck with your decision.

The Canon 50 f/1.4 has to be the most uninspiring lens I've ever used. Drab colour rendition and slow AF.

Both Sigma 50 f/1.4 lenses in their current line up surpass it by a good margin.


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Nov 15, 2016 21:02 |  #11

Given the latest reviews better put also the 85mm Art in the loop.


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Nov 16, 2016 06:05 |  #12

85 is pretty good middle ground. 50 is to short for head and shoulder shots, 135 requires space. 85L II is a slow focusing brick with an unmatched look, very much a specialty lens. I've got all three and love the 50 for enviro stuff.


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What is best prime for portrait with price <$1000? Sigma 50 or 135 F/2
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