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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 29 Mar 2011 (Tuesday) 00:24
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willspective
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Mar 29, 2011 00:24 |  #1

I'm sure there are plenty of these types of threads and maybe even some with the specific question I'm asking, but here goes:

I'm just understanding the importance of full-frame and crop sensors. I currently have a T2i and my lens collection includes the kit lens, a nifty fifty, and a 70-200 f/4L. My question is: Is it pointless for me to get the 85mm f/1.8? I am very heavily into portraiture and I've read it's amongst the best lenses for that, but what confuses me is that I've read on this forum statements like "you already have that length covered" or something of that sort.

Fill me in all mighty forum members! A good explanation will decide my next purchase so feel free to suggest something I should need as a portrait photographer! :)


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david ­ lacey
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Mar 29, 2011 00:31 |  #2

I would favor 50mm on your camera for portraits but lots of people here would pick the 85mm. It is just over 2 stops faster so (if you use 85mm a lot) and like a shallow depth of field or shoot in lower light or just want a smaller portrait lens all are good reasons to get this lens. I love love love my 70-200 so it is not really on my list but we all have different needs. You would not loose much on resale if it turned out not to be for you.




  
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DreDaze
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Mar 29, 2011 00:38 |  #3

the difference between 85mm f4, and 85mm f1.8 are pretty big...you'll get shallower DOF, more background blur, and the ability to use it in lower light...it's not just all about focal length always...


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thenextguy
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Mar 29, 2011 01:22 as a reply to  @ DreDaze's post |  #4

People often say "they already have that focal length covered" if they're talking about two overlapping zoom lenses. Or a zoom lens and a prime of similar apertures (f/2 prime vs. a f/2.8 zoom).

But a 85mm f/1.8 and 70-200 f/4 are sooooo different, even if they share the 85mm focal length. There wouldn't be anything strange about wanting both of those lenses.


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Mar 29, 2011 01:41 |  #5

Nope, nothing wrong with that at all. F/1.8 is about 2 full stops faster in the same light as the f/4. So, while you could easily shoot both lenses at 85mm, if the light is limiting the f/4 to 1/25s @ ISO 100, you could use the 1.8 to shoot 1/100s @ ISO 100. That's no small difference.


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YouTellMe
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Mar 29, 2011 03:53 |  #6

Focal length is covered by the 70-200 but the difference shot at 85mm with it at f/4 is still different than the 85mm f/1.8. And after shooting with a 50 f/1.8 and 100L f/2.8 prime lens, theres no replacement for it. For example bokeh on a 50mm f/1.8 is way better than 50mm on a 24-70 f/2.8.


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ceegee
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Mar 29, 2011 05:52 |  #7

They're very different lenses; a fast prime is a different animal altogether from a zoom like the 70-200. I find the 85 to be an odd focal length on a crop camera, and also a bit long for use indoors. I've just set up a small indoor studio and even for head-and-shoulder shots, I have to stand quite a way back with this lens. However, outdoors it's excellent . I keep thinking I'll sell mine, then I take a few shots with it and the results blow me away. Why not try setting your zoom to 85 mm and using it at that length for a few days, to see if you like it? Otherwise, you might consider something in the 50 or 60 mm range.


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sandpiper
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Mar 29, 2011 06:13 as a reply to  @ ceegee's post |  #8

I have the 85 f/1.8 even though I also 'have that length covered' with my 24-105L f/4.

Believe me, they are very different lenses and used for very different purposes. I have never thought about which to use in a certain situation, I just pick the one I need at the time, the other isn't really an option.

Get the lens, you'll love it I'm sure.

[edited to add]: You mention portraiture, so I would just add that in the studio, where background blur is unimportant and I tend to be shooting at smaller apertures, my choice is the 24-105L for versatility, but for location shoots that stays in the bag and the 85 will generally be used to lift the subject from the background with it's greater max aperture. I say "generally" because sometimes a portrait is of a person in their environment, a blacksmith at work for instance, in which case the background is more important and I would tend to use a wider angle and smaller aperture.




  
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willspective
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Mar 29, 2011 06:14 |  #9

ceegee wrote in post #12114996 (external link)
They're very different lenses; a fast prime is a different animal altogether from a zoom like the 70-200. I find the 85 to be an odd focal length on a crop camera, and also a bit long for use indoors. I've just set up a small indoor studio and even for head-and-shoulder shots, I have to stand quite a way back with this lens. However, outdoors it's excellent . I keep thinking I'll sell mine, then I take a few shots with it and the results blow me away. Why not try setting your zoom to 85 mm and using it at that length for a few days, to see if you like it? Otherwise, you might consider something in the 50 or 60 mm range.



Thanks for all the other responses guys! I'm only quoting ceegee because he was the last one, but I'm taking all of them into consideration.

My next question: I know the nifty fifty is nowhere near as good as the 50 1.4, but everywhere I've gone I've read it's not worth it money-wise to get the 1.4 unless your 1.8 breaks. If I'm not going the 85mm route because it's too long, and not going the 1.4 route because it's basically the same thing, what would be the next best lens that is reasonably priced??


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YouTellMe
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Mar 29, 2011 07:17 |  #10

theres nothing wrong with the 50mm 1.8. i have the version 1 and it performs excellent. the only gripe i have is it doesnt have USM. bokeh is excellent. sharp. i've only done indoor macro type shots so i dont have any comments about flare.


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