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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 19 Apr 2011 (Tuesday) 13:23
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After 1 year with the 85 1.2 L Mk II

 
drumsfield
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Apr 19, 2011 13:23 |  #1

After owning this lens for a year and having recently sold it. Here are my thoughts regarding this lens as I look back.

Fist start off with the Cons as they come to mind:
-Price: I'm a firm believer in the adage "You get what you pay for". I still believe that to this day and this lens offers incredible picture quality. But that being said it's still a lot of money and it's high price is probably the number 1 reason most people don't get this lens. In light of recent events the price has gone up even more.
-Slow as an 18 wheel semi truck merging onto highway traffic AF speed. It takes some getting used to at first and I still never got used to it completely. The AF is slow. Don't let other people tell you anything different. It is hard to track moving targets with this lens and the lens should be used as a pose and shoot portrait lens. It's very hard to do much else considering the speed.
-Focus by wire manual focus. Never completely got used to this either. The focus ring felt very loose and it was hard to get a good feeling for it.
-It's a big lens. Let me tell you I love glass and this lens has a ton of it. When someone is staring down the barrel of this piece of glass they can tell right way it's a serious piece of equipment no questions needed. The problem is it's also big and heavy, and I would consider it close to par with a 70-200mm in terms of portability. You need a lot of space in your bag to carry it around.
-No dust and weather protection. Am I being anal? Probably... but for the amount of money I spent on this lens would you be too? It's pretty easy for dust to get into the lens. After owning this lens for only a few months I noticed at least one spec in the rear element. Probably didn't make much of a difference in the pictures, but it was there in the back of my mind.

Now lets talk about the pros of this lens:
-Aaaamazing pictures
-Freaking unbelievable pictures
-"Are you kidding me??" pictures
-Holy cow!!! pictures....

I think you get the point....

Well I recently I ended up buying the 50L it's only been a few weeks with it but I'm pretty happy. I think I'm a little more comfortable with the focal length and since I own both crop and FF body the 50 would fit them both equally well. Whereas the 85 might have been a bit long for the crop. The other issues I had also seem to be alleviated at least. I just hope the 50 can come close to the images the 85 had delivered. The 85 is just an amazing lens and just having this lens can make you an amazing photographer (plus a little bit of skill involved) Another reason I sold the 85 was I recently got the 70-200mm f/2.8 MKII and it's probably the best zoom ever made. I just couldn't keep both.


Canon 5D MkIII | Olympus OM-D | Olympus E-P2 | 16-35L MKII | 24-70L MKII | 70-200L MKII | 85L MKII | EF 50mm 1.4 | EF 100mm 2.8 | 100-400mm L MKII | 20mm 1.7
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kylyo
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Apr 19, 2011 13:24 |  #2

Incoming dog show and 4 wheeler pics ;)


5d III | Canon 16-35L II | Canon 35L | Canon 70-200 II |

  
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TaDa
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Apr 19, 2011 13:26 |  #3

Your pros are pretty much why everyone that has the 85L keeps the 85L. Absolutely stunning image quality. The 2+ stops from the 85L give it a very real advantage that the awesome 70-2 cannot touch. But all in all, well stated pros and cons.


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L, Canon 85 f/1.2L II, Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, Canon 500 f/4L IS
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drumsfield
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Apr 19, 2011 13:27 |  #4

kylyo wrote in post #12253743 (external link)
Incoming dog show and 4 wheeler pics ;)

lol... yea I've seen those threads. It's not as easy as it looks. You have to throw out a whole lot of shots to get one or two good ones.


Canon 5D MkIII | Olympus OM-D | Olympus E-P2 | 16-35L MKII | 24-70L MKII | 70-200L MKII | 85L MKII | EF 50mm 1.4 | EF 100mm 2.8 | 100-400mm L MKII | 20mm 1.7
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jwcdds
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Apr 19, 2011 13:32 |  #5

Oh noes... I'm coming up on 1 year of ownership soon. Guess it's time for me to put it up for sale.

The AF speed doesn't bother me. It's fast enough to track my son running around at the park at this time and if/when that fails, that's where my 70-200 comes in. :D Good thing I live in California so I don't have to worry about weather sealing as much. But yeah, it's a lot of money to sink into a lens but the photos you can get out of it is truly amazing. I can only imagine what it would be like on FF (someday... someday).

I'm going to hold onto this lens for a little while longer. I figure in 5 years, the lens will be worth $3,000. It's like investing in gold! :p


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Jason ­ C
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Apr 19, 2011 13:33 |  #6

kylyo wrote in post #12253743 (external link)
Incoming dog show and 4 wheeler pics ;)

Oh no...it's coming, too.

Drumsfield, nice recap on your experience. Thank you.

Jason C


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asamimasa
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Apr 19, 2011 13:41 |  #7

The 85L is the one lens that might bring me back to Canon someday... I've played it with plenty of times, but falling in love and growing old with it's an entirely different deal.
But for now, I'll have to settle for the Sigma 1.4.


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banpreso
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Apr 19, 2011 13:46 |  #8

i remember playing with my friend's 85L for the first time. i looked through the viewfinder, pressed half shutter, and i was like "man is this thing even focusing?!" the slow AF is a deal breaker for me... that combined with the price factor, leading me towards the sigma 85


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AlanU
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Apr 19, 2011 14:40 |  #9

If I was a nikon user I'd probably go with sigma lenses (seems very little issues compared to canon).

I will have to say the 85L can do wonders to any camera body you use with it. The thing is I like my 85 f/1.8 equally as much as the 85L.

I think if you shoot in the f/2 range you'll love the speed of the 85 f/1.8 version. The bokeh from that lens is similar to the 85L. I'm putting aside bragging rights of owning an 85 red ring because alot of it is bragging rights. The f/1.8 is such an amazing lens for IQ and AF speed for a small price. I wont sell my 85L for specific reasons 1) I hate selling camera gear, 2) I shoot f/1.2 for very special reasons for effect. In most cases the 85 f/1.8 provides incredible IQ for most eyes viewing the end product.

The fact that the f/1.2 is incredibly sharp I use the 85L on specific situations. This is where the 50L is typically softer at f/1.2. I feel more comfortable with the 85 f/1.8 simply because I like shooting at f/2 to f/2.8 for "pop" factor and that the af is stupid fast. Slow moving subjects the 85L is a great lens.

Seriously I'd rather have the "sharp shot" instead of a blurry missed shot of the slow AF 85L. Anyone reading this thread should get the f/1.8 version first and appreciate how its almost has the IQ of a pig slow 85L. Any colour rendition/contrast differences in the f/1.8 can be corrected in LR3 or Photoshop in a matter of seconds. If you use the xrite color passport your gonna see little diff between bragging rights 85L to 85 f/1.8 at f/2.

I'm fortunate to have the beans at that time to purchase the 85L. Lately I'm more in love with the variable prime lens aka 70-200 f/2.8IS mk2. That to me is more versatile in the portrait shooter. Street shooters may like the prime more for stealth purposes.

to me its more logical to buy a 35L/or 24L + 85 f/1.8 combo vs one 85L.


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MatthewK
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Apr 19, 2011 14:41 as a reply to  @ banpreso's post |  #10

kylyo wrote in post #12253743 (external link)
Incoming dog show and 4 wheeler pics ;)

bw!

drumsfield wrote in post #12253732 (external link)
After owning this lens for a year and having recently sold it. Here are my thoughts regarding this lens as I look back.

*snip*

Well I recently I ended up buying the 50L it's only been a few weeks with it but I'm pretty happy. I think I'm a little more comfortable with the focal length and since I own both crop and FF body the 50 would fit them both equally well. Whereas the 85 might have been a bit long for the crop. The other issues I had also seem to be alleviated at least. I just hope the 50 can come close to the images the 85 had delivered. The 85 is just an amazing lens and just having this lens can make you an amazing photographer (plus a little bit of skill involved) Another reason I sold the 85 was I recently got the 70-200mm f/2.8 MKII and it's probably the best zoom ever made. I just couldn't keep both.

You and I rock the same gear... I just sold my 85L after picking up the 50L. The 50L ROCKS, I heart this lens to pieces. Much easier FL to use on a regular basis, weather sealed, faster focus, better minimum focusing distance. Not as sharp as the 85L, but I'm discovering that sharpness isn't everything. The 85 holds it's own when it comes to picture quality, but it just wasn't finding regular use that warranted it's price tag. (Canon didn't weather seal it b/c they don't want you using it outdoors :lol:)

And, I just used the proceeds from the 85L to pick up the 70-200 2.8 IS II. What an amazing lens... :-P


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pixel_junkie
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Apr 19, 2011 15:03 as a reply to  @ MatthewK's post |  #11

Cracks me up when I see people complaining about slow AF and weather sealing on a portrait lens. It was never meant to be a fast, do it all warrior. If you want to shoot sports, don't buy a studio portrait lens. If you buy this lens for the wrong reasons, you can't complain about it. For what it was meant to do, there's just nothing better and that's that.


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drumsfield
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Apr 19, 2011 15:21 |  #12

pixel_junkie wrote in post #12254366 (external link)
Cracks me up when I see people complaining about slow AF and weather sealing on a portrait lens. It was never meant to be a fast, do it all warrior. If you want to shoot sports, don't buy a studio portrait lens. If you buy this lens for the wrong reasons, you can't complain about it. For what it was meant to do, there's just nothing better and that's that.

Yea, but it could have said that on the box when I bought it. "Studio Portrait lens only" :)

edit: and you're right. It's a fantastic studio portrait lens. I just need something a bit more versatile.


Canon 5D MkIII | Olympus OM-D | Olympus E-P2 | 16-35L MKII | 24-70L MKII | 70-200L MKII | 85L MKII | EF 50mm 1.4 | EF 100mm 2.8 | 100-400mm L MKII | 20mm 1.7
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watt100
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Apr 19, 2011 15:26 |  #13

drumsfield wrote in post #12253732 (external link)
After owning this lens for a year and having recently sold it. Here are my thoughts regarding this lens as I look back.

Fist start off with the Cons as they come to mind:
-Price: I'm a firm believer in the adage "You get what you pay for". I still believe that to this day and this lens offers incredible picture quality. But that being said it's still a lot of money and it's high price is probably the number 1 reason most people don't get this lens. In light of recent events the price has gone up even more.
-Slow as an 18 wheel semi truck merging onto highway traffic AF speed. It takes some getting used to at first and I still never got used to it completely. The AF is slow. Don't let other people tell you anything different. It is hard to track moving targets with this lens and the lens should be used as a pose and shoot portrait lens. It's very hard to do much else considering the speed.
-Focus by wire manual focus. Never completely got used to this either. The focus ring felt very loose and it was hard to get a good feeling for it.
-It's a big lens. Let me tell you I love glass and this lens has a ton of it. When someone is staring down the barrel of this piece of glass they can tell right way it's a serious piece of equipment no questions needed. The problem is it's also big and heavy, and I would consider it close to par with a 70-200mm in terms of portability. You need a lot of space in your bag to carry it around.
-No dust and weather protection. Am I being anal? Probably... but for the amount of money I spent on this lens would you be too? It's pretty easy for dust to get into the lens. After owning this lens for only a few months I noticed at least one spec in the rear element. Probably didn't make much of a difference in the pictures, but it was there in the back of my mind.

Now lets talk about the pros of this lens:
-Aaaamazing pictures
-Freaking unbelievable pictures
-"Are you kidding me??" pictures
-Holy cow!!! pictures....

I think you get the point....

Well I recently I ended up buying the 50L it's only been a few weeks with it but I'm pretty happy. I think I'm a little more comfortable with the focal length and since I own both crop and FF body the 50 would fit them both equally well. Whereas the 85 might have been a bit long for the crop. The other issues I had also seem to be alleviated at least. I just hope the 50 can come close to the images the 85 had delivered. The 85 is just an amazing lens and just having this lens can make you an amazing photographer (plus a little bit of skill involved) Another reason I sold the 85 was I recently got the 70-200mm f/2.8 MKII and it's probably the best zoom ever made. I just couldn't keep both.

all nice superlatives but when a lens cost over $2,000 it's got to be more than "freaking unbelievable amazing".
I want it to walk on water with 3D images.
Until then I'll hold off buying




  
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s2kennyc
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Apr 19, 2011 15:44 |  #14

Very well stated points. I agree with all of them.

I bought the 70-200 2.8 MK2 as well for it's versatility and while it's a fantastic performer, I'm sorry to say, but the 85L just wipes the floor with the 70-200 in terms of picture quality. It's in a different league.

But yes, I wish the 85L was faster in focusing.


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sosrah
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Apr 19, 2011 16:19 |  #15

Af is slow, lens is heavy and it need a lot of skill but i have no raegrets: images are stunning.
If you are not a pro maybe 1.8 version Is a wiser choice, with the difference in price you can buy other lenses.


5D mkIII, 5Dc 14L II, 35L , 85L II, 24-105L IS, 70-200L F/2.8 IS II, MP-E 65, TC 1.4X III

  
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