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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 15 Nov 2011 (Tuesday) 05:10
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85L - why did you sell yours?

 
smorter
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Nov 17, 2011 08:39 |  #61

I think this lens has an undeservedly bad reputation for its thin DOF. I believe it's caused by people trying to test shots with this lens in camera shops focusing on bits and pieces 1 metre away from them.

f/1.2 can give a lot of DOF

In practice, f/1.2 has enough DOF for multiple applications including group photos:

Let's see how far we can go in terms of number of people!

4 people @ f/1.2 easy!:

IMAGE: http://dawei.zenfolio.com/img/s1/v22/p512651105-5.jpg

5 people @ f/1.2 easy!:
IMAGE: http://dawei.zenfolio.com/img/s11/v35/p109083455-4.jpg

7 people @ f/1.2 easy!:
IMAGE: http://dawei.zenfolio.com/img/s11/v29/p46258828-4.jpg

(Let me search my archives for bigger groups at f/1.2)

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JeffreyG
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Nov 17, 2011 08:51 |  #62

smorter wrote in post #13412567 (external link)
I think this lens has an undeservedly bad reputation for its thin DOF. I believe it's caused by people trying to test shots with this lens in camera shops focusing on bits and pieces 1 metre away from them.
)

This was actually the point many people were making. Ultra fast is only usable for loose composition or else the DOF will be too thin.

Point is, to get enough DOF at 85mm you will need to be pretty far back. I prefer having my fast primes at shorter focal lengths because I would take shots like your examples typically with a 35mm or 50mm prime.


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edge100
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Nov 17, 2011 08:57 |  #63

JeffreyG wrote in post #13412604 (external link)
This was actually the point many people were making. Ultra fast is only usable for loose composition or else the DOF will be too thin.

Point is, to get enough DOF at 85mm you will need to be pretty far back. I prefer having my fast primes at shorter focal lengths because I would take shots like your examples typically with a 35mm or 50mm prime.

But what is "too thin"? That's a totally subjective choice.

I agree with you if the photographer is just using f/1.2 because it's there and he or she doesn't know any better. But there are many instances in which I want the DoF to be thin; so thin, in fact, that others might say "that's too thin".


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jdizzle
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Nov 17, 2011 09:00 |  #64

edge100 wrote in post #13412626 (external link)
But what is "too thin"? That's a totally subjective choice.

I agree with you if the photographer is just using f/1.2 because it's there and he or she doesn't know any better. But there are many instances in which I want the DoF to be thin; so thin, in fact, that others might say "that's too thin".

Tbh, the non-photog will not care about this type of thing. So, I agree that it's subjective. Why do people make this lens so complicated? :lol::lol:




  
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JeffreyG
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Nov 17, 2011 09:14 |  #65

edge100 wrote in post #13412626 (external link)
But what is "too thin"? That's a totally subjective choice.
".

Art is subjective, but not completely or else every piece of dreck ever made would be equally wonderful. Would you not agree that conceptually a photo can be 'good' or 'bad'?

I look at the 85L archieve and I see a lot of 'bad' because of too thin DOF. If the subject is largely OOF, then objectively the photo is bad, or at least shows poor technique/understandin​g.

On topic, I don't need the speed of the 85L at 85mm because I don't want to stand so far back as smorter does. So the 70-200 does this for me. And a lot people who do use the 85L post 'bad' shots that are much tighter than smorter's examples.


My personal stuff:http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jngirbach/sets/ (external link)
I use a Canon 5DIII and a Sony A7rIII

  
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edge100
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Nov 17, 2011 09:23 |  #66

JeffreyG wrote in post #13412691 (external link)
Art is subjective, but not completely or else every piece of dreck ever made would be equally wonderful. Would you not agree that conceptually a photo can be 'good' or 'bad'?

Subjectivity by definition implies that different works will mean different things to different people. I would agree that I find certain photos to be conceptually 'good' or 'bad', but that says nothing about whether you feel the same.

JeffreyG wrote in post #13412691 (external link)
I look at the 85L archieve and I see a lot of 'bad' because of too thin DOF. If the subject is largely OOF, then objectively the photo is bad, or at least shows poor technique/understandin​g.

My feeling is that a good artist understands his or her tools, and uses them appropriately to make the art that he or she visualizes. If the photographer is trying to achieve something with the use of ultra-shallow DoF, then so be it. On the other hand, if the photographer just thinks "Cool! f/1.2!" and shoots everything wide open for no good reason, then yes, this can produce lesser results.

That doesn't mean that just because it was done by intent it suddenly becomes good art. It just means that if you're going to create an image with shallow DoF, you should do it because your vision as a photographer is of shallow DoF.

In the end, however, the ultimate determinant of whether something is subjectively 'good' or 'bad' is the viewer's senses.

JeffreyG wrote in post #13412691 (external link)
On topic, I don't need the speed of the 85L at 85mm because I don't want to stand so far back as smorter does. So the 70-200 does this for me. And a lot people who do use the 85L post 'bad' shots that are much tighter than smorter's examples.

Again, you may find ultra-shallow DoF shots with one eye in focus to be 'bad'. I usually do, too. But let's remember that this is in no way an objective measure of 'badness'.


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timnosenzo
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Nov 17, 2011 09:23 |  #67

JeffreyG wrote in post #13412691 (external link)
If the subject is largely OOF, then objectively the photo is bad, or at least shows poor technique/understandin​g.

....in your opinion.

Clearly you only like photos where the entire subject is tack sharp and in complete focus. It's possible that not everyone shares the same standards as you.


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newworld666
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Nov 17, 2011 09:24 |  #68

I feel a bit pity I didn't buy any of these 85L1.2II (it looks most of people don't like it) ... I tried to find some cheaper on internet and I couldn't find any !!! :lol: ...
In my case, the only missing function on this lens is a distance range limiter like on 135L2.0. (it would be perfect with a 3m to infinite limitation)


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edge100
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Nov 17, 2011 09:26 |  #69

newworld666 wrote in post #13412734 (external link)
I feel a bit pity I didn't buy any of these 85L1.2II (it looks most of people don't like it) ... I tried to find some cheaper on internet and I couldn't find any !!! :lol: ...
In my case, the only missing function on this lens is a distance range limiter like on 135L2.0. (it would be perfect with a 3m to infinite limitation)

I think most people who actually own the 85L like it very much. Though perhaps that's a circular argument...


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m.shalaby
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Nov 17, 2011 09:28 |  #70

timnosenzo wrote in post #13412726 (external link)
....in your opinion.

Clearly you only like photos where the entire subject is tack sharp and in complete focus. It's possible that not everyone shares the same standards as you.

yup. photography is art. i hate when people try to put rules on it.




  
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jdizzle
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Nov 17, 2011 10:25 |  #71

m.shalaby wrote in post #13412757 (external link)
yup. photography is art. i hate when people try to put rules on it.

Damn! You're not supposed to shoot the 85 L wide open! Oh my! :lol::lol:




  
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fashioneyes
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Nov 17, 2011 11:14 |  #72

I loved mine (the few times I used it) ... but just couldn't justify having that amount of cash lying around in a lens I didn't use that much.

It helped to finance a 300 f2.8 ... so from one iconic lens to another ...


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sonnyc
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Nov 17, 2011 11:23 |  #73

smorter samples showed it well. Know the lens and know its limitation and you can make it work FOR you instead of AGAINST you.

I have version 1 and don't plan to sell it anytime soon (although I did tempted to trade it for the Sigma a few times). I'd love to use it at f1.2 all the time and get great pictures but I also know that stopping down a bit will yield better results.

Some wise dude on here once said "Having a f1.2 lens, doesn't mean you have to shoot it at f1.2 all the time".. :)


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JeffreyG
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Nov 17, 2011 11:39 |  #74

timnosenzo wrote in post #13412726 (external link)
....in your opinion.

Clearly you only like photos where the entire subject is tack sharp and in complete focus. It's possible that not everyone shares the same standards as you.

You guys make it sound as if photographers just wish they had a way to make eyes sharp but have the nose and ears totally blurry. Then along comes the 85L and it is an artistic revelation.

What it looks like to me is that people want a blurry background in a tight portrait and they don't know how to do it without using very fast apertures (hint - back up, go longer and stop down)

I'm not so opposed to thin DOF as you might think. But as someone who has been guilty of many 'too thin' shots myself, I know far too well what I'm seeing because I've done it myself.


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edge100
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Nov 17, 2011 11:49 |  #75

JeffreyG wrote in post #13413281 (external link)
You guys make it sound as if photographers just wish they had a way to make eyes sharp but have the nose and ears totally blurry. Then along comes the 85L and it is an artistic revelation.

Yes, because there were no fast primes before the 85L came out.

JeffreyG wrote in post #13413281 (external link)
What it looks like to me is that people want a blurry background in a tight portrait and they don't know how to do it without using very fast apertures (hint - back up, go longer and stop down)

What it looks like to me is that you have a different sense of what looks good than some of us. Nothing wrong with that, but surely you accept that there's no normative definition of 'good'.

I happen to dislike the look of portraits shot with a 200mm lens at moderate apertures. I find the perspective (due to the subject-to-camera distance) to be odd and uncomfortable, even though the DoF (or at least the amount of background blur) may be similar to an 85 or 50 (or even a 35) shot at wider apertures, and even though the whole face is in focus.

I prefer shots taken with shorter lenses (hence my longest lens is the 85L) at wider apertures. To me, they have much more 'immediacy', and more effectively transmit the intended ethos of my photos vs. longer lenses.

JeffreyG wrote in post #13413281 (external link)
I'm not so opposed to thin DOF as you might think. But as someone who has been guilty of many 'too thin' shots myself, I know far too well what I'm seeing because I've done it myself.

We've all had shots where the DoF is too shallow. In my earlier days, I often ended up with group shots where the back row was OOF because I chose my f/stop incorrectly. For these types of photos, I want loads of DoF, so I either move back or stop down (or both).

But now when I choose a wide aperture, I do so consciously; when I get one eye in focus (or whatever), I do so consciously. Whether anyone else (besides me and the client) like it is neither here nor there. The fact is I've made that choice as someone who knows the ramifications of certain settings, and who likes the results.

The 85L gives me the option to use f/1.2 if I need/want it. I don't always want it. In fact, I'd say I'm mostly around ~f/2.0 with all of my primes (for various reasons, including - but not limited to - DoF). That's why the 85 is in my bag, and always will be.


Street and editorial photography in Toronto, Canada (external link)
Mirrorless: Fujifilm X-Pro1
Film: Leica MP | Leica M2 | CV Nokton 35/1.4 | CV Nokton 40 f/1.4 | Leitz Summitar 50 f/2 | Canon 50 f/1.2 LTM | Mamiya 7 | Mamiya 80 f/4.0 | Mamiya 150 f/4.5 | Mamiya 43 f/4.5
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85L - why did you sell yours?
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