genjurok wrote in post #16143697
Actually I'd argue any telephoto lens at focal length > 135mm with smaller aperture like f/4.0 or f/5.6 can get similar effect or even distroy the background better at FL > 200mm than the 85L in this case.
Measuring a lenses usefulness by its ability to ‘destroy the background’ is a flawed mentality, IMO. There’s a stark difference between using a large aperture to isolate the subject, and a longer focal length to compress the background. Aperture and subject distance/focal length each contribute to the amount of background blur you get, but they aren’t really interchangeable as there are field of view considerations that should be made.
Longer focal lengths puts the subject at a greater distance from the shooter, creating a compressed perspective that ‘destroys the background’. Sometimes this is a desired effect, sometimes it isn’t. If you want to keep your subject in the context of the background, you most certainly don’t want to shoot with a telephoto lens.
The beauty of fast lenses with wider focal lengths is the ability to keep the background within the frame (providing context), while isolating the subject with a shallow depth of field. It creates a sense of dimension and the ‘pop’ that can’t be created when you ‘destroy the background’. I happen to like the 85mm focal length because it’s a perfect balance of compression and dimension. It’s a focal length that keeps the backgrounds mostly in tact, but without exaggeration(creating dimension and context), while offering a very nice flattering subject compression. The extra stop you get by shooting at f1.2 you effectively doubles your subject isolation you'd get at 1.8 (giving you more pop!)