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Thread: canon 85mm f/1.8

  1. #1

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    canon 85mm f/1.8

    hi cambridge in color family!
    it's been a while since my last post, i am thinking of buying a prime lens specifically the canon 85mm f/1.8. is it wise for me to purchase this lens since i already have the ff. lens
    canon efs 55-250mm
    sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4
    and the 50mm f/1.8 (nifty fifty), since i have this lens already should i skip the 85mm?
    oh by the way my camera body is 50D.
    thank you all...

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: canon 85mm f/1.8

    Isabelo

    Welcome back.

    You do not say what your purpose is in wanting the 85mm f1.8. Is it, for example, for portraiture?

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    Re: canon 85mm f/1.8

    Hi Isabelo,

    As Donald says - we really need to know what you need it for. Prime lenses are generally sharper than non-zoom lenses, but zooms like the 70-200 series have sharpness that's more than adaquate for most things (eg portraiture), and are a LOT more versatile (I'll be using one for a baby shoot later on today). Primes are often a bit faster than zooms (in this case F1.8), but that of course means a narrow depth of field, which may or may not end up producing pleasing results.

    So we really need more information.

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    Re: canon 85mm f/1.8

    Hi Isabelo
    Donald & Colin are your best bets for answers here, but I will give you my opinion as I have the lens in question.

    I have it - BUT I still would love a 70-200 zoom - I work indoors at sports where I would like the 2.8 version of it, thus I am saving & waiting.
    The 85mm 1.8 for me was bought for a very specific use - a very poorly lit gym and it is affordable.
    Again here comes another BUT. BUT the depth of field issue Colin refers to, I can agree with from experience.

    This lens lets me shoot with just fast enough shutter speeds at 1600 ISO in a venue where I would have had no images at all without it BUT I do have to be very careful not to be too close and very very careful with what the autofocus has locked on (or use manual focus) because of the narrow depth of field.

    So when you let them know your planned use of the lens Donald & Colin will get back to you....I am off to work out how much my tax return will boost my 70-200 lens savings account.

  5. #5

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    Re: canon 85mm f/1.8

    i intended for portrait shots... is it recommended for me to buy because i already have the prime 50mm f/1.8?
    thanks

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    Re: canon 85mm f/1.8

    Isabelo
    and the 50mm f/1.8 (nifty fifty), since i have this lens already should i skip the 85mm
    On the basis of what you write - that you are considering the 85mm for portraiture - I would answer the above question by saying, "Yes, you should skip it".

    The nifty fifty is not top-of-the-range. But neither is the 85mm. The nifty-fifty can, in my opinion, do a perfectly fine job if it is treated gently and with a bit of respect; i.e. you can't bounce it off the floor as you might with an 'L' series lens. And there are some reports of it jamming and being unable to be undocked from the body without returning it to a Canon repair centre. But, I have one and am very happy with it for what I ask it to do.

    And given the sensor size on your camera, I would have thought the 50mm would be a perfectly adequate portraiture lens in the meantime (I have a 40D).

    I would agree with Colin about the likes of the 70-200. Rather than buy the 85mm to add to your nifty-fifty and other lenses, I would suggest you consider saving that money, add to it as you can, and get a good quality zoom as Colin suggests, when you can.

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    Re: canon 85mm f/1.8

    Quote Originally Posted by belong View Post
    i intended for portrait shots... is it recommended for me to buy because i already have the prime 50mm f/1.8?
    thanks
    For portraiture it's OK, but personally I'd go for the EF135 F2.8 with Soft Focus for outdoors head & shoulders portraiture. You'll have to stand a bit further back, but you'll get better results. Apart from that, there's nothing wrong with the 85/1.8.

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    Re: canon 85mm f/1.8

    I'll just chime in (a little late). I certainly agree with the overall points above, although I don't have experience with the entire set of lenses. I do have the EF 100mm 2.8L Macro, and I think it's a killer lens for portrait-style work. I haven't done studio portrait work with it yet, but I've done quite a few shots that are equivalent, shooting wildlife. See my shots on Flickr, especially "Other Nature." I have quite a few other shots from the 100mm Macro lens there: just check the EXIF. The bokeh is wonderful and the quality of the lens is spectacular, as far as I'm concerned.

    So perhaps this gives you another option: a zoom gives you flexibility in one direction, but the 100mm macro would give you a very nice macro lens.

    Cheers,
    Rick

  9. #9

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    Re: canon 85mm f/1.8

    thanks to ALL!

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