Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 26

Thread: between Canon 50mm F1.2L and 85mm F1.2L

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    vancouver
    Posts
    128
    Real Name
    Bill Yeung

    between Canon 50mm F1.2L and 85mm F1.2L

    I got Canon 7D, currently using 24-70mm 2.8 and 70-200mm 2.8 for my daughter's figure skating.
    Will the 50mm 1.2 or 85mm 1.2 of the prime lens list give me more if I wanted to go for more on kids, toddlers, family, portrait?

    your valuable suggestion will be greatly appreciated.
    thanks

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: between Canon 50mm F1.2L and 85mm F1.2L

    Hi Bill,

    I guess the first question is "what is it that you think that either of these two lenses may offer you that you can't achieve with the zoom lenses that you already have"?

    In reality, you already have the focal length covered, so the only significant real-world advantage is being able to operate in the F1.2 to F2.8 aperture range, where DoF is razor thin.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    vancouver
    Posts
    128
    Real Name
    Bill Yeung

    Re: between Canon 50mm F1.2L and 85mm F1.2L

    Thanks, Colin:
    Yes, I agreed that F 1.2 and razor thin DOF is the advantage I am looking for.
    I am mainly use it for portrait, especially my 4 yrs old and 1.5 yrs old daughter. I like head and close up shot (anyway, my room is small too). If full person with a distance, I already can start using 24-70mm F2.8.
    the question is , in close up shot, how to finely distinguish 50 to 85mm perference.
    some reviews said 85mm F 1.2 is king of portrait. do it means 50 mm is secondary choice for the 35 mm difference?
    is here I can not quite sure of.
    both lens are pricy, that's why I don't want to get one which doesn't suit my most need.

    thanks, again.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: between Canon 50mm F1.2L and 85mm F1.2L

    Hi Bill,

    Traditionally, people favoured the EF85mm F1.2L USM on a full-frame camera, and the EF50mm F1.2L USM on crop-factor cameras like the 7D (50mm x 1.6 = ~85mm), but for head and shoulders portraiture - personally - I prefer the EF135mm F2.0L USM (and on a crop-factor camera, 85mm x 1.6 = ~135mm), so I'm not sure I'm much help there! (the longer focal lengths give more pleasing compression, but of course, a narrower field-of-view).

    My suggestion would be to do a bit more research as to whether razor-thin DoF is something you really want to spend a lot of $$$ achieving; sure, it's a cool-looking effect, but (like over-processed HDR, Orton effects, forshortening with WA lenses, spot-colour, and a lot of other short-lived fads), you may find that it's something you get sick of quite quickly ... and then you'll have a very expensive paper weight. How do I know this? Well I have the 85/1.2 and the 135/2 and the vast majority of the time they're just taking up space in my lens bag whilst my EF70-200mm F2.8L IS USM II takes pride-of-place on my camera.

    Keep in mind too that outside on a sunny day you probably won't be able to go much under F2.0 because you won't be able to get your shutterspeed high enough.

    Hope this helps!

  5. #5
    inkista's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    San Diego, California
    Posts
    1,409
    Real Name
    Kathy Li

    Re: between Canon 50mm F1.2L and 85mm F1.2L

    I think one of the reasons that the 85L tends to get more praise than the 50L is that the 50L exhibits focus shift. Apparently, once you stop the lens down from wide open, the focus shift becomes a serious PITA. To me, this is the main reason the so-called "holy trinity" (35L/85L/135L) skips over the 50L, even though the lens performs up to par with the others. The fact that you have to remember to use one of the non-center AF points when you're stopped down a little...and you paid that kind of money for a lens....

    The 85L Mark II, however, wouldn't necessarily be a lens I'd say was great for figure skating, given that the AF-by-wire makes it slower to AF than the much less expensive and just as sharp (although not as contrasty) non-Ls, the EF 85mm f/1.8 USM or EF 100mm f/2 USM.

    I should stress, this is all just stuff I read on dpreview and other sites. I have no personal experience with either lens. I could only afford the 135L.

    And I never had too much trouble getting in under 1/4000s when shooting wide open with my adapted OM 50/1.2 outside on sunny days. Because I pack a 2-stop ND filter with me. But as Colin says, it's an extreme look and not necessarily one that fits every taste.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: between Canon 50mm F1.2L and 85mm F1.2L

    Quote Originally Posted by inkista View Post
    AF-by-wire makes it slower to AF than the much less expensive and just as sharp (although not as contrasty) non-Ls
    There's really a couple of things going on here ...

    The AF-by-wire you're referring to is just the manual over-ride. Personally, I'm not an overly big fan of it either, but I suspect that it's the only way Canon could do it, given that the focusing has to be extremely precise given the incredibly small margin of error @ f1.2 ... and I just don't think that degree of precision could be easily accomplished mechanically. So in essence what they've done is used the electronics to essentially "gear down" the response of the focus ring.

    In all other respects, focusing is pretty much like any other lens, although - as noted - it's not the fastest AF lens in Canon's lineup. In practice though - for portraiture - it's absolutely fine, because the focus doesn't need to change much between frames; it's when big focal distances changes are needed that the lack of speed is most apparent (it's almost as if Canon have "geared it down" slightly for greater precision).

    All in all it's a great lens; shots often come "out the box" needing ZERO adjustment in ACR ... biggest problem for me is though that I'm normally shooting at F11 to F16 in the studio (so don't need < F2.8) - the 85mm isn't a zoom, and the zoom I do use is more than sharp enough for professional portraiture.

  7. #7
    inkista's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    San Diego, California
    Posts
    1,409
    Real Name
    Kathy Li

    Re: between Canon 50mm F1.2L and 85mm F1.2L

    Thanks for the clarification on the focus-by-wire!

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    ... (it's almost as if Canon have "geared it down" slightly for greater precision)...
    Actually, my guess is that it's geared down for the greater weight/size of the elements that have to be pushed around; essentially a "granny gear" for lenses. But that's just a guess.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: between Canon 50mm F1.2L and 85mm F1.2L

    Quote Originally Posted by inkista View Post
    Actually, my guess is that it's geared down for the greater weight/size of the elements that have to be pushed around; essentially a "granny gear" for lenses. But that's just a guess.
    Could be, but I wouldn't think so -- the glass is only 72mm, so not even the norm of 77 or 82mm for other lenses in the same category.

  9. #9
    inkista's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    San Diego, California
    Posts
    1,409
    Real Name
    Kathy Li

    Re: between Canon 50mm F1.2L and 85mm F1.2L

    Just saying.

    Block diagram for 85L:

    between Canon 50mm F1.2L and 85mm F1.2L

    vs., say, the 35L (also 72mm):

    between Canon 50mm F1.2L and 85mm F1.2L

    f/1.2 puts substantially bigger pieces of glass into the 85L. I mean, I have the Olympus OM 50mm f/1.8 and f/1.2. Both take a 49mm filter on the front vs. the EF 50/1.8 II's 52mm filter. But it's pretty clear the 50/1.2 has bigger elements in it than either of the other two lenses:

    between Canon 50mm F1.2L and 85mm F1.2L

    But as I said, just a guess.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: between Canon 50mm F1.2L and 85mm F1.2L

    You could well be right; lens design was never my forte. Who knows - it might be both

    It just occured to me though that Canon wouldn't want the AF to be any slower than it had to be, so since the lens only uses 72mm optics, it wouldn't compromise the design much to increase the diameter of the housing slightly to accommodate a more powerful USM unit, but the precision required for correct focus @ F1.2 is always going to be significant (it feels a little strange when one first uses FTM focusing on it), so the "geared down to achieve precision focusing" just seemed the most logical to me.

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    vancouver
    Posts
    128
    Real Name
    Bill Yeung

    Re: between Canon 50mm F1.2L and 85mm F1.2L

    thank you all you guys in giving so many deep advise.
    True, if only for a razor thin Dof! need to think twice. as it is total different in buying a good head and shoulder portrait len. My kid not necessary appreciate every of their photos is "studio" level after they grow up and look back.
    They rather appreciate whether I had capture the moment, the expression......... right?
    It is easy to be "attracted" by one F1.2, razor fin DOF photo and make a big purchase just for this specific effect. Thanks for reminding me.
    so, start my homework ( not necessary to be urgent) again around the 35, 85, 135mm again.
    It is fun anway.
    thanks.

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: between Canon 50mm F1.2L and 85mm F1.2L

    Let me put it this way Bill; I do a LOT of studio and outdoor portraiture (mostly head and shoulders) - and the lens that's on my (FF) camera most of the time for this is an EF 70-200 F2.8L IS USM II.

    In the studio it's impossible to use F1.2; the lights are far too bright. Mine are brighter than the average heads, but none-the-less I usually can't get below F8 (@ ISO 50) without using ND film over the lights (and who wants to do that). It is possible to use an ND filter on the camera, but even on a 1Ds3, a 2 stop ND makes the AF work quite hard.

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Shanghai
    Posts
    98
    Real Name
    neil

    Re: between Canon 50mm F1.2L and 85mm F1.2L

    Bill,

    I 100% go along with the direction Colin has given you through this thread. The dof is really super thin for portrait framing on the lenses you suggested. Can be very nice but... well Colin explained. Also 135 is what came to my mind also when I read your first post.

    But if I was in your situation I would go and buy a 50mm 1.4.

    Wide open it's a little softer than L glass but it's pretty good and stopped down a little it is quite sharp. It is a great little lens and I think top value. You then have a prime 50mm lens which is not a bad thing to have in your bag and you can try some wide aperture work. If you like it you can then go for some L glass later and maybe the 85 would then be a favorite as it would give you another focal length.

    Neil

  14. #14

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    vancouver
    Posts
    128
    Real Name
    Bill Yeung

    Re: between Canon 50mm F1.2L and 85mm F1.2L

    On 24 Feb. I got a sigma, 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM and trying it for daily photo around the family. The first prime len I explore on...
    besides all the lens I got now, I agreed to Colin that I should make better use, learn harder on my 70-200mm 2.8 L
    and for the figure skating, I just make my "dream" wish for a 400mm 2.8L, see whether I can make it happen within 3 years.
    of course, it also rely on whether my daughter will keep up with time on her figure skating!!


    again, thank you for all your professional advices...
    fun to be here

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Pune, India
    Posts
    38
    Real Name
    Paul

    Re: between Canon 50mm F1.2L and 85mm F1.2L

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Bill,

    Traditionally, people favoured the EF85mm F1.2L USM on a full-frame camera, and the EF50mm F1.2L USM on crop-factor cameras like the 7D (50mm x 1.6 = ~85mm), but for head and shoulders portraiture - personally - I prefer the EF135mm F2.0L USM (and on a crop-factor camera, 85mm x 1.6 = ~135mm), so I'm not sure I'm much help there! (the longer focal lengths give more pleasing compression, but of course, a narrower field-of-view).

    My suggestion would be to do a bit more research as to whether razor-thin DoF is something you really want to spend a lot of $$$ achieving; sure, it's a cool-looking effect, but (like over-processed HDR, Orton effects, forshortening with WA lenses, spot-colour, and a lot of other short-lived fads), you may find that it's something you get sick of quite quickly ... and then you'll have a very expensive paper weight. How do I know this? Well I have the 85/1.2 and the 135/2 and the vast majority of the time they're just taking up space in my lens bag whilst my EF70-200mm F2.8L IS USM II takes pride-of-place on my camera.

    Keep in mind too that outside on a sunny day you probably won't be able to go much under F2.0 because you won't be able to get your shutterspeed high enough.

    Hope this helps!
    Mileage varies. I use the 85mm 1.2L a lot. I don't find the razor thin DoF a problem. In fact I find it enhances some subjects a lot.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/chesil/764746537/

    I also have the 135mm f2 which I also like. For general purposes I use the 24 - 70mm f2.8L.

    Arguments about using 1.2L aside, the 85mm is the sharpest lens I have in my bag whether stopped down or wide open. Low light capability is excellent and using custom function to obtain iso 50 I don't have too much trouble with getting the shutter speed high enough.

    I use the lens on an eos 50 and an eos 5D Mk II

  16. #16
    cneedha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Wenham, Massachusetts
    Posts
    102
    Real Name
    Chris

    Re: between Canon 50mm F1.2L and 85mm F1.2L

    I purchased the 100mm f2.0 canon lens for portrait use on my full frame 5D and found out pretty quickly that to use the lens wide open I needed to set it on a tripod and manually focus to get what I wanted in focus (the eyes vs. the tip of the nose!). f 2.8 is much more useable in typical situations. I did rent a 135L f2.0 for a couple of weeks and loved it, but couldn't justify the extra $400 to myself.

  17. #17

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: between Canon 50mm F1.2L and 85mm F1.2L

    Quote Originally Posted by Chesil View Post
    Mileage varies. I use the 85mm 1.2L a lot. I don't find the razor thin DoF a problem. In fact I find it enhances some subjects a lot.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/chesil/764746537/
    Hi Paul,

    I'm sorry, but I think this is a classic example of where the thin DoF just doesn't work; to my eye having the DoF taper off around the side of the head - and even the far eye - can be artistic and flattering, but here you have a plane of (over) sharpness running through one eye, down through the cheek, and through the teeth that - personally - I don't think flatters the subject at all. In contrast, I shot this at F2, and it still has slight issues with the DoF (and this was the best of a bad bunch in that regard).

  18. #18

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    vancouver
    Posts
    128
    Real Name
    Bill Yeung

    Re: between Canon 50mm F1.2L and 85mm F1.2L

    Colin got a point here.
    Like when I shot close to a skate, there is chance just the dead center got a most sharp, and the lace and the blade is then blurred.
    great to keep on learning with you folks.

    thanks

    Bill

  19. #19
    inkista's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    San Diego, California
    Posts
    1,409
    Real Name
    Kathy Li

    Re: between Canon 50mm F1.2L and 85mm F1.2L

    OTOH, where f/1.2 DoF can be useful is with a more distant subject. You can still get foreground/background separation in situations where a slower lens won't grab you nearly as much.

    between Canon 50mm F1.2L and 85mm F1.2L
    5D Mark II, Olympus OM-mount Zuiko MC Auto-S 50mm f/1.2
    iso 3200, f/1.2, 1/30s. Handheld. Available light (really. It's just a walkway light. I did not light the tree.)

    Also, Colin, I note that you used f/2 in that shot: something the 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM II, you gotta admit, still can't do.

    You may not need to use a fast lens wide open, but even stopping it down typically means better performance, as most lenses improve stopped down 1 or 2 stops from wide open. A f/2.8 zoom (with the 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM II as a notable exception) usually needs to be stopped down to f/4 to give peak performance. I'd far rather have my 135mm f/2L USM stopped down to f/2.8 with the capability of opening up to f/2 when I need it, than the 70-200 f/2.8 non-IS @135mm, wide open [side-by-side].

    Colin's argument for the 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM Mark II holds up only if you can afford a $2500 lens. All the other EF 70-200 f/2.8Ls (and 3rd party 70-200 f/2.8s) aren't as good as the IS mark II, particularly if you need to shoot wide open at f/2.8.

    Fast is fast. Whether its cars or lenses. It's always gonna appeal whether or not it's actually needed.

  20. #20

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: between Canon 50mm F1.2L and 85mm F1.2L

    Hi Kathy,

    Quote Originally Posted by inkista View Post
    OTOH, where f/1.2 DoF can be useful is with a more distant subject. You can still get foreground/background separation in situations where a slower lens won't grab you nearly as much.
    Absolutely. Unfortunately though, it's most often championed as a head and shoulders portrait lens where (a) the DoF at F1.2 kills the shot, and (b) often you can't use F1.2 anyway because you can't get the shutterspeed low enough.

    Also, Colin, I note that you used f/2 in that shot: something the 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM II, you gotta admit, still can't do.
    Yes - but - what the shot NEEDED was F2.8 (or higher) (which the EF 70-200mm F2.8l IS USM II does do) (the F2.0 was an "oops").

    You may not need to use a fast lens wide open, but even stopping it down typically means better performance, as most lenses improve stopped down 1 or 2 stops from wide open. A f/2.8 zoom (with the 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM II as a notable exception) usually needs to be stopped down to f/4 to give peak performance. I'd far rather have my 135mm f/2L USM stopped down to f/2.8 with the capability of opening up to f/2 when I need it, than the 70-200 f/2.8 non-IS @135mm, wide open [side-by-side].
    The "problem" is that fast glass invariably means fixed focal length. Yes - any lens is sharper when stopped down 2 or 3 stops - but - as a rule, you can only see the difference when comparing 100% crops, not in real world prints at normal sizes. Which would degrade a real-world image the most;

    (a) An image taken with a zoom lens wide open, but at the correct focal length (say 70 or 200mm), or

    (b) An image taken with a stopped-down prime, but at a totally inappropriate focal length (say 135mm)because it's all you had?

    My point is that with real world images, the versatility of a zoom (with still more than adequate image quality) easily trumps a fixed focal length prime (with sharper results when viewed as a 100% crop).

    Colin's argument for the 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM Mark II holds up only if you can afford a $2500 lens. All the other EF 70-200 f/2.8Ls (and 3rd party 70-200 f/2.8s) aren't as good as the IS mark II, particularly if you need to shoot wide open at f/2.8.
    Just because something better has come along doesn't mean to say that the image quality of the original version has suddenly got a lot worse -- and people have been shooting quality - sharp - images with high-quality zooms like the EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM for many years.


    Fast is fast. Whether its cars or lenses. It's always gonna appeal whether or not it's actually needed.
    I have several - and I love them dearly. I just don't use them that often
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 1st April 2011 at 11:25 PM.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •