Canon EF 85mm f1.8, Canon's little gem?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by flosseR, Dec 31, 2009.

  1. flosseR macrumors 6502a

    flosseR

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
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    the cold dark north
    #1
    Ok I just recently bought this lens after reading about its amazing sharpness and performance.
    I have to say, so far this lens REALLY surprised me. I compared even f4 of that lens against my 70-200mm f4 lens at the same focal length. VERY impressive for such a "cheap" lens.

    I figured that in Canon's consumer line up the Q & A isnt that great when you read about the 50mm 1.8 etc. but this lens is really great. is this generally considered as a good lens?
    Does anyone else use this lens much? I have used ti a LOT lately because it works so well.

    //f
     
  2. LittleCanonKid macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    #2
    A prime stopped down by 2 stops should beat the pants off of any zoom, even sharp zooms like the 70-200.

    The 85 f/1.8 has a lot of vocal supporters. The 85 bests the 50 f/1.8 it in build, IQ, etc and is a popular portrait lens. All of that is reflected in the price jump. From what I've heard though it still has an excellent price/value ratio.
     
  3. someoldguy macrumors 65816

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    Aug 2, 2009
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    usa
    #3
    I've had one for several years and have used it with both film and full frame digital . It's my 'people' lens for taking pictures of family and friends . I , too, am amazed by the sharpness , and overall quality of the images this lens produces , even wide open . The only complaint I've got is that it's sometimes too unforgiving , showing every zit and nose hair on the subject . Enjoy it!
     
  4. davidinva macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 29, 2009
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    Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, USA
    #4
    Canon 50 f1.8

    Had one, traded it. Plan to get another as it is probably Canon's best buy for the $ (under $100 at times). I used it for shooting basketball and volleyball games and it worked great as long as you sit close enough. Good results without flash which is often not allowed at games. Sometimes hunts when used on autofocus.
     
  5. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    Where am I???
    #5
    The 85/1.8 is a beautiful lens; fast AF, great bokeh, fantastic IQ. It gives up a stop and a bit of IQ to the 85/1.2L, but also costs a third the price.

    Unless you can afford the 1.2 (and really, REALLY need the extra speed), the 85/1.8 should be in everyone's bag.
     
  6. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #6
    When I had a crop body, I really liked my 85mm f/1.8 but now that I have a 5D not so much. Why? Because it can't focus closely enough to be the kind of lens I want it to be.

    You can't even frame a small child's face in it. I had it on my camera body during a family event, and repeatedly found that it wouldn't focus close enough to frame some shots I wanted. So on went the 24-70mm f/2.8, its a shame. I'd sell it off for the 100mm f/2.0 which is a VERY similar lens but I'm not 100% sure that I could achieve what I want with that lens either.
     
  7. sangosimo Guest

    sangosimo

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    #7
    get an extension tube if you want to focus closer. You will probably lose infinity focus but it is cheaper than getting new glass.
     
  8. flosseR thread starter macrumors 6502a

    flosseR

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    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    the cold dark north
    #8
    i have mine on a 5d mark 2 and while you are right about the close focus, I also have now a 135mm zeiss f3.5 and WOW does that thing rock for face shots.

    For some reason I found myself now really wondering about my zoom lens. I havent really used it. I have only one zoom and only Primes otherwise, some of which are really slow (f3.5) but they are excellent image quality and on the 5dmk2 shooting at ISO 400 is totally acceptable, though i have a few issues with it sometimes which i will address in another thread.
     
  9. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
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    #9
    flosseR - the whole tone of your post is one of surprise that this lens is even OK. I'm not sure why you would assume that it's not OK?

    The 85 f1.8 certainly isn't 'consumer grade' like the 50 f1.8. It's a full USM lens, and very fast for the focal length (wheras the 50 f1.8 is 'nifty fifty' for those that don't want to spend the extra on the standard 50 f1.4).

    It's not an 'L' lens, because it doesn't require any special glasses or manufacturing techniques. Short telephotos are one of the simplest lens formulations to make - it's not difficult for Canon to have got this one so right.

    Personally I can't see why one would choose the f1.2 over the f1.8. The close focus on the f1.8 isn't great, but the f1.2 is even worse - making it a poor choice for tight portraiture. Wide open, the f1.8 is already quite challenging to use; the subject has to be face on to get both eyes in focus if you're using it for portraits - and even then you're likely to get the nose slightly out if you're in tight. The 1.2 is a very heavy lens too... not to mention extremely expensive!

    Personally, if I felt like spending more than the cost of the 85 f1.8 for a short telephoto, I'd go right for the 135 f2.
     
  10. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

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    Jan 10, 2006
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    Arizona
    #10
    The prime vs. zoom thing is no longer true. The Nikon 24-70 is wickedly sharp at 4/5.6, so much so that it overwhelms almost every lens in Nikon's lineup, prime or zoom (and I say that as a prime lens user).

    The Canon 85/1.8 is a terrific lens by all accounts and Photozone has tested it for both APS and FF. The cost difference between the 85/1.8 and 85/1.2 is massive, a couple time more than between Nikon's 85/1.8 and 85/1.4. Unless you really need 1.2, the 1.8 is sufficient for just about everyone.
     
  11. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #11
    I don't really consider loosing infinity focus as an option.

    EDIT: Its bad enough to be "stuck" at one focal length, but to have to take the lens off, take off the extension tube and put the lens back on the body every time you want to shoot something over a meter or two away?!?
     

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