Canon 85mm 1.2 Vs 85mm 1.4

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Marco Nero •

Veteran Member

• Posts: 7,515

85mm f/1.2 II and 85mm f/one.4 lenses…


8

George Nada wrote:

Not sure if this has been discussed, thought I would ask now the 1.4 has been out for a while.

Putting aside the obvious difference being IS… I am interested in what people remember of the 1.iv vs the 1.ii in terms of IQ.

Your comments would be appreciated.

I’m in favor of both lenses.  I’1000 also fairly certain that Canon has elected to continue to produce both lenses.  I don’t believe the f/one.2L version has been discontinued because at that place’s nonetheless a lot of demand for this variant and I seem to remember reading that Canon intends to sell both lenses alongside each other (well, they practise accept different apertures).  While I own f/1.2,  f/one.4 and f/two+ lenses, the EF 85mm f/1.2L USM Ii is a very interesting (different) type of lens to own and use. I mounted my lens to my DSLR while writing my reply (haven’t used it since September 2017) and information technology was great fun to play with information technology again.  I took some shots of my cats skulking about near some LED colored lights I have on the ground and all simply one of the thirty shots I took was perfectly in focus.  One shot was taken in near total darkness with a single candle in the room and the lens notwithstanding nailed the subject area in the shadow.  Absolutely the 6D is known for information technology’due south center AF reticule’s sensitivity in such circumstances.  I even used starlight on a street pole in the mountains one night to nail the AF with this lens while shooting the Orion Nebula (this is i of the only lenses that can shoot this in the sky without having to stack images).
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My
EOS 6D + Canon’s EF 85mm f/ane.2L USM II
lens.

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The new EF 85mm f/ane.4mmL IS USM lens is
a VERY adept
lens. Optically and mechanically it performs as expected for an 50-series lens. Physics still dictates that a fast lens volition produce some aberrations with colour fringing. It’s well designed and it would be slightly (slightly) easier to use at f/1.four also every bit faster to focus than the f/1.2L version.  f/1.4 at 85mm produces squeamish bokeh though it’s more controlled, and the add-on of Image Stabilization is going to benefit some users with unsteady hands. Remember that these lenses are and so fast that there’southward footling need for IS on a DSLR in the hands of even a moderately experienced lensman when they tin select ideal ISO and shutter speeds. Having IS is handy although it stabilizes the lens and non the subject… which means that in extremely low light your exposure will need to be longer (hence the IS) and that means that your subject, if it is moving, may blur…. even with steady easily and IS. A faster shutter speed with a brighter, faster lens would eliminate this problem in many instances.  When shooting with the EF 85mm f/1.2L USM II lens I usually accept the shutter speed to 1/125 sec for most of my lowlight shots.   Shooting beneath one/100 sec tends to raise the risk of camera movement and function of the problem is the long focal length of 85mm being more susceptible to photographic camera shake than wider lenses.  Of class, Image Stabilization would allow longer exposure times and yet this would increase the risk of bailiwick blur if the subject field is moving.  With a Total Frame DSLR you tin can also select much college ISO settings with minimal noise.

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The large outer element produces an other-worldly look with all that premium optical glass.

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The EF 85mm f1.2L USM 2 lens uses a different method of focus with a similar USM motor… and is brighter at f/i.2 so nobody regrets a lack of IS with this unit. On the other manus, the so-called “fly-by-wire” focus method causes the lens to motion in and out of the lens housing as focus breathes. If you turn the camera off before the lens has retracted, you cannot manually retract the lens… yous have to plow the camera dorsum on so change the focus to strength the protruding outer chemical element to withdraw. The outer element does not rotate (which is practiced for filter users).
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The extremely narrow DOF on the 85mm f/1.2L II lens means there’s very little room for error. You CANNOT employ the “Focus and Recompose” method with this lens unless you are several meters from your bailiwick.  The Focus and Recompose method does NOT work if your subject is remotely close to the lens… or you’ll find your shot slightly out of focus almost every time.  Y’all can go effectually this by using the Live View option on your camera.  This is why so many photographers with experience using f/ane.two lenses will warn that they require some experience and technique before using them for an important projection. A DSLR user will ordinarily need to brand a micro-focus adjustment to their DSRL for this reason if using this lens. The f/one.2 lens can shoot in considerably lower light than the f/1.4 variant. At that place are times when I have to use an f/1.2L lens because the environment is simply far besides dark for my f/1.4L culling.  The departure is really only a trouble if you shoot without a flash, which is how I prefer to shoot almost of my subjects and scenes. I venue I attended had paid performers and i was asked not to utilize a wink and to avoid shooting the paid performers in that location so I chose to use the EF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens since I felt the 85mm might be too narrow.  That’s something most of the pictures and samples posted online don’t explain as well oft: The minimum focus distance on these lenses hateful y’all can’t be too shut to your subject.  MFD on the 85mm f/1.2L Ii lens is 0.95m compared to the f/i.iv lens which is 0.85m.  The similarities are besides close to claim a significant benefit for either lens … other than the fact that the f/1.4L lens will have a more familiar handling feel and a faster AF.
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EF 85mm f/1.2L USM II
– shooting a friend at a local park equally she took her own pictures.
no Flash/Handheld/JPEG

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In favor of f/1.2: Bokeh and Light transmission.

On i occasion the venue or location I was shooting in was just far as well nighttime for an f/1.4 lens. This would be 1 of the two reasons to obtain and f/1.2L lens. The other reason is Bokeh. The bokeh from the f/one.2L lens in 85mm is bolder and more pronounced than the Bokeh from the 85mm f/1.4L lens.
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The full general consensus from almost reviewers and fifty-fifty owners of the new EF 85mm f/ane.4L IS USM lens is that it’southward “adept” but not every bit groundbreaking or impressive as they had anticipated it to be. I’m not certain what they expected because some of the shots from members here are quite hit.  Don’t get me wrong, the reviewers liked the lens but they felt that it was less than they had hoped it would be.  It’due south above mediocre. But it is not outstanding. There’south nonetheless uncontrolled color fringing, regardless of the newest optical coatings. But the lens focuses internally so there’s no shifting outer lens elements. I call up it’south a little lighter too so there’s that as well.  If you lot’re like me and you lot are thinking of buying one of the 85mmL lenses, I tin tell you that there were some pretty uninspiring samples posted from the new f/1.4L lens variant.  Those images were taken of subjects under less than platonic lighting (harsh white neon etc).  I think that looking for more than existent-world examples would be improve than those first half-dozen shots that were posted amidst the forums because I don’t think the did a proficient chore of showing what the lens tin can attain.
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EF 85mm f/1.2L USM 2
– doesn’t look like it but this was a aboveboard shot. Settings weren’t right on the photographic camera for what I would have liked to have captured.
no flash/handheld/JPEG





EF 85mm f/one.2L USM II
– Cosplayers at a convention (indoors) –
no wink/handheld/JPEG





EF 85mm f/one.2L USM Two
– Literally snapped as I was leaving my table at Hooters.  The lights in the background looked like they might produce some nice bokeh-balls.
no Flash/Handheld/JPEG





EF 85mm f/1.2L USM Two
– candid shot of my wife admiring the neighbour’s Christmas lights.  There’s a risk I had a monopod with me (not sure).
no Flash/handheld/JPEG

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Comparisons…

I don’t know if it’due south a simple thing to compare these 2 lenses side-by-side because at that place’s some considerable differences in Discontinuity and Construction.  But the Focal Length remains consistent between them. I feel that the new version with IS is quite a solid lens that would perform well for weddings (the original 85mm f/i.2L lenses were VERY popular hymeneals lenses) where speed and focus were critical. I suspect that many photographers actually altered the aperture on their f/ane.2L lenses to f/one.four or even smaller… to ensure focus coverage on subjects at weddings. Years ago people would joke that when shooting with an f/1.2L lens you had to decide which eye yous wanted in focus. The amount of subject isolation and the quality of the Bokeh itself from the f/1.2L lenses is e’er something to behold. Lens physics volition always create considerable problems when dealing with optics budgeted f/1 and this is why it took Canon so long to redesign the 85mm f/1.2L 2 lens… but the new f/1.4L lens shows that even Catechism knew that they needed to come up with something that offered the benefits of a lens that was a niggling more robust and foolproof.
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EF 85mm f/1.4L USM II lens…

Some important benefits of the EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM lens is the actress diaphragm blade (9 instead of 8) which ought to contribute to the shape of the bokeh… just you won’t likely run across a difference.  It has the new Air Sphere and Fluorine coatings as well – which are SUPPOSED to suppress flare and ghosting although some reviewers have not seen the improvement.  The air-sphere element is interesting (information technology’s fused to the outer lens element on the inside of the lens) because it works very well on the EF 100-400mm 2 lens.  There’s less weight too only the difference is quite infinitesimal and you wouldn’t discover it (2.26 lb vs 2.09 lb).  The length of the new lens is surprisingly longer.  It besides uses a more than common (but larger and more expensive) 77mm filter.  I would probably be tempted to buy this lens if I didn’t already have the f/one.2L version and I all the same think I’d feel like I was missing out on something.
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EF 85mm f/1.2L USM 2
– At our State Art Museum … strong bokeh for bailiwick separation.  I was hands able to capture sharp images of the paintings as long as I was facing the paintings squarely.
no Flash/handheld/JPEG

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I simply mounted my ain EF 85mm f/1.2L USM Ii lens to my EOS 6D to run across if my Micro-Focus Adjustments from January had shifted at all. The AF was fine. Certainly fast enough compared to my old PowerShot cameras (retired now) but slower than my other EF lenses. It was still fast plenty to snap a couple of interesting shots of my cats
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Don’t let anyone tell you that a
macro lens is only expert for macro photography
and that
the 85mmL lenses are only useful for portraits. That’s completely false.  But Canon themselves refer to the EF 85mm f/one.2L USM II lens as their
“Definitive Portrait Lens”. There are so many alternate uses for these lenses.  You lot’ll see posts from people who had the f/i.2L lens and sold it considering it seemed less forgiving than their wider lenses with less bokeh… and then they’ll lament their decision and announce they wish they hadn’t sold it.  Then there’s a few who sold information technology and take no regrets at all because they were unable to increase their charge per unit of success with information technology.  I’ve seen one of two posts from people who thought they’d sell their f/1.2L lens in favor of buying the f/i.4L lens just afterwards felt the differences in EF speed were not quite worth the loss of light.  I really think that everyone is different in their wants and needs in photography.  For me, I’k not shooting fast-paced events and I appreciate the bolder bokeh from this lens.  Remember that this lens was not designed for sporting but for carefully lit portraits.  And yet it does have squeamish landscapes… inless yous have some trees between yourself and the setting sun… in which example y’all’ll take to select a region of the scene to focus on.
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85mm on FF Vs APS-C

To my surprise, I was able to use the 85mm f/one.2L lens on the EOS-M6 mirrorless photographic camera recently only it produced images that were lacking the same corporeality of “punch” that I get with a Full Frame photographic camera using this same lens.  I saw that two other members here had noted the aforementioned lack of “punch” from their APS-C DSLR cameras – which really defenseless the states off guard considering nosotros assumed that the added increase if bachelor focal length on an APS-C sensor would accept resulted in similar (or even better) bokeh.  I found the lens worked quite well just the images information technology caught seemed less impressive for some reason.   I have no idea if the f/i.4L version has the aforementioned preference to be seated on FF.

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In conclusion, the reviews here on DPREVIEW indicate a lot of v-STAR reviews out of the fourteen listed reviews for the EF 85mm f/one.2L USM II lens.  The photographers using it are obsessed with the image quality and seem to be delighted with it.  Of the two current reviews from the new EF 85mm 1.4L IS USM lens, one notes that there is pregnant color fringing (CA/PF) from the new lens and I have seen this mirrored in other online reviews besides.  And so the lesser line appears to be that both lenses produce neat pictures and the 1 that is slightly easier to utilize (because information technology’south not f/1.2) is newer but weights and costs a like amount without producing the strongest bokeh (considering it’s not f/one.ii).  On the other hand information technology has fast AF (because it’southward f/1.4) and it has fairly bold bokeh (because it’s f/1.4).  Don’t hate be for proverb this merely the benefits and disadvantages announced to cancel each other out in my mind.  I can’t say to you for sure just which lens is all-time for you.  Although I tend to lean towards newer lenses that were designed for Digital Cameras… and withal both the 85mm f/1.2L II lens (2006) and the 85mm f/1.4L IS (2017) were both made for apply on digital cameras.  It’s a hard decision for anyone to make on these lenses and i don’t green-eyed anyone else having to make up one’s mind on ane or the other.  Buying both lenses would clearly be a waste of coin and if you have any experience with f/1.2L lenses you lot might have a standard of comparison to assistance you determine.  I shoot in very low light myself so the f/one.2L lens will remain my personal choice.
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Afterthough:

As another member here has wisely pointed out: If you Only want a fast lens that produces very strong bokeh, the
EF 135mm f/2 USM
lens is a VERY good option.  It’south sharp and it produces stunning bokeh that rivals the f/1.ii lenses because of the increased focal length coupled with the broad aperture… and information technology besides performs very nicely on both FF and APS-C cameras.  The toll has too fallen considerably in recent years.  It’southward a very impressive lens IF y’all have the infinite to work with it. On and APS-C camera I’ve found myself with my back pressed up confronting a window or a wall merely to capture the shot I needed with that lens due to the increased focal length differences.
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EF 85mm f/1.2L USM 2
– commencement sunrise of Spring.., it was FREEZING and then I took this from my auto window.
no Flash (obviously), Handheld, JPEG





EF 85mm f/ane.2L USM II
– taken a few minutes after the sunrise (above)
no Flash (obviously), Handheld, JPEG





EF 85mm f/i.2L USM II
– Taken from the rooftop of a shopping middle using the 6D congenital-in HDR.
No Flash (patently), Handheld, JPEG



Regards
Marco Nero.

Source: https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4264605