PDA

View Full Version : 85 L 1.2 Share your experience


Eugene Hertoghe
June 14th, 2006, 11:44 AM
Hello all!
Looks like the family has found a new place here.
Thank you Asher! It all looks very promising!

It's my first post here so here we go:

I recently bought the latest version (II) of this lens. I do have the 85 mm 1.8 since a few years.
After reading so many raving reviews about the "L" lens I'm finding out that I have to learn to work with this lens. I've done already 4 life-style shootings with it (using also the 50 mm 1.4 and the 135 mm L f2) and my feelings are mixed.
I've had a lot of out of focus pictures with it (I was shooting between 1.2 and 1.8). I'm using it on my 1ds.
Could it be that the autofocus of the 1Ds needs calibration? Or is the autofocus just not accurate enough for so little DOF?
I also read that many owners use manual focus with this lens. So is that proof that the autofocus is not accurate enough?
Also when shooting at 1.2 the image is soft, yes painterly soft but still soft. At 1.4 it's already much better. Was I expecting to much?

I compared it to my 85 mm 1.8 and for sure when both are at 1.8, the "L" lens looks rasor sharp.
From f 2.8 on they come close to each other , but the "L" has still an edge.

Could owners of this lens (vI&vII) share their experiences?

Eugene
http://www.eugene-hertoghe.com

Tristan Tom
June 14th, 2006, 04:10 PM
The manual focus ring is actually better on the original version of this lens than on the MKII. It does take a lot of pratice and even still, not every shot will come out focused well. With that little DOF, you or your subject could move slightly and blow the shot easily. You can expect a lot of unusable shots if you are shooting at f1.2-f2.0. Shoot a lot of images and out of the lot, you'll get keepers.

If you want to test your focus, just shoot a newspaper or magazine at an angle and view the result. If what you focused on ends up in focus in the resultant image, you should be okay.

To me, it's a magical lens, I have the original version and see no reason to upgrade (at least not a $600.) reason.

David Bostock
June 14th, 2006, 06:25 PM
I'll echo what Tristan said. Most people buy it for the soft, smooth, creamy bokeh. But, the extremely slim DOF of this lens at 1.2-1.8 make focussing a challenge. Still, when you hit it, the results are dreamy. I have the Mk1 version and it's my favorite portrait lens. I also use it with extension tubes for soft focus closeup shots. It takes a little bit to master, but it's well worth it. I wouldn't trade it out for anything...

Cheers,

Olaf_Laubli
June 15th, 2006, 12:52 AM
You can expect a lot of unusable shots if you are shooting at f1.2-f2.0.

Fully agree with that. If you are new to this lens you should give it some time to learn the proper focusing technique. Personally I use it almost only in AF mode and always choose the most appropriate AF focus field instead of using the 'focus recompose' technique.

Still I need to shoot some similars for getting a final picture with perfect sharpness

Ed Peters
June 15th, 2006, 12:22 PM
It is a lens that when shooting wide open (why else did we buy it in the first place) has an extremely shallow DOF. Focus carefully! Did I mention Focus Carefully. You will be quite please!!

Olaf_Laubli
June 16th, 2006, 04:29 AM
It would be interesting to hear from others what focussing technique they exactly use with the 85L. Personally I regularly fail when trying to focus manually despite of excellent eye-sight.

The AF seems to be much better than my abilities.

Olaf

Tony Field
June 16th, 2006, 09:37 AM
It would be interesting to hear from others what focussing technique they exactly use with the 85L. Personally I regularly fail when trying to focus manually despite of excellent eye-sight.

The AF seems to be much better than my abilities.

I use the split image focusing screen on the 1D-IIn. In some cases, it delivers better results than auto-focus when you hav low contrast straight lines in low light. The 1D-IIn does not respond well when light is in the ISO 3200, F1.2, 1/100 second range or worse. The 5D seems to work better.

Will_Perlis
June 16th, 2006, 09:32 PM
"Personally I regularly fail when trying to focus manually despite of excellent eye-sight."

And have you done some careful adjusting of the diopter setting for the viewfinder? IMX that can give a huge improvement in manual focussing.

Tristan Tom
June 18th, 2006, 08:36 PM
"It would be interesting to hear from others what focussing technique they exactly use with the 85L"

First, I don't use the shutter button to focus, but rather the thumb button on the back of the camera. I use AF to get me close, then I fine tune the focus using the manual focus ring. I remember to take several frames because even if I think it's spot on, sometimes it's not.

Tim Dolan (Longwatcher)
June 20th, 2006, 06:13 AM
Add me to the Ec-B Split focus screen club for manual focusing. I find using the regular screen impossible to accurately focus with, but love the split screen. It has its own limitations, but I can live with those over missed focus.

And I am definately a member of the wide open club, which only the 85/1.2 can achieve. I love the look of having my aperture between f1.2 and f2 with the 85/1.2.

On the down side, even with the split focus screen it frequently takes me 2-3 pictures to nail the focus for a portrait head shot. I always just hope that one on the mark has the best facial expression.

Michael Mouravi
June 21st, 2006, 01:57 PM
I use * button for AF and assist button for center focusing point. With both my 1D and 1D Mark IIn the lens focuses perfectly most of the time (I have the original version, not markII).

I don't share the opinion that one can expect a lot of misfocused shots from this lens, however, it does take some practice and discipline to hit perfect focus every time. If your AF is separated from shutter button, make sure you don't move after focusing.

For me it turned out to be a perfect "training" lens. After using it extensively, all of a sudden even the shots from my zooms became better focused.

AF on your 1Ds is certainly accurate enough even with such shallow depth of field.

Try a few focusing tests to make sure your system works well, then it's all about practice :)

Mark Adams
July 7th, 2006, 10:09 PM
I use the thumb button to focus. I'm always on a tripod with the Bogen joystick (the one where you release the grip and everything freezes). I agonize over focus, I use the center focus spot and recompose, if I am shooting a tight head this can be problematic because of the changing distance when you move the camera. With a FF camera like the 1ds the grouping of focus spots is too much in the center of the frame for focusing on eyes in a vertical shot and I don't trust my eyes anymore so I focus and recompose. With the 85 1.2 you better pick the correct eye to focus on and even then the focus can change from the front side of the eye to the back side. I shoot a bunch of frames re-focusing each shot. Sometimes I fine tune manually after recomposing. I am always disappointed when I look at the Raw frames in the ps browser, they are never as crispy as they are in the viewfinder but they usually sharpen up well. I find that often 1.2 is too shallow and can be a little distracting or look too contrived and in these cases I stop down to 1.4 or 1.8.

Olaf_Laubli
July 9th, 2006, 04:38 AM
it does take some practice and discipline to hit perfect focus every time.

Guess this depends primarily on the subject. With static subjects and a good technique a hit rate well above 90% should be no problem. But for dynamic people shots at f/1.2 a hit rate around 75% is already very good in my experience. Maybe less coffee and cigarettes would help to improve my score...

Olaf

Michael Tapes
July 9th, 2006, 07:20 AM
For me it turned out to be a perfect "training" lens. After using it extensively, all of a sudden even the shots from my zooms became better focused.

AF on your 1Ds is certainly accurate enough even with such shallow depth of field.

Try a few focusing tests to make sure your system works well, then it's all about practice :)

Good points, well said!

Roger Miller
July 9th, 2006, 09:03 PM
Keep in mind that magnification has much more affect on depth of field than does aperture. You really shouldn't be shooting at f/1.2 if you are doing a portrait extreme closeup. The DOP will be paper thin for that kind of high magnification and, even with perfect focus on the part of the photographer and the camera, you are unlikely to have adequate DOF. If you were shooting full length fashion with a six foot tall model and allowed three or four feet of space above and below the model, then you might be able to get away with an aperture of f/1.2. So, use some common sense with this lens and check some depth of field tables before you use it on your first shoot.

To demonstrate the relative impact of magnification, aperture, and lens focal length on DOF, I did some DOF calculations a couple of years ago and here's what I found: For a magnification of 0.04593 (which records a 2-ft tall object on a 36mm high sensor), an aperture of f/8, and a lens focal length of 100mm, the DOF was 7.822176. If the magnification was cut in half by increasing the distance between the subject and the camera from 7.47 feet to 11.61 feet, the DOF increased 293.5% to 30.77708 inches. If instead of changing the magnification, I had changed the aperture from f/8 to f/11, the DOF would have increased only 41.7% to 11.08328 inches. But if I'd changed only the lens focal length (keeping magnification at 0.04593 and aperture at f/8), then the DOF increased only 0.57% to 7.867008 inches.

What all of this means in the real world is that you can ignore lens focal length. It has virtually no impact of DOF. Magnification, however, makes a huge difference. Since image composition will dictate what magnification you will use, the only effective control the photographer has over DOF in the real world is the aperture setting. But, in selecting the aperture, you must be aware of what your choice of magnification has already done to the DOF. For extreme closeups, the DOF is already razor thin and there's no way you can get away with an f/1.2 aperture. With the 85mm f/1.2 lens, there are times when it will work well wide open (full length body shots) and other times when you'll have to stop down considerable (for close ups).

Asher Kelman
July 19th, 2006, 08:58 PM
Hi Roger,

A great post. I'd like to see the calculations.

Asher

Mark Adams
July 20th, 2006, 08:43 AM
Roger,
Mathematical calculations notwithstanding this lens works great for headshots at 1.2.
http://www.markadamsgallery.com/images/85mm_1.2.jpg

Roger Miller
July 25th, 2006, 07:02 PM
Mark, it's hard to tell how sharp your image is because it's a low resolution version of the original, but it looks to me that the model's right eye is out of focus. The only thing that appears to be in focus is the model's left eye. For most portrait work, that wouldn't be acceptable. I made some assumptions about your image (that it was not cropped, that the camera was a full frame 35 mm, and that 11 inches of the subject took up 24 mm at the focal plane giving a magnification of 0.08590). I then calculated the depth of field for f/1.2 and found that you would have only about one third of an inch of DOF. That just isn't enough for good portraiture in most cases, even if both you and the camera are capable of focusing accurately on a specific part of the subject. If you would have shot at f/11, you would have had an extra three inches of DOF (3.2785 inches DOF, to be exact). That amount of DOF would be more appropriate for keeping both eyes in sharp focus at the close range that you were working at (i.e., the high magnification you were using) and would have still managed to blur the background. The whole point of my first post in this thread was to remind people that magnification is the most important variable in determining DOF and it must always be acknowledged when discussing DOF issues. The 85 mm f/1.2 should not normally be shot wide open with such high magnifications because, not only aren't you likely to be able to keep enough of a three dimentional object in focus, any small error on your part or on the camera's part could throw every thing out of focus. For what it's worth, if you reduce the magnification such that a 6-foot tall model takes up 28 mm at the focal plane, then you could shoot at f/1.2 with a DOF of 10 inches. That's good enough for some fashion work and full length "portrait" work. So, as I said earlier, don't try to use this lens wide open at high magnifications if you need more than a small amount of DOF or if you or the camera can't consistantly obtain accurate focus with the paper thin DOF inherent in high magnification work. But at reasonable magnifications, the lens should work fine at f/1.2 and will put less pressure on you and your camera to focus accurately.

Mark Adams
July 25th, 2006, 08:24 PM
Roger,
It's clear we have different approaches to photography. I'm sure your calculations are correct. It's a big world and there is plenty of room for more than one approach to shooting photos. I try to keep an open mind, try different things and let my aesthetic sense be my guide. This photo and many more from this shoot, most shot at 1.2 and 1.4, are for sale on Getty Images and have sold numerous times. I have never felt that, my way was the only way or the best way, just my way and I try not to be too critical of the approach others pursue. Let's just agree to disagree.

Asher Kelman
July 26th, 2006, 12:27 AM
Roger,
Mathematical calculations notwithstanding this lens works great for headshots at 1.2.
http://www.markadamsgallery.com/images/85mm_1.2.jpg
This picture shows how we need to experiement with new poses.

The eye in focus leads the subject out of the b.g. and introduces us. Here smile is welcoming. We want to learn more about here. I like such intriguing pictures.

Whenever some part is undisclosed, we can have fascination or questions.

Now would it be better with both eyes in focus? Better for what?

As it is, it works to capture my interest. With both eyes clearly engaging me, I might feel differently about the subject.

I have a motto, "Don't think! Try."

Asher

Tim Dolan (Longwatcher)
July 26th, 2006, 05:55 AM
The image shown is exactly what I personally like about my 85/1.2.

At f1.2 with that short DoF it adds a nice depth effect. It reminds me of how I look at some one when close up. My only style difference (and this is just me) would probably go with a portrait orientation to the shot, otherwise this is the kind of thing I personally go for with Head shots for the models I do.

I have tried a few shots with aperture at f1.8, f2.0 or 2.4 in order to get the head all in the DoF, but like the f1.2 better for some reason that has nothig to do with science, but only with the artistic effect. But only if I hit the focus right on, that is the only problem I have with f1.2.

Just my opinion,

John Ferguson
July 26th, 2006, 09:38 AM
The image shown is exactly why I sold my 85 1.2, one eye in focus and mushy nose. I can deal with only one eye in focus, but the mushy nose is not flattering.

Roger Miller
July 26th, 2006, 06:21 PM
Mark, I appologize if I implied your image wasn't "good." That wasn't my intention. In fact it's a terrific image and when I first saw it, I was thinking what a great image it would be for a model's zed card (it captured her great simile and personality) or for advertising. I only ment to use it as an example of the problems the lens can cause at f/1.2 for portrait work where both eyes are usually expected to be in focus. Obviously, this lens is not for the timid of heart and one poster even sold his lens because of DOF problems. The lens is considered by most people to be a "portrait lens," but I think few people would be successful shooting this lens wide open for closeup portrait work. Your creative work is a different animal all together. And, as I've tried to point out, when used at lower magnification (such as full length fashion work) where a typical lens might not have a wide enough aperture to throw the background well out of focus, its f/1.2 to the rescue.

Eugene's original post asked why he was getting so many out of focus images, whether he should focus manually, etc. Hopefully, he now realises that, with this lens, he has a tiger by the tail and that not everything can be in focus at f/1.2 when doing closeups. Manual focus is desirable in dim light, but a different focusing screen in the camera may be needed. Otherwise, auto focus is probably better. As Mark pointed out, using the center AF to focus and then recomposing can cause focus errors (Canon specifically warns that you should not do this) but sometimes you don't have a manually selectable AF point where you need it and you have to take some chances with a percentage of out of focus images. It's also important that the distance between between the camera and subject not change between the time focus is locked and the actual exposure (especially when manually focusing or using the * button). Mark said he used a tripod for the image he showed us and the model's pose helps lock her head into position to prevent movement. Both the photographer and the camera/lens system must perform flawlessly when shooting closeup at f/1.2 and, even then, a percentage of shots are going to be unacceptable.

Tim, you said you'd have probably shot Mark's image vertically. I checked the math, and for a vertical format at f/1.2 you'd have a DOF of 0.16 inches. Good luck!

Mark Adams
July 26th, 2006, 07:19 PM
Roger,
Thanks for the kind words. You needn't have apologized. I posted this pic because I thought it illustrated what the 85 1.2 looked like when used as a close portrait lens. I love the look of this lens at 1.2 and having said that I also own the 85 1.8 because it's about a third of the weight, focuses faster and is also a sharp lens. I pull out the 1.2 when I want to shoot available light and I want the very elegant boketh this lens creates up close and wide open.

Mark Schafer
July 31st, 2006, 05:36 PM
I'm in the process of getting a 85mm II.
I did use the first Version since last Summer (05) and was very happy with it (I just want the quicker focus and distance feedback for Canon flashes).
So today Iím on my 3rd copy and keep comparing it to my old 85mm and the focus is somewhat disturbing.

I manually select the focus point in the middle (Most accurate) and have the lens auto focus (and shoot several times, to eliminate any focus "miss"-calculation), which it locks in (Exposure 1/250-1/400, f 1.2).
Now i compare the Vers. 1 to 2 and Vers. 1 is much better:
My 1st copy back focused 1 about 1 inch (at a focus distance of about 4 feet) send back to Canon ,
The 2nd was just bad, period and
My 3rd copy now has quite vivisible color fringing and the focus seems much softer (even that the focused part is the sharpest of the entire picture), what gives?

Did i grow up loving Schneider lenses and my Quality standards are just screwed, is Canonís quality control non-existent, and are the new 85mm just not as sharp?

I'm planning of returning my lens and testing out the other (8) lenses at my local canon retailer got in toady (Or should I wait a couple of weeks for a fresh batch from Japan?).

Any suggestions
Mark

Asher Kelman
July 31st, 2006, 11:06 PM
This is a question for Chuck Westfall and for the Canon service center.

I'd send the lenses back if they don't meet specs.

Asher

Chuck Westfall(Canon USA)
August 1st, 2006, 06:30 AM
Hi, Asher & Mark:

It's pointless to discuss this without sample images.

Best Regards,

Chuck Westfall
Director/Media & Customer Relationship
Camera Marketing Group/Canon U.S.A., Inc.

Mark Schafer
August 1st, 2006, 09:06 AM
First of, i'm impressed that Chuck already contacted me and we're communicating.
Second, i want to thank Fotocare, and Tom specifically, to let me return the lenses and to be eager to work out this problem.

And last, to keep the board in the loop, here are some tech specs & crops:
Canon 1Ds M2 on tripod, 100asa, 1/30 @ f1.2, the (central) focus point was the center of the "M".
Both RAW images were converted in ACR, some highlight recovery (-0.45), linear, no sharpening, to Adobe RGB 16 bit.
Then converted to 8bit JPG, 10 quality, no sharpening (And they look like the tiffs).

The full frame is a reference of the entire scene, developed with the same settings, smallest possible file size, 8bit from RAW, saved as JPG, 10 quality.

The scene (North window on street level to the right)
http://static.flickr.com/59/203966533_9932f3b13e_b.jpg

Frame xxxxx0039. is the Version II lens
http://static.flickr.com/77/203966535_4bdc68d8e3_o.jpg

xxxx0040 is the version 1 lens
http://static.flickr.com/62/203966538_f7b960a4bd_o.jpg

And quite honestly, all the other 3 lenses i tested are very similar, one was a different batch # and the last 3 are from the same batch (00048xxx)

Mark Schafer
August 1st, 2006, 10:22 AM
Just for the record, a different situation, 800ASA, 1/200, f1.2, focus on "Second Edition".
With lens Vers. 2 you can't even make out the authors

First frame, my old 85mm
http://static.flickr.com/72/204037900_075ea81dfa_b.jpg

Second frame Vers. 2 (That i returned today)
http://static.flickr.com/57/204037898_dc0fab72f5_b.jpg

Mark Adams
August 1st, 2006, 11:39 AM
Mark,
When I look closely at the comparison images it seems that at least part of the problem might be that the newer lens is focusing further into the picture. Look at the fuzz underneath the "e" in management. It seems sharper in the newer lens. In fact "ment" seems sharper on the new lens. On the pics with the C stand if you look at the left edge of the stand, left of "studio" the edge seems sharper in the newer lens. I think this may be what others have referred to as "back focusing". I'm not sure of that but it looks as though the newer lens is focusing past your focus point and I think this is something Canon can fix. As to whether you should need to send a new lens back to Canon so it works right, well that is another question.

Mark Schafer
August 1st, 2006, 11:56 AM
Thanks for your input. But i even think the color of the type is somewhat magenta, which might hint a more pronounced purple fringing as observed in the c-stand shot.
I'm just blown away by the fact that this one of Canons most expensive lenses (leaving out the very long teles) and 4 out of 4 copies show this flaw, i never experienced anything like it.

And as much Canon could "fix" it, i'd rather get a lens that works right out of the box, like my old 85mm, or all the other Canon (Mamiya, Fuji, Schneider, Leica, Nikon) lenses I used in the last 20+ years.

But on an upnote, Canon (Chuck) is very responsive, so i don't see it as much of a problem for us "consumers" more an inhouse problem we need to be aware of.

Olaf_Laubli
August 2nd, 2006, 12:54 AM
Agree that the MK.II seems to show more fringing. Still the second sample pic indicates that the two lenses focus differently.

Would get the AF adjusted and make another comparison after this is done.

Or simply keep the Mk.I and be happy.

Chuck Westfall(Canon USA)
August 4th, 2006, 03:09 PM
Hi, Mark:

Got your CD, thanks. After analyzing the images, I have to say in all honesty that I don't think the results are conclusive. As others have noted, the differences in sharpness on both images appear to have more to do with unequal distance settings on the lenses or varying focusing distances from the camera to the subject than differences in optical resolution. On the book images, for example, it looks like the camera angle shifted slightly, and according to ZoomBrowser EX, the center focusing point is not positioned on the same part of the subject.

I'm not sure why there are apparent differences in color fringing, but it's interesting to note that an independent lens test comparing the original and II versions of the EF85mm f/1.2L didn't show any significant differences between them in terms of center sharpness, edge sharpness, or chromatic aberration:

http://www.wlcastleman.com/equip/reviews/85mm/v_sharp.htm

However, this test does show the reduction in flare that the new lens coatings provide on the EF85mm f/1.2L II:

http://www.wlcastleman.com/equip/reviews/85mm/index.htm

I fully understand that you want the best image quality you can get, but you might need to run your comparison tests a little differently to achieve the results you're looking for.

Best Regards,

Chuck Westfall
Director/Media & Customer Relationship
Camera Marketing Group/Canon U.S.A., Inc.

Eugene Hertoghe
August 27th, 2006, 03:37 AM
Thank you all for participating in this thread and giving inside of how you work with it.
Here's an update:
The first week of July I finally went to the Canon Repair Center where they calibrated the 1ds.
I brought with me 3 lenses: 135 f2, 85 f1.2, 50 f1.4.
It took them about 2 hours to do it. They said they calibrated the auto-focus with the 50 mm.
After this they checked the calibration with the 85 mm and the 135 mm and saw that this was fine.

When I checked at home I found out that nothing really changed or improved. On a tripod and having a fixed targed, the 1Ds sometimes frontfocused, other times backfocused and somitimes everything was in perfect focus (depending on which focus point was used).
I recently bought an Ec-S screen and I must agree that it really helps for focusing.
I choose the correct focussing point and then if needed I correct it manually.
My percentage of in focus images has gone up a lot since!
(But Ec-s works well only with primes under f2, with an f2.8 lens the image in the viewfinder is already to dim).

Most of the images that I shot in June with this lens have now been published in brochures and/or ads and the results are really beautifull. Even the slightly out of focus images work very well.
They have this painterly effect that you can't realize with another lens set-up.

And now, to keep the business going the 50 mm 1.2 is out. I was waiting for this one to come out.
Never been so enthousiastic about the f1.4 (3 repairs already, slow focusing)
If the new lens is of the same quality as the 135mm and 85 mm then it will be for sure on my investment list for this year...

Eugene

http://www.eugene-hertoghe.com

Ralph Eisenberg
August 27th, 2006, 09:02 AM
Thanks very much for the follow-up (and also thanks to the other contributors of this thread). My personal concern has been whether the increased focusing speed that makes this lens more responsive than version 1 makes the upgrade worthwhile.

Edmund Ronald
September 17th, 2006, 07:34 AM
Thanks very much for the follow-up (and also thanks to the other contributors of this thread). My personal concern has been whether the increased focusing speed that makes this lens more responsive than version 1 makes the upgrade worthwhile.


Hello Ralph -

I regularly shoot fashion shows with the old lens and never had any focus speed issues, on the original 1Ds.

By the way, here are some static subjects, which I think were done with my 85. I like the way one can do supersharp or out of focus with the same lens.

http://www.gioiadesign.com/gallery/BEE_with_Glass_1.html
http://www.gioiadesign.com/gallery/PRIMO_with_Library.html
http://www.gioiadesign.com/
http://www.gioiadesign.com/gallery/PRIMO_Floor_with_Lemon_2.html


These pictures went to press (one of them poster sized) - by the time the printers had done them the actual colors or sharpness of the originals were I assure you quite secondary to the result.


Edmund

Asher Kelman
September 18th, 2006, 01:37 AM
I like the shots.

and the lights.

Now I need the lens!

Do you manually focus in this work?

Asher.

Edmund Ronald
September 18th, 2006, 04:54 AM
I like the shots.

and the lights.

Now I need the lens!

Do you manually focus in this work?

Asher.

Autofocus, retouched manually. I'll dump some fashion pictures on to flickr later and link to them.

Edmund


E.

Asher Kelman
September 18th, 2006, 07:10 PM
While you are at it, if you can share some of your casual street pictures that would be interesting, especially now that I have seen your still life. If you want, PM me with a link.

I have a feeling that your perspective might be really interesting! Not just with this lens, although, I'd love to see how it works in the casual setting.

Asher

Edmund Ronald
September 19th, 2006, 05:05 PM
While you are at it, if you can share some of your casual street pictures that would be interesting, especially now that I have seen your still life. If you want, PM me with a link.

I have a feeling that your perspective might be really interesting! Not just with this lens, although, I'd love to see how it works in the casual setting.

Asher
Those weren't stii-life, those were commercial images :( 3 days out of my life and several DVDs a day :(

Here is a fairly standard 85/1.2 street image in failing light, with the lens quite open. On the full-size one can count the stitches on the pockets of the blue jeans. A lot of people liked this one and it sold quickly, but I never reprinted it.

http://canon1d.com/Pix/notredame1.jpg

Edmund

Mark Schafer
November 6th, 2006, 03:35 PM
As a little update:
After not purchasing the 85 this summer (testing 4 lenses) I checked out another shipment in late September (reviewing another 3) with the same results.
Last week I was offered a refurbished one for a significant reduced price (I really donít care about the box as long as it works). Anyhow, I purchased the lens but the results are still the same.
And call me crazy, it tested the 85mm at the PhotoExpo last weekend and to my surprise it performed as bad as all the others (on Canonís show body).
(FYI my quick test is to set the camera to 100ASA, open to f1.2, let the 1DS chose itís exposure time and use the manual selected center focus point, then I zoom in on the Cameras LCD screen to the max or close to it to review.
I know itís not perfect, but with my other lenses everything seems to be in focus with that method and reviewing images on my big monitor confirm the observations every time.)

So first I have total confirmation that Iím not mad, second the lenses are all the same.

During a conversation at the Expo one of the Gents at Canon suggested to send in the lens (my very own baby, which is actually fantastic at f4, to have it calibrated. (We tried to talk to Canon, their NY sales rep as well as NJ and havenít heard anything for the last couple of month, the only contact and advice was here on this forum from Chuck, which I still very much appreciate.)

Well, i FedExíed it today to CPS Repair in NJ and will report hopefully with some pics how that turned out.

Dan Lovell
March 8th, 2007, 09:34 AM
I have the F1.8 And F1.2 L Mark I.

I need both for difference reasons. I use the F1.8 for applications which require faster auto-focus speed such as sports, children, but prefer the F1.2 for portraiture, weddings, and Landscapes, for it's better image quality, and when fast AF is not required.

As for build, the F1.8 is good but the F1.2 better. For bokeh, the F1.2 is better even at F1.8.

The F1.8 provides a bit more Chromatic Abberation (purple frenging) however.

For me owning both is not redundant, as they have separate missions.

The color rendition, contrast are better with the F1.2. I love the razor sharpness at F1.2 which I don't often use.

Will Thompson
March 9th, 2007, 04:03 AM
Hi mark.

I believe the effect in your examples using the black text on the book binding/spine is the product of a combination of sensor color / Bayer interpolation, focus convergence, and angel (I think you might mean angle! ;) Asher. ) of sensor reception of light.

This effect is similar or akin to moirť and changes with aperture, focal length, and focus distance.

While conducting focus tests (including My EF 85-mm f1.2L & 50-mm f1.0L) with a black text scale I observed this to some degree on all my L lenses with my 1Ds with the difference appearing to being caused by focal length and aperture.

When using the early canon raw software selecting the false color filter virtually removed all of it.


The really interesting thing is the point of true focus is where the color is black and it then shifts purple in one out of focus direction and green in the other.

I believe that if you shot with a film or a Foveon sensor camera the outcome of your tests would be extremely different!


I hope this info helps you sort out the issues you have with the 85 f1.2L.

Anthony Arkadia
March 28th, 2007, 08:33 AM
One of me three favorite pieces of glass. My favorites are 35MM F1.4 L, 85MM F1.2 L, 400MM F2.8 L IS

Eric Hiss
April 4th, 2007, 08:08 PM
I traded my 85L mkI for a leica 80mm summilux (latest version). I really liked the canon lens but I found I was using MF a lot on that lens mated to my 5D anyhow and that took away the only advantage besides a slightly larger aperture the canon had. I did some tests and liked the bokeh better on the summilux which additionally was sharper, had more contrast, and more color saturation. The focus confirmation adapter works well with the summilux and is accurate.

Barry Johnston
August 6th, 2007, 03:22 AM
Great lens, never had any issues. Slower focus doesn't bother me at all, but it's dead accurate... that's all I care about. The weight doesn't bother me at all either, it feels like you have a real lens in your hand. Beautiful bokeh as well.

I also have the 135mm f/2 and the 300mm f/2.8 primes and I'd never sell any of them.

Regards,

Paul Bestwick
April 5th, 2008, 07:10 PM
I recently bought it & love the results.

http://www.studio58.com.au/OPF/paris7b.jpg

Bart_van_der_Wolf
April 6th, 2008, 05:33 AM
I traded my 85L mkI for a leica 80mm summilux (latest version).
[...]
I did some tests and liked the bokeh better on the summilux which additionally was sharper, had more contrast, and more color saturation. The focus confirmation adapter works well with the summilux and is accurate.

Eric, do you happen to have an example (crop at 100%) that illustrates that difference? I know how hard it can be to find something comparable, and that the differences are sometimes hard to pin-point, but I'd appreciate an attempt. I'm looking for something in the 80mm range that would be very good for portraits, and beats my TS/E 90mm or my EF 100mm macro.

Which adapter do you use, and does it also allow to meter the exposure wide open. or do you need to stop down (no big deal for a studio setup with strobes and manual exposure setting anyway, but it could expand it's usefulness)?

Bart

Bart_van_der_Wolf
April 6th, 2008, 05:37 AM
I recently bought it & love the results.

Hi Paul,

That looks great. Which aperture was that? I assume the green and purple colors were due to colored lighting?

Bart

Paul Bestwick
April 6th, 2008, 04:47 PM
It was shot at f2.0. I have no idea how the colours were introduced though the image has undergone heavy pp. If you look at her hair on the rhs you will see a line where I removed some strong CA.

Ralph Eisenberg
April 7th, 2008, 12:51 AM
Lovely work Paul. The 85/1.2 (I'm referring to v1 with which I'm familiar) is certainly a great, but very heavy lens.

Paul Bestwick
April 7th, 2008, 01:14 AM
thanks Ralph. Well version 2 which I have is no lighter afaik. Mounted on my 1DS3 it is quite a package. Personally, I like the feel of a heavy camera.
My first really solid camera was the Nikon F4 back in 1989. Having owned quite a few pro level units since, I can say unreservedly that the 1DS3 is at the top of my most favored list. & the 85 1.2 is the same in the lens category. Quite a combination.

Ralph Eisenberg
April 9th, 2008, 04:09 AM
thanks Ralph. Well version 2 which I have is no lighter afaik. Mounted on my 1DS3 it is quite a package. Personally, I like the feel of a heavy camera.
My first really solid camera was the Nikon F4 back in 1989. Having owned quite a few pro level units since, I can say unreservedly that the 1DS3 is at the top of my most favored list. & the 85 1.2 is the same in the lens category. Quite a combination.

Are you hampered when using the 85/1.2 on the 1Ds3 for close-up portraiture by the fact that it is no longer possible to be able to select one of all the 45 AF points, as only one of 19 AF points may now be selected?

Paul Bestwick
April 9th, 2008, 05:04 PM
Ralph I have not used it enough to know. In truth though, I tend to work within the limitations of the tool I have & not think too much about it. So I guess, the answer is no, I have no problems.

Eric Hiss
April 9th, 2008, 08:51 PM
Eric, do you happen to have an example (crop at 100%) that illustrates that difference? I know how hard it can be to find something comparable, and that the differences are sometimes hard to pin-point, but I'd appreciate an attempt. I'm looking for something in the 80mm range that would be very good for portraits, and beats my TS/E 90mm or my EF 100mm macro.

Which adapter do you use, and does it also allow to meter the exposure wide open. or do you need to stop down (no big deal for a studio setup with strobes and manual exposure setting anyway, but it could expand it's usefulness)?

Bart

Bart,
Sorry I don't have the canon 85mm any more and dumped my comparison shots long ago so I can't honor your request.

Here's a candid portrait taken of a friend's wife with the 80 lux at f/1.4 unedited and converted from RAW in lightroom. Camera was the Leica DMR.

http://www.eh21.com/example%20pics/L1100139.jpg

and a 100% crop to show you both sharpness and bokeh

http://www.eh21.com/example%20pics/L1100139-2.jpg

All I can tell you is you will not be disappointed with either lens, but in my testing the Leica lux had significantly smoother bokeh at the same aperture. It also appeared to be sharper than the canon and rendered more saturated colors than the Canon. I do have the tse 90mm and can tell you both the lux and canon 85 are going to be better suited for portraits though you can get some interesting effects with the tilt. Another lens to consider would be the canon 135 f/2.0 which is very good for portraits. Another lens I find just super for portraits is the zuiko 55mm f/1.2 adapted to fit the canon.

I think I have the happypageHK adapter but can't remember. The metering is correct at whatever aperture its set for however I find that if I am using smaller apertures I need to open it up for focus and then stop down for the shot. The 80 lux is also an incredible performer for landscape and such shots.

Ralph Eisenberg
April 9th, 2008, 11:15 PM
Paul,

Thanks for your reply. My concern is that adapting may be difficult in circumstances where you are obliged to focus and recompose, i.e. when with the IDs3 it is not possible to have a selected AF point directly over the subject's eye. Hopefully, this is a non-issue, but there have been some reports to the contrary.

Paul Bestwick
April 10th, 2008, 12:50 AM
Focus & recompose is a poor technique which should be avoided. The distance from camera to subject is altered & focus will be incorrect.

Ralph Eisenberg
April 10th, 2008, 11:11 PM
Precisely, and that is why it may be a considerable drawback to be unable to select any one of all 45 AF points (which you can do on the 1Ds2), and to be limited to the coverage of 19 selectable AF points, which is the case with the 1Ds3.

Paul Bestwick
April 12th, 2008, 12:02 AM
in a tricky situation MF is still a viable option.