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Thread: 85mm II 1.2 vs 50 mm 1.2

  1. #1

    85mm II 1.2 vs 50 mm 1.2

    Guys
    I am in a big confusion to get canon 85mm II 1.2 or 50 mm 1.2. I understand that we have to chose based on the requirements.
    50mm seems to be ideal for me as it would be ideal to take group pics, however many are complaining regarding focus shift problems and the bokeh not that great as 85mm. The bad thing about 85mm from this site is the focus is little slow and it can be used to take head to shoulders pics and mostly individual and not group.
    I am looking a good lens that can be used to take group as well as portraits with good bokeh, so who is the winner 85 or 50??

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    To me the question would be; Do you want to stand 10 feet from your subject or 17 feet from your subject?
    They have a different field of view from each other and framing and distance are a more important factor than the issues you mention.

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    If your talking group shots 85 is not it. Group shots I'd recommend a 35 if you are married to the primes. That new Sigma 35 1.4 sounds awfully sweet for $900.

    If you are hard set on the two you mentioned, the 50 is more versatile and I'd recommend it based on that.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Hi Gandhi,

    Could you tell us which camera you will be using? Each lens will give a very different angle of view depending on if you are using a cropped sensor (7D, 60D, Rebel, etc) or a full frame camera (6D, 5Dxx, 1D, etc). But HDNitehawks point is well taken, the distance from your subject is equally important.

    Brant

    EDIT---just did a search and looks like Gandhi has a 5DII.
    Last edited by Kayaker72; 01-29-2013 at 08:28 PM.

  5. #5
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    I assume you will be using a FF body.
    I have both the 85 and the 50. They are both great lenses, but if you disregard the focal length difference, the 85mm is optically a more impressive lens. There are lots of reviews you can read that will confirm that. But it is bigger, heavier, has slower AF and manual focus only works with the shutter pushed half way down. Be also aware that the very shallow depth of field with that lens is a bigger challenge than most people would think.
    The 50 is more compact, faster AF and has a more versatile focal length. But be aware that it is not THAT much better than the much cheaper f1.4. There are also rumors that there is a version II coming of that lens (but latest from Canonrumours says not this year). But if you want One lens, for both single person and group portraits, the 50 works much better.
    But I also bought the Sigma 35mm f1.4 a few weeks back. And after that I have hardly used the 50mm at all. I either use the 35mm for group and the 85 for individuals (I use 2 bodies). If group is more important, IŽd concur with Keith and recommend the Sigma 35mm, which is exceptional value for money. If you went for that, you would save enough to also get the 85mm 1.8, which is a very good lens.

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    Re: 85mm II 1.2 vs 50 mm 1.2

    Agreed with above statements. Sigma 35mm plus the Canon 85mm 1.8 if you have extra money. Honestly, an f4 lens would do just fine for group stuff if you want to save a little.
    Words get in the way of what I meant to say.

  7. #7
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    I'm not sure I agree that the bokeh of the 50 is "not that great as 85mm". I think the 50 f/1.2 has awesome bokeh.

  8. #8
    Senior Member FastGass's Avatar
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    Lets just say that I am not aware of a lens that has better bokeh at 50mm than the 50mm L, mabye the leica 50mm f/0.95 but that lens cost a fortune and is MF only!

    John.
    Amateurs worry about gear, pros about the pay, masters about the light, and I just take pictures!

  9. #9
    I have a 5D Mark II

    @HDNitehawk
    But I thought 50mm is wider than 85mm lens , so just by going few feet away do we get the same kind of photos?

    Coming back to my original question, 50mm is definitely advantageous because we can take pics in limited space, however there are some reviews that the quality of canon 50mm 1.2 is not as great as 85mm 1.2. Also there are some issues with 50mm with focus shift. Is it true?
    Last edited by gandhi; 01-30-2013 at 04:31 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gandhi View Post
    But I thought 50mm is wider than 85mm lens , so just by going few feet away do we get the same kind of photos?
    No. You can shoot from further away with the 85mm lens and acheive the same framing as with the 50mm lens, but the perspective will be different. You say you want to take group pics - 50mm will be better for that than 85mm, generally, since sometimes you will not have enough room to back up far enough with the 85mm lens.

    As for the 50L, the bokeh is excellent, and while the focus shift is real, it is mainly evident when shooting close subjects - if you're far enough away for a group shot, the DoF will be deep enough to mask the effect.

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