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Canon EF 85mm F1.8
Old 01-14-2007, 02:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I am new to glamour photography and am looking at getting the Canon EF 85mm F1.8 and wanting to know what people think, not so much the lens which I have heard great things about, but the fact it is 85mm and what people think about this with glamour and portrait photography?
Also is 85mm to far on a 1.6 crop?
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Re: Canon EF 85mm F1.8
Old 01-14-2007, 04:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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This is a great low light lens but I find it too sharp and too long a focal length for studio glamour. After the 1.6 crop factor you're looking an a focal length of 135mm. And, naturally, in the studio, you'll be shooting at f5.6 to f11 so the f1.8 makes little difference. It will give you good compression outdoors and the F1.8 will be great for throwing backgrounds out of focus. I much prefer a small zoom for glamour work because it allows me to maintain a constant working distance far away enough from the model to give her a comfort zone, but allowing me to go from full length to face with just a twist of the lens.

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Re: Canon EF 85mm F1.8
Old 01-14-2007, 05:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The 85 is a killer lens as long as you have a higher end camera like the 5D or Mark II Ds. Attached to anything else, it's just slightly too long of a lens. As RFT says, you'll be shooting at f8 or higher anyway.
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Re: Canon EF 85mm F1.8
Old 01-14-2007, 09:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have used the 50mm 1.8 and only use it up close. It is great for portaits and does excellent bokeh. I dont know how the 85mm would do but I would imagine it would be even better. Here is an example of the 50mm 1.8
 
 
Re: Canon EF 85mm F1.8
Old 01-14-2007, 10:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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What are all the white specks on the face? Is this a scan and you had dust on the image or scanner, or is it digital and perhaps dust on the sensor or did you add the specks?
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Re: Canon EF 85mm F1.8
Old 01-15-2007, 12:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Well, I'm a Nikon guy but I shoot with the 85/1.4 all the time, in studio and out. I prefer sharp glass, even for glamour and especially for digital which softens images a bit anyway.

There are advantages to fast glass over just being able to shoot with a more open aperture.

1) Maybe the most important is that you will have a brighter viewfinder image with the faster glass, regardless of what aperture you are using to shoot at, which makes focusing easier - both auto (as it works through the lens) and manual.

2) Most lenses are sharpest one or two stops down from full open, so with my 1.4, I'm tack sharp at 2.8. (Actually this particular lens is pretty freaking sharp across the spectrum, but still there is a slight difference.)

3) Bokeh. The 85/1.4 has often been refered to as the "cream machine" and for good reason, the bokeh on it is outstanding. While fast glass does not mean a lens will have good bokeh, almost all lenses that DO have good bokeh are also fast.

4) Glass. Usually, the fastest lenses are made with the best glass (hence the sharpness). This should probably be reason #2.

I also shoot at all apertures in-studio and very often shoot at open apertures (>4) in the studio - especially if shooting product, but also for glamour depending.

Matt
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Re: Canon EF 85mm F1.8
Old 01-15-2007, 01:06 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcherry View Post
Well, I'm a Nikon guy but I shoot with the 85/1.4 all the time, in studio and out. I prefer sharp glass, even for glamour and especially for digital which softens images a bit anyway.

There are advantages to fast glass over just being able to shoot with a more open aperture.

1) Maybe the most important is that you will have a brighter viewfinder image with the faster glass, regardless of what aperture you are using to shoot at, which makes focusing easier - both auto (as it works through the lens) and manual.

2) Most lenses are sharpest one or two stops down from full open, so with my 1.4, I'm tack sharp at 2.8. (Actually this particular lens is pretty freaking sharp across the spectrum, but still there is a slight difference.)

3) Bokeh. The 85/1.4 has often been referred to as the "cream machine" and for good reason, the bokeh on it is outstanding. While fast glass does not mean a lens will have good bokeh, almost all lenses that DO have good bokeh are also fast.

4) Glass. Usually, the fastest lenses are made with the best glass (hence the sharpness). This should probably be reason #2.

I also shoot at all apertures in-studio and very often shoot at open apertures (>4) in the studio - especially if shooting product, but also for glamour depending.

Matt
Well I think this gets a bit into the range of apples to oranges. First of all we're talking about a Canon 85mm f1.8 not 1.4 and a price of less than $400. If we wanted to look a the nearest Canon lens to the one you mention, then we would be talking the Canon 85mm F1.2 L at between $1800-$2400. And you're right, if we were talking about the L lens, then it is the best glass.

Second, the sharpness issue is not really a function of the lens in digital but the way digital works. However, once you sharpen the image either through the cameras parameters or in post processing this "loss" of sharpness goes away. No doubt a top piece of glass will give you an even sharper image, but I generally find that the images are too sharp with the majority of better lens and have to have some softening.

I find very little difference in the viewfinder image between a lens at f1.4 and f4. On the Canon bodies I've used the auto focus seems to work just as fast throughout that range, even in low light. I can't speak for the Nikon, however.

I also find that a high majority of pros I've worked with tend to shoot glamour with a zoom lens simply because it gives you much more flexibility. That's not to say that using a fixed focal length lens is not important in some situations but when dealing with a fast moving subject the zoom allows you capture a wide range of poses. This is especially true in a smaller studio which most Garage Glamour (G1) types seem to have.

Like you, when shooting product, I tend to change my lens requirements and often do want the very sharpest lens I can get for need. I do a lot of product work using the Canon 100mm F2.8 Macro which is a fantastic lens but not of much value for Glamour.

Cheers,
rfs
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Re: Canon EF 85mm F1.8
Old 01-15-2007, 01:18 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Sorry, my bad. I thought the 1.8 was an L lens.

The viewfinder brightness will be there regardless of camera type though or at least should be, it has worked that way with every film camera I've ever shot and indeed is the same with my D2X.

I shoot glamour much the same way I shoot product, so I'm moving pretty slow. I use a zoom when working on the beach or some locations, but in studio I tend to stick with primes. Even outdoors, I'll reach for a prime first.

Don't discount the 100/2.8 for glamour. The shots of Jonessa I did were with a Nikkor 60micro....

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Re: Canon EF 85mm F1.8
Old 01-15-2007, 01:47 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I'd love to use the 100 f2.8 for glamour, but I'm one of those usually in a small studio. After you add on the 1.6 crop factor, that turns the lens into an effective 160 mm which means even if I get as far from the model as I can, I can only shoot head and shoulders. Same problem with my 70-200 F2.8, even with the 70 end I can't shoot a full length shot.
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Re: Canon EF 85mm F1.8
Old 01-15-2007, 01:48 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Wow, thanks for all the fast and excellent replies.
My in-house studio is currently way to small I think for the lens when I think about it, through my main idea currently is for use outdoors.
I currenty have 3 lenses,(nothing fancy like an L-series) 75mm - 300 5.6, 50mm and a kit lens. So far when outside shooting outside I have found I prefer the 75mm over the 50mm, which is what lead me to the 85mm, don't know why but I do like fixed lenses that make me work to move the get the shot I want.
Is the 1.2 a huge improvement over the 1.8?? (even through it is not any way in my price range, just curious)
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