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35mm 1.8 RF or 85mm 2.0 RF - What would be best?


Hey y'all

I'm just upgrading from a Canon 6D with a 50mm 1.8 to a Canon RP.

Wondering what lens would be best for me at this first moment... I shot most portraits, but also small events like birthdays and events that happen in closed spaces, so maybe the 85mm wouldn't be usable at this environment?!


Canon RP + 50mm 1.8 RF


Those are two very different use cases.  For portraits, especially if you're doing head/shoulders or strictly head-shots, you'll be much better off with the 85mm as is wouldn't lead to typical facial distortions when using shorter focal lengths such as a 35mm.

I would thus budget for both lenses.


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EOS C70, RF 24-70 f/2.8L IS, EF-EOS R 0.71x

But perhaps in a first moment where I can't buy both at the same time, the 35 would be more versatile since I could cover a wider range of things (?) just thinking here which one is more profitable...

Canon RP + 50mm 1.8 RF

Another "solution" would be a 50mm 1.8 + 85mm.. since the 50mm is much cheaper I could be able to purchase the both at the same time... but from the experiences I had, the 50mm is not wide enough for events in small space and big groups of people...

Canon RP + 50mm 1.8 RF

50+85 doesn't cover your bases. Sounds like you need the 35. So, I'd suggest getting that and a 50, and put in 1.6 crop mode when using the 50 to achieve an approximate 85 look. 

While the crop mode is a great tip, facial distortions in portraits when using shorter focal lengths would still be present


EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L, 600EX-RT (x6), ST-E3-RT
EOS C70, RF 24-70 f/2.8L IS, EF-EOS R 0.71x


If you are stuck on the two choices of 35mm or 85mm, the best answer is go with the 35mm. Way more versatile and useful. It is a much less specialized FL compared to the 85mm. However the best answer is neither! The RF 24-70mm or 24-105mm is a monumentally better direction to go in.

I tend to agree with Ricky about 'crop mode' but for a different reason. I see no good reason to use it ever. Fact is " facial distortions" are a product of DOF and AOV. Any lens given the same DOF or AOV will give similar results. The problem is, if you use a 35mm lens for a portrait you would need to be right up in the face of your subject. Most subjects would not like it and feel very uncomfortable. Can it, or could it be done, yes, but it's not the best approach for sure.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!


I personally have the Sigma Art 35mm f1.4, the EF 50mm f1.2L and EF 85mm f1.2L. I love all three. They are, IMHO, the best lenses made in their respective FL. I can categorically say the 35mm gets the most use. Then the 50mil and lastly the 85mil. But all three combined don't get used as much as my EF 24-70 f2.8L zoom.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!


If you're determined to buy the 35mm or 85mm but can only afford one of them, buy the 35mm lens.

As others have advised, these are very different lenses designed for different purposes, and neither will do the job of the other. The 85mm lens is a portrait lens and will take flattering portraits from a distance that won't stress your subject. But it won't take in a wide field of view in a confined space. The 35mm lens will do that, but a close-up portrait will put the camera so close to the subject it'll give a nervous sitter the heeby-jeebies, and exaggerate facial features grotesquely. You can step back from your subject and take a portrait from the same distance you'd have used if you had the 85mm lens, but your subject will be small in the frame. If you then crop in to the field of view that the 85mm lens would have given you, you'll have exactly the same picture as the 85mm lens would have given, with the flattering perspective and all, but you'll have cropped so severely you'll lose much of the image quality. So you won't be able to make large prints of these pictures. However you've got a picture. And you've only bought one lens. Eventually you'll afford the second lens. And the third...

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