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RF 85mm F/1.2 OR RF 50mm F/1.2?

WalterStrong
Apprentice

Does anybody here have either or both of these lenses?  If so, what's your evaluation of it/them?  I'm just itch'n to deplete my checking account balance a tad and both of these lenses really tickle my fancy. 

7 REPLIES 7

kvbarkley
VIP

What are you looking to do with them? 

ebiggs1
Legend

I have the ef 85mm f1.2L. It is a spectacular lens. Love it!  It is also a very limited use lens. As KVB queried, what is your goal for such a lens? MOF, I have both the ef 50mm f1.2L and the big 85mil.

One warning about the 85, it is slow to focus. Not a biggie if you are aware but it can be a surprise to a novice user.

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

ebiggs1
Legend

There is little doubt Canon has made and continues to make the best camera lenses in the world. Talking about the line 'in toto'. Yes, they made a few duds but they also made a few extraordinary and remarkable lenses.

I'll predict you will either love it or hate it. No in between!

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

Now with a specific post like this opening post, asking exclusively for people who have one of these two specific lenses, would you answer and give reference to two different lenses?

Now to the question:

I have both of these lenses and I prefer the 50. If I'm outdoors and shooting people from a certain distance, the RF 85 1.2 will show its magic. But to me the RF 50 is just so more flexible. Both have enough aperture to shoot indoors in low light, but 85mm indoors is just too narrow for me.

And... the RF 50 is actually also great for portraits IMO. I don't see any large difference between the RF 85 and RF 50 in terms of sharpness, maybe the 85 is 5% sharper, but the RF50 is just fabulous. It also has 10 aperture blades, I don't know if the bokeh is better but I do love the RF 50's bokeh.

I have the RF 70-200 2.8 too which is a great lens for outdoors, but obviously unusable indoors.

Maybe it was silly of me to get the RF 85 1.2, since I already had the RF 70-200 2.8 and RF 50.1.2. It's not getting as much use as I hoped for. In some silly ways I prefer the EF 85 1.4 IS which worked great on my R5.

I also have a lens that cost a tiny fraction of these three lenses, namely the RF 35 1.8. I'm surprised by the varying reception this lens has received. Because I'm just super happy with it. It's not as sharp as the RF 85, but you only notice this zooming in, and even then it's not by a loooot. It has macro, image stabilization and suprisingly nice bokeh IMO. It's also well suited to shooting indoors.

Oh and the size of the RF 85 1.2 is a tad too large for me. Especially with an on camera flash too. Breaks my wrist almost, LOL. And I'm not a tiny guy 🙂

The RF 50 isn't a lot smaller, but actually balances quite well on the R5.

The RF 35 1.8 however is just insanely small and suddenly my setup is quite portable and discrete, even with a flash. Some of my best shots are taken with the RF 35. Don't know why it's priced so low in comparsion to those others, I'd say they were much closer in price.

Ok, I'll stop my rambling now 😉

Greetings,

The 50mm is a better (more versatile) option on FF or APS-C. If you did need to "get closer" all you would have to do it take a few steps in.

~Rick
Bay Area - CA


~R5 C (1.0.2.1) ~RF Trinity, ~RF 100~400, +Canon Control Ring

~6D2 (v1.1.1) Retiring ~EF Trinity, others ~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~Windows10/11 Pro ~EVGA RTX 3080Ti FTW3 Ultra ~ImageClass MF644Cdw ~Pixel6 ~CarePaks Are Worth It

Gin_13
Apprentice

Hi Walter,

I have and use both lenses for portrait work. I find the 85 1.2 is a favorite for outdoor shots where I have room to move around and want that dreamy bokeh look. It lets me be relatively close to my subject while getting an amazing separation from the background detail. My first L series lens was the 50 1.2 and I find it is the best for when I have space constraints, am working indoors, and for a more candid/street photography feel to my shots. The 50 1.2 is more versatile and I love it for its documentary aesthetic. I would find it difficult to get the variety of shots with the 85 in urban areas due to space constraints where the 50 is great. On the flip side, the 50 will not render background detail to the same extent as the 85. So in the end it depends on your style and aesthetic. They are both so optically good at what they do there is no bad choice unless it doesn’t fit your needs.

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