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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 88
Registered: ‎09-13-2014

50mm f1. 2 or 85mm f1. 2

If the price is not a consideration and I do not currently own a fixed lens other than the 100mm Macro, and my objective is to experiment with an f1.2 which should I purchase, 50mm or 85mm
I currently have:
Canon 5DSr
Canon 7D
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM
Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM
Canon EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS II

https://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/catalog/ef-85mm-f-12l-ii-usm

https://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/catalog/ef-50mm-f-12l-usm

VIP
Posts: 10,381
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: 50mm f1. 2 or 85mm f1. 2

Got them both but if I could only have one it will be the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Lens.  The 85mil is a difficult lens to use way more so than the 50mil.  The 85's AF is agonizingly slow which makes it almost useless except for studio work or very deliberate work.

Now would I trade my 85 mm f1.2L for any other 85mil?  Absolutely not, it is the best 85mm going as in, period! Smiley Happy

 

Go get the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Lens. It is in a class all by itself.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, along with less other stuff.
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,909
Registered: ‎02-17-2016

Re: 50mm f1. 2 or 85mm f1. 2

If you plan on doing FF portraits, the 85mm might be better.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,335
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: 50mm f1. 2 or 85mm f1. 2

“My own personal opinion would be to go for the 85mm as I've been using the 50mm f/1.8 STM for 3 weeks and feel the 85mm would offer me a bit more range needed for either landscape or portraits.“

I do not recommend the consumer 85mm. The hood is less than useless. It is worthless.
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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,076
Registered: ‎02-06-2013

Re: 50mm f1. 2 or 85mm f1. 2

I have almost exactly all of the lenses you have (plus a bunch more) and I also have the 5DSR and the 7DII.  I will tell you my highly subjective opinion between the 50mm and the 85mm. 

 

I did the trial run so to speak by getting a 50mm f/1.8 and a 85mm f/1.8 - they are cheap enough.  In my experience, the 50mm is an awkward focal length for what I want to get the 1.2 for - extreme bokeh/blurred background.  At 50mm, the bokeh is not anywhere near what you can achieve with 85mm focal length.   If it wasn't for the portrait and the bokeh, your 24-70 2.8L @ 50mm will do an amazing job.

 

For me personally, the 85mm wins hands down.  I ended up getting a 85mm f/1.2L II but I still have the 50mm f/1.8 and 85mm f/1.8 as they make excellent travel lenses (small and light).

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Diverhank's photos on Flickr
Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,335
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: 50mm f1. 2 or 85mm f1. 2

[ Edited ]

I do not need an f/1.2 lens to get creamy bokey in a portrait.  Photoshop is really good at adding blur to a background.  You can shoot at an f/stop for better DoF on the subject, and then blur the background in post.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,746
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: 50mm f1. 2 or 85mm f1. 2


@114470 wrote:

You're definitely missing that well round aspect of group lenses. One option would be to rent one or both of these lenses just to see which would suit you better. My own personal opinion would be to go for the 85mm as I've been using the 50mm f/1.8 STM for 3 weeks and feel the 85mm would offer me a bit more range needed for either landscape or portraits.


I'd be hard pressed to describe a situation where I'd think I needed an f/1.2 lens for a landscape. Portraits: maybe. Although I get the feeling that it's starting to become fashionable for portrait photographers to use a bit less DOF than they really need. When the eyes are in focus but the ears and nose aren't, it's not usually a picture I wish I'd taken.

Bob
Boston, Massachusetts USA
Reputable Contributor
Posts: 559
Registered: ‎11-19-2017

Re: 50mm f1. 2 or 85mm f1. 2

Bokehen,

Surprised to hear this from someone who has been taking pictures for 50 yrs.  Bokeh is such a nice (visually pleasing) effect or result in photography.  Of course it depends on the type of photos you are taking, but fore and backgound blur can gives photos greater artistic expression by augmenting a subject (if intended).

 

F Stop and the number of blades a lens has can make a dramatic difference.  I don't need to tell you this considering your experience level.  I'm just surprised (again) that someone with your "tenure" might infer bokeh being a "fad".  

Rick
Bay Area - CA
~6D2 (f/w 1.0.4) ~16-35mm f2.8L II, 50 f1.8 STM, 85 prime USM, 70-200 f2.8L IS II ~70-300 USM II ~Sigma 24-70 f2.8 Art (f/w 2.02)
~Sigma 150-600 C + TC1401 1.4x (f/w 2.00) ~Speedlite 430 EX II ~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~Windows10 Pro nVidia GPU 1803
VIP
Posts: 10,381
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: 50mm f1. 2 or 85mm f1. 2

"I'm just surprised (again) that someone with your "tenure" might infer bokeh being a "fad"."

 

Ha Smiley Very Happy, yes, and their screen name is bokehen

 

I think most of the responders, who don't own a f1.2 lens, BTW, have missed or forgotten this statement, "I do not currently own a fixed lens other than the 100mm Macro"

 

A 50mil as an 'only' prime lens or at least a companion lens to a 100mil macro is far more useful than a 85mm.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, along with less other stuff.
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