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85 L 1.2 Share your experience

Mark Schafer

pro member
Thanks for your input. But i even think the color of the type is somewhat magenta, which might hint a more pronounced purple fringing as observed in the c-stand shot.
I'm just blown away by the fact that this one of Canons most expensive lenses (leaving out the very long teles) and 4 out of 4 copies show this flaw, i never experienced anything like it.

And as much Canon could "fix" it, i'd rather get a lens that works right out of the box, like my old 85mm, or all the other Canon (Mamiya, Fuji, Schneider, Leica, Nikon) lenses I used in the last 20+ years.

But on an upnote, Canon (Chuck) is very responsive, so i don't see it as much of a problem for us "consumers" more an inhouse problem we need to be aware of.
 

Olaf_Laubli

New member
Agree that the MK.II seems to show more fringing. Still the second sample pic indicates that the two lenses focus differently.

Would get the AF adjusted and make another comparison after this is done.

Or simply keep the Mk.I and be happy.
 
Hi, Mark:

Got your CD, thanks. After analyzing the images, I have to say in all honesty that I don't think the results are conclusive. As others have noted, the differences in sharpness on both images appear to have more to do with unequal distance settings on the lenses or varying focusing distances from the camera to the subject than differences in optical resolution. On the book images, for example, it looks like the camera angle shifted slightly, and according to ZoomBrowser EX, the center focusing point is not positioned on the same part of the subject.

I'm not sure why there are apparent differences in color fringing, but it's interesting to note that an independent lens test comparing the original and II versions of the EF85mm f/1.2L didn't show any significant differences between them in terms of center sharpness, edge sharpness, or chromatic aberration:

http://www.wlcastleman.com/equip/reviews/85mm/v_sharp.htm

However, this test does show the reduction in flare that the new lens coatings provide on the EF85mm f/1.2L II:

http://www.wlcastleman.com/equip/reviews/85mm/index.htm

I fully understand that you want the best image quality you can get, but you might need to run your comparison tests a little differently to achieve the results you're looking for.

Best Regards,

Chuck Westfall
Director/Media & Customer Relationship
Camera Marketing Group/Canon U.S.A., Inc.
 

Eugene Hertoghe

pro member
Thank you all for participating in this thread and giving inside of how you work with it.
Here's an update:
The first week of July I finally went to the Canon Repair Center where they calibrated the 1ds.
I brought with me 3 lenses: 135 f2, 85 f1.2, 50 f1.4.
It took them about 2 hours to do it. They said they calibrated the auto-focus with the 50 mm.
After this they checked the calibration with the 85 mm and the 135 mm and saw that this was fine.

When I checked at home I found out that nothing really changed or improved. On a tripod and having a fixed targed, the 1Ds sometimes frontfocused, other times backfocused and somitimes everything was in perfect focus (depending on which focus point was used).
I recently bought an Ec-S screen and I must agree that it really helps for focusing.
I choose the correct focussing point and then if needed I correct it manually.
My percentage of in focus images has gone up a lot since!
(But Ec-s works well only with primes under f2, with an f2.8 lens the image in the viewfinder is already to dim).

Most of the images that I shot in June with this lens have now been published in brochures and/or ads and the results are really beautifull. Even the slightly out of focus images work very well.
They have this painterly effect that you can't realize with another lens set-up.

And now, to keep the business going the 50 mm 1.2 is out. I was waiting for this one to come out.
Never been so enthousiastic about the f1.4 (3 repairs already, slow focusing)
If the new lens is of the same quality as the 135mm and 85 mm then it will be for sure on my investment list for this year...

Eugene

http://www.eugene-hertoghe.com
 
Thanks very much for the follow-up (and also thanks to the other contributors of this thread). My personal concern has been whether the increased focusing speed that makes this lens more responsive than version 1 makes the upgrade worthwhile.
 

Edmund Ronald

New member
Ralph Eisenberg said:
Thanks very much for the follow-up (and also thanks to the other contributors of this thread). My personal concern has been whether the increased focusing speed that makes this lens more responsive than version 1 makes the upgrade worthwhile.

Hello Ralph -

I regularly shoot fashion shows with the old lens and never had any focus speed issues, on the original 1Ds.

By the way, here are some static subjects, which I think were done with my 85. I like the way one can do supersharp or out of focus with the same lens.

http://www.gioiadesign.com/gallery/BEE_with_Glass_1.html
http://www.gioiadesign.com/gallery/PRIMO_with_Library.html
http://www.gioiadesign.com/
http://www.gioiadesign.com/gallery/PRIMO_Floor_with_Lemon_2.html


These pictures went to press (one of them poster sized) - by the time the printers had done them the actual colors or sharpness of the originals were I assure you quite secondary to the result.


Edmund
 

Edmund Ronald

New member
Asher Kelman said:
I like the shots.

and the lights.

Now I need the lens!

Do you manually focus in this work?

Asher.
Autofocus, retouched manually. I'll dump some fashion pictures on to flickr later and link to them.

Edmund


E.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
While you are at it, if you can share some of your casual street pictures that would be interesting, especially now that I have seen your still life. If you want, PM me with a link.

I have a feeling that your perspective might be really interesting! Not just with this lens, although, I'd love to see how it works in the casual setting.

Asher
 

Edmund Ronald

New member
Asher Kelman said:
While you are at it, if you can share some of your casual street pictures that would be interesting, especially now that I have seen your still life. If you want, PM me with a link.

I have a feeling that your perspective might be really interesting! Not just with this lens, although, I'd love to see how it works in the casual setting.

Asher
Those weren't stii-life, those were commercial images :( 3 days out of my life and several DVDs a day :(

Here is a fairly standard 85/1.2 street image in failing light, with the lens quite open. On the full-size one can count the stitches on the pockets of the blue jeans. A lot of people liked this one and it sold quickly, but I never reprinted it.



Edmund
 
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Mark Schafer

pro member
As a little update:
After not purchasing the 85 this summer (testing 4 lenses) I checked out another shipment in late September (reviewing another 3) with the same results.
Last week I was offered a refurbished one for a significant reduced price (I really don’t care about the box as long as it works). Anyhow, I purchased the lens but the results are still the same.
And call me crazy, it tested the 85mm at the PhotoExpo last weekend and to my surprise it performed as bad as all the others (on Canon’s show body).
(FYI my quick test is to set the camera to 100ASA, open to f1.2, let the 1DS chose it’s exposure time and use the manual selected center focus point, then I zoom in on the Cameras LCD screen to the max or close to it to review.
I know it’s not perfect, but with my other lenses everything seems to be in focus with that method and reviewing images on my big monitor confirm the observations every time.)

So first I have total confirmation that I’m not mad, second the lenses are all the same.

During a conversation at the Expo one of the Gents at Canon suggested to send in the lens (my very own baby, which is actually fantastic at f4, to have it calibrated. (We tried to talk to Canon, their NY sales rep as well as NJ and haven’t heard anything for the last couple of month, the only contact and advice was here on this forum from Chuck, which I still very much appreciate.)

Well, i FedEx’ed it today to CPS Repair in NJ and will report hopefully with some pics how that turned out.
 

Dan Lovell

New member
I have Both...

I have the F1.8 And F1.2 L Mark I.

I need both for difference reasons. I use the F1.8 for applications which require faster auto-focus speed such as sports, children, but prefer the F1.2 for portraiture, weddings, and Landscapes, for it's better image quality, and when fast AF is not required.

As for build, the F1.8 is good but the F1.2 better. For bokeh, the F1.2 is better even at F1.8.

The F1.8 provides a bit more Chromatic Abberation (purple frenging) however.

For me owning both is not redundant, as they have separate missions.

The color rendition, contrast are better with the F1.2. I love the razor sharpness at F1.2 which I don't often use.
 

Will Thompson

Well-known member
Purple, green fringing

Hi mark.

I believe the effect in your examples using the black text on the book binding/spine is the product of a combination of sensor color / Bayer interpolation, focus convergence, and angel (I think you might mean angle! ;) Asher. ) of sensor reception of light.

This effect is similar or akin to moiré and changes with aperture, focal length, and focus distance.

While conducting focus tests (including My EF 85-mm f1.2L & 50-mm f1.0L) with a black text scale I observed this to some degree on all my L lenses with my 1Ds with the difference appearing to being caused by focal length and aperture.

When using the early canon raw software selecting the false color filter virtually removed all of it.


The really interesting thing is the point of true focus is where the color is black and it then shifts purple in one out of focus direction and green in the other.

I believe that if you shot with a film or a Foveon sensor camera the outcome of your tests would be extremely different!


I hope this info helps you sort out the issues you have with the 85 f1.2L.
 
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Eric Hiss

Member
One of Canon's best lenses BUT

I traded my 85L mkI for a leica 80mm summilux (latest version). I really liked the canon lens but I found I was using MF a lot on that lens mated to my 5D anyhow and that took away the only advantage besides a slightly larger aperture the canon had. I did some tests and liked the bokeh better on the summilux which additionally was sharper, had more contrast, and more color saturation. The focus confirmation adapter works well with the summilux and is accurate.
 

Barry Johnston

New member
85mm f/1.2 Series I

Great lens, never had any issues. Slower focus doesn't bother me at all, but it's dead accurate... that's all I care about. The weight doesn't bother me at all either, it feels like you have a real lens in your hand. Beautiful bokeh as well.

I also have the 135mm f/2 and the 300mm f/2.8 primes and I'd never sell any of them.

Regards,
 
I traded my 85L mkI for a leica 80mm summilux (latest version).
[...]
I did some tests and liked the bokeh better on the summilux which additionally was sharper, had more contrast, and more color saturation. The focus confirmation adapter works well with the summilux and is accurate.
Eric, do you happen to have an example (crop at 100%) that illustrates that difference? I know how hard it can be to find something comparable, and that the differences are sometimes hard to pin-point, but I'd appreciate an attempt. I'm looking for something in the 80mm range that would be very good for portraits, and beats my TS/E 90mm or my EF 100mm macro.

Which adapter do you use, and does it also allow to meter the exposure wide open. or do you need to stop down (no big deal for a studio setup with strobes and manual exposure setting anyway, but it could expand it's usefulness)?

Bart
 

Paul Bestwick

pro member
It was shot at f2.0. I have no idea how the colours were introduced though the image has undergone heavy pp. If you look at her hair on the rhs you will see a line where I removed some strong CA.
 

Paul Bestwick

pro member
thanks Ralph. Well version 2 which I have is no lighter afaik. Mounted on my 1DS3 it is quite a package. Personally, I like the feel of a heavy camera.
My first really solid camera was the Nikon F4 back in 1989. Having owned quite a few pro level units since, I can say unreservedly that the 1DS3 is at the top of my most favored list. & the 85 1.2 is the same in the lens category. Quite a combination.
 
thanks Ralph. Well version 2 which I have is no lighter afaik. Mounted on my 1DS3 it is quite a package. Personally, I like the feel of a heavy camera.
My first really solid camera was the Nikon F4 back in 1989. Having owned quite a few pro level units since, I can say unreservedly that the 1DS3 is at the top of my most favored list. & the 85 1.2 is the same in the lens category. Quite a combination.
Are you hampered when using the 85/1.2 on the 1Ds3 for close-up portraiture by the fact that it is no longer possible to be able to select one of all the 45 AF points, as only one of 19 AF points may now be selected?
 

Paul Bestwick

pro member
Ralph I have not used it enough to know. In truth though, I tend to work within the limitations of the tool I have & not think too much about it. So I guess, the answer is no, I have no problems.
 

Eric Hiss

Member
Eric, do you happen to have an example (crop at 100%) that illustrates that difference? I know how hard it can be to find something comparable, and that the differences are sometimes hard to pin-point, but I'd appreciate an attempt. I'm looking for something in the 80mm range that would be very good for portraits, and beats my TS/E 90mm or my EF 100mm macro.

Which adapter do you use, and does it also allow to meter the exposure wide open. or do you need to stop down (no big deal for a studio setup with strobes and manual exposure setting anyway, but it could expand it's usefulness)?

Bart
Bart,
Sorry I don't have the canon 85mm any more and dumped my comparison shots long ago so I can't honor your request.

Here's a candid portrait taken of a friend's wife with the 80 lux at f/1.4 unedited and converted from RAW in lightroom. Camera was the Leica DMR.



and a 100% crop to show you both sharpness and bokeh



All I can tell you is you will not be disappointed with either lens, but in my testing the Leica lux had significantly smoother bokeh at the same aperture. It also appeared to be sharper than the canon and rendered more saturated colors than the Canon. I do have the tse 90mm and can tell you both the lux and canon 85 are going to be better suited for portraits though you can get some interesting effects with the tilt. Another lens to consider would be the canon 135 f/2.0 which is very good for portraits. Another lens I find just super for portraits is the zuiko 55mm f/1.2 adapted to fit the canon.

I think I have the happypageHK adapter but can't remember. The metering is correct at whatever aperture its set for however I find that if I am using smaller apertures I need to open it up for focus and then stop down for the shot. The 80 lux is also an incredible performer for landscape and such shots.
 
Paul,

Thanks for your reply. My concern is that adapting may be difficult in circumstances where you are obliged to focus and recompose, i.e. when with the IDs3 it is not possible to have a selected AF point directly over the subject's eye. Hopefully, this is a non-issue, but there have been some reports to the contrary.
 

Paul Bestwick

pro member
Focus & recompose is a poor technique which should be avoided. The distance from camera to subject is altered & focus will be incorrect.
 
Precisely, and that is why it may be a considerable drawback to be unable to select any one of all 45 AF points (which you can do on the 1Ds2), and to be limited to the coverage of 19 selectable AF points, which is the case with the 1Ds3.
 
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