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11-22-2009, 09:46 AM   #1
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Do I need an 85mm F1.4?



okay okay... time to talk some sense into me.

I already have the Sigma 30mm F1.4 for general use and the DA*55 F1.4 for portraits. My question is: Do I really need an 85mm F1.4 lens if my DA*55 already does the job for portraits? What benefit would I get from getting an 85mm F1.4?

I figure if my DA*50-135 already covers that focal length (Although at F2.8)... I'm only getting more depth of field?

Opinions greatly appreciated

11-22-2009, 09:57 AM   #2
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Actually, the depth of field at 85mm F2.8 would be the same on both lenses. You can get less depth of field with the 85/1.4 which is good for portraits. The bokeh is likely to be better on the prime lens than the zoom also.
11-22-2009, 10:25 AM   #3
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I have a Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 and the bokeh is very nice from what I can tell. But I do not have anything to compare it to. But I am leaving now to go buy a 85mm f/1.8 smc k. I am curious to see how it performs.
11-22-2009, 10:35 AM   #4
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The crop factor would make the 85 more like a 120 or 135 on a 35mm format camera - a 120/1.4 lens is interesting. The better question is what would you shoot with such a lens. The best advantage I can think of is simply that of better image quality. Sure, the zoom is probably good but there must be trade-offs of some sort compared to the 85mm prime. I'd start digging through images on PBase and other sites.

11-22-2009, 10:52 AM   #5
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Jon...I've never used any of the 85mm's before, however I think you'd find it to be too long for shooting portraits most of the time. I have and love the 77ltd, which is the most telephoto lens I have, and it has to be used almost exclusively outside because of it's length.

Just some food for thought.

c[_]
11-22-2009, 11:08 AM   #6
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bokeh is the main reason.
I don't think I've seen a bad 85/1.4...even the cheapy Vivitar/Samyang ones are good. It's something to do w/ 85/1.4 being a great standard design in the lens recipe books...
11-22-2009, 11:29 AM   #7
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I had an A* 85mm F/1.4 and found it too long for portrait. So I sold it and get a DA 70mm in its place.

70mm is just about perfect. If I need a lens a bit wider, I use my FA50.
11-22-2009, 11:36 AM   #8
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it isolates your subject at 85mm. 50 is very nice up close but is limited by distance, 100/2.8 is great but too slow and too long for some subjects. an 85 is a great compliment between the two. if I got the cash I would had gotten the 77mm. but hey, it's 1.4 versus 1.8. that's 2/3 stops faster and brighter than the 1/8. which makes your subject even more isolated.

11-22-2009, 11:40 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by dugrant153 Quote


okay okay... time to talk some sense into me.

I already have the Sigma 30mm F1.4 for general use and the DA*55 F1.4 for portraits. My question is: Do I really need an 85mm F1.4 lens if my DA*55 already does the job for portraits? What benefit would I get from getting an 85mm F1.4?

I figure if my DA*50-135 already covers that focal length (Although at F2.8)... I'm only getting more depth of field?

Opinions greatly appreciated
I have the DA*55/1.4 as well. I still find myself reaching for something longer, either the 70LTD, 77LTD or A*85/1.4 when I want a bit more distance between myself and the subject, or when I want to shoot a close head shot, or when I need to limit what's in the background.
In fact, I actually use the longer lenses far more than the 55 when in the studio.
11-22-2009, 11:43 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by SOldBear Quote
I had an A* 85mm F/1.4 and found it too long for portrait. So I sold it and get a DA 70mm in its place.

70mm is just about perfect. If I need a lens a bit wider, I use my FA50.

it's a great lens for an APS-C camera. the only issue about it is it's over a stop slower. I wished Pentax made it a 1.4. maybe they could make a 65mm 1.4, that would be much better.
11-22-2009, 11:50 AM   #11
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I got this from somewhere but this is what an 85/1.4 would look like.
11-22-2009, 12:13 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by ll_coffee_lP Quote
Jon...I've never used any of the 85mm's before, however I think you'd find it to be too long for shooting portraits most of the time. I have and love the 77ltd, which is the most telephoto lens I have, and it has to be used almost exclusively outside because of it's length.

Just some food for thought.

c[_]
I found 85 way to close when I went to digital, then found my photography style changing where it's one of my favorite focal lengths for capturing upper body shots and outdoor work. I should mention I don't have the 1.4, (I have a few at 1.8), and have been told that the 1.4 is terrific on film but doesn't provide the same results from a crop format (I have no way of knowing if that is the case).

I'd recommend borrowing an 85 for a few days to see if it works. If I had tried it for one shoot I probably would have decided it was too close and would have missed out on my favorite lens... If you ever get over to the island, you're welcome to borrow one of mine for a few days.

I tend to leave a 85 on my camera for when I'm going out with the family.... The DA*50-135 seems to stay at home. I think it's the size I don't like (that and I don't mind manual focus). We went to a Christmas parade last night and here are the typical "family pics" I get when using a 85...




11-22-2009, 05:02 PM   #13
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I have briefly handled (5 mins) a FA* 85/1.4 lens which belong to a friend. It is a great lens. Solidly built. Super sharp wide open. Super heavy and super big. Too bad I am not into wedding shoots or portraits...or else LBA will bite me again.
11-22-2009, 10:41 PM   #14
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I love the 85mm focal length, even on APS-C cameras. I have 2 85mm f1.4 lenses, and the focal length and max aperture make them some of my favorite lenses.

You may need some extra working distance for portraits, but I like the reduced FOV. I mainly use them for non-portrait photos, though. Stuff like isolation of subjects in a landscape, and they're perfect for that.
11-22-2009, 10:53 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by dugrant153 Quote


I figure if my DA*50-135 already covers that focal length (Although at F2.8)... I'm only getting more depth of field?

Opinions greatly appreciated
Wondering....would it be better to keep the 50-135 or sell/trade it and get the 85/1.4?
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