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Old March 13th, 2017, 01:45 PM   #1
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85mm f/1.4 IS lens - real or fake?

There is a rumor that Canon will release an 85mm EOS lens with an f/1.4 aperture and Image stabilization.

[NOTE: This is a rumor only. Do not assume that it's true. But it's interesting food for thought.]

I've long been disappointed with the available 85mm lenses...

I used to have the 85/1.8, which was quick, inexpensive, small and light. But it didn't have IS (and IS becomes more and more important at higher focal lengths.) The focus ring was wobbly and had a short throw. (Similarly, a good focus ring becomes important at higher focal lengths.) Also, I found the images to be a bit "milky". I sold it.

At work, I have a Zeiss 85/1.4. It has a great focus ring and makes beautiful pictures (though it has strong vignetting.) But there is no IS and no auto-focus. I once tried taking close up photos of some squirmy kids with this lens - not one was in focus. It's great for manual focus video on a good support system, aside from the vignetting.

Canon's 85/1.2L is fast as can be. I've never used it, but the focus by wire makes it problematic for video. It has AF but not IS. It's heavy and not cheap.

There are other 3rd party lenses out there, but it seems that one either gets good manual focusing or AF with poor manual focusing.

The 70-200/2.8L IS covers the 85mm focal length and has IS and AF. Great lens. You give up some speed and this lens is very large and conspicuous.

I use the 100/2.8L IS Macro. It's not exactly 85mm, but close enough. It's not fast enough for really low light. But it has AF and IS and is of reasonable size, weight, and price. And it can get extreme closeups. There is little vignetting. The focus throw is good and the ring is solid. About the only downside is the lack of speed, which also means that you can't do extreme shallow DOF for portraits.

Anyway, I hope that the rumor is true. An 85/1.4L IS could be a "grail" lens. (Or it might just be vaporware.)
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Old March 17th, 2017, 06:36 PM   #2
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Re: 85mm f/1.4 IS lens - real or fake?

I haven't seen that rumor. It seems weird that they would release something like that so soon after the new 85mm 1.2L II lens. (which consequently has a much better AF speed than the first version).

There is also the new 85mm Sigma ART 1.4 lens that I have been considering.
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Old March 20th, 2017, 12:04 AM   #3
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Re: 85mm f/1.4 IS lens - real or fake?

I had forgotten about the Canon 85/1.2L II update. Focus is faster, but it's still focus by wire.

Yeah, an 85/1.4L IS would likely crowd into the same price range. But it might be a different use case. The f/1.2 might be narrowly targeted at portraits, while an f/1.4 IS might be better for video and general use. For instance, it would be killer for dark cathedral shots where tripods aren't allowed.

But as mentioned earlier, it's just a rumor, and you can't take pictures with rumors.
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