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Thread: Who would sell a 135/f2 and an 85/f1.8 for a 2nd hand 85/f1.2 ?

  1. #1
    Formerly user: Arzuhl
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    Who would sell a 135/f2 and an 85/f1.8 for a 2nd hand 85/f1.2 ?

    Hey guys.
    I have a bit of a problem. I know the 135/f2 is a great lens, awesomely sharp, blazingly quick but i find I'm not using it enough to justify it in my kit. Admittedly i have not done a huge amount of Portrait work ( but I want to do more) but i find when i do want to use it it is just too long, unless I'm outside. I find that even as a candid street lens it is too long, I have had more success with the 85/f1.8.
    I suppose basically i'm looking for people with the 85/f1.2 to convince me of its superiority for portrait work AND as a more general purpose lens than the 135. If i need a tele I have the 70-200/f2.8 to fall back on.
    I've seen the images produced by this lens and i know they are stunning and i also know the issues with the narrow DOF as I have the 50/f1.2, but i have noticed when i take portraits with the 135, especially of women it is pretty brutal in the clarity and sharpness dept. in other words not very flattering.
    I realise that I will have to put a little bit of money in to make the cost of the 1.2 BUT is my thinking sound guys ?, you tell me.
    Cheers for any thoughts on this.
    Cameras: Canon 5D MkIII, Canon 7D gripped.
    Lenses: 24mmmm f1.4 L, 24-105mm f4 L, 50mm f1.2 L, 85mm f1.2 II L, 70-200 f2.8 L IS II
    Flash: Canon 600 EX RT.
    Tripod: Manfrotto 190CX Pro3, Manfrotto Automatic Monopod, Manfrotto 498RC2 Ball Head.
    Bank Manager: Unhappy.


  2. #2
    Ausphotography Veteran
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    Firstly, I'll qualify my position by stating the following:


    1. I used to own an 85/1.8;
    2. I currently own an 85/1.2L II; and
    3. I currently own a 135/2L.


    In my experience, the 85/1.2L II and 135/2L are very close in terms of image quality; both of them have produced stunning images for me, and really, the main difference between them is the focal length.

    What the 135/2L has over the 85/1.2L II is insanely fast autofocus (not critical for 'studio' portraits, but very good for live band shoots), and its minimum focus distance, which is basically the same as that of the 85/1.2L II.

    If you want to shoot still-life, the 135/2L is a better lens, as you can fill the frame, whereas in my experience the 85/1.2L II, with its almost identical minimum focus distance, leaves too much space for my liking.

    Now, the 85/1.8 you have is also a fantastic lens, and I landed pleasing images with mine. The 85/1.2L II is a giant step forward, though, and delivers a signature look (which, in my opinion and my experience, is on par with the 135/2L).

    You have the 85mm focal length in both a fantastic prime and a fantastic zoom, so you're covered there. You also have the 135mm focal length in both. You'd still have 135mm even if you parted with your 135/2L.

    It's a tough call.

    I wouldn't want to part with my 135/2L, but then again, I have both it and the 85/1.2L II.

    I personally wouldn't call the 85/1.2L II a general-purpose lens, but it is a handy focal length, and for years, many people shot with only a 35mm prime and an 85mm prime. I tend to use mine only for portraits or band work.

    As far as your concern about sharpness, don't be concerned. Most people worry that their lenses are not sharp enough.

    I'd rather have more sharpness I need and soften the results if it's more flattering. If the sharpness isn't there, you cannot add what wasn't captured.

    I suggest not changing anything until you identify a significant-enough problem. You've got excellent glass there now, and you're more than equipped in that department for portraiture.

    If you lean more towards 85mm for portraits and find that you want the creamy, unmistakable 'signature' look of its big brother, upgrade then.

    The 85/1.8 you have now will allow you to land some fine portraits; you're limited not by the glass.

    By all means, I'd encourage anyone to buy the 85/1.2L II, but I'm not sure I'd want to sacrifice such a fine lens as the 135/2L to make it happen.

    Some of my lenses don't get used often, but when I need them, nothing else will do. I don't feel that I need to be shooting at a high frequency with a given lens to justify keeping it. If you need to finance something else, then sure, offload something; but for my liking, even a more exotic lens is more than worth it when only that lens will do the job.

    I hope this helps.
    Last edited by Xenedis; 17-01-2012 at 6:34pm.

  3. #3
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Please note that trading of gear is not allowed on AP. I do not hold insurance over AP that covers any trading disputes, as a result of a trade between members going sour. And AP (and I) don't want to be drawn into legal action. If this thread results in offers to buy/sell, using the site, the thread will be removed and further action may be taken.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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  4. #4
    Ausphotography Regular Brian500au's Avatar
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    First let me say I own and use both the 85 1.2 and the 135L.

    You have some mighty fine lenses their in your sig now so I am not sure the 85 is going to make a significant different to what you already have.

    I use my 85L for inside portrait work and love it (but I also use the 50 1.2 for inside portrait work). Two weeks ago I pulled out the 135 for some outside port work and was gob smacked at how creamy the brokeh is on this lens. I was kicking myself I had not used it more often, but I will tell you it will get a lot more work this year (instead of my 85L).

    I am with Xenedis - I would not sell my 135 to buy a 85L. I think they are both great and I have them both but I would not sell either to buy the other - they work well as a pair for portraiture shots.
    www.kjbphotography.com.au

    1Dx, 5DsR, 200-400 f4L Ext, 100-400 f4.5-5.6L II, 70-300 f4-5.6L IS, 70-200 f2.8L IS II, 24-70 f2.8L II, 16-35 f4 IS, 11-24 f4L, 85 f1.2L II, 500 f4L IS, 300 f2.8 IS, ∑50 f1.4 A


  5. #5
    Formerly user: Arzuhl
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    Thanks guys for your feedback. I'm sorry Rick if i gave you the impression I was fishing for gear or my thread title was misleading but i have no intention of advertising or suchlike for any equipement, only asking for info on my options gear wise, from more experienced photographers than myself.
    Sorry for any misunderstanding.

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