Is faster really better (studio, portrait)?

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
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MinAZ
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Is faster really better (studio, portrait)?
5 months ago

I've been reading any number of reviews on various websites/youtube comparing the desirability of various lenses for portrait/studio photography. One thing that puzzles me and I'd appreciate it if someone could clue me in is why the pros seem to value higher speed lenses. As an example, the Canon 85mm f/1.8 is considered a very good "starter" lens for portrait photography, but a pro might use the Canon 85mm f/1.2L instead (at several multiples of the 1.8's price). Besides the advantages in build quality which L lenses have, why would it make sense to pay extra for the one stop difference? I do get that in low light, sometimes that extra stop makes the difference, but in studio/portraits, most often lighting is available and when I look at the settings used, the pros anyway shoot from f/5.6 - f/8. So if you are shooting in that range, is there a difference between a f/1.8 lens shooting at f/5.6 and a f/1.2L lens shooting at f/5.6?

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