Quick 85mm F1.8 vs 70-200 F2.8 IS II

Started Jan 16, 2012 | Discussions thread
Alek79 Regular Member • Posts: 434
Re: 85mm F1.8 vs 70-200 f4 portrait comparison?

Hi Andrew,
thanks for the informative reply whcih seems to confirm my line of thinking.

I'm new to Canon but the 85 f/1.8 seems to be a cracking lens, especially for the price and I suspect most of its apparent weaknesses (color fringing, moderate contrast) can be quite easily corrected in LR4. You cannot correct poor bokeh in LR...


andrewsf wrote:
I have both but shoot on APS-C.

At 2.8 my 85MM is sharper and has softer bokeh. That is not to say the 70-200 is not sharp, it is. It's just the 85mm stopped down a touch is a touch sharper.

Contrast is in favour of the 70-200. As is resistance to purple fringing and flare.

For portraits, I think the 85mm is my fav if you're going to compare them both at that focal length. The versatility of the zoom is almost negated by the size and weight of it.

I had the 85mm first and then got the zoom. There's no risk of the zoom becoming redundant as it is always great to have a fast prime in that range.

The 85mm on a 5D looks amazing and I do notice it comes in to it's own when I shoot on 35mm film. I think you'd be happy with that lens in the interim if you wanted to work towards the zoom.


Alek79 wrote:

Looking for a tele lens for my 5D with a main purpose of portaiture in mind. I don't do any birding etc. and for that I would need something longer anyway.

Which one would you choose for portraits? On paper 70-200 should give you more flexibility while 85 is way faster. I've gone through tens of pages of various shots on flickr and 85 seems to be much better at subject isolation, bokeh quality and that 3D pop. I have not seen however any direct comparisons (similar framing etc.).

What is your experience, can you provide any sample shots or links to galleries? Thanks in advance!


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