RF 85 1.2 vs EF 85 1.4 auto focus on R3/R5/R6 bodies (also RF 50 1.2)

Started 8 months ago | Discussions thread
OP kobeson Regular Member • Posts: 400
Re: RF 85 1.2 vs EF 85 1.4 auto focus on R3/R5/R6 bodies (also RF 50 1.2)

gimp_dad wrote:

kobeson wrote:

Hi there,

I am looking at implementing a fast prime to my workflow, I shoot a lot of sport and am wondering which of the 3 subject lenses would be the best with focus on the R3/R5/R6 bodies? Has anybody done any comparisons in terms of tracking and accuracy?

I currently have an RF 50 1.2 on loan from Canon, and it is amazing so far. I haven't used on a job yet, but with the kids at home it was excellent.

Anybody got any input?




I have all 3 of the lenses you mention along with the R5 and the R3. My response is based on my experiential assessment of speed and I haven't done any stopwatch comparison. In terms of AF speed none of these lenses are what I would call slow and I would venture to call them fast for what they are. They're all a lot faster than the old EF85/1.2LII or EF50/1.2L or any of the newer STM lenses (especially the RF85/2IS STM is a lot slower but all of them are slower than any of your 3 proposed lenses -- including RF800/11, RF50/1.8, RF35/1.8, RF24-105/IS STM).

That said, in good light all 3 are slower focusing than almost all of the other newer USM lenses which I would characterize as lightning fast. This includes RF100-500/LIS, RF70-200/2.8LIS, RF70-200/4LIS, RF24-240/IS, RF24-105/4LIS, RF100-400/IS (needs very good light).

I just now played around with the three on an R5. I focused on a darker relatively distant wall and then on a closer object so they all had to travel far enough to push the limits. I would rank their relative AF speeds as follows:

  1. EF85/1.4LIS
  2. RF50/1.2L
  3. RF85/1.2L

The gap between 1. and 2. is quite small while their gap with 3. is not huge but noticeable. Again, none of these are slow and I'd happily try any of them as part of a kit for indoor sports. I don't do a lot of indoor sports but I did use the RF85/1.2L with my R3 for a youth ballet show where it was very very dark and I was pleased with the ability to track relatively fast motion with eye tracking. I was shooting 30fps with eye AF and got near 100% in focus.

Which brings up one other point about AF speed. When it gets darker than a well lit gym, I would completely rerank the speed. The EF85/1.4LIS tends to hunt when it gets dark and the RF85/1.2L seems to lock on still relatively quickly. Furthermore, the R3 is noticeably faster with all of these lenses and especially when it is dark.

Hope this helps.


Thank you for the detailed reply, yours is the best comparison I have come across in the searching I have done recently. Interesting results, it helps a lot thank you!

I had expected the 1.4 might be the quickest, due to the weight and size of the optics alone. But I had a lot of fun with the 50 1.2 on my R3/R5 and I found it very accurate and fast, amazing lens considering it's predecessors.

The lowlight AF comparison of the 85's is interesting though, I can't have the lens missing focus if a face is in shadow suddenly. So I would definitely like to test the 2 85's out before deciding.

I had started to think the 1.4 would suit me for my purposes, but I need it to be good in all lighting conditions.
Have you shot anything like a ballet recital on the 1.4 previously?


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