Quick comparison RF 85 f/2 vs EF 85 f/1.4

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evertdoorn Forum Member • Posts: 86
Quick comparison RF 85 f/2 vs EF 85 f/1.4
16

The other RF 85 f/2 thread seems to be full, so here's a very quick and rough comparison between these lenses, if anyone's interested. Haven't seen this yet in other reviews.

At f/2 there's very little in terms of sharpness and contrast between the two. Just as the Gordon Lang review showed, the bokeh of the RF version is a bit harsher though.

Master619
Master619 Forum Member • Posts: 92
Re: Quick comparison RF 85 f/2 vs EF 85 f/1.4
4

evertdoorn wrote:

The RF85 seems much better here (apart from the bokeh). Better contrast, sharpness and less fringing, really clean.

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OP evertdoorn Forum Member • Posts: 86
Re: Quick comparison RF 85 f/2 vs EF 85 f/1.4
1

Master619 wrote:

evertdoorn wrote:

The RF85 seems much better here (apart from the bokeh). Better contrast, sharpness and less fringing, really clean.

good point, didn't even pay attention to that.

fyi for both lenses I had profile corrections on, including 'remove CA'. In manual correction adding about 2 or 3 points to defringe amounts fixes it, but apparently in this case, with default settings, the RF does indeed do a bit better

(unknown member) Regular Member • Posts: 438
Re: Quick comparison RF 85 f/2 vs EF 85 f/1.4
6

Don’t love the harsh RF bokeh.
I got rid of the 24-105 f/4 for that reason.
👎🏼

Now it makes even more sense to hold onto the good EF lenses & use with adapters.

For the record the 85 1.8 performs amazingly well with adapter.

Karl_Guttag Contributing Member • Posts: 717
Re: Quick comparison RF 85 f/2 vs EF 85 f/1.4
1

What I find interesting is that many things, but not everything is redder in the F1.4 lens. While I could see it with my eyes, I confirmed with the eye-dropper in Photoshop.

Particularly note the word "Frutatto" band on the neck of the bottle. On the F2 lens it is more greenish-gray and on the F1.4 lens, it is clearly redder. It also is redder on the larger main label.

Also on the curved "Una Spremuta Di Olive" red banner on the main label. It is clearly more red on the F1.4 than the F2.

The "Monini" seems more green and contrasty. The "dal 1920" has the same red shift.

In some other areas of the image, such as the "white" part of the label, the color (nearly neutral white/grey) seems to be almost identical between the two lenses.

I'm not sure which is more correct, but there is a considerable color difference in spots. I would suspect that it is a processing difference rather than that much difference in the lenses themselves.

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OP evertdoorn Forum Member • Posts: 86
Re: Quick comparison RF 85 f/2 vs EF 85 f/1.4

Maybe in the way LR works with the profile; otherwise, everything is exactly the same, setting-wise. Not only camera settings, but also LR settings (WB, slider settings, etc)

So it would be something internal going in the LR engine.

OP evertdoorn Forum Member • Posts: 86
Re: Quick comparison RF 85 f/2 vs EF 85 f/1.4

Lisa Kiehls wrote:

Don’t love the harsh RF bokeh.
I got rid of the 24-105 f/4 for that reason.
👎🏼

Now it makes even more sense to hold onto the good EF lenses & use with adapters.

For the record the 85 1.8 performs amazingly well with adapter.

I suppose that may be indeed the biggest downpoint for me for this lens. That's why I'm contemplating keeping both lenses: the adapted 85 1.4 when I want the best quality (portraits, for example); the 85 f/2 for small and lightweight reportage jobs (weddings, assignments) and travel lens.

In the Gordon Lang review, the 85 1.8 did indeed show nicer bokeh but on the 5D IV I already found the lack of 'punch' and sharpness a reason to sell it again; on the R5 those 45 mpixels will really show its age. I guess it all depends on your personal preferences and what you'd find important.

jwilliams Veteran Member • Posts: 6,113
Looks ...

Looks pretty close. Indeed the RF has a bit harsher bokeh, but the reality is any differences (bokeh, color, etc., etc.) could be adjusted to make one like like the other. Only thing the EF lens brings is the f1.4 ability and the much better USM motor which I'd really like to have in the RF lens.

Looking at the RF version it makes me wonder for about the 10.000th time why camera manufacturers don't provide more AI based processing. The real difference between them to me is the EF has better bokeh, but this should be able to be provided in JPGs by clicking a 'smooth bokeh' setting that should be available. This isn't something magic or new as phones have been doing similar adjustments for years.

Thanks for providing the samples.

-- hide signature --

Jonathan

OP evertdoorn Forum Member • Posts: 86
Re: Looks ...

You're more than welcome.

Although it's true phones can do a lot, I still think it's a bit harder to faithfully recreate the bokeh of a better lens, IMO. And many people would rather prefer to have this out of the box, instead of having to put work in it in post processing. That said, if you don't process that many images I'm sure a nice result could be gotten in PS.

thunder storm Senior Member • Posts: 7,137
Re: Quick comparison RF 85 f/2 vs EF 85 f/1.4
2

evertdoorn wrote:

Lisa Kiehls wrote:

Don’t love the harsh RF bokeh.
I got rid of the 24-105 f/4 for that reason.
👎🏼

Now it makes even more sense to hold onto the good EF lenses & use with adapters.

For the record the 85 1.8 performs amazingly well with adapter.

I suppose that may be indeed the biggest downpoint for me for this lens. That's why I'm contemplating keeping both lenses: the adapted 85 1.4 when I want the best quality (portraits, for example); the 85 f/2 for small and lightweight reportage jobs (weddings, assignments) and travel lens.

I'm keeping my Sigma 105mm f/1.4 Art next to this one.

Sigma: better bokeh, large&heavy, bad mfd, no IS

Canon f/2.0: less smooth bokeh, small and light, good mfd, IS

Those lenses complement each other well.

In the Gordon Lang review, the 85 1.8 did indeed show nicer bokeh but on the 5D IV I already found the lack of 'punch' and sharpness a reason to sell it again; on the R5 those 45 mpixels will really show its age. I guess it all depends on your personal preferences and what you'd find important.

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EF glass = bang for my buck

 thunder storm's gear list:thunder storm's gear list
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(unknown member) Regular Member • Posts: 438
Re: Quick comparison RF 85 f/2 vs EF 85 f/1.4
2

evertdoorn wrote:

Lisa Kiehls wrote:

Don’t love the harsh RF bokeh.
I got rid of the 24-105 f/4 for that reason.
👎🏼

Now it makes even more sense to hold onto the good EF lenses & use with adapters.

For the record the 85 1.8 performs amazingly well with adapter.

I suppose that may be indeed the biggest downpoint for me for this lens. That's why I'm contemplating keeping both lenses: the adapted 85 1.4 when I want the best quality (portraits, for example); the 85 f/2 for small and lightweight reportage jobs (weddings, assignments) and travel lens.

In the Gordon Lang review, the 85 1.8 did indeed show nicer bokeh but on the 5D IV I already found the lack of 'punch' and sharpness a reason to sell it again; on the R5 those 45 mpixels will really show its age. I guess it all depends on your personal preferences and what you'd find important.

Lack of punch on the 1.8? Did you try moving the clarity slider one notch to the right? Kidding, sort of.
To each his own I guess. I found a great on each camera I put it on. Been using it on my A7r4 recently - results are 👍. Af 👍.
Paid peanuts for it in mint used condition at a local shop. For my money, I’d invest elsewhere and keep the cheap and fantastic EF versions of some of these very pricey and iffy bokeh RF lenses...

Mystique of Tea Forum Member • Posts: 92
Re: Quick comparison RF 85 f/2 vs EF 85 f/1.4

Lisa Kiehls wrote:

Don’t love the harsh RF bokeh.
I got rid of the 24-105 f/4 for that reason.
👎🏼

Interesting... you mean EF 24-105 or RF 24-105 version?

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(unknown member) Regular Member • Posts: 438
Re: Quick comparison RF 85 f/2 vs EF 85 f/1.4

Mystique of Tea wrote:

Lisa Kiehls wrote:

Don’t love the harsh RF bokeh.
I got rid of the 24-105 f/4 for that reason.
👎🏼

Interesting... you mean EF 24-105 or RF 24-105 version?

Bokeh referred to is in the above 85 reference images, also the RF 24-105 which I sold due to harsh out of focus areas.

I am not anal about bokeh, but if you’re gonna get a lens that can blur the background a lot, it shouldn’t be ugly if there’s foliage or anything complex in the field of view.

PS the EF 85 1.8 cost about $225 mint from a store near me. Ridiculous value there compared to these other lenses. Looks great (even wide open!) on my Canon mirrorless as well as my Sony A7riv. 
cheers.

OP evertdoorn Forum Member • Posts: 86
Re: Quick comparison RF 85 f/2 vs EF 85 f/1.4
1

Well, I have had and used this lens for about a year so I know it a bit. Moving the clarity slider is not going to fix things in the same way post processing is going to fix the somewhat harder bokeh of a lens. All I know is that in the end, for my taste, it was not a keeper and I missed a certain sparkle in the results. YMMV.

in all I have used 6 85mm lenses for Canon (85 ef 1.2 L II, 85 ef 1.4 L , 85 ef 1.8, Tamron 85 1.8 ef, Samyang 85 RF 1.4 and now this lens); all have different qualities and uses and for every lens I suppose there’s something to say.

This f/2 lens is maybe not perfect in terms of bokeh, but it really does create nice images to my eyes, and is fun to use, also because you can get really close. Still debating on if I should keep my ef 1.4 or not. Might sell it, because I notice the 85 has, since the switch to R5, has become a much more niche focal length - the rf 70-200 does most of the work, and if I want magic I take the rf 50 1.2.

tkbslc Forum Pro • Posts: 16,260
Re: Looks ...
2

jwilliams wrote:

Looks pretty close. Indeed the RF has a bit harsher bokeh, but the reality is any differences (bokeh, color, etc., etc.) could be adjusted to make one like like the other. Only thing the EF lens brings is the f1.4 ability and the much better USM motor which I'd really like to have in the RF lens.

I don't the 85mm f2 bokeh is different enough that you could reliably identify it without a perfect side by side like this.

Looking at the RF version it makes me wonder for about the 10.000th time why camera manufacturers don't provide more AI based processing. The real difference between them to me is the EF has better bokeh, but this should be able to be provided in JPGs by clicking a 'smooth bokeh' setting that should be available. This isn't something magic or new as phones have been doing similar adjustments for years.

Thanks for providing the samples.

I personally don't like super smooth 100% perfect bokeh. Looks computer generated rather than natural to me. Not a huge fan of the STF or DC lenses for that reason.  I imagine actual AI bokeh would be too fake.

I am not saying I want nasty busy bokeh with harsh outlines, but 80-90% perfect looks better than 100% perfect to me.

thunder storm Senior Member • Posts: 7,137
Re: Looks ...

tkbslc wrote:

jwilliams wrote:

Looks pretty close. Indeed the RF has a bit harsher bokeh, but the reality is any differences (bokeh, color, etc., etc.) could be adjusted to make one like like the other. Only thing the EF lens brings is the f1.4 ability and the much better USM motor which I'd really like to have in the RF lens.

I don't the 85mm f2 bokeh is different enough that you could reliably identify it without a perfect side by side like this.

With difficult backgrounds i think it's possible to identify it. The RF seams to have a lot of contrast. That is an upside and downside at the same time. For busy OOF backgrounds it's a downside.

Looking at the RF version it makes me wonder for about the 10.000th time why camera manufacturers don't provide more AI based processing. The real difference between them to me is the EF has better bokeh, but this should be able to be provided in JPGs by clicking a 'smooth bokeh' setting that should be available. This isn't something magic or new as phones have been doing similar adjustments for years.

Thanks for providing the samples.

I personally don't like super smooth 100% perfect bokeh. Looks computer generated rather than natural to me. Not a huge fan of the STF or DC lenses for that reason. I imagine actual AI bokeh would be too fake.

I am not saying I want nasty busy bokeh with harsh outlines, but 80-90% perfect looks better than 100% perfect to me.

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EF glass = bang for my buck

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Bhotoz Senior Member • Posts: 1,561
Re: Quick comparison RF 85 f/2 vs EF 85 f/1.4

Lisa Kiehls wrote:

Mystique of Tea wrote:

Lisa Kiehls wrote:

Don’t love the harsh RF bokeh.
I got rid of the 24-105 f/4 for that reason.
👎🏼

Interesting... you mean EF 24-105 or RF 24-105 version?

Bokeh referred to is in the above 85 reference images, also the RF 24-105 which I sold due to harsh out of focus areas.

I am not anal about bokeh, but if you’re gonna get a lens that can blur the background a lot, it shouldn’t be ugly if there’s foliage or anything complex in the field of view.

PS the EF 85 1.8 cost about $225 mint from a store near me. Ridiculous value there compared to these other lenses. Looks great (even wide open!) on my Canon mirrorless as well as my Sony A7riv.
cheers.

What were you shooting with RF 24-105? Of course we cannot expect 24-105 f4 lens would give us better bokeh than 85 f1.8... Any 24-205 f4 lens cannot blur the background a lot.

Powerdoc Veteran Member • Posts: 3,590
Re: Quick comparison RF 85 f/2 vs EF 85 f/1.4
1

Thanks for your test comparison.

The contrast, sharpness of the RF 85 F2 IS Macro is great. The bokey is not as good as the L, but it's a natural downside of a very sharp and contrasty lens. I am also sure, it's better than the bokey of a zoom

One thing is sure : the 85 F2 is one of the sharpest lens of the RF line.

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It's all about photography

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Eddie Rizk Contributing Member • Posts: 956
Re: Quick comparison RF 85 f/2 vs EF 85 f/1.4
1

evertdoorn wrote:

Well, I have had and used this lens for about a year so I know it a bit. Moving the clarity slider is not going to fix things in the same way post processing is going to fix the somewhat harder bokeh of a lens. All I know is that in the end, for my taste, it was not a keeper and I missed a certain sparkle in the results. YMMV.

in all I have used 6 85mm lenses for Canon (85 ef 1.2 L II, 85 ef 1.4 L , 85 ef 1.8, Tamron 85 1.8 ef, Samyang 85 RF 1.4 and now this lens); all have different qualities and uses and for every lens I suppose there’s something to say.

This f/2 lens is maybe not perfect in terms of bokeh, but it really does create nice images to my eyes, and is fun to use, also because you can get really close. Still debating on if I should keep my ef 1.4 or not. Might sell it, because I notice the 85 has, since the switch to R5, has become a much more niche focal length - the rf 70-200 does most of the work, and if I want magic I take the rf 50 1.2.

Thanks for this comparison.

I got my EF 85 F1.4 about a year ago as well.  It's my first 85.  I found myself needing to do some portraits and wanting a longer low light lens for events, and 85 seems to be the perfect length for most situations.

I didn't like the cannon ball form factor of the various 85 F1.2 lenses, so I got the 1.4.  I also like IS, since I photograph more things than people.

The EF 85 F1.4 has delivered for me.  I'm very happy with it.  But I do love the macro capability of the RF 35 F1.8 and my EF 24-70 F4.   I always see something small and interesting to shoot, when I'm out shooting bigger things.  I wish every lens had that 0.5 or 0.7-1 macro focus.

Consequently, this new RF 85 F2 is driving me nuts.  I definitely would have bought it over the EF 85 F1.4, had it been available at the time.  But now I have the EF, and I really like it.

Do you think you will miss the F1.4, if you make the switch?

Have you done the same comparison between the RF at F2 and the EF at F1.4?  Please post that comparison, if you have it.

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Eddie Rizk
The race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong, but that's the way to bet.
Formerly "Ed Rizk"
My email was hacked and unrecoverable along with all associated accounts, so I got permission to create a new one.

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thunder storm Senior Member • Posts: 7,137
Re: Quick comparison RF 85 f/2 vs EF 85 f/1.4
1

Eddie Rizk wrote:

evertdoorn wrote:

Well, I have had and used this lens for about a year so I know it a bit. Moving the clarity slider is not going to fix things in the same way post processing is going to fix the somewhat harder bokeh of a lens. All I know is that in the end, for my taste, it was not a keeper and I missed a certain sparkle in the results. YMMV.

in all I have used 6 85mm lenses for Canon (85 ef 1.2 L II, 85 ef 1.4 L , 85 ef 1.8, Tamron 85 1.8 ef, Samyang 85 RF 1.4 and now this lens); all have different qualities and uses and for every lens I suppose there’s something to say.

This f/2 lens is maybe not perfect in terms of bokeh, but it really does create nice images to my eyes, and is fun to use, also because you can get really close. Still debating on if I should keep my ef 1.4 or not. Might sell it, because I notice the 85 has, since the switch to R5, has become a much more niche focal length - the rf 70-200 does most of the work, and if I want magic I take the rf 50 1.2.

Thanks for this comparison.

I got my EF 85 F1.4 about a year ago as well. It's my first 85. I found myself needing to do some portraits and wanting a longer low light lens for events, and 85 seems to be the perfect length for most situations.

I didn't like the cannon ball form factor of the various 85 F1.2 lenses, so I got the 1.4. I also like IS, since I photograph more things than people.

The EF 85 F1.4 has delivered for me. I'm very happy with it. But I do love the macro capability of the RF 35 F1.8 and my EF 24-70 F4. I always see something small and interesting to shoot, when I'm out shooting bigger things. I wish every lens had that 0.5 or 0.7-1 macro focus.

Consequently, this new RF 85 F2 is driving me nuts. I definitely would have bought it over the EF 85 F1.4, had it been available at the time. But now I have the EF, and I really like it.

The AF of the L is on another level. I've tried my RF 85mm f/2.0 IS stm, and for low light AF your EF 85mm f/1.4 will be better. The RF is accurate, but when it starts hunting that hunting takes some time, even when you use the focus limiter switch.  The bokeh of the L is also softer, and sometimes you want that.

The build quality of the RF is.... a bit plasticy. Not a problem for me at all, as i want a leight weight option, but i have a lot lenses feeling more robust.

My take on the RF 85mm: it's a traveling lens next to your standard zoom, giving you better portraits than a standard zoom, and the ability to shoot some flowers and other close up stuff combined, and it's also capable for doing landscapes, al combined in just one 500 grams lens.

If your looking for the (a) ultimate portrait lens, you have to look elsewhere because of the relatively contrasty bokeh, and the time consuming AF once it starts hunting. The AF of RF 85mm f/2.0 is not great for events. If you're willing to trade in that fast and reliable AF and soft bokeh for the better mfd you could switch, but i think the L is worth it's price.

Another thing: if you shoot your L at f/2.0 you will have rounder bokeh. To get that with the RF you have to be at f/2.8. F/2.0 is still great for blurring back grounds, but f/2.8 is less so. If you don't care about round bokeh it doesn't matter, but if you do it's another thing you will loose if you replace the L for the RF f/2.0.

Do you think you will miss the F1.4, if you make the switch?

You need f/1.4 when the subject is further away. For head and shoulders portraits f/2.0 is fine.

Have you done the same comparison between the RF at F2 and the EF at F1.4? Please post that comparison, if you have it.

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