seeking advice: 85f1.8 or 28-70f2.8?

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rashid7
rashid7 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,049
seeking advice: 85f1.8 or 28-70f2.8?

I know "it depends", and either option entails compromises.

But I have the Lumix lens on order.  It ends up costing about $750 shipped here.  I could get the coming Sigma DG DN zoom locally for less than $1000.  I don't want to spend for both.

I realize the lumix will AF quicker w/ DFD,  is longer & 1 stop faster.  But I love the flexibility of a zoom, and the Sigma is only 110g heavier.  Probably just as sharp.  I find i most often stop down for greater DoF.

Suggestions?

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Off The Mark Senior Member • Posts: 4,436
Re: seeking advice: 85f1.8 or 28-70f2.8?
2

rashid7 wrote:

I know "it depends", and either option entails compromises.

But I have the Lumix lens on order. It ends up costing about $750 shipped here. I could get the coming Sigma DG DN zoom locally for less than $1000. I don't want to spend for both.

I realize the lumix will AF quicker w/ DFD, is longer & 1 stop faster. But I love the flexibility of a zoom, and the Sigma is only 110g heavier. Probably just as sharp. I find i most often stop down for greater DoF.

Suggestions?

Well... what other lenses do you have?

To me, the 85mm f/1.8 is more of a specialist lens for portraits (even though I prefer a longer focal length like 105 or even 135mm for portraits).

I think the 85mm f/1.8 would be good to pair with the 20-60 if you already have one.

I know you shoot a lot of cityscapes. Would 28mm on the wide end be wide enough for you?

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rashid7
OP rashid7 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,049
Re: seeking advice: 85f1.8 or 28-70f2.8?

OtM, i do have the 20-60, which is perfect for travel, but it is short and slow at long end.  I use an adapted old model canon 70-200f4 for longer.

I don't really require/need either lens, but they seem great ones in respect to the IQ/size/cost 'trifecta'.

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LuxShots
LuxShots Contributing Member • Posts: 687
You kinda answered your own question...

You needing the flexibility of a zoom says it all, but the 1.3 greater stop and longer focal length of the 85mm had definite advantages. There is a reason why the 85mm f/1.4 is thee headshot portrait prime to have. You can get close, but save for only the most expensive zooms, you'll not be as sharp as a true prime.

If the difference between the two matters to you is a personal preference.

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rashid7
OP rashid7 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,049
Re: You kinda answered your own question...

LuxShots wrote:

You needing the flexibility of a zoom says it all, but the 1.3 greater stop and longer focal length of the 85mm had definite advantages. There is a reason why the 85mm f/1.4 is thee headshot portrait prime to have. You can get close, but save for only the most expensive zooms, you'll not be as sharp as a true prime.

If the difference between the two matters to you is a personal preference.

thanx Lux

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rick in vegas Contributing Member • Posts: 557
Re: seeking advice: 85f1.8 or 28-70f2.8?
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Actually the Sigma is a little soft at 2.8 the Panasonic is razor sharp at 1.8

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Off The Mark Senior Member • Posts: 4,436
Re: seeking advice: 85f1.8 or 28-70f2.8?

rick in vegas wrote:

Actually the Sigma is a little soft at 2.8 the Panasonic is razor sharp at 1.8

Good to know. Thanks.

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rashid7
OP rashid7 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,049
Re: seeking advice: 85f1.8 or 28-70f2.8?

rick in vegas wrote:

Actually the Sigma is a little soft at 2.8 the Panasonic is razor sharp at 1.8

Rick, that may well be true, but I always look for a consensus from multiple reviews.

Sort of like a single scientific study being meaningless w/out peer review.

Thanks for chipping in, because if true, that may be important.

Actually, even for landscapes, peripheral sharpness is (4me) over-rated.  If 80% of the frame is pin sharp, i hardly am bothered by a little softening at the edges

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rashid7
OP rashid7 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,049
Re: seeking advice: 85f1.8 or 28-70f2.8?

I don't think there is a lens made that is razor sharp wide open at the edges?

Question; how often will you shoot wide open, and does anything outside the center matter?

The zoom will manifest diff characteristics at dif focal lengths and dif F-stops!

Even, to a certain extent, there will be some copy-to-copy variation.

I'm not advocating the pursuit of perfection.  Roger C. from lensrentals is highly instructive here, deeming the search for perfect copy of a lens = "a fool's errand".  It is also a HUGE dis-service to the retailer (& ultimately the rest of us) to try, and return, multiple copies of a lens.  As long as it works (AF&MF) and is not conspicuously de-centered, I will buy a used lens, and keep new ones!

So we are back to the inevitable maxim that every lens is a compromise, even if the downside is only size and price.

I wrote recently about the Tamron 35f1.4, which supposedly is w/out compromise in IQ and most other qualities.  I bought it because they are not expensive.  In fact it was almost $100 chaeaper than having the 35f2 shipped from the US.  [I had already bought MC21 to adapt canon lenses to my S5].  What was a compromise was the size & weight - almost 3x heavier (w/ mc21) than Sigma 35f2!

Ironically, I can see no dif in my Hi-rez shots (zoomed in) between the two lenses

Go figure.

{perhaps i got a stellar copy of the sigma and a poor copy of the Tamron?}

But I am not convinced there are remarkable differences between 90% copies of the same lens.  I say this because I don't believe, out of the 150 odd lenses I've owned, I've ever had a  really dodgy one.

Furthermore, when you read many reviews of a given lens, they tend to be rather consistent.

Only Roger test multiple copies of the same lens (10).  He has often graphed the range of MFT variation in his individual tests.

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LuxShots
LuxShots Contributing Member • Posts: 687
Re: seeking advice: 85f1.8 or 28-70f2.8?

rashid7 wrote:

I don't think there is a lens made that is razor sharp wide open at the edges?

Question; how often will you shoot wide open, and does anything outside the center matter?

That is funny that you should say that. Shooting with the subject in the corners is one of the things I try to do to spice up the monotony when doing street photography. I have also tried to do similar things with architecture, such as framing a particular feature is a corner and filling the rest of the frame with relevant, but not the focal point in an image.

Usually, you can get away with soft corners in portraiture and no one would be the wiser, so I completely understand your position.

I so very love my beautiful wife. Shot with the GH4 and the beginning of the end of my m43 journey.

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rashid7
OP rashid7 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,049
Re: seeking advice: 85f1.8 or 28-70f2.8?

LuxShots wrote:

rashid7 wrote:

I don't think there is a lens made that is razor sharp wide open at the edges?

Question; how often will you shoot wide open, and does anything outside the center matter?

That is funny that you should say that. Shooting with the subject in the corners is one of the things I try to do to spice up the monotony when doing street photography. I have also tried to do similar things with architecture, such as framing a particular feature is a corner and filling the rest of the frame with relevant, but not the focal point in an image.

Usually, you can get away with soft corners in portraiture and no one would be the wiser, so I completely understand your position.

I so very love my beautiful wife. Shot with the GH4 and the beginning of the end of my m43 journey.

my point, Lux, was about SHARPNESS mattering in the corners, esp. w/ shallow DoF.   I should have been more explicit (-;

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rashid7
OP rashid7 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,049
Re: seeking advice: 85f1.8 or 28-70f2.8?
1

LuxShots wrote:

rashid7 wrote:

I don't think there is a lens made that is razor sharp wide open at the edges?

Question; how often will you shoot wide open, and does anything outside the center matter?

That is funny that you should say that. Shooting with the subject in the corners is one of the things I try to do to spice up the monotony when doing street photography. I have also tried to do similar things with architecture, such as framing a particular feature is a corner and filling the rest of the frame with relevant, but not the focal point in an image.

Usually, you can get away with soft corners in portraiture and no one would be the wiser, so I completely understand your position.

I so very love my beautiful wife. Shot with the GH4 and the beginning of the end of my m43 journey.

fun shot, that

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LuxShots
LuxShots Contributing Member • Posts: 687
Re: seeking advice: 85f1.8 or 28-70f2.8?

rashid7 wrote:

LuxShots wrote:

rashid7 wrote:

I don't think there is a lens made that is razor sharp wide open at the edges?

Question; how often will you shoot wide open, and does anything outside the center matter?

That is funny that you should say that. Shooting with the subject in the corners is one of the things I try to do to spice up the monotony when doing street photography. I have also tried to do similar things with architecture, such as framing a particular feature is a corner and filling the rest of the frame with relevant, but not the focal point in an image.

Usually, you can get away with soft corners in portraiture and no one would be the wiser, so I completely understand your position.

I so very love my beautiful wife. Shot with the GH4 and the beginning of the end of my m43 journey.

my point, Lux, was about SHARPNESS mattering in the corners, esp. w/ shallow DoF. I should have been more explicit (-;

Oh okay, I gotcha now!!!

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Johan Borg Veteran Member • Posts: 3,136
Re: seeking advice: 85f1.8 or 28-70f2.8?

rashid7 wrote:

I'm not advocating the pursuit of perfection. Roger C. from lensrentals is highly instructive here, deeming the search for perfect copy of a lens = "a fool's errand". It is also a HUGE dis-service to the retailer (& ultimately the rest of us) to try, and return, multiple copies of a lens. As long as it works (AF&MF) and is not conspicuously de-centered, I will buy a used lens, and keep new ones!

Agree 100%.

However, a slight decentering is unlikely to matter if the lens model is usually sharp corner-to-corner. Another reason why I'm leaning towards prime lenses these days...

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geoffcbassett Regular Member • Posts: 122
Re: seeking advice: 85f1.8 or 28-70f2.8?

Tell that to the Sony 35mm 1.4

rashid7
OP rashid7 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,049
Re: seeking advice: 85f1.8 or 28-70f2.8?

i just cancelled my B&H order for the 85f1.8

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