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Clothing Designer
veypurr
Posts: 214
Albuquerque, New Mexico, US


What are your opinions on the Canon 85mm prime (both the L-series and the cheaper one) for Fashion. Is it a good one?
Jan 11 13 04:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Fotografica Gregor
Posts: 4,065
Alexandria, Virginia, US


I don't know about the Canon lens per se as I shot Nikon -  but I am not a huge fan of the 85mm focal length on full frame for my fashion work -   it is too long a focal length for full length shots IMO -    I prefer my shots from the 24-70 f2.8 which are usually taken between 40-70mm.   

I find a wider angle to give more of a sense of immediacy and proportion -  I even like the 35mm f1.4 if I had to choose better than the 85 for general fashion work -

I love the 85 for outdoor work when shooting 3/4 length and less - love the bokeh -
Jan 11 13 04:35 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Dean Johnson Photo
Posts: 55,862
Minneapolis, Minnesota, US


The Canon 85 1.8 (the cheap one) is an awesome lens for fashion...and just about anything else.

I can't speak to the L series 85 as I've never used.
Jan 11 13 04:35 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AJScalzitti
Posts: 12,187
Atlanta, Georgia, US


Very good on a full frame camera, a bit long for a crop sensor unless you have a lot of room to backup.  What camera are you using?

I also like the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 over the Canon f/1.8, but it is about $900.
Jan 11 13 04:37 pm  Link  Quote 
Clothing Designer
veypurr
Posts: 214
Albuquerque, New Mexico, US


I just looked at your profile Dean Soapbox Killer and if those photos are with a 85mm prime then I like it!

I have a Canon T3 which I know isn't the best camera but it's the one I bought. I am currently using the 18-55mm kit lens. I did buy a Tamron 18-200mm. A lot of the reviews on Amazon said that the 18-200mm was "a little soft" and they were right. Maybe I'm not using it the right way but a lot of my photos with the Tamron 18-200mm are on the soft side. Somone told me to get a 85mm prime and that would solve a lot of my problems.

As you can tell I'm a amatuer who just wants to take better photos for my own satisfaction. What's a great fashion lens that not super expensive that you can keep on your camera 80% of the time?

Thanks for everyone's help so far!
Jan 11 13 04:50 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
YZF Jeff
Posts: 244
Statesboro, Georgia, US


veypurr wrote:
As you can tell I'm a amatuer who just wants to take better photos for my own satisfaction. What's a great fashion lens that not super expensive that you can keep on your camera 80% of the time?

Thanks for everyone's help so far!

check out the canon 40mm 2.8 pancake, it's come down to around $150 and excellent on a crop. the 85 1.8 on a crop is going to be pretty long but could be ideal for head shots. i'm seriously considering buying one that's listed on CL for $280 as an indoor sports lens.

and of course if you don't have the 50 1.8 pick up that as well, you can likely find one for under a hundred bucks.

Jan 11 13 04:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Dan OMell
Posts: 1,331
Charlotte, North Carolina, US


Melissa Rodwell's favorite is 85mm/1.4 I believe (Nikon, though, but it does not matter here. It was a question during some interview with her about what lens she gonna keep forced to use just one of them.) She is kinda live legend shooting a lot of fashion and uses only primes (85mm, 50mm and 28mm, off the top of my head) on the full frame, of course.
Jan 11 13 05:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AJScalzitti
Posts: 12,187
Atlanta, Georgia, US


veypurr wrote:
I just looked at your profile Dean Soapbox Killer and if those photos are with a 85mm prime then I like it!

I have a Canon T3 which I know isn't the best camera but it's the one I bought. I am currently using the 18-55mm kit lens. I did buy a Tamron 18-200mm. A lot of the reviews on Amazon said that the 18-200mm was "a little soft" and they were right. Maybe I'm not using it the right way but a lot of my photos with the Tamron 18-200mm are on the soft side. Somone told me to get a 85mm prime and that would solve a lot of my problems.

As you can tell I'm a amatuer who just wants to take better photos for my own satisfaction. What's a great fashion lens that not super expensive that you can keep on your camera 80% of the time?

Thanks for everyone's help so far!

So keep in mind on the crop body the 85mm is going to be difficult to get full length.  Look over you images and see what focal length you shoot at most.  On my 7D I am in the 23-60mm range a lot for full length shots, the 85mm is more for beauty shots for me.  Granted I do a lot of that so its a good lens for me

I also have used the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 a lot, sharp lens for under $400.

Jan 11 13 05:10 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
YZF Jeff
Posts: 244
Statesboro, Georgia, US


^^ i'm with you, my 17-50 2.8 stays tacked onto my 7D most of the time, it's an excellent lens. the canon variant, though it does have IS, costs about twice as much. one on CL locally going for $800.
Jan 11 13 05:18 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mike Williams Photo
Posts: 111
Chattanooga, Tennessee, US


Just got the Canon 1.8 and took this http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130109/16/50ee0b89de82a_m.jpg  image in natural light Tuesday. I love it!
Jan 11 13 05:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mike Williams Photo
Posts: 111
Chattanooga, Tennessee, US


See if I can get the larger image to work http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130109/16/50ee0b89de82a_m.jpg
Jan 11 13 05:34 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
B R U N E S C I
Posts: 25,319
Bath, England, United Kingdom


Any lens is good for fashion if you know how to take fashion photos.

Otherwise, any lens is as bad as any other.

FWIW, The 85 f/1.8 is a very sharp lens with lovely bokeh wide open and also super value for money. How you use it is up to you.




Just my $0.02

Ciao
Stefano
www.stefanobrunesci.com
Jan 11 13 05:41 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Dan OMell
Posts: 1,331
Charlotte, North Carolina, US


Mike Williams Photo wrote:
Just got the Canon 1.8 and took this http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130109/16/50ee0b89de82a_m.jpg  image in natural light Tuesday. I love it!

you could fully open the aperture (i.e. 1.8 and not 2.8 as in your photo above) to even better separate her from background. sorry my intrusion, it's up to you, of course

Jan 11 13 05:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Vector One Photography
Posts: 2,589
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US


It's a good portrait lens but a little short for fashion. Most have used the 105mm or a 300mm if you are doing location work, want to compress the scene and blow out the background.  And for the ten thousandth time, correct choice of lens has nothing to do with how big your studio is or if you are using a full frame or crop sensor.
Jan 11 13 06:42 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
j3_photo
Posts: 19,849
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Emily Soto is a huge name in fashion now too...she uses (and which I now own as well and LOVE) the Sigma 85 1.4

Her images
http://www.google.com/search?q=emily+so … 40&bih=690
Jan 11 13 06:45 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Raoul Isidro Images
Posts: 5,929
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


I like the Canon EF 85mm F1.8 USM.

Value for money.

Affordable but with great results.

.
Jan 11 13 07:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Quang Dang
Posts: 2,955
Montreal, Quebec, Canada


-B-R-U-N-E-S-C-I- wrote:
Any lens is good for fashion if you know how to take fashion photos.

+1

Jan 11 13 07:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DAVfoto
Posts: 2,324
New York, New York, US


lot of catalog is shot with 85 or 70-200 work for Macy's and Bloomingdale's (at least that is what we use at the studio) 

So yes it can work very well, just need the room
Jan 11 13 08:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Beautifully Soft Focus
Posts: 526
Peoria, Illinois, US


My fav lens ... here are just a few reasons why:

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/111020/22/4ea0fdbb1549a_m.jpg http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/111127/19/4ed3014c1fd55_m.jpg http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/120509/08/4faa8a69967f0_m.jpg http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/120126/23/4f224c1c588c0_m.jpg http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/121226/17/50dba54059858_m.jpg http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/100918/21/4c958f063d1b8_m.jpg

Be easy

Alvin
Jan 11 13 08:35 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Joey B Photography
Posts: 232
Syracuse, New York, US


-B-R-U-N-E-S-C-I- wrote:
Any lens is good for fashion if you know how to take fashion photos.

Otherwise, any lens is as bad as any other.

FWIW, The 85 f/1.8 is a very sharp lens with lovely bokeh wide open and also super value for money. How you use it is up to you.

This.

Jan 11 13 08:41 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Dave Richards
Posts: 11
Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand


I love the Canon 85mm f/1.2L in general, but for most fashion photography, you really won't use them open wide - which is where these lenses excel.

Go for something incredibly versatile - the Canon 24-105mm f/4L is outstanding.
Jan 11 13 08:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Photos by Lorrin
Posts: 6,903
Eugene, Oregon, US


You already have a 85 mm setting on one of your lens.

See if you shoot that long by checking your EXIF data.

(several programs will show you this data and there is at least one that will take all the data from a folder and display it.
Jan 11 13 09:18 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J M
Posts: 372
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia


Vector One Photography wrote:
It's a good portrait lens but a little short for fashion. Most have used the 105mm or a 300mm if you are doing location work, want to compress the scene and blow out the background.  And for the ten thousandth time, correct choice of lens has nothing to do with how big your studio is or if you are using a full frame or crop sensor.

Pshh maybe in the 80s and 90s in the glamfashion period.

Jan 11 13 10:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ron Musser Photography
Posts: 107
Sacramento, California, US


I shoot nikon and the 85 1/4 lens is a great choice, I either us it or my 50 /1/4  for film I have a Canon 85 1/2
Jan 11 13 10:52 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
xinactivexaccountx
Posts: 603
Los Angeles, California, US


I love the 85 1.2. I started out using it just for portraits, and then started using it for fashion and editorial and fell in love. It does require a bit of space and adapting, but it's like someone else said: you can make any lens work for you.. this just happens to be a kickass lens to start off with. Expensive, but if I only had 1 lens, it would be this one.
Jan 11 13 10:58 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Hugh Alison
Posts: 2,049
Aberystwyth, Wales, United Kingdom


veypurr wrote:
... I have a Canon T3 ...

On your (crop frame) camera, the Canon 35/2.0 or the 50/1.4 would be great lenses.

The 50/1.8 is very very good considering how little it costs ($100) - much better than your zoom.

I love the 85mm/1.8, but it will be a bit long on your camera.

Jan 12 13 01:32 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MarcMarayag
Posts: 77
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


it really depends on what style you want

if you like a lot of key shifting and like shooting at small apertures just get a 15-85 or a 24-105 as it doesn't really matter if you are going to be constantly shoot F8 and up

i enjoy my 85 as i love shooting at shallow dof's outside

emily soto does awesome fashion inspired shoots with her 85 as well
Jan 12 13 02:45 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AG Media 13
Posts: 220
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia


Canon 85 1.8 is a lens I rate - my port has some examples of its employment on environmental portraiture shoots
Jan 12 13 03:12 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SoCo n Lime
Posts: 3,283
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom


yes although it all depends on your preference

i rarely shoot with out a 70 - 200L 2.8 lens on camera body when it comes to fashion work. everything else is to short or to static (meaning i have to move around to much on primes)
Jan 12 13 03:24 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ThomasBlanchardFineArt
Posts: 213
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US


Dean Soapbox Killer Photo wrote:
The Canon 85 1.8 (the cheap one) is an awesome lens for fashion...and just about anything else.

I can't speak to the L series 85 as I've never used.

Agreed.  Great lens but I tend to only go 3/4 max with it.  I tend to use my 70-200 2.8 most and throw the primes on here and there during the shoot.

Jan 12 13 07:00 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Chris David Photography
Posts: 410
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


85mm 1.8 is great value and worthwhile in the kit while the cost of the 1.2 is not easily justified. The thing is you can take great photos with the zoom lens your already have. It might not be razor sharp, have extreme DOF or low light handling as the primes but learning the the craft - especially the lighting and composition side will do more in improving images then a new lens would.
Jan 12 13 07:32 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Honey Stinger
Posts: 6,299
Madison, Wisconsin, US


veypurr wrote:
What are your opinions on the Canon 85mm prime (both the L-series and the cheaper one) for Fashion. Is it a good one?

I have them both. You can't go wrong with these babies. But they are different. The 1.2L (pardon the technical jargon) is creamy, dreamy, supremey. The 1.8 is a remarkable value. The 1.2L on the other hand, not so much in the value department. My favorite lens by far. I rarely take it off but yeah, it's a pricey beast.

This image is with my 1.2L

http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/30978858

Jan 12 13 08:30 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marty McBride
Posts: 3,132
Owensboro, Kentucky, US


Hugh Alison wrote:
I love the 85mm/1.8, but it will be a bit long on your camera.

I never understand statements like this. I don't see where the OP ever said they were shooting in a confined space. They also use an 18-200, which is 2.5 times longer. I think it's really difficult to choose the proper lens for someone else, without knowing everything about their situation...be it camera, studio limitations, artistic vision, knowledge of what each lens will do, and so on.
       OP, I do agree with what others have said about checking exif data on your images. Not just any image, but those that you feel bring out the best of your efforts. Both of your lenses fall into the kit lens category, so forget about sharpness and distortion. Ask yourself if your pleased with the dof in those shots? (the areas in front and behind the intended focus point) For example if your exif data says most of those shots are 5.6 to f8....is this giving you the desired effect you're after? If so, I'd buy a nice 2.8 zoom centered around your most commonly shot focal lengths. If you look at those images (again, aside from sharpness) and you're not pleased, and wish for more control of the dof, then a 2.8 lens will definitely give you an option you don't currently have. If your intent is even more control than that, or you wish to dive into really low light photography, or very selective focus on your portraits, then the faster the better. No one can answer those questions for you. Years and years ago when I traveled all over the states with my job, I killed lot's of time at Books a Million or Borders, going through every photography related magazine on the rack. I read a lot, but I also found the shots that I was most drawn to and wanted to achieve, and I discovered that fast glass, in particular long fast glass, was needed to pull these shots off.
        If non of this makes sense or matters to you, then I'd suggest turning off any image stabilization if your lenses have it, and try the exact same settings you normally use, and use a tripod. This should make a noticeable difference no matter what!

Jan 12 13 08:41 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
LA StarShooter
Posts: 1,750
Los Angeles, California, US


Marty McBride wrote:

I never understand statements like this. I don't see where the OP ever said they were shooting in a confined space. They also use an 18-200, which is 2.5 times longer. I think it's really difficult to choose the proper lens for someone else, without knowing everything about their situation...be it camera, studio limitations, artistic vision, knowledge of what each lens will do, and so on.
       OP, I do agree with what others have said about checking exif data on your images. Not just any image, but those that you feel bring out the best of your efforts. Both of your lenses fall into the kit lens category, so forget about sharpness and distortion. Ask yourself if your pleased with the dof in those shots? (the areas in front and behind the intended focus point) For example if your exif data says most of those shots are 5.6 to f8....is this giving you the desired effect you're after? If so, I'd buy a nice 2.8 zoom centered around your most commonly shot focal lengths. If you look at those images (again, aside from sharpness) and you're not pleased, and wish for more control of the dof, then a 2.8 lens will definitely give you an option you don't currently have. If your intent is even more control than that, or you wish to dive into really low light photography, or very selective focus on your portraits, then the faster the better. No one can answer those questions for you. Years and years ago when I traveled all over the states with my job, I killed lot's of time at Books a Million or Borders, going through every photography related magazine on the rack. I read a lot, but I also found the shots that I was most drawn to and wanted to achieve, and I discovered that fast glass, in particular long fast glass, was needed to pull these shots off.
        If non of this makes sense or matters to you, then I'd suggest turning off any image stabilization if your lenses have it, and try the exact same settings you normally use, and use a tripod. This should make a noticeable difference no matter what!

Very good advice and I so agree about the "bit long" and other such statements about an 85mm on a crop sensor. In studio I may use a 50mm. I shot fixed lens and the 85mm 1.8 happens to be my bang-for-buck favourite on my crop sensor, the beast-of-beasts, the Nikon D7000.

The 85mm It has good bokeh potential and also if you shoot a model in a colourful setting it really delivers. For full-length shots you just need a big enough studio.

I also agree with really thinking about what shots n magazines appeal to you and figuring out how to achieve it. It really is an individual thing. A friend of mine has done major work for portraits on the 60mm.

Jan 12 13 09:02 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Hugh Alison
Posts: 2,049
Aberystwyth, Wales, United Kingdom


Marty McBride wrote:
I never understand statements like this...

Maybe it was this...

veypurr wrote:
I just looked at your profile Dean Soapbox Killer and if those photos are with a 85mm prime then I like it!

I have a Canon T3 ...What's a great fashion lens that not super expensive that you can keep on your camera 80% of the time?

1) Dean probably uses a full frame. She has a crop frame - so an 85mm will work like a 135mm - but a 50mm will work like an 80mm
2)" 80% of the time."

It's just careful reading and simple arithmetic.

Jan 12 13 10:57 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Zave Smith Photography
Posts: 1,372
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US


The Canon 85 f 1.2 is a great lens but it does have a few downsides.  It is heavy and it is a bit slow to focus.  It is not the lens I would choose if I am shooting hand held or in a fast moving situation.  It is the lens I would choose when doing a portrait or fashion type shot on a tripod or in a more controlled environment. 

The 85 1.8 is the only lens that I regret selling.  It is a great lens for the money.  Not quite as sharp as the 1.2 but much lighter and it focuses very fast. Great for candids or other fast changing situations.

While zoom lenses have their purpose, I almost always fine myself reaching for my primes unless the situation is changing so fast that I don't have time change lenses.  I find that primes, because they are faster, let in more light which makes seeing what I am doing easier, they are lighter to carry, and they are slightly faster & sharper.  The prime wide lenses also have less distortion on the edges.

I could shoot about 80% of what I do with the 24-70 and a kit with Canon's three primary zooms, 16-35, 24-70 and 70-200 could cover almost all of my work.  But, alas, I own many more lenses and most of them are primes.  More often than not, I reach for my primes.

I don't shoot fashion but lifestyle and portraits. While I have several long lenses I seldom use them unless I really need to throw the background way out of focus.  The reason I prefer slightly shorter, 50-85 is that I like to be close to my subjects so that I can talk to them, so that I can direct them, without having to yell.  I am often after a sense of personality and intimacy in my pictures and I feel that is easier to achieve if I am at a more conversational distance from my subjects during the shoot.

There is no right or wrong with lens choice, only what works for you in any particular  situation.

Sincerely,
Zave Smith
www.zavesmith.com
Jan 12 13 01:45 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Beautifully Soft Focus
Posts: 526
Peoria, Illinois, US


They say a picture is worth a thousand words ... here's two that = 2000 to further emphasize my point I made earlier. Both were shot with crop sensor  camera ... the first one Canon 60D  ... the second one Canon Rebel XSi. I am not feeling the comments about the 85 being to long. I've shot incredible shots in hotel rooms, bedrooms, and my home studio (when I had one ... 20'x12'). You just have get creative with your framing, which I think makes me a better photographer wink

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/120622/22/4fe55981e2f07.jpg

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/101030/14/4ccc89226fb9c.jpg

Be easy,

Alvin
Jan 12 13 02:35 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Escalante
Posts: 5,367
Chicago, Illinois, US


That for me is more of a beauty lens,
are you taking in to account the sensor ratio ?
I know when I used a 95 mm on my old canon rebel , the sensor ratio made it closer to a 135 mm because of the sensor ratio . 
     Swap & test a few out , rent them first.

good luck
   
  E
Jan 12 13 02:40 pm  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
-JAY-
Posts: 6,180
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


My 50 1.4 is on my T2i 90% of the time.
100 f/2.0 is on my 5D 90% of the time.
Jan 12 13 02:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AJScalzitti
Posts: 12,187
Atlanta, Georgia, US


DAVfoto wrote:
lot of catalog is shot with 85 or 70-200 work for Macy's and Bloomingdale's (at least that is what we use at the studio) 

So yes it can work very well, just need the room

There should be an alumni club lol.  Lots of the 24-70 as well as I recall.

The point is every lens has been used for fashion, fashion is about the clothes period.  Lens choice for any image is partly technical and partly artist, there is no one right lens...

Jan 12 13 02:49 pm  Link  Quote 
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