Canon 85L (EF model)

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by RattyMouse, Feb 2, 2014.

  1. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    Anyone here shoot film using a Canon 85L lens? I have one of these sitting at home unused along with the rest of my Canon EOS digital gear. I'm wondering how well this lens would be using 35mm film. I have a Nikon SLR for when I shoot 35mm film so have no gear to test or use my 85L lens.

    Anyone here using this lens regularly on a film camera? Which Canon models are best for it. Do you think 35mm film captures all that the 85L can offer?

    Thanks!
     
  2. trythis

    trythis Subscriber

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    I would say it depends on the film, but really, its got more to do with the user unless you are popping controlled shots of test grids and comparing it to a 6D or whatever.
    Why not buy a cheap 35mm Eos camera and try it out. I am pretty sure you can get one for $10 off the bay.

    Sorry to say that I cant actually address your question, but I think my answer would hold up to the same question regarding any lens.
     
  3. illumiquest

    illumiquest Member

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    I don't understand the point of the question. You have a fantastic lens. Will it work well with film? Yes. What body will it work best with? Probably the best body you can find. Does 35mm capture all the lens can offer? No, but if you wanted the most the lens could offer you'd stick to digital.
     
  4. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    Ok, if my questions arent clear, I'd just be happy to see how folks use this lens with film cameras then.
     
  5. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    FWIW, I found that the 85mm f/1.8 non-L lens was really nice to work with on both a Canon ELAN 7e and a Canon ELAN IIe (one with Ektar, and the other with TMY-2).

    So the L series versions are probably excellent as well.

    And Ektar or TMX will each probably do a fine job putting your lens through its paces.

    E100G would have done so as well.

    EDIT: IIRC, this was shot using Ektar and the 85mm f/1.8 that I rented to try it out:
     

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  6. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I agree, the question seems odd.

    The lens is a canon L series lens, it's a prime, what more can you ask for? If you don't want it I'll trade you for my 50mm EF 1.4 EOS lens... That's been tested as sharper than the 1.2 50mm L but I prefer an old EOS 50mm 2.5 lens with no USM because it's a macro. But could surely utilize an 85mm more than having a spare 50mm. I know your question isn't about selling or trading it, but if it's unused, what's the point?
     
  7. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    LOL! You can bet your chopsticks the 85mm f1.2 is a cracker!! Canon spent 6 years cooking up that lens before releasing two prototypes then the final.
    What seems to be the problem that it is "sitting at home unused along with the rest..."?? And why have a Canon 85L but no Canon body??
    Considering it's cost and stellar performance, I would have thought you'd have taken it on more than a handful of outings. :confused:
     
  8. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    He has digital gear just not a film camera...
     
  9. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    Yep. My Canon gear is all digital. I have never shot film with my 85L.
     
  10. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    No point. Just trying to figure out if I should buy a film body or sell the lens. I have not shot a frame with it for 4 years.
     
  11. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Trade me!! :smile: lol :tongue:

    I would probably use this more than anything if I had one. But I shoot a lot of models, if you're just using it for landscape or city work, I can see why you wouldn't use it.
     
  12. dorff

    dorff Member

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    Well, if you can afford the 85L, then sure as heck you can afford a used EOS film body. Get an EOS 3 or EOS 5 or whatever, and just use the darn thing. I use Nikon for both film and digital. The 85/1.4 D that I have is a truly nice lens, but I've heard opinions that the Canon is even better, so just go for it. What are you waiting for? And BTW, you should by now know that you shoot film for reasons other than extracting the most a lens can offer. If you shoot film because you like film, then there is no reason not to do so using the lenses that you like.
     
  13. TimmyMac

    TimmyMac Subscriber

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    If you decide one day you want to go out and shoot some film, and you have one of Canon's best lenses lying around, why wouldn't you use it?
     
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  15. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    I dont use it because I have never shot any film on an EOS body, nor do I even own one. All my Canon lenses (6) were from my digital era usage. I'm selling off most of them now and feel strong regrets at the idea of selling my 85L. I shoot 90% medium format film and have not really gotten attached to 35mm film. So I'm conflicted about what to do with this lens. I have a Nikon FM2 and 85mm f/2 AIS lens. Would the Canon 85L be THAT much better than this gear?
     
  16. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I'm a canon user and canon fan...

    That said, you won't notice much difference with film between those two lenses except the auto focus ability in low light will be slightly better with the wider aperture and focus will probably be "slightly" faster with the Canon. But it's not worth fretting over.

    Sell the Canon lens and keep the Nikon gear. No need to own two film SLR systems that aren't interchangeable, much more valuable to have 2 of the same systems... (Like 2 nikons with different lenses on them, or one as a backup for important events).

    If you were using digital I would say stick with Canon.

    But unless you are shooting with PanF+ and using a drum scanner or printing with an enlarger and printing larger than 8x10, there's no reason to use one over the other, they are both good enough.
     
  17. dorff

    dorff Member

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    I would suggest testing them side by side on comparable full-frame digital or film bodies (if a buddy can help you out with something). The Nikkor is a decent lens, but the Canon is in a different league. That said, it depends on how you would use it. If you shoot everything at f/4 and beyond, then frankly you should sell the Canon and keep the Nikon. If you prefer small and light, likewise. As I said earlier, the AF Nikkor 85/1.4D is a darned fine lens, too. Maybe you could sell the Canon and get a faster Nikkor - either MF or AF versions would be great, plus you'll have spare cash left over. Or maybe a Zeiss 85 ZF. If you don't use something, what's the point in having it? It simply depreciates while gathering dust and going tacky on all the rubbers etc. Regrets? You can always buy another one if you want. They'll be around for a while yet.
     
  18. TimmyMac

    TimmyMac Subscriber

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    What's your medium format system? The money from an 85L could get you some very nice glass - maybe a hassy 110/2, or mamiya apo (or two in RZ land)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  19. jcc

    jcc Member

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    Pretty sure no other SLR AF lens focuses slower than the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L!

    OP: Not putting that lens on a EOS film camera is such a shame. It's a better performer on film than digital (IMO).
     
  20. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    How is an L series lens like that SLOW?
     
  21. miha

    miha Member

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    It's slow for a reason - f/1.2 demands precision for accurate focusing.
     
  22. jcc

    jcc Member

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    That much glass takes a while to move for tiny motors.
     
  23. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Your guys idea of slow is comical... Try a 50mm 2.5 macro lens with no USM motor and then tell me what slow is...
     
  24. miha

    miha Member

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    From the-digital-picture.com:

     
  25. Fixcinater

    Fixcinater Subscriber

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    I've used the 85/1.2 II on film, on an EOS 3.

    Great combo but slow AF. The 1.2 is very much a specialist (portrait) lens versus the general purpose 1.8.
     
  26. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    The 85L is easily one of the slowest focusing lenses I have ever used. The lens weights a solid kilogram. That is a LOT of glass that needs to move around during focusing. It does NOT move fast at all.