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  1. #21

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    85mm primes and why they might be expensive

    1. They are relatively rare.
    2. With 35mm film, they offer a near ideal perspective for portrait work. Just the right reduction of foreshortening without flattening aspect.
    3. With digital SLRs that have a 1.5 magnification factor, they are the equivilent of the 135mm prime, which is great for street and landscape work.
    4. They are relatively fast lenses.
    5. They are compact in size.
    6. Think about points 2, 3, 4 and 5 above, and then reread point 1.

    I put my money where my mouth is: I'm going to a lot of trouble and expense to have a Pentax-M 85mm f/2.0 overhauled so that it will work properly with my new *ist DS.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by sanderx1
    Rollei introduced a 80mm f/2.8 for their RF35 a couple of years ago and it also comes with a special adapter (expensive) for Nikon F. Its not precicely cheaper than Nikon 85mm f/1.4, even without the adapter.

    [it is also the first zeiss lens for nikon f in a way ;-)]
    Nikon also made an 80mm f2.8 for a couple years in the early 1980's. It was one of the two AF lenses for the F3AF (also works on the N2020 and F4).

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by polaski
    I put my money where my mouth is: I'm going to a lot of trouble and expense to have a Pentax-M 85mm f/2.0 overhauled so that it will work properly with my new *ist DS.
    You can't turn a Pentax-M into a KA lens (for full function on a DS), unless you plan to replace the entire aperture mechanism. K and M lenses are prograssive aperture while KA lenses are linear aperture, in addition to the other differences in the mount and aperture ring.

    Frankly, M42 screw mount lenses work better on the Pentax DSLR's, as you get full aperture priority in Av as well as the stop-down/hypermanual in M.

  4. #24
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    I've been looking at fast Canon EF primes recently, and the 85mm f/1.8 is about £200 - one of the cheaper ones (I got the 100mm f/2 for £250). On the other hand it is horrendously more expensive than the 55 f/1.8. Going the other way, the 35mm F/2 and 28mm f/1.8 even more expensive at over £300 - particulary painfull for the digital crowd, as they need a 28 or 35mm to match the standard 55mm fov.

    The only other cheap(ish) prime is the 28mm f/2.8, but I don't see much point in spending cash on a prime that's no faster than the zoom - I figure if I can only afford a f/2.8 I should put the cash away and wait, rather than jump for a prime that's only one stop better than a crappy kit zoom.

    Looking at the Canon range, if you want a prime other than 55mm then it gets expensive fast.

    Ian

  5. #25
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    What I would like explained is why the Canon EF 85mm f1.8 is generally regarded as an excellent lens (and I have seen first hand evidence to that end), while the FD version is by all accounts a complete dog...

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnashings
    What I would like explained is why the Canon EF 85mm f1.8 is generally regarded as an excellent lens (and I have seen first hand evidence to that end), while the FD version is by all accounts a complete dog...
    Sometimes judgement is a little harsh. Back in the '70s BOTH the Canon and Nikon were regarded as soft-as-a-grape by camera clubbers, but as indespensible by journalists and fashion shooters. Today, the outlook is a little different on the Nikon. It would be interesting to shoot the FD again today to compare with my memory, I bet it would be pretty good.

    No doubt though, the EF 85 is just a brilliant lens.

    d
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  7. #27
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    I have a Zuiko 85mm f/2.0 that competes only with my 35mm f/2.0 for my photographic affection - sharp, small, light, and 49mm filter size. If I recall correctly, it is one of the first Zuiko floating element designs too.

    I wonder if the reason for the high prices and large aperatures for the 85mm lenses can be attributed to the fact that the 85mm lenses are relatively close to the focal length of the 50mm "standard" lenses, so it was necessary to make them "special", in order to attract the interest of the dedicated photographer, as compared to the casual snapshooter.

    All I know, is that the combination of an Olympus body (chose one, any one), plus a 24mm f/2.8, a 35mm f/2.0, and an 85mm f/2.0, is my idea of 35mm nirvana.

    Matt

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by df cardwell
    Sometimes judgement is a little harsh. Back in the '70s BOTH the Canon and Nikon were regarded as soft-as-a-grape by camera clubbers, but as indespensible by journalists and fashion shooters. Today, the outlook is a little different on the Nikon. It would be interesting to shoot the FD again today to compare with my memory, I bet it would be pretty good.

    No doubt though, the EF 85 is just a brilliant lens.

    d

    Are the optical designs that very much different, I wonder?

  9. #29

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    Well the reason for making a "fast" lens is the buyers need the speed and therefore will shoot it wide open. Because of that it need to be reasonably (sp) sharp at e.g f/1.4 and that costs. I don't consider the 85mm f/1.8 Nikkor expensive and if bought used it's in the same range (or cheaper) as the 20mm f/2.8, 35mm f/2.0 and
    50mm f/1.4. I don't know anything about lens design but would there be any significant difference in effort between f/1.8 and f/2.8 in a 85mm for a SLR. There is in 105 I know but....... In other words. When does speed start to cost ?
    I must say I love the results my 85mm f/1.4 gives me and to me it's worth every last penny. 95% of my shots are done at f/1.4 and I havn't gone beyond f/4.0 yet.
    Cheers Søren
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  10. #30
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    85 mm f1.8

    Quote Originally Posted by df cardwell
    Sometimes judgement is a little harsh. Back in the '70s BOTH the Canon and Nikon were regarded as soft-as-a-grape by camera clubbers, but as indespensible by journalists and fashion shooters. Today, the outlook is a little different on the Nikon. It would be interesting to shoot the FD again today to compare with my memory, I bet it would be pretty good.

    No doubt though, the EF 85 is just a brilliant lens.

    d
    I have owned and used the Canon F.D.n 85mm f1.8 lens for many years and am more than happy with it, I used to have the 85mm f1.8 Ai Nikkor I found both to be good portrait lenses, I don't know if the EF 85 is the same lens design as the FD, but I think some of the EF range are.

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