Monday, 29 June 2009

And my Favorite lens is....


I hankered for one of these for just about ever but I never really understood just how good it was until I got one

When you shoot at F1.2 with this baby it elevates your work to a different level

In fact I know a photographer who has been asked to pitch for a major ad campaign based on pics he shot with this lens

When I was chatting with my photographer mates who own this lens we came up with a rather irreverent nickname for it

We call it the 'jesus' lens

It is nothing short of magical, super smooth bokeh

Frequently it is the only lens i walk out of the door with, if I could have one lens to use for the rest of my life this would be it, despite the drawbacks...

Drawbacks?

1. Cost £1800+ in the UK

2. Slow autofocus, great for portraits but sports would be a challenge

3. Size and weight, big and heavy (but I actually like that! it gives me much more stability in low light)

4. Shallowest depth of field ever. At F1.2 means that you can have someone's eyelashes sharp and their eyeball will be out of focus

5. As brilliant as the optics are, they do start to be somewhat challenged at full aperture, leading to a softness(which I like!) and dreaded purple fringing

Purple fringing is a type of chromatic aberration which occurs in high contrast areas (metallic objects are particularly prone to it)

I have found a very quick and easy way of correcting this though, or should I say those clever people at Phase One have

Using the lens correction tool in Capture One Pro, you simply click the purple fringing box and it is done!

Not using endless sliders like other software I could mention......

Check out the before.....note the nasty purple fringe around her face and on her earring



And the after....



And here is the final result

19 comments:

Rockhopper said...

Nikkor 17-35 mm never leave home without it. It was my first real pro lens and just like the effect it has on my images. I have found that Joe Mcnally uses a technique for portraits wide and tight. On my photo degree we were encourage not to use wide for portraits.

I just love the effect and it makes the image more dramatic. Price and ease of use are overestimated. But I love it.

edmond terakopian said...

Drew, I completely agree - the 85mm f1.2L II is by far my favourite lens. Its shortly followed by the 35mm f1.4L. In fact, most of my work's done with these two lenses on my 5D MkII bodies. Who needs flash, eh?!

Drew Gardner said...

Hey Edmond

Touche!

35 1.4L series sits in the bag along side it

These lenses are a revelation with the 5DMk2

I urge you to try out Capture One if you have any purple fringing issues at F1.2

cucinatipica said...

AHU AHU AHU, Unbelieveble!!! I've just bought it today!!! XD XD XD
I'm so happy! I've spent the last two night dreaming about it!
Se you soon ;)
Bye
Antonio

Glen Goffin said...

What a timely post! I was just laboring over which lens to buy with my 5D mark II (first). This may be just the nudge I need! Thanks, Drew.

Drew Gardner said...

Dear Glen

If funds allow it, do it!

You will not regret it

Cheers

Drew

Thor said...

I love love love my 85 1.8 on my 5d

I played with the 1.2 at a show and it was flippin awesome!

Tom K. said...

I use Canon 135 f/2L but the 85 f/1.2 has always intrigued me. Your post makes me that much more curious about what it's like to shoot.

Great blog btw.

Tom K.

Drew Gardner said...

The 135 F2 is on my wish list

But where does buying all this kit end?

Ahhhhh

Thank you for following the blog

Cheers

Drew

Jeff Newton said...

The image of the woman in the hallway has a 4x5 quality to it that blows me away. I have a handful of L series lenses but have yet to purchase the 85mm. A bit tempted now I must say.
Very nice work.
And I hope that LR has a purple defringer. I just noticed that in an image the other day. Interesting.
Very nice work. Jeff.

Drew Gardner said...

Cheers Jeff

Well worth checking the the 85 1.2 out...

Just posting about another Canon L series quirk right now

Drew

Natalie said...

Hi Drew :)

How r u???
Hope everything is going well with u :)))

This Lens is on my wish list :)))

Take care

Natalie

Sybren said...

I own its little brother, the 85mm f/1.8, and I absolutely love it!

Drew Gardner said...

Oh Guys

I have been VERY weak

I have just scored a Canon L series 135 F2 on ebay!

It is a peach!

Watch this space for more wide aperture heaven

Cheers

Drew

gothicimage said...

Drew - is yours the MKI or MKII? I grabbed a MkI for the princely sum of £600 on eBay a couple of years back. A week later the seller decided he'd made a mistake and asked for it back. You can guess what I said! Incidentally I've never seen purple fringing on my MkI, which is interesting ...

tokyobling said...

Yep, my friend uses this and he loves it to pieces. I looked at the Nikon 50mm f1.2 but it's the first Nikon lens I've actually rejected out of quality concerns.

Love your picture, but I am annoyed by the lack of focus on her face. Maybe it's just me. Creamy creamy bokeh though!

tokyobling said...

Yep, my friend uses this and he loves it to pieces. I looked at the Nikon 50mm f1.2 but it's the first Nikon lens I've actually rejected out of quality concerns.

Love your picture, but I am annoyed by the lack of focus on her face. Maybe it's just me. Creamy creamy bokeh though!

Drew Gardner said...

Dear tokyobling

Thank you for posting

I just would like to set the record straight...

Her face IS sharp!

It is one seriously big pull up at 1600iso

A screen grab too, so not the best quality

Cheers

Drew

Steven Erat Photography said...

A very good, practical comparison of the 85 F1.2 to the 1.8 found here:
http://www.depth-of-field.com/blog/2010/12/a-tale-of-two-lenses/