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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Best Canon Prime Lenses?
David Bracetty, Photographer, Assistant
Allentown | PA | US | Posted: 8:17 PM on 11.28.08
->> I'm looking to upgrade to a full frame Canon soon and was wondering if anyone knew what are some good Canon prime lenses to get a hold of first. They would be used mostly for portraits and possibly some weddings.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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George Bridges, Photographer, Photo Editor
Washington | DC | USA | Posted: 8:50 PM on 11.28.08
->> 50 f1.2
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David Harpe, Photographer
Louisville | KY | USA | Posted: 8:51 PM on 11.28.08
->> When I was shooting Canon, I liked the 85/1.8, 50/1.4 and 35/2. The 35/2 looks great, but it's not silent wave so you don't want to use it anywhere you need quiet or speed.

I've heard the 85/1.2 is gorgeous, but I never had $1,800 spare to spend on one. I did play with one at the camera store once - heavy lens...
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Steve Ueckert, Photographer
Houston | TX | USA | Posted: 9:06 PM on 11.28.08
->> 135mm / f-2.0, it doesn't get any better, on the wide side, the 28mm / f-1.8 is not too shabby either.

--Steve
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Andrew Wheeler, Photographer
Capitola | CA | USA | Posted: 9:09 PM on 11.28.08
->> David,

You could debate it's use as a portrait lens because of it's size, however, I have done many portraits with a 300f2.8L and love it's clarity and colour..a nicely looked after second hand 200f1.8L might work as well.

Andrew
http://www.automotophoto.com
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Kevin German, Photographer
Ho Chi Minh City | Vietnam | | Posted: 11:22 PM on 11.28.08
->> Hands down ... the best prime lenses in their line all great for portraiture and reportage:

24/1.4
35/1.4
50/1.2
85/1.2
135/2

I use the 85/1.2 for most of my closer up work and my 35/1.4 for wider portraiture.

Don't forget about their tilt-shift line up as well if it fits what you're looking for. You could spend thousands of dollars for an infinite amount of different looks. I would just decide what look you are going for and then buy the appropriate lens for the time being.
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Frank Casimiro, Photographer
Houston/Sugar Land | TX | USA | Posted: 11:48 PM on 11.28.08
->> If you haven't already done so you might read members comments on various Canon primes in the Equipment Profiles section on here on Sportsshooter.

http://www.sportsshooter.com/gear_index.html
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Robert Benson, Photographer
San Diego | CA | USA | Posted: 12:05 AM on 11.29.08
->> I've owned or own the 135mm f2, 35mm 1.4 and 85mm 1.2 and 50mm 1.4 and 400mm 2.8.

The 50mm 1.2 is soft compared to the 1.4 version. 135mm f2 is probably the sharpest lens Canon makes. I love my 35mm 1.4.

Prime lenses give a look and bokeh that is different, brighter, cleaner and more 3d like than the zooms. There's good reviews on all primes at fredmiranda.com. If you're after dreamy bokeh, the 85mm 1.2 is ridiculous.
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Joel Kowsky, Student/Intern, Photographer
Columbia / Morris | MO/IL | United States | Posted: 12:51 AM on 11.29.08
->> 135 f/2L, 85 1.2L and 35 f/1.4L

Hands down some of the sharpest lenses that I've been able to use. The boken on the 85 is just awesome.
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Daniel Bates, Photographer
Fayetteville | NC | | Posted: 12:59 AM on 11.29.08
->> 35L and 135L for me. They're both beautiful lenses on any body, and doubly so on full frame.
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Clay Begrin, Photographer
Petaluma | Ca | USA | Posted: 2:25 AM on 11.29.08
->> The 85mm, f1.8 is nice, but the 135mm f2 has been a real winner for me. Excellent image quality and excellent D.O.F. Cost about $1,000. One of my favorite lenses
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Richard Heathcote, Photographer
London | . | UK | Posted: 4:37 AM on 11.29.08
->> 135mm f2 and 24mm f1.4 are a must and if you can afford it the 85mm f1.2
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Alex Cena, Photographer
Scotch Plains | NJ | USA | Posted: 7:30 AM on 11.29.08
->> 85/1.2 and 35/1.4 are my favorites but use a 400/2.8 most of the time
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Walter Calahan, Photographer
Westminster | MD | USA | Posted: 8:36 AM on 11.29.08
->> Any prime lens is a good prime lens.

Just buy one when you get the camera.
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Max Gersh, Photographer, Student/Intern
St. Louis | MO | USA | Posted: 9:43 AM on 11.29.08
->> Might as well add the 14mm 2.8 to that list. If you like to shoot SUPER wide, it doesn't get much better or wider.
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Steven E. Frischling, Photographer
Live HVN : Work SFO-NYC | | | Posted: 1:25 PM on 11.29.08
->> My weddings are no primarily shot with a 5D and 20D (full frame & 1.6x)

On the 5D : 14f2.8, 24f1.4
On the 20D: 50f1.4, 85f1.2

I do also use the 70-200f2.8, almost exclusively at 200f2.8 (I can't justify buying a 200f2.8 when I own the 70-200f2.8). For some stuff I use the 16-35f2.8,but the four prime lenses have created the images of probably 75% + of all my work in the last year.

I used to use a 400f2.8, because I had it, but only when I knew there would be very long distances where I knew the lens could be handy.

The lenses need to match your style. My most common combo is the 14f2.8 and 50f1.4 for many weddings.

If you get bored, you can check out the weddings I've shot around the world at www.fishfoto.com
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David Bracetty, Photographer, Assistant
Allentown | PA | US | Posted: 4:33 PM on 11.29.08
->> So it seems the 135 2, 85 1.2, and 24 1.4 seem to be up there. I'm going to look into those. Anyone against getting the 85 1.4 as opposed to the 1.2? Or is the extra money really worth it?
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Rafael Agustin Delgado, Student/Intern, Photographer
Pasadena / Fullerton | Ca | USA | Posted: 4:51 PM on 11.29.08
->> David,

That will be the 1.8 for the 85mm. The extra cost is for a closer focusing distance and that red stripe marking for L series. So for an extra grand, you can focus two feet closer and have an extra stop of light. That choice is up to you. The 1.8 is sweet, however the camera store will thank you going for the 1.2 version.

I love my 50 1.4 and 85 1.8 Most of all I enjoy how a prime lens forces one to make images versus zooming in and out for the desired frame. Once you are in the zone using a prime, the images will come and you can see the difference in quality.

Hopes this helps,
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Rafael Agustin Delgado, Student/Intern, Photographer
Pasadena / Fullerton | Ca | USA | Posted: 4:52 PM on 11.29.08
->> * a half stop of light is what I meant to say
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Steven E. Frischling, Photographer
Live HVN : Work SFO-NYC | | | Posted: 8:03 PM on 11.29.08
->> I have and use the 85f1.8 and the 85f1.2.

The two lenses are excellent, both are bright, sharp, crisp. The 85f1.8 is MUCH more affordable, is a fraction of the weight and size, gives you a closer working distance and is easier to travel with.

I use the two lenses for two different purposes. To date, I have 11 magazine covers with the 85f1.8 and 1 magazine cover with the 85f1.2. On the other hand for engagement sessions and corporate portraits the 85f1.2 is a more pleasing look.

The 85f1.8 has a higher tolerance for being a 'hair off' while the 85f1.2 is not only extremely critical in the exact focusing point but it is also very slllooowwww to focus.
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Nick Wass, Photographer
Wheaton | MD | USA | Posted: 10:20 PM on 11.29.08
->> 1200 f/5.6
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Bradly J. Boner, Photographer, Photo Editor
Jackson | WY | USA | Posted: 11:29 PM on 11.29.08
->> I've been waiting for Nikon to come out with a 35 f/1.4 AF for a LONG time...
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Steven E. Frischling, Photographer
Live HVN : Work SFO-NYC | | | Posted: 11:42 PM on 11.29.08
->> Bradley,

Have you considered manual focus? I have a 35f1.4 Ai-S, along with a 24f2 Ai, 18f3.5 Ai-S, 50f1.4 Ai, 85f1.4 Ai-S, 85f2 Ai and 180f2.8 Ai-S and they are all auto focused with my fingers (and they are all sharp, contrasty and fantastic!)
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Mike Burley, Photographer
Honolulu | HI | USA | Posted: 1:31 PM on 02.27.09
->> In terms of AF, whats a fast and consistent wide prime?
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Lennart Wiedemuth, Student/Intern, Photographer
Ennepetal | NRW | Germany | Posted: 4:37 PM on 02.27.09
->> Mike,
pretty much every wide L prime has a very good AF.

But the 35L is my most favorite lens ever, it is the perfect reportage lens on a FF body.
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Thread Title: Best Canon Prime Lenses?
Thread Started By: David Bracetty
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