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Posts: 4
Registered: ‎02-14-2010

CANON EF 85 f/1.8

 

Hello,

 

I notice on line that you carry the 'L' Series Canon - 85mm f/1.2L II USM Telephoto EF Lens which has a price of about $2200 but you do not seem to carry the subtantially less expensive CANON EF 85 f/1.8 version ($300- $400). Will the less expensive version ever be offered through Best Buy? Is there a reason wht the less expensive option is not offered? I have gift Card and would like to use is to purchase the less expensive lense.

 

Thank you for your help.

 

 

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Registered: ‎02-14-2010

Re: CANON EF 85 f/1.8

This lense comes highly rated for indoor/low light conditions, specifically indoor sports photography including basketball, hockey, volleyball, and gymnastics. It would be helpful to know if Best Buy has plans to carry the lenses in the future.

 

Does anyone have any other suggestions for lenses that work well in low light and for action/sport shots? What would Best Buy suggest?

 

Thanks

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Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,819
Registered: ‎01-12-2009

Re: CANON EF 85 f/1.8

I'm not that familiar with Canon (I shoot Nikon) but a 70-200 f/2.8 would be a choice that will get you some reach and be good in low light. 24-70 f/2.8 for more close up action. My 85 f/1.4 I only use for portrait sittings in my studio.

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Registered: ‎02-14-2010

Re: CANON EF 85 f/1.8

Thank you for your response. I was aware the 85f/1.8 was a great portrait lense but I've also read that is does real well in dark indoor sports venues. The other appeal is that the Canon EF 85f/1.8 is in the $300-$400 range (Best Buy does not appear to carry). Best Buy carries the Canon 70-200 f/2.8 but for $2000 which is more than I want to spend.

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Registered: ‎01-12-2009

Re: CANON EF 85 f/1.8

It should work well in low light. Its just the reach may not be what you would like. If you have good access to prime shooting spots at the events, the 85mm probably would work fine for ya depending on how far from the action you are. I've never tried my 85mm on indoor sports (or outdoor sports either).

 

I've picked up lenses on the 'list of craig' (invert the words for the site name that is censored here) for 75% of retail and were hardly used. Are you in a larger city? Some shops rent out lenses so you can try out a lens to see if it suits your needs. lensrentals.com is a good site to rent specific lenses (and bodies).  

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Re: CANON EF 85 f/1.8

Hi jcagrj,

 

The Canon 85mm f/1.8 lens is an older lens design from Canon, and it is unlikely that we would be carrying it anytime in the future. This focal length is generally used for portraiture, and given our market share on prime lenses we most likely have opted to carry the L series 85mm f/1.2 professional lens instead of this one.

 

I don't doubt at all that this lens would work very well for low-light indoor sports photography, but as Rrrrrrr said you would need to be very close to the action in order to fill the frame with your subject. I would also worry about shooting sports at an extreme aperture like f/1.8. The depth of field would be very shallow, and you could end up with blurry images due to any slight movement out of the depth of field during the moment of exposure.

 

I will be honest that indoor available light sports photography is one of the most challenging types of photography, and to be really successful at it the equipment you have really does make a difference. You usually need a long lens with a wide aperture to, which will allow you to set fast enough shutter speeds to stop the action. Even the lenses with the widest apertures won't allow you to set a fast enough shutter speed to stop action at a relatively normal ISO setting.

 

You are going to need to set the ISO to a very high number (at least ISO 1600 or higher), which means you are going to need to have a camera body that has a sensor that does well at high sensitivity. This usually means you need a "Full Frame" sensor camera like the Canon 5D mark II or the Nikon D700 (the larger the sensor is the better results you will get at high ISOs).

 

This equipment is typically very expensive, and out of most people’s reach financially. In most types of photography the equipment is less important than the vision and dedication of the photographer, but when it comes to sports and wildlife photography the right equipment makes all the difference in the world.

 

It does sound like you are on a limited budget. Keeping this in mind I would suggest looking at the Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM, or the L series Canon - 70-200mm f/4L USM. Both of these lenses will have a much longer reach for sports photography, and if I was to pick one of them I would choose the L series lens. The advantage the Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens has over this L series lens is that it does have image stabilization (which will allow you to boost your shutter speed without increasing your ISO as much), but I always opt for construction over convenience when it comes to my equipment. When spending the kind of money that DSLR photography equipment costs I want it to last a very long time.

 

Canon - 70-300mm f4-5.6 IS USM.JPG

Canon - 70-200mm f4L USM.JPG

 

I hope this helps!

 

Allan|Senior Social Media Specialist | Best Buy® Corporate
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Posts: 16
Registered: ‎03-28-2010

Re: CANON EF 85 f/1.8

A shallow depth of field like f/1.8 won't result in blurry images. You might have out of focus photos, but not blurry. Shallow depth of field simply means you need to be very careful when focusing on the subject and making sure you don't move the camera when taking the shot. For instance, if taking a portrait of someone and focusing on the eyes with the center focus point, and you decide to lock focus and recompose @ f/1.8, there's the likelihood that you will not longer have the eyes in focus, but perhaps have their nose in focus, whereas the eyes are slightly out of focus (not in the same focal plane as the nose). Thus, it's technically "in-focus" and technically "sharp", and not blurry. It's simply that you don't have what you want in the focal plane that you intended.

 

But to say that a large aperture leads to blurry images is counterintuitive. You want a fast lens (f/2.8 or larger) so you don't have to use a high ISO in order to get the fast shutter speeds desired.

 

Lots of Canon lenses are "older" designs. That doesn't detract from the fact that the Canon 85 f/1.8 is still one of the most commonly purchased lenses.

 

I can't find the chart, but someone hotlinked (on POTN aka the Canon Forums) a graphic of a poll result on one of the major wedding forums regarding what Canon lenses are owned by wedding photographers. The top of the list were comprised of the 70-200 f/2.8L IS (this was before the II was released), 24-70 f/2.8L, 50 f/1.4, and 85 f/1.8. What surprised me was how the 50 and 85 non-L versions were owned by more wedding photographers than their L counterparts (50 f/1.4 vs 50 f/1.2L and 85 f/1.8 vs 85 f/1.2). That just goes to show that the less expensive, non-L 50 and 85 are still very good.

 

As far as Best Buy catering to the consumer, BB should definitely carry the Canon 50mm f/1.4 and 85mm f/1.8. If anything, Best Buy should carry the Canon 50mm f/1.8 II, which is another very popular lens. 

 

Considering that the 50mm prime is the most widely used lens, even for crop dSLR owners, it would be prudent to offer the less expensive 50mm f/1.8 and f/1.4 Canon lenses, along with the Canon 85 f/1.8.

 

As far as using the 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS or the 70-200 f/4L for indoor sports, I would highly discourage those lenses. f/4 @ 200mm indoors with gymnasium lighting is going to be rough and I highly doubt you'll be able to pull off 1/500 sec with ISO 1600. If anything, f/4 will require ISO 3200 unless you're in a professional arena (i.e. NBA). f/5.6 @ 300mm for indoor sports? Forget about it. Even ISO 6400 will be pushing it.

 

You pretty much *need* f/2.8 or faster, which is why the 85mm f/1.8 is an excellent low cost option, and will work great for gym sports like basketball assuming you are able to be on the sideline/court. The Canon 135 f/2L is another great option. It's mid-level price range (~$1K), but it is a highly regarded lens and is proven to be extremely sharp wide open.

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Posts: 4
Registered: ‎02-14-2010

Re: CANON EF 85 f/1.8

Thanks for the response. It is very much in line with the reviews I have read. Based on it I have decided to purchase the 85f/1.8.

 

It is curious why Best Buy chooses to carry the 5x more expensive 85mm f/1.4 L series lense vs the 85 f/1.8 which is far more affordable. I would have thought Best Buy would want to cater more to the general consumer and not the professional photographer. They have their reasons but most likely losing a sale in this case.

 

Again thanks for the response.

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Posts: 16
Registered: ‎03-28-2010

Re: CANON EF 85 f/1.8

Good luck with your 85 f/1.4. I'm positive it will serve you well.

 

I definitely have the Canon 85 f/1.2L on my "dream list". Considering I spent $2500 on the new 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, the 85 f/1.2L isn't out of the realm of possibility for me, but it's just not a lens I really *need* as a 'serious' amateur.

 

I sold most of my lenses and I'm down to only two right now: 35 f/1.4L and 70-200 f/2.8L IS II. I plan on getting the new 24-70 f/2.8L II when that's released, which is a strong possibility to happen this year (and supposedly with IS). I started off with primes, but I tend to shoot conventions, so I need the zooms for versatility, which is why I'm trying to consolidate to the 24-70 and 70-200 (both f/2.8) to go with a two lens system. Though, I'm not selling my 35L. I love that lens, too much (my everyday lens).

 

canonrumors.com just posted a solid rumor that Canon is testing a revision of the 50mm f/1.4, so we should see that replacement to the current 50 f/1.4 soon (with better USM; the USM motor in the current 50 f/1.4 has been known to have issues, though I did own one that didn't have problems).

 

The Canon "gold ring" primes are definitely worthy lenses (notably the 50 f/1.4, 85 f/1.8, 100 f/2, 28 f/1.8, all of which are under $500 MSRP). You don't *have* to get L-series lenses. I'd say 90% of Canon dSLR owners will never buy a "red ring" lens.

 

If you want to see some really interesting short videos, check out  http://www.youtube.com/user/packyourkit ; it's a bunch of short videos filmed with working pro photographers and the gear they carry. Different lenses for different types of styles. It's reassuring to see how some pros with $5000+ telephoto lens will opt to use the $350 50mm f/1.4 instead of the $1500 50mm f/1.2L.

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Posts: 3
Registered: ‎03-30-2010

Re: CANON EF 85 f/1.8

Though the Best Buy rep pointed out that you wouldn't want to use an 85 1.8 for indoor sports, I know of many people who use this as their go to lens on a budget. I would say Best Buy should definitely look into expanding their inventory. It may be 'old' but it's sharp, fast, end in an economy like this popular. People say the 5d is old, but it's a fantastic camera that doesn't have all the bells and whistles of a 5d Mark II, but is just as capable at taking beautiful images (for less than half the price used, I might add)

 

He also said you'd want a camera such as a 5d Mark II. Yes it has the high ISO capabilities, but you only have 3 frames per second, not much for sports. Nikon does dominate the landscape in upper model sports cameras. You don't get good Canon sports cameras until you hit the 1d series, which Best Buy does not offer (except for the 1ds III, which you'll notice carries a hefty price tag). I would say get the 85 1.8, and you won't look back. With a cropped 1.6 sensor you have a 136mm focal length. 

 

Everything boils down to a compromise. If you have a 5d Mark II, you could shoot with a 70-200 f/4 since you have high ISO capabilities to shoot at f/4. But if you have a model like an Xti, XSi, T1i etc. then you don't have the high ISO capabilities and therefore an 85 f/1.8 is a way better choice. In addition to this lens, you may want to look into the 135L ($850) or the 200L (which actually you can find used for $600 sometimes). When you're shooting in crappy conditions such as a gym, you're not always going to get the sharpest images no matter what lens you use (unless it's a 400 f/2.8 shot with a 1d Mark IV).