Originally Posted by A Y
Is there a particular thing you're unhappy with on the 85/1.8? I've used some of these lenses (85 both 1.2 and 1.8, 200 2.8, slower 135) mainly for action stuff, not portraiture, but maybe I can help. Also what size sensor are you using?
Generally the image quality of the EF 85mm f/1.8 USM is top so I'm not disappointed in sharpness and I've neither had any cases where I had a problem with the purple fringing that the forums talk about, it's just that 85 1.8 is not really that different from 50 1.4 that I'd change the lens for it normally (realistically seen there's barely a difference between a headshot with 50 f/2 and 85 f/2.2 when stopping down a bit, you only see it when comparing directly side by side). So what I "feel" is that it's not long enough as it's too close to my EF 50mm f/1.4 USM in most regards. I want at least 100mm focal length to feel more of a difference. I already get the "Do something so my skin is less detailed" (which will force me to get more involved with photoshop) so I'm not looking to get a lens that is even sharper plus it's not like you really see big differences when printing smaller than damn huge.
Basically what I look for is a longer lens than 85mm that is at least equal in image quality, has the same or better bokeh (as creamy and smooth as possible) and focuses well and accurately (no manual focus Zeiss for me).
The lenses I've considered are:
Canon EF 100mm f2 USM
I heard it's exactly like the 85 1.8 but longer focal length
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM
I like to shoot Macro and the IS is better for hand holding than 1 stop more aperture. On the other hand I have a dedicated macro lens and IS doesn't stop subject motion. Should be the weakest for bokeh, too
Canon EF 135mm f/2 L USM
Heard only good things about it, am favoring this lens so far
Canon EF 200mm f/2.8 L USM II
A colleague suggested this lens as it performs appr. like the 135 2 but is cheaper. I wonder if it's perhaps too long ( --> need to get too far away from subject and holdable shutter times suffering)
The 70-200mm f/2.8 zooms are nice but I already know I wouldn't carry something that heavy and they are too in-your-face for my tastes when out in the city.
I'd use the lens on a Canon EOS 5D Mk II and an analog EOS 3.