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Canon 85mm 1.2 or Sigma 85mm 1.4?

stevostevo Member
edited February 2012 in wedding photography
Following from my previous post about thinking of moving to Nikon, I've decided to stay put and today added the 70-200 f2.8 IS II zoom and 100mm f2.8 L macro to my lenses. The canonrumours.com site seems sure the new 5D mk3 will be announced on Monday, and the (almost) confirmed spec's look fine to me. 22MP vs too many on the D800, dual card slots that the D700 doesnt have, good ISO spec's, most likely sensor cleaning that the D3 doesnt have. So I'm expecting to preorder once announced.

Anyway, my first question is whether to add the Canon 85mm 1.2 or Sigma 85mm 1.4 to my lenses? I really love the look of the 1.2 lens...
Also, whether better to add the 24mm 1.4L or 35mm 1.4L or an alternative? I'm planning to buy one of these as my wide zoom is the Canon 24-105 and a long way from F1.4.

My current lenses are 15mm fisheye, 50mm f1.4, 24-105 F4L, 70-200 F2.8L IS II, 100mm L macro, 300mm F4L.

Pretty much all of my photography is in weddings - candid shots, portraits, action shots.

Thanks for any opinions!



  • Hi Steve,

    Since you mentioned that pretty much all of your photography is in weddings i would reconsider your standard zoom. f/4 vs f/2.8 makes a huge difference to me. I would be lost without a f/2.8 standard zoom (in combination with a decent speedlight and BFT).

    I have seen good results from the 24-105 f/4 but for weddings and candids i definitely prefer a f/2.8.

    As a Nikon shooter i don't have any experience with the f/1.2 85 (nor the sigma equivalent.) So i cannot comment on that one.

    Hope this helps,
  • Hi Jeroen,

    As it happens I have a Tamron 28-75 f2.8 zoom that I kept after buying the 24-105 f4 L. I haven't been using it though, longer reach and better saturation of the 24-105 wins (but the tamron was a handy backup when my 24-105 L lens started giving error 99 at crucial times during a wedding a few months ago).

    Will look at the new 28-70 Canon L mk2 when prices settle, or if it comes as a kit lens with the 5d mk3, should be a great combination.

    I use two 580ex2 speedlites with Neils black foamy thing, and the 70-200 f2.8 is mostly used for candids during and after the procession/ leaving the church. I tend to use the 50mm 1.4 outside the church to capture the emotion of meeting and greeting, using manual focus so the lens doesn't hunt as guests pass between the lens and the bride and groom.

    My new 70-200 f2.8 IS II canon zoom arrived today, and...Wow! It locks on instantly, and in a quick test seems to give handheld shots at 1/30 sec at around 135mm no problem, nice and sharp.

    At the moment I'm planing to buy the sigma 85mm 1.4, will buy locally rather than from Amazon etc as its not too much more expensive than online, I am concerned about the front or back focusing/ hunting issues some buyers have and I can test it and it would be easier to return locally.

    Also planning to buy the 35mm 1.4L instead of the 24mm unless anyone hear cares to convince me otherwise!
  • i sold my 85 f1.2 II. it's hard to mount because of its size, free wheeling focus ring and exposed rear element. great lens though but for an event shooter who works under duress and poor light in my case it was an accident waiting to happen.
  • stevostevo Member
    Thanks Kenny that confirms to me that the sigma 85mm is the way to go.

    I just preordered a 5d mk 3, the spec for this body looks to be exactly right for wedding photography, namely:

    - native ISO 25,600
    - 6 frames per second
    - 61 focus points mostly cross type
    - 7d type metering
    - Dual cards for peace of mind and medium jpegs to the sd card for a quick slide show, or eye fi sd card to send to a laptop
    - star rating of photos in camera so you can quickly find good shots off the sd card for 'on the day' slide shows
    - medium and small raw sizes for candid shots - I can imagine using this for machine gunning the reactions as people leave the church at weddings and meet the newlyweds
    - sensor cleaning in camera
    - uses 5d 2 batteries I believe

    Overall it's exactly everything I had hoped for, and best of all I'm first on the preorder list at berminghamcameras in dublin, expecting my new camera end of this month.

    Still stuck on 24mm vs 35mm f1.4 though...
  • DaubsDaubs Member
    I'm shooting Nikon D700 and contemplated the Nikkor vs. the Sigma 85mm f/1.4. Went Sigma and LOVE the lens. It's 1/2 price of the Nikkor...D
  • stevostevo Member
    Thanks Daubs, definitely made my mind up to go with the sigma so. I also bought both the 24mm f1.4L II and the 35mm f1.4L today from amazon.de, will see which gets the most use, might sell whichever I use the least.

    I'm really sold on f1.4 apertures now, was taking photos at a christening today and my 50mm f1.4 gave some great ambient light shots. I've now got the 24mm 1.4L II, 35mm 1.4L, 50mm 1.4, with the 85mm 1.4 sigma probably coming next week. Adding the 15mm fisheye, 24-105L and 70-200 2.8L II and I've no excuses from now on! Will post a few shots when Ive had a chance to use all the new lenses.
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