What a portrait lens is and what qualities a qualified portrait lens requires
I don’t know when the photography circle had a strange problem. When I saw a large aperture lens, I thought it was a portrait head. A portrait lens is actually not a simple definition of a large aperture. Today we will talk about what a portrait lens is and what qualities a qualified portrait lens requires.
01Why is 85mm a focal length for portraits?
A qualified portrait lens is not just a large aperture.
First of all, when shooting portraits, you need to consider the focal length, because the focal length will affect the perspective of the face. Some friends will say: Perspective is only related to shooting distance. This sentence is true, but we must take people as the subject when shooting portraits. When the face occupies the same size in the frame, the distance required by different focal length lenses is different, so the perspective of shooting is also different.
The influence of facial perspective
From the perspective of perspective, the most suitable focal length for shooting people is 50-135mm. Among them, the human face is the most natural and looks closest to the focal length of the facial features in reality, which is 85mm-105mm. This is why this type of focal length lens is widely used in portrait photography.
In addition to the perspective relationship, 85mm is a very suitable half-length portrait lens for portraits, and it can also shoot half-length portraits if it is a little farther away. The 105mm is slightly longer, which is more suitable for close-up portraits or busts.
because of 85mm Perspective effect and focal length properties, so it is very suitable for half-length portrait shooting
Although 35mm, 50mm, 135mm can be used as portrait shooting focal lengths, other focal length lenses often have more extensive uses. For example, 35mm and 50mm are more used in the field of humanities documentary, 135mm will also be used for scenery and still life shooting, but after long-term development, 85mm has been used as an exclusive portrait lens by various brands. Now that 85mm is mentioned, the first use that everyone thinks of is portrait shooting.
From blur, perspective, to shooting distance and use environment, 85mm can be said to be an exclusive portrait focal length.
02 Progress from optical structure to the popularization of large aperture
85mm can become an exclusive focal length for portraits, which is also inseparable from optical structure.
Before the 1940s, the optical design of large-aperture lenses mostly adopted the Sonner structure. The structure of Sonner generally uses 6 elements in 3 groups, the structure is very simple, and compared to lenses of other structures, the size of the Sonner lens is smaller. In the age without lens coating, Sonner can quickly solve the large aperture structure of the telephoto lens. For example, Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 2/8.5cm launched by Carl Zeiss in 1933 is adopting the Sonnar structure.
1933 Zeiss The released 2/8.5cm lens is quite famous in the manual circle. It uses the Sonner structure.
With the emergence of the coating process, the lens can use more lenses to achieve better shooting pictures. quality. The Gaussian structure has gradually become the mainstream optical design of 50-85mm. Take Canon as an example. Canon released its first 85mm lens in January 1948. The model is Serenar 85mm f/2 I. This is also the third lens in the history of the Canon brand.
Canon First The 85mm lens is the Serenar 85mm f/2 I introduced in 1948
Canon’s original lens series was named Serenar, which means “clear”. The lens at that time was a rangefinder camera lens, and the Serenar 85mm f/2 I was the originator of the Canon 85mm series. This lens uses a very classic Gaussian structure with an optical design structure of 6 elements in 4 groups, laying the foundation for the subsequent development of the 85mm lens.
Canon Serenar 85mm F/2 real shot samples
At the end of the 1940s, with the use of Gaussian structure, various brands began to experiment with large aperture 85mm lenses. In 1948, Leica took the lead in introducing Ernst Leitz Wetzlar 1: 1.5 f=8.5 SUMMAREX, and in 1951, Nikon took the lead in introducing the Nikkor-S 1: 1.5 f=8.5cm.
In contrast, Canon at that time was still a start-up company, but in terms of optical design, Canon followed up very quickly. Canon improved the 85mm f/2 in 1951 and introduced the Serenar 85mm f/1.9 I. Based on the 85mm f/1.9 I, the Serenar 85mm f/1.5 I was introduced in 1952. This lens still continues the Gauss optical design, which is close to the 85mm f/1.4 aperture that we are now familiar with.
1952, Canon launched the Serenar 85mm f/1.5 I with 20 aperture blades
This lens is designed with an optical structure of 7 elements in 4 groups, but the most interesting thing is that the lens aperture blades are as high as 20 elements. . The blur ability of the portrait lens is vividly interpreted. In 1960, after the Canon label was used, this lens also appeared on the Canon SLR series body, the model is CANON 85mm f/1.5 II.
This era Several of the 85mm f/1.5, all have 20 aperture blade designs
Canon 85mm f/1.5 real shots
Canon introduced the R85mm f/1.8 in 1961, and in 1964, the more common FL 85mm f/1.8 lens came out . In 1974, Canon released the FD85mm f/1.8 S.S.C. . It can be said that from 1952 to 1974, 85mm did not change much, but f/1.8 gradually became a mainstream 85mm aperture configuration.
launched in 1974 FD85mm f/1.8 SSC. , Now it is quite mature
has reached FD85mm f/1.8 S.S.C. In fact, the 85mm of this era can already rely on the latest coating technology to suppress the dispersion under large apertures, and to suppress coma through the continuous improvement of the lens optical design. The 85mm f/1.8 of this era is a mature enough practical lens.
In the last century, Nikon and Canon experienced a crazy optical design competition. But back to the civilian field, the Nikon F mount has an inner diameter of 44mm, which greatly limits the development of Nikon’s large aperture lens. For this reason, although the development of Canon lenses was often later than other brands before the 1960s, with the gradual popularity of large-aperture lenses, Canon’s advantages began to emerge.
In 1976, Canon introduced the FD85mm f/1.2 S.S.C. , This lens is the first time that the Canon system has used a large aperture of F1.2 on 85mm. This lens adopts an optical design of 8 elements in 6 groups, and compensates for aberrations by adopting an aspheric lens optical system, so that the lens can achieve extremely high resolution even at the maximum aperture. This lens also uses a rare floating lens group to solve the problem of reduced image quality caused by aberration changes during close-up.
1976 Canon Introduced the FD85mm f/1.2 SSC.
At the time, the value of this lens was very significant. At that time, few mature 85mm could achieve apertures above f/1.8. The appearance of this lens was very eye-catching at the time.
F1.2 is a potion with a large aperture. Once used, it will become addictive. In 1980, Canon introduced a very peculiar lens, the New FD85mm f/1.2L. This lens is considered the original form of the modern 85mm f/1.2. Later, Canon’s classic red circle logo has been used on this lens. Since then, the 85mm f/1.2 has become one of Canon’s most representative lenses.
4 years later , With the use of New FD mount, New FD85mm f/1.2L came out
whether it is FD85mm f/1.2 SSC. It was the New FD85mm f/1.2L, and its image quality was quite a sensation at the time. These two lenses bring incredible out-of-focus blur effects and excellent large-aperture image quality. It was also from this lens that Canon established its dominant role in the 85mm focal length. Today, it is still difficult for Nikon or Sony to shake Canon’s position in 85mm.
New FD85mm f /1.2L shooting samples
In 1989, Canon’s first generation EF85mm f/1.2L USM and EF50mm f/1.0L USM came out. The new generation of 85mm f/1.2 adopts a design of 8 elements in 7 groups, with one aspherical lens and two high-refractive lenses. It can obtain excellent resolution even when the maximum aperture is used. At the same time, the lens adopts a floating system to correct coma aberration. High image quality.
Released in 1989 EF 85mm f/1.2L and New FD85mm f/1.2L
It is worth noting that this EF 85mm f/1.2 already has a USM motor. In this era, the autofocus performance of the lens is very weak, especially the 85mm lens with a large lens, driving is particularly difficult. Therefore, this lens can achieve smooth autofocus, which is quite difficult.
In 2006, Canon launched the EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM lens, which is also the most familiar generation of 85mm f/1.2 lens. This lens has been improved on the basis of the previous generation lens, and this lens has become one of the favorite lenses for many portrait lovers.
From nFD85mm f /1.2 to EF 85mm f/1.2 L II USM
The so-called 85mm f/1.2 of Canon has always been loved by people. On the one hand, people think that this lens can carry Here comes the super bokeh effect under f/1.2. On the other hand, the image quality of this lens, whether it was the 1989 version or the 2006 version, was impeccable at the time.
Canon EF 85mm Real shots of f/1.2 L II USM
Since the release of Canon’s first 85mm f/1.2, these lenses have accompanied photographers around the world to record many classic scenes. It can be said that 85mm f/1.2 has become a landmark lens focal length for portrait shooting.
Canon EF 85mm The f/1.2 L II USM is kindly called big eyes by netizens.
04 The journey of the new era RF85mm F1.2
The EF 85mm f/1.2 released in 2006 looks a bit old now Old. In 2017, Canon updated a new generation of EF
85mm lens, but this time f/1.2 did not arrive, and replaced it with an EF 85/1.4L IS USM.
Canon 2017 EF 85/1.4L IS USM comes out
Compared with the previous 85mm f/1.2, this lens has obvious advantages in focusing. The new lens focuses simply and sharply, and it has an IS optical image stabilization component. , The overall experience has been greatly improved.
How big is the gap between f/1.2 and f/1.4? In fact, when shooting portraits, f/1.4 is sufficient from a practical point of view, but the aperture of f/1.2 is more attractive. From the overall performance point of view, whether it is the full-open image quality and sharpness, or dispersion control, or the volume and weight of the lens and focusing speed, the new generation of EF 85mm f/1.4 is undoubtedly better than the older generation of EF 85mm f/1.2.
Canon EF 85mm f/1.4 real shot samples
But what people have had, they don’t want to lose again. In the era of micro-single, Canon RF85mm F1.2 L USM debuted again. There are not many brands that can realize the 85mm f/1.2 native large aperture lens. Canon’s current 85mm f/1.2 is the only original 85mm f/1.2 micro-single lens among the three original manufacturers of Canon, Nikon and Sony. .
Canon RF85mm F1 .2 L USM is the only original 85mm f/1.2 of the three companies
The biggest feature of this lens is its excellent image quality when fully opened. Compared with the previous 85mm f/1.2, the full-open image quality of the new lens has reached a new height. Not only the full-open image is extremely sharp, but also the BR lens is used, so it is almost difficult to detect the edge dispersion of the picture when fully opened. . Therefore, we can rest assured to use the full aperture for shooting in various environments, without worrying that various unfavorable factors will interfere with the picture.
Excellent painting Quality and fine focus are the biggest advantages of this lens
The weight of the new lens has reached 1195g. From the perspective of volume and weight, this lens is definitely a heavyweight product. It is necessary to promote such a lens Fast focusing is also a test for the focus motor. Since Canon EOS R/EOS RP both have a full-pixel dual-core focusing system, and the lens motor has sufficient driving force, this lens has a very good focusing speed whether it is shooting during the day or under low light.
Canon RF85mm F1 .2 Real shot samples
85mm, Canon has always been proud of its focal length. From the first Serenar 85mm f/2 I in 1948 to the Canon RF85mm F1.2 L USM in 2019, Canon’s 85mm lens has undergone several evolutions. At present, 85mm f/1.2 belongs to Canon’s exclusive focal length, and other brands have not yet matched with Canon’s autofocus 85mm f/1.2 lens. This lens is also a well-deserved portrait mirror among the current Canon lenses.
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