01 November 2018

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens For Hair Fashion Cape Town

Canon EF 85mm f1/8 USM Lens For Hair Fashion Action
'A small prime lens with lots of potential'

At first I didn't consider the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM prime / consumer lens as an option while planning for the 2015 Partners Hair Design Training Academy Graduation / Fashion Show in Cape Town.

Prime sharpness

My initial thoughts were that the Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM may be a tad short for this close-up hair fashion shooting application, but as a fast, sharp and small non-zoom lens it could just be good enough for the catwalk (if I could move with the action). With all the confidence in the world I paired it with the EOS 70D; using the EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM lens on the Canon EOS 6D for the group / wider angle shots.

Just love 85mm... after shooting with 400mm for months
Great value and sharpness for a consumer lens and I am sure there are a few similar priced Sigma and or Tamron 85mm lenses that could possibly do the same job. If you're prepared to learn how to zoom with your feet the 85mm focal length could work well on full frame / crops bodies (85mm on full frame vs 136mm on APS-C / crop when considering the crop factor of 1.6).

Hair-raising action photography
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens For Hair Fashion Action
The main goal of covering the event was an all-round documentation of the show, guests, graduates and hair models. The biggest challenge was to shoot the extravagant hair designs with the 85mm lens on the crop-sensor Canon EOS 70D. Throughout the rehearsal I realized that it could be done as long as I move close enough with the models.

First image below is non-flash / non-action, but the others are all faster action walking / panning with the models (bounced flash). The last shot was captured during the rehearsal - no flash.

I did not really feel the need to use the Canon EOS 7D Mark II as I trusted the EOS 70D's AF and AI Servo to deliver within the same image quality parameters.

All Canon Equipment Used (during the show)

  • Canon EOS 6D
  • Canon EOS 70D
  • Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM lens
  • Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 Usm lens
  • Canon Speedlite 430EX II flash
  • Canon Speedlite 270EX II flash

Canon EOS 70D / Lens Settings
  • Shutter speed: 1/60s 
  • Aperture: f/4
  • ISO 100 - 1600
  • Focal length 85mm (Canon prime lens)
  • Single Shot shooting / AI Servo Mode
  • Single-Point Autofocus / Lens AF on

(Click To Enlarge)
Canon EF 85mm f1/8 USM Lens For Hair Fashion Action
Canon EOS 70D  / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens (f/4  ISO 400)

Canon EF 85mm f1/8 USM Lens For Hair Fashion Action
Canon EOS 70D  / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens (f/4  ISO 400)

Canon EF 85mm f1/8 USM Lens For Hair Fashion Action
Canon EOS 70D  / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens (f/4  ISO 400)
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens For Hair Fashion Action
Canon EOS 70D  / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens (f/4  ISO 400)

Canon EF 85mm f1/8 USM Lens For Hair Fashion Action
Canon EOS 70D  / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens (f/4  ISO 400)

Canon EF 85mm f1/8 USM Lens For Hair Fashion Action
Canon EOS 70D  / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens (f/4  ISO 100)


© Vernon Chalmers for Partners Hair Design Training Academy Cape Town

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens Reviews