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| p.1 #7 · Portait tele: 100L vs 135L...please read |
I only recently (last summer, anyway) upgraded my trusty 100mm 2.8 USM Macro to the newer L version, and I had to rent one twice before I could make up my mind. The IS is what eventually shifted my thinking, because the IQ difference between the two was virtually indistinguishable...Yet, I found myself doing more "spontaneous" style macro shooting, where I wanted to catch a butterfly on a flower or somesuch, a situation that precluded the use of tripod, mirror lockup, remote release, and all those painstaking tricks that produce perfectly sharp macro/close up frames...so, I could at last justify the upgrade. And I love it, too...
I've also owned and used the 135L for a couple of years, and can't imagine ever getting rid of it, even though the focal length is duplicated more than once in my kit; the f/2 aperture and lightning quick AF put it in a class by itself sometimes, and it occasionally helps that it's black, too...I have three teenage daughters who DO NOT like for Dad to point his cameras at them, so being able to stand off with the 135 has always been my advantage...Your girls seem to enjoy it for now (Great pics, by the way, the pose in the first is classic, and I love the colors in the face paint...), but that may not always be the case.
On the 1.3x crop of my 1DIV, the 135 is almost too long for portraits (though perfect on the 5DII), which is why I turn to a 70-200 f/2.8 more often than not...I think ("IMHO") that it would be a stretch for an APS-C sized sensor; I would guess the telephoto "flattening of planes" effect (or whatever the technical name is) could make faces rather flat & lifeless up around that 200mm point-of-view...
If I was shooting with a 7D, I would go with the macro if I had only one choice; though the AF is a trifle slower, you'd still have its incredible macro capabilities. If you could get one other, the large aperture of the 85 1.8 would be a nice complement. You've seen what the 50 1.4 can do with backgrounds; the 85 would be almost the same, with less danger of the big-nose-from-being-too-close syndrome ("Oh Dad, I look horrible!"), which is a quick and sure way to lose a model...
I'm a big proponent of renting a lens before I make a purchase; all the internet wisdom in the world can't show you what a week with the lens mounted can, so I find the fee to be well-spent.
I hope I've explained my reasoning, in this, another of my long-winded replies...maybe I should get out more...