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| p.1 #20 · 135L vs 100 2.8L IS for Portraits? |
So budget is tight. No 85L, no 70-200L no option? Mind: the 70-200L vs1 isn't bad at all <tongue in cheek> and is a great buy second hand! My favourite portrait lens next to my 85L.
Anyway, I have seen your photography Azan and it's great! From what I see I would recommend you to think twice about the 100L. It's a great lens, it's made for macro and I find it a bit 'harsh' fpr portraits. That being said, 85-100 is the best FL for portraits like you make. I find a 135 very often too "flat", as if the head of the subject gets a bit compressed. Portraits being shot with an 85 or 100 look much more pleasant and natural in general. Use your eyes, and judge yourself. There are many pictures here and in other Internet places where you can see samples of the lenses you contemplate.
The 85/1.8 is from colour and residual abberrations a different lens from the 85L and I can see why you wouldn't like it enough to contemplate that glass. It's is a lens that I dismissed after many years of use for exactly this reason. But don't make the mistake to assume the 100/2.0 is exactly like that! It is a totally different lens. It is made for portraiture, even more than the 85/1.8 and to my perception from your photography it would fit much better than any of the lenses you mentioned, except maybe the 135L if you really like that focal length. The 100/2.0 has fast AF like the 85/1.8 and build quality is about the same. The opening speed of 2.0 speaks for itself. It's fast enough and creates great bokeh for portraits. The character of the 100/2.0 however is much different from the 85/1.8. Chromatic abberrations are less, but so is resistance to flare. The whole character of the 100/2.0 is "milder". a contrast with more open shadows and midtones than the 85. Real microcontrast harpness comes in at 2.8 but at 2.0 it's a little softer, which is not always bad for women and babyskin ;-) This is the greatest difference with the 100L macro lens. That lens has a great microcontrast, which by itself is great for ''definition" and what a lot of photographers call sharpness, but it's macro contrast is more linear. The linearity of it's bokeh makes it often too harsh for my taste for portaiture with a mood, like Ï see from your 5D and the 35/1.4.
We all know you fell in love with that full frame camera and the 35L. And it's for a reason. A full frame camera in your hands started to sing because you shoot photo's with "emotion". We have seen it in your 35L shots. I believe that photography with emotion is better served with either the 100/2.0 or the 135L instead of the macro. Just make a decision on your preference for focal length. Then maybe the 100L macro is EOSfun for later. Decisions decisions