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Archive 2011 · 135L vs 100 2.8L IS for Portraits?
  
 
John_T
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p.2 #1 · 135L vs 100 2.8L IS for Portraits?


...another thing Nikko, all your examples are shot with a T2i cropper and I'm wondering if 1.6 is your mindset when thinking about this. You say you now have a 5D, so maybe you need to play around with FF more to get a different perspective and then take another look at the focal lengths. Shooting and thinking are two different things.


Dec 16, 2011 at 01:55 PM
misternikko
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p.2 #2 · 135L vs 100 2.8L IS for Portraits?


I love waking up to awesome advice I am so happy to be a member of this forum

John T - i want to understand you correctly. how would being on a FF change things? Is it because I have more DOF to play with now? I figured doing the x1.6 calculation in my brain would level out the whole focal length thing when deciding. Is this not the case?

Jrscls - i LOVED that lens to pieces. Why would it be better with more DOF? because im on a FF? Please excuse the noob question, ive only had my 5d a very short time. My most favorite thing is how clean and pliable the files are

eosfun - i really cant thank you enough for taking the time to write that all for my own understanding, it was a great read and I appreciate it!

i would feel really guilty buying the original 70-200 knowing someone could show up next to me with the exact same skill set and the mk2 version and potentially blow me out of the water because I skimped on my tool and didnt buy the updated version. I know this kinda makes no sense being that I bought the 5Dc over the 5D2 but I actually read that a lot of people preferred the original version so I rationalized with that. I havent read anyone saying they kept the original 70-200

I see what you are saying about the 60 being harsh for portraits, but it was DAMN sharp...down to the eyelash level...without even trying to be steady and unfortunately (i have no idea why) I am a super pixel peeper and measure a good photo by how sharp it is in the right places. It drives my GF nuts as she sees me delete a ton of pics that she likes all in the name of "sharpness". This is why I though the 100L would be awesome for me. I love it when i open her up on the computer and there is no need to sharpen.

Ive pretty much written the 85/1.8 off for the reason you did. Dont think ill be going back to that one. I am sorry I assumed the 100/2 would be the same thing, Ive never used it and was quite intrigued by what you said. I am a little worried that you said it is soft wide open though, knowing how I am that would drive me, and as a result my GF, crazy as I mentioned above lol. I like shooting wide open which is probably a bad habit. To me wide open means the most possible DOF, which is probably totally not true lol.

I surely do LOVE my 35L on my 5D. But I find I can not get that "sharpness" I want, to eye lash level, unless I am right next to her in which cash the distortion is not ideal for portraits. I originally thought my copy was soft so i sent it in with the 5D to get the mirror recall done and the lens calibrated at the same time and it came back saying the lens was in spec. I then chalked it up as me trying to use a fairly wide lens as portrait lens and expecting the same resolving power at eyelash level which is probably overzealous on my part....which leads me to this thread and wanting a true portrait lens. The 35L is damn sharp for environmental type portraits where you are so far back that eyelashes wont matter...so that is what I am using it for now and I love it. But i do want my void filled as I do like to shoot portraits a lot for fun with the GF and it has in turn brought me a lot of requests for work.

I really cant thank you enough for the kind words about my photography, I am a little set back about it actually. There is such great work around here that I feel like I should go unnoticed. So really and truly thank you makes me want to go shoot!!

(sorry guys no proof reading, im on my phone so excuse typos and bad grammar @.@)



Dec 16, 2011 at 02:45 PM
RobertLynn
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p.2 #3 · 135L vs 100 2.8L IS for Portraits?


I can say this. The 135 at f/2 is difficult if you've for shakey hands.

I will not work out upper body the before a shoot, if I plan on using the 135 at f/2.

On ff the dof is narrow, and a slight shake makes misses easy.
On 1.3 any shake is magnified 1.3x
On 1.6...well you get the idea.

I love the lens. It's a low light king. However, I'm probably more conscious of my technique with it than with any other lens, with the exception of the 50 2.5 at 2.5 and mfd.



Dec 16, 2011 at 02:48 PM
jrscls
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p.2 #4 · 135L vs 100 2.8L IS for Portraits?


misternikko wrote:
Jrscls - i LOVED that lens to pieces. Why would it be better with more DOF? because im on a FF? Please excuse the noob question, ive only had my 5d a very short time. My most favorite thing is how clean and pliable the files are


The 100 L on full frame will have more control over DOF than the 60 will on crop despite the same aperture and field of view. Essentially the 100 L at f/2.8 on FF, would need a 60mm f/1.8 on a 1.6 crop body to give you a similar look. Looking at it another way, the 60 on crop at f/2.8 will look similar to 100 f/4.5 on full frame.

If you loved that lens on crop, then the 100 L is for you on FF.



Dec 16, 2011 at 02:59 PM
John_T
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p.2 #5 · 135L vs 100 2.8L IS for Portraits?


Dunno how to say it Nikko. In a theater with 16 rows, you are moving from the 10th on crop to the 16th with FF and everything is somehow different if you have become used to sitting in the 10th row, and it takes some time and experience to adjust.

Lots of little things, for example an FF 60mm on crop is a 96mm equivalent, not a full FF 100mm, and your Depth of Field on FF will be less deep, both of which may affect a change in how you frame and compose. Lots of little differences, however DOF will be the larger difference...and maybe a source of frustration.

I would also get off the sharp horse and ride in the composition/color rendition/contrast buggy for a while. Sharpness is only one dimension when it comes to a winning image.

Best would be if you rented the lenses that come in question for a few days and intensely get into it, then choose.



Dec 16, 2011 at 03:53 PM
eosfun
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p.2 #6 · 135L vs 100 2.8L IS for Portraits?


I havent read anyone saying they kept the original 70-200

I do. Read my post on it here, but I seem to be the only one here at FM

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1049910/3#9999276

However, how you describe your photography and what you want, it sounds like you are the pure sharpness type of photographer. I didn't see it in all of your photography, cause I read your images as content with expression above "technically perfect registrations". It sounds like you just answered your own question. If all this is what you are looking for, buy the 100L macro. You won't be disappointed. It's a great lens. And whenever your taste may change and you might come to the conclusion later on that a lens can be too harsh for portraits, the 100L will always be a great lens for close up photography and objects that need perfect even sharpness with high contrast rendering. There is a reason I have a 100mm macro piece of EOSfun in the bag too



Dec 16, 2011 at 03:57 PM
adrianb
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p.2 #7 · 135L vs 100 2.8L IS for Portraits?


misternikko: I think you'll get better results using a 5D II + 70-200 mkI rather than 5Dc + 70-200 mk II...

Having a better body means an advantage in all photos... having the mk II of a lens, means having (allegedly) an advantage on SOME photos..

I'm not saying what you should like in a photograph or anything like that,but I think you overrate 'sharpness' in a photograph.

I tend to believe that you think of a person ,while shooting a portrait,as if it's 'stock photography'. (like shooting a bottle of whiskey with a white background).

I say this because I too was obsessed with sharpness and that I got carried away with it and drifted me from the purpose of photography...

It's nice to have a good, contrasting,crisp,sharp photo...but I've seen way too many portraits ...all looking the same, no emotion, framing,no nothing...

I owned a 5Dc and it's a very good camera. It will serve you well with your 35L

I now have the 135L which I find a wonderful lens (although I do find it a bit long sometimes)

As somebody said, the 85 is a very nice fit for portraiture. (the L is way to expensive).

I think the most versatile tool would be 70-200 2.8 (IS or no IS).




Dec 16, 2011 at 03:58 PM
Richard Nye
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p.2 #8 · 135L vs 100 2.8L IS for Portraits?


Since the beginning of time (well, at least the last 10 years), the 135L and 85L have been Canon's best portrait lenses. Why not get one of those? I've got both, and both are amazing. They really make your subject pop. I've seen photos taken with them that looks like the subject is jumping right off the page. Just incredible. I don't think you will get that from the 100L.

I own the 85 f/1.2 II and the 135 f/2, but I never felt the love for the 100L. I've got the 180L, which I think has superior IQ over the 100L for macros. I wouldn't base your decision solely on focal length. Besides, there is not much difference between 100mm and 135mm anyway.



Dec 16, 2011 at 04:26 PM
RobertLynn
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p.2 #9 · 135L vs 100 2.8L IS for Portraits?


I have both 79-200 and I will be keeping both, unless I get the price I want for my version one. Yeah, it is a nicer lens (version two) but not "nicer" enough that I am taking a bath on it.


Dec 16, 2011 at 04:51 PM
artsupreme
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p.2 #10 · 135L vs 100 2.8L IS for Portraits?


misternikko wrote:
I havent read anyone saying they kept the original 70-200




I did and I would highly suggest the 70-200 non IS paired with a 5D for portraits. It's an amazing combo if you are looking for versatility. My 70-200 non IS is not far behind my 70-200II in sharpness. I've owned multiple copies of all the 70-200's and the only two worth keeping are the non IS and VII. I believe you can find the non IS version close to $800 used which is a great deal.

Don't worry about having "old gear"...the old 5D and old 70-200 are just as good as any setup available for shooting portraits. Along with many others here, I prefer my 5D over my 5DII for portraits.



Dec 16, 2011 at 04:56 PM
 

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John_T
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p.2 #11 · 135L vs 100 2.8L IS for Portraits?


Maybe we need to split the discussion between constraints and over all quality of the image desired.

Constraints:

- 100mm will give you perhaps 30% foot-zoom room over the 135mm
- 100L IS may give some relief to shakiness when handheld
- 100L IS may render a high sharpness standard, albeit perhaps somewhat clinical in relation to its color/contrast rendering

Quality:

- 135L optically renders a favorable perspective for portraits
- 135L's color and contrast rendition compliment its image sharpness
- 135L has a slight DOF advantage/disadvantage, depending on intent

...maybe look at it along these lines.



Dec 16, 2011 at 05:19 PM
misternikko
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p.2 #12 · 135L vs 100 2.8L IS for Portraits?


I want them both! haha

I def dont think I could do the 70-200 sans IS at the long end. Especially when there is an IS version available. Im just being realistic. Never really thought about owning another zoom other than my totally useful 24-105 and soon to be obtained 16-35L II....now you guys have me thinking about the 70-200 which I never thought id own due to size, weight and well...white. Then there is the 100/2 that eosfun mentioned which is super cheap...so cheap it makes me wonder if i will regret it compared to the other L glass on the table.

anyone in miami with these lenses wanna meet up? Ill buy ya lunch!! lol



Dec 16, 2011 at 06:00 PM
RobertLynn
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p.2 #13 · 135L vs 100 2.8L IS for Portraits?


When I think of Miami I think of burn notice, when I think of burn notice, it makes me happy.


Dec 16, 2011 at 06:07 PM
rscheffler
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p.2 #14 · 135L vs 100 2.8L IS for Portraits?


Why don't you rent a few of these over the weekend from lensrentals and do a shootout? It will cost you a bit, but should better answer your questions. Also, keep an eye on their used equipment sales, which are updated very regularly and can be worthwhile.

It's going to depend on preferences of course, but I agree with EOSfun that the 135 feels a bit long an flat (for me) for portraits. Not flat as in low contrast, but as in compressed perspective and less roundness.

What I pointed out earlier and Robert also mentioned about the 135 is critical. It's non-IS and you need to be a lot more conscious about your technique when you use it at moderate shutter speeds. You will get blur, though on a 5Dc you'll benefit from a lower rez sensor that won't amplify this as dramatically as a 5DII.

Eyvind Ness wrote:
85L versatile? That's news to me. While I own and cherish this lens also, it is by far *the least* versatile lens in my arsenal. Also, the MFD is pathetic - max magnification is 0.11 (the 135L: 0.19, 100L: 1.0, of course).


Again it depends on your preferences. Maybe not for your macro/insect/landscape photography. The subject here is portraits and yes, I believe the 85L is the most versatile. Whether it's overpriced, is again an old point of argument about this lens. But, it offers a lot:

- Sharp, but not painfully sharp wide open. Rather, a pleasant rendering. Stop it down past f/2 and it really becomes razor sharp.
- f/1.2 for when you really need it in low light.
- Very comfortable balance on a gripped camera. The 135 has a different feel that seems to be more difficult to steady, perhaps because it's lighter and a longer focal length.
- Deliberate AF. It's not blazingly fast, but it's precise, as is the MF feel once you get used to it.
- More comfortable/intimate working distance to subject which allows better rapport throughout the shoot.
- Focuses close enough for 'normal' portraits and even closer if used with the EF12 or equivalent 3rd party extension tube.

But of course, this is only my opinion... With the rebates now, the 100L looks pretty attractive.

With regard to background blur, while there is a difference between f/2 and f/2.8 as well as 100mm and 135mm, it's not dramatically huge and you, the photographer, can influence this a lot by varying the relationship between camera to subject to background distances. For this reason I'd opt for the 70-200 over the 135. The zoom offers a lot more flexibility and the one stop difference for background blur just isn't that huge. OK, photographers will notice it in side by side comparison images, but clients will never pick up on it if you don't point it out.

Another option is the TS-E 90, not because you can tilt the lens to play with skewed focus plane effects, but because it's actually a very nicely rendering portrait lens. Unfortunately though it's pricey if that's all you want to do with it. And it's MF, which the OP doesn't like...


Edited on Dec 16, 2011 at 06:23 PM · View previous versions



Dec 16, 2011 at 06:18 PM
misternikko
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p.2 #15 · 135L vs 100 2.8L IS for Portraits?


why does everyone think that?? lol it cracks me up because no one here likes that show at all...its so not miami, at least the miami ive know for the 14 years ive been here.

is jersey shore really like jersey shore lol?



Dec 16, 2011 at 06:19 PM
misternikko
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p.2 #16 · 135L vs 100 2.8L IS for Portraits?


yeah the TS-E are a little too pricey for sure and the MF is def not my slice of cake.

I think where I am currently at is the 100/2 vs the 100/2.8L IS. Cant seem to find many examples with the 100/2 though and am worried about the purple fringing I hated on the 85/1.8 wide open which is where I intend to shoot all of these options.

I want to love the 135, well I do based on photos ive seen (strangers project in the people photography forum) but am quite nervous it will be too long and unusable indoors/tight spaces. maybe in the future when things pick up more than they already have for me and i have money to throw around...or maybe ill win the lotto tomorrow night and buy them all!!



Dec 16, 2011 at 06:23 PM
misternikko
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p.2 #17 · 135L vs 100 2.8L IS for Portraits?


meh...just saw some sample of the 100/2 over on POTN and not that impressed...so now im even more @.@


Dec 16, 2011 at 06:31 PM
reno.peterson
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p.2 #18 · 135L vs 100 2.8L IS for Portraits?


I've read through both your Portrait Lens inquiries...I can't help but read that you're talking yourself out of every option out there. I've had a chance to use every lens you've asked about and on multiple camera bodies. Each has it's drawback and it's strength. I say, take the plunge and just buy one, if you don't like it, I notice that you are still a Upload & Sell user...

I don't quite get "what would you regret"...I'd give the lesser cost NON-L lens a chance first, and then as a quality check/control measure, use the L in comparison, but either way, you're going to have to mount them yourself to figure out if they're right for you.

misternikko wrote:
Then there is the 100/2 that eosfun mentioned which is super cheap...so cheap it makes me wonder if i will regret it compared to the other L glass on the table.


Everyone here is giving you their experience, and I have liked a bunch of things that others haven't. Love the 85 f/1.8, 100 f/2, 35-70 f/3.5-4.5...



Dec 16, 2011 at 06:45 PM
misternikko
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p.2 #19 · 135L vs 100 2.8L IS for Portraits?


youre right, im totally confused lol. had my mind pretty much made up on non L glass. Can i see some of your samples with the 100/2?


Dec 16, 2011 at 07:03 PM
mspringfield
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p.2 #20 · 135L vs 100 2.8L IS for Portraits?


eosfun wrote:
I do. Read my post on it here, but I seem to be the only one here at FM

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1049910/3#9999276

However, how you describe your photography and what you want, it sounds like you are the pure sharpness type of photographer. I didn't see it in all of your photography, cause I read your images as content with expression above "technically perfect registrations". It sounds like you just answered your own question. If all this is what you are looking for, buy the 100L macro. You won't be disappointed. It's a great lens. And whenever your taste may change and you
...Show more


eosfun... You aren't the only one. I kept mine too. The new one is nice and it is a better lens. But it isn't enough better to justify the extra cost.



Dec 16, 2011 at 07:45 PM
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