Portait tele: 100L vs 135L...please read
/forum/topic/1067042/0

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cohenxa
Registered: Jul 13, 2005
Total Posts: 831
Country: United States

Hi,

I am shooting with 7D, mainly landscape/wildlife...but lately family portraits and macro. I have the 501.4 for the first one and 100mm macro for...macro and tele portrait.
I love telephoto portrait as I love the additional "blur" effect (or the dreamy effect - I like the small DoF). While I know that the crop camera are not the dream for that, I can not afford to go to full frame...yet.
My reasonnings are:
135L get tele for exterior portraits(might be too long on a crop?) with 1.4x get 200 2.8 (later?), - downside $$$
100L get a nice upgrade for macro, stay the same for tele portrait

I guess one thing that could help me is to get the same pic taken with 135L at f2 and f2.8 compare to 100L at 2.8 (to see the increae in background blurring)...

Here are some examples done with 50mm1.4:












And 100mm macro:








Binh Ly
Registered: Feb 24, 2007
Total Posts: 3238
Country: United States

I'd get an 85 1.8 if I were you.



atemplar
Registered: Jun 24, 2008
Total Posts: 11
Country: N/A

Agreed -- 85 1.8 or the Sigma 85 1.4 for the 7D



axskkyline
Registered: Nov 09, 2011
Total Posts: 11
Country: United States

what about the Canon 85L?



cohenxa
Registered: Jul 13, 2005
Total Posts: 831
Country: United States

85L is out of range $ wise :-(



rslhc
Registered: Sep 12, 2011
Total Posts: 156
Country: United States

I would go for the 85 1.8. Amazing image quality, nice reach on a 7D (the setup i am using as well), and wonderful Bokeh. However, if you don't mind the additional reach and price, go for the 135L. It is an amazing piece of glass that has amazing DoF effects.

On the plus side, you could buy an 85 1.8 and upgrade to the 100L for the price of the 135L



Tenn.Jer
Registered: Mar 08, 2011
Total Posts: 1524
Country: United States

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...

Jerry



cohenxa
Registered: Jul 13, 2005
Total Posts: 831
Country: United States

Jerry,

Thanks for this insight how will you compare the "blurriness" of the background between 135f2 and 100f2.8?

Cheers,
Xavier



johnahill
Registered: Jan 08, 2006
Total Posts: 2572
Country: United Kingdom

100 f2.0 is also a fine lens, highly recommended.



mspringfield
Registered: Nov 02, 2003
Total Posts: 781
Country: United States

I have to agree with Jerry. I borrowed a friend's 100mm Macro a couple of years ago and earlier this year I bought my own copy of the 100mm IS macro. The IQ difference is minor and doesn't justify the cost difference if you already own one.

I also own the 135 and the bokeh is creamier and smoother then anything except the 200 1.8/2.

They both have their uses and both should have a place in your camera bag.



erikburd
Registered: Feb 03, 2010
Total Posts: 578
Country: United States

I would recommend the 85 f/1.8 or it's 100 f/2 twin. Both are pretty much the same lens outside of their focal length. Both would be better for portraits on a crop.

I use my 135L for portraits, but at a distance, since it's long on a crop. It's excellent if you only want a head/shoulders shot, and the bokeh is simply incredible. I would normally use my 85 f/1.8 for portraits, sometimes the 24-70L depending on the shot.



Pixel Perfect
Registered: Aug 16, 2004
Total Posts: 19923
Country: Australia

atemplar wrote:
Agreed -- 85 1.8 or the Sigma 85 1.4 for the 7D


Sigma for sure IMO

If I were happy with an f/2.8 lens for portrait, I'd seriously consider the 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, despite the price. Amazing IQ for a zoom, focuses close, great IS and of flexibility.

The other lens worth considering ahead of the 100L macro for portrait is the 100 f/2. Of course if you also want to do macro the 100L is a great choice. I would have sold my 135L if the macro were f/2, but at this I can't do it, 135L is awesoem lens, but I mainly use it on FF and APS-H



Ralph Conway
Registered: Jul 31, 2008
Total Posts: 3932
Country: Germany

Ups! My comment has gone!

Here again:

I can recomment the 100 "L". Itīs just phantastic (with IS).
But when I watch your pics, I would say, you do not need any portrait lens.
Your 1.4 50mm and 100 mm shots are great. Grade up to the L. IS is great. 135mm is just one step forward. You will not get better pictures with it.



Fr3d
Registered: Nov 29, 2008
Total Posts: 292
Country: Germany

Binh Ly wrote:
I'd get an 85 1.8 if I were you.


+1 since you are on crop that makes a 135mm equiv. to ff which is a sweet spot for portraits imo



Ernie Aubert
Registered: Apr 19, 2007
Total Posts: 4524
Country: United States

May I suggest that you consider the EF-S 60mm f2.8 macro? Its IQ is right up there in the league of the 100L and 135L, and on a 1.6x crop camera it gives a field of view equivalent to 96mm on a "full frame" camera; that's very close to the 105mm that was traditionally considered to be optimum for portraits on 35mm film cameras. Or I believe that either Tamron or Tokina makes a 60mm f2 macro which is also highly regarded, which would give a narrower DOF.



mfreardon
Registered: Mar 09, 2009
Total Posts: 573
Country: United States

Fr3d wrote:
Binh Ly wrote:
I'd get an 85 1.8 if I were you.


+1 since you are on crop that makes a 135mm equiv. to ff which is a sweet spot for portraits imo


+1 It's a great lens.



RobertLynn
Registered: Jan 05, 2008
Total Posts: 11663
Country: United States

I love the 135. On 7D it's not "too long", unless it's too long for what you're shooting. Are you in control of subject to camera distance? T hen it's not too long. If you're shooting full-length portraits in a 10x10 room, it's too long.

However, I'd suggest the 85 1.8.

It's a fantastic lens.



outlawyer
Registered: Feb 27, 2008
Total Posts: 1404
Country: United States

Those 50 1.4 shots are awesome. A great lens, especially for the money.



RobertLynn
Registered: Jan 05, 2008
Total Posts: 11663
Country: United States

Oh btw, I didn't vote on either. And by me saying the 85 1.8 is a fantastic lens, I'mnot saying the 135 isn't.

The 135 is better, BUT it's a lot more money, and I think even though I think the whole "it's too long for cropper" discussion is bullshit (see my comment about right lengths for the job/situation), you can get about 90% or more of the 135L shots witht he 85 1.8.

Wide open CA sort of sucks on it, but that's just me being nit-picky. I swear, I should've never sold that lens, and I'll more than likely end up with another one when Ic an find one sub 300$



Tenn.Jer
Registered: Mar 08, 2011
Total Posts: 1524
Country: United States

cohenxa wrote:
Jerry,

Thanks for this insight how will you compare the "blurriness" of the background between 135f2 and 100f2.8?

Cheers,
Xavier


Xavier, I can't really say if one's bokeh is any "better" than the other; there are SO many variables, even if both are at wide-open apertures: distance to background, distance to subject, texture of the background...

Looking through my Lightroom catalog, almost all my 100L pics are at or close to minimum focal distance, stopped way down (f/11-16-even 22) to get maximum depth of field for macro shooting...

I think that the f/2 135L will generally produce smoother OOF backgrounds, but that's just an assumption based on the size of the opening and the shape of the aperture blades. Just science, in other words...

A couple of examples, 135L, wide open...in the first, the flower stems on the right look sort of choppy, and the more distant and smoother low stone wall and pasture on the left is almost blurred into obscurity...in the second, all the BG is equidistant, and the grass in the pasture is barely discernible...

This sort of illustrates my point; the variables involved make every example of smoothness, of blurriness, of bokeh, different from every other. That's not to say the lens isn't the greatest influence; I believe it is. Its just that a comparison of "blurriness" is anything but simple...

Hope this helps...somehow...
One post above points out that you're doing pretty darn good with the lenses you already have; I'll certainly agree with that, but, as a fellow sufferer, I can say that Lens Lust is a very real affliction, and one that often cannot (and in some cases, should not) be denied.

Jerry



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