85L vs 135L for Engagement Shoots
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ZachOly
Registered: Feb 15, 2011
Total Posts: 313
Country: United States

I'm an engagement photog with a 35L and 135L. The combo is ok, but I find the 135 a little long for full body shots.

I know that the 85 1.8 is cheap, but I'd like to stick with L glass, if for nothing else than the fact that I have several 72mm filters.

Anyone switch from the 135 to an 85L? Thoughts? Recommendations?





samwise
Registered: Aug 05, 2009
Total Posts: 1020
Country: Canada

They are both very good and I use them both, I would say the 85L gets used more though and I would be lost without it... so that would be the one to choose if you had to choose.

Hard to beat the butter the 135L produces however, if you can step back enough you can do pretty much anything with it, I would never sell mine because of how much its used during weddings (ceremonies/receptions)

PS - I have never heard of an "engagement photog", interesting



Daan B
Registered: Aug 16, 2007
Total Posts: 7591
Country: Netherlands

I would switch the 135L for a 70-200 2.8 II IS. Makes a great combo with the 35L for this type of shooting.



coibeo2610
Registered: Feb 28, 2011
Total Posts: 501
Country: United States

Daan B wrote:
I would switch the 135L for a 70-200 2.8 II IS. Makes a great combo with the 35L for this type of shooting.



This is exactly what I'm thinking.

35L + 70-200 II are very nice combos for such shooting purpose.


Best,
MC



Rav13
Registered: Mar 30, 2010
Total Posts: 201
Country: United Kingdom

I've got both and also the 70-200L II, the 85L and 135L is an excellent combo but I use either one and a 35L, i don't think I could use both for an event together. The 85L gets the most use, that lens is one amazing lens, I love the images I get from it.



PhilDrinkwater
Registered: Feb 24, 2010
Total Posts: 1878
Country: United Kingdom

I use the 135 and weddings and it does produce beautiful results - some of my favourite shots. However, I would gladly use a 70-200 except it's just too heavy for me for "hours".

If you can cope with the weight I'd get a 70-200..



Sneakyracer
Registered: Mar 24, 2004
Total Posts: 2547
Country: United States

Honestly I would not go to a shoot like that without the 70-200mm f2.8L IS II (or I). Its an awesome lens, versatile and has IS which is a very invaluable when shooting handheld out and about with long focal lengths. At one point I also added the 85L and loved it, has a unique look when used at f1.2~f2, but the AF was just too slow and not as consistent as the 70-200 so I sold the 85L since I used it very little. Its at its best in posed static shot situations. I found the 135L too long of a focal length to make do without IS.

So in short. The 70-200 is a must have. You can add lenses later but that one is a must in the bag.



splathrop
Registered: Feb 27, 2006
Total Posts: 527
Country: United States

If you have enough light to shoot the 135L at f/2.0, it will notably outperform the 70-200 IS II (at 135mm) on bokeh. And it will notably outperform the 85L on subject sharpness, focusing speed, and focusing accuracy, while giving up maybe just a smidge on bokeh. The 135 L is advantageous for candids, too, because you work from a greater distance with a smaller black lens that doesn't draw the subjects' attention as readily as the 70-200. The 135 L is a hard lens to give up. I can see wanting the 70-200, but not substituting it for the 135 L. You ought to have both. If you do, you don't need the 85L.



cobra0469
Registered: Jan 11, 2011
Total Posts: 296
Country: United States

I'd keep both the 35L and 135L, and would add the 70-200 II because of versatility. The 85L and 135L both produce excellent images, was a matter of focal length and focusing speed that made me choose the 135L over the 85L. I've also owned the 70-200II and agree it is an excellent lens, but it doesn't replace the 85L or 135L in any form except focal length. The size was my biggest dislike.
I'm an amateur that does not shoot for hire, if I were the 70-200II would be in my bag because of the versatility and quality. I would buy the 85L if I had a need for the best 85mm lens available, and had the cash.



jrscls
Registered: Sep 07, 2005
Total Posts: 1454
Country: United States

I have the 35 L, 85 L II and 70-200 MK II. I prefer the 85 L II for portraits, including e-sessions. I also posted this one on POTN, taken wide open at f/1.2 with 85 L II on full frame-



chris78cpr
Registered: Aug 27, 2003
Total Posts: 5670
Country: United Kingdom

85L is just such a versatile lens for wedding, engagement, portrait and people shooting. I use a combo of 24/50/85 for my work. I have access to the 135 and have only found it needed on one or two occasions.



zeljkito
Registered: Oct 28, 2005
Total Posts: 44
Country: Croatia


Hi,

I own both and have to admit that 135 gets much less mileage. As much as it really depends on the situation and scenography, I would say it is 75% 85L. And as hurtful as it is, I am even considering selling 135 since I own 70-200/2.8. But it all depends on your shooting style (my135 is much faster in AF terms)


ZachOly wrote:
I'm an engagement photog with a 35L and 135L. The combo is ok, but I find the 135 a little long for full body shots.

I know that the 85 1.8 is cheap, but I'd like to stick with L glass, if for nothing else than the fact that I have several 72mm filters.

Anyone switch from the 135 to an 85L? Thoughts? Recommendations?






dmcharg
Registered: Dec 01, 2003
Total Posts: 788
Country: United Kingdom

I used to own the 35L, 85 1.8 and 135 F2L. Of the three the 135 is the one lens that really stands out, the color, contrast and sharpness at F2 is simply amazing. Having said this i found the 135 was a strange focal length so it just didn't get used enough so i ended up selling it. The 85 1.8 is a cracking little lens and you can save yourself a serious amount of money buying the 85 1.8 and filter vs the 85 1.2L. If your going to use F1.2L a lot then get the 85L but otherwise the 85 1.8 is a cracking little lens and a much better focal length than 135. I tried the 85L and it takes some getting used to in order to get shots at F1.2 as the depth of field is very thin, if you end up stopping down all the time to get enough dof with a couple then i see no advantage in having the 85 1.2L. I ended up selling my primes and moving to the 2.8 zooms as i found F2.8 offered enough subject isolation whilst still having a reasonable depth of field. The 85L really is a speciality lens so if you use F1.2 all the time its worth it, when i reviewed thousands of pics taken with my primes i found i was stopping down a lot so F2.8 was good enough my needs so the 2.8 zooms made much more sense.



zeljkito
Registered: Oct 28, 2005
Total Posts: 44
Country: Croatia

I second that - That is exactly why I kept both, 85/1.2 and 85/1.8. Much faster focusing and almost as sharp as the L. Bokeh is a bit more "nervous", but for that price, selling it would be a blasphemy :-)

dmcharg wrote:
I used to own the 35L, 85 1.8 and 135 F2L. Of the three the 135 is the one lens that really stood out, the color, contrast and sharpness at F2 is simply amazing. Having said this i found the 135 was a strange focal length so it just didn't get used enough so i ended up selling it. The 85 1.8 is a cracking little lens and you can save yourself a serious amount of money buying the 85 1.8 and filter vs the 85 1.2L. If your going to use F1.2L a lot then get the 85L but otherwise the 85 1.8 is a cracking little lens and a much better focal length than 135. I tried the 85L and it takes some getting used to in order to get shots at F1.2 as the depth of field is very thin. I ended up selling my primes and moving to the 2.8 zooms as i found F2.8 offered enough subject isolation whilst still having a reasonable depth of field.



chris78cpr
Registered: Aug 27, 2003
Total Posts: 5670
Country: United Kingdom

zeljkito wrote:
I second that - That is exactly why I kept both, 85/1.2 and 85/1.8. Much faster focusing and almost as sharp as the L. Bokeh is a bit more "nervous", but for that price, selling it would be a blasphemy :-)

dmcharg wrote:
I used to own the 35L, 85 1.8 and 135 F2L. Of the three the 135 is the one lens that really stood out, the color, contrast and sharpness at F2 is simply amazing. Having said this i found the 135 was a strange focal length so it just didn't get used enough so i ended up selling it. The 85 1.8 is a cracking little lens and you can save yourself a serious amount of money buying the 85 1.8 and filter vs the 85 1.2L. If your going to use F1.2L a lot then get the 85L but otherwise the 85 1.8 is a cracking little lens and a much better focal length than 135. I tried the 85L and it takes some getting used to in order to get shots at F1.2 as the depth of field is very thin. I ended up selling my primes and moving to the 2.8 zooms as i found F2.8 offered enough subject isolation whilst still having a reasonable depth of field.



I sold my 85 F1.8 and have not regretted it at all yet.



RichardLavigne
Registered: Jan 13, 2007
Total Posts: 5340
Country: United States

IMO... you really can't compare these two lenses.. as they are different focal lengths that give different effects. It really depends on the purpose of the shot and the look you're trying to go after.

Here is a recent engagement session we did... used 16-35L, 35L, 50L, 85L, 100L macro, 135L and 135L w/ 1.4 tc.







Peacekpr
Registered: Sep 12, 2009
Total Posts: 113
Country: Canada

I think it just comes down to personal preference. I have the 70-200 2.8 L IS Mk 2 and the 85L. Both are incredible lenses. Add in the new 24-70L Mk2 and there's nothing you can't do in portraits or weddings.



Ghost
Registered: Feb 22, 2005
Total Posts: 2042
Country: Canada

Both are 2 of 3 in the Canon Trinity. Both are extremely good lenses. AF is quick on the 135L. If you need f1.2 there's no substitute.... well a 50L on a cropped cam might I supposed.

If you have the space, the 135L produces some of the most amazing images I've ever seen. Even a mundane battery photo can be made magical by this lens.



chris78cpr
Registered: Aug 27, 2003
Total Posts: 5670
Country: United Kingdom

RichardLavigne wrote:
IMO... you really can't compare these two lenses.. as they are different focal lengths that give different effects. It really depends on the purpose of the shot and the look you're trying to go after.

Here is a recent engagement session we did... used 16-35L, 35L, 50L, 85L, 100L macro, 135L and 135L w/ 1.4 tc.







Great set of images, but i think you could get a similar set of shots using just a couple of lenses.


Mike Mahoney
Registered: Mar 09, 2004
Total Posts: 5442
Country: Canada

I have both mentioned (85 & 135) and my most-often used portrait length is 85mm on a APS-H body (1 series) which has a 1.3 multiplier, making the 85 about 110mm. This for me is perfect.

I find an 85 on FF slightly to short, and I find a 135 on FF slightly too long, and entirely too long on any crop body. But an 85 on a 1.3 crop sits just right for me.

Everyone is different .. some wedding & couples shooters prefer to shoot with longer lenses and capture any undirected interaction between the couple as it unfolds, others prefer to be a bit closer and offer some direction or do some posing with them. So as always focal length choice is usually a matter of personal style & preference.



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