Looking for my first prime lens
/forum/topic/1178921/0



shutterlove
Registered: May 27, 2008
Total Posts: 133
Country: United States

Hi Everyone,

I am considering getting a prime lens, my two choices are the 85mm and the 135mm.
I shoot nature, wildlife, pets things like that. My current lenses are Sigma 17-70, Canon 100-400
and the 100mm Macro. I tend to like to get in as close as I can, meaning a longer focal length,
I find that my all around 17-70 does not get me in close enough.
I cannot afford L glass, wish I could, so with these factors in mind what would you recommend?

Also, I am planning on getting a 7D and I see you can package it with a lens, is the 28-135 worth
getting? I like the fact that it is longer than my 17-70. I appreciate any thoughts.



cputeq
Registered: Jun 25, 2008
Total Posts: 4719
Country: United States

You mention you cannot afford L glass, but the 135/2 is an L lens - unless you're referring to another lens?

Are you talking the 28-135 (in your first paragraph)? Sorry I'm a bit confused


If you're talking 85 prime or 135 prime, they're pretty close to what you already own. The 100 macro you have isn't too far off from either, really, and is quite possibly just a step or two different from both (no counting perspective compression). I've owned the 85 1.8 and the 135/2 - both great lenses. I think I actually preferred the 100/2, as it was a great "compromise" lens and cheaper than the 135 with almost as silky IQ.


Also, and this is me, I'd have a hard time not being happy with shooting "nature, wildlife, pets" with the lenses you currently have. IMO the 17-70 and 100-400 make a great 1/2 combo for pretty much anything outdoors I'd want to shoot. Throw in the 100 macro for bugs and indoor pets, etc. and you're set.




jptsr1
Registered: Dec 13, 2006
Total Posts: 11
Country: N/A

I have an 85 and a 135. the 135 is great but limited in use on a crop in my opinion. you mention you cant afford L's but then that your considering the 135L, does that mean that the 135L is the limit of what you can afford? in any case the 85 1.8 which I assume is the one you are talking about was a much more useful fl when I only had one body. not much longer than your 17-70 but loads sharper. if your looking for longer and sharper the 200 2.8 will get you closer than the 135l for 100 bucks less. its not as fast as the 135 but since you have the 100 already im not sure the 135 is worth the extra dough.



svassh
Registered: Mar 05, 2011
Total Posts: 664
Country: United States

The 135 Soft Focus lens is a nice alternative at f/2.8. The soft focus is a bit of a gimmick but with that turned off its pretty sharp. These can be had for as low as $200. However, I agree with the others that 135mm on a crop may be longer than you want but maybe not for outdoors.



boingyman
Registered: Jun 29, 2012
Total Posts: 872
Country: United States

Hmm. Well you got a macro prime at a fairly long FL on crop. 85 1.8 is very good for the price, but may not have enough reach for you and to be honest if I had the 100 macro I wouldn't get the 85 1.8 unless I really use that FL and needed the extra speed and quicker AF. Same with the 135, but the other direction and much more costly. I agree with above that the 200 2.8 may be a better choice, but again you do have the 100-400, which may not be the fastest or as sharp, but is pretty versatile lens.

Maybe looking an UWA zoom? or a shorter prime? I know it's not what you're looking for, but may be a blessing in disquise.



the888account
Registered: Oct 21, 2011
Total Posts: 339
Country: United Kingdom

Agree with the poster above, that if you already have a 100mm prime macro, its little difference between the 135mm and 85mm your considering.

I dont own the 100mm macro, but I'm led to believe it makes a very fine portrait lens (both the L and non L version).

If your shooting wildllife, I guess your after more reach. In which case I would look at the 200mm prime - as cited above. Although I see you have a 100 - 400, so im not sure what purpose a prime in this range would offer you.

If I'm totally wrong and you want a short focal length, the 50mm 1.4 is a superb lens and is a bargain at 250 ish. Fast and sharp. Noting your 7D aspirations, you might get more benefit from a 35mm (since the 7D is a crop).

What are you wanting to achieve ? You seem to be covered from wide to long with your current setup. Are you aiming at better Image Quality, a faster lens ?



shutterlove
Registered: May 27, 2008
Total Posts: 133
Country: United States

cputeq,

The 135 mm that I was considering is this one:
Canon EF 135mm f/2.8 with Softfocus, not the 135mm L lens, big price difference for me.

Question for you, I have a really hard time shooting with the 100mm Macro, it takes so much light, even on a tripod I have a tough time getting sharp shots, am I doing something wrong?
I use and XTi right now and I cannot put the ISO up too high as I hate the noise I get with a high ISO. I would love to use this lens more, so please I am open to any helpful advice.



erikburd
Registered: Feb 03, 2010
Total Posts: 577
Country: United States

I have the 85 f/1.8 and 135L. Both will be relatively close to your 100 macro, so you wouldn't gain much there.

You seem to have a pretty good setup. Perhaps the new 40 f/2.8 or 35 f/2 might work for you, since you own a crop?



shutterlove
Registered: May 27, 2008
Total Posts: 133
Country: United States

Hmmm, I guess I want better image quality, and honestly I have never taken the 100 mm out shooting wildlife because I never thought I would get a sharp shot! I guess I am doing something wrong in that aspect. I shoot mostly out doors too.


boingyman can you explain why this would be good for me?

"Maybe looking an UWA zoom? or a shorter prime? I know it's not what you're looking for, but may be a blessing in disquise."

I am no expert, still learning and I want to get better, sharper shots, more keepers.

Thanks for all your advice.... any thoughts on the 28-135?



the888account
Registered: Oct 21, 2011
Total Posts: 339
Country: United Kingdom

My 2 pence worth:

If you aiming for sharper shots, you need to aim at "better" glass to give you the IQ. (Assuming your technique is already ok and its now the hardware that is the weak link - I don't mean to be condescending here)

I don't know much about the 28-135, but my guess is that it wont be sharpest lens out there at least when compared to primes. Its may be hard to see any noticeable improvement over your current kit.

Although, this review is quite positive:

4http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-28-135mm-f-3.5-5.6-IS-USM-Lens-Review.aspx

Primes will certainly give you very sharp results when compared to most zooms, but there a handful of zooms that will give you very very good results. Such as the 70-200 F4 I mention, which will give you a bit more flexibility and would team up with your current 17-70mm quite well in terms of focal length coverage. If you can push the budget, the f2.8 non IS version is also excellent.

I would 100% take your 100m macro out with you and use it as a "normal" lens. I reckon you've missed a trick here and you might not actually need to upgrade - you already have it....

(Don't forget, with your 7D crop, its actually a 160mm lens and your going to be right in the center of the "sweet spot" of the image with the crop sensor).

If you like the results, an extender "may" be a solution...such as the x1.4. If not, and you still want more reach double up with the 200 F2.8 L.

I see you have a 17-70, so that's your "wide" and probably "general" taken care of.



arthurb
Registered: Jan 25, 2005
Total Posts: 106
Country: United Kingdom

My choice would be the Canon 85mm f1.8. This is a cracking lens for very sensible money.



Monito
Registered: Jan 28, 2005
Total Posts: 10087
Country: Canada

I would recommend the 85 f/1.8.

I have the 85, the 100 macro, the 100-400, and a 50. The 85 is possibly the sharpest of them all (and they are all very sharp). It is also clear and makes for lovely tones and photographs.

If you like getting in close, get a set of Kenko extension tubes for the 85. But you'll find the depth of field is thin at f/1.8 and gets razor thin as you get into near macro range.



garydavidjones
Registered: Sep 20, 2010
Total Posts: 437
Country: United States

For birds and small critters the best AFFORDABLE prime is the 135L.
With the 72 mm adapter can be used with Canon 24 macrolite flash for
illuminating the smaller critters. 135L is also a great peeping-tom lens for
candid photos of people in dark places like Vegas casinos. They don't know
what hit 'em. Combined with the 5D3 it works great in low light and
is black, small, inconspicous.



sgirard
Registered: Mar 01, 2006
Total Posts: 175
Country: United States

Yeah, if you're not getting good results with the 100 macro there might be a technical problem somewhere. Solve that, then figure out where to spend your bucks.



melcat
Registered: Jun 13, 2008
Total Posts: 716
Country: Australia

shutterlove wrote:
Question for you, I have a really hard time shooting with the 100mm Macro, it takes so much light, even on a tripod I have a tough time getting sharp shots, am I doing something wrong?


At infinity, it takes approximately the same amount of light as any other f/2.8 lens - that is the point of the f-number notation.

At macro distances, the effective aperture is reduced. Look up "bellows factor". I have no idea what modern books would explain it in an accessible way, but the one I learned from is John Shaw's "Closeups in Nature" - and I had to, because I needed the bellows factor to calculate manual flash exposure.

Part of what makes macro difficult is getting enough light on the subject. If you are at the limits of the ISO that is acceptable to you, you either need a tripod and long exposure, flash, or to focus stack.



dwweiche
Registered: Apr 19, 2009
Total Posts: 1427
Country: United States

melcat wrote:
shutterlove wrote:
Question for you, I have a really hard time shooting with the 100mm Macro, it takes so much light, even on a tripod I have a tough time getting sharp shots, am I doing something wrong?


At infinity, it takes approximately the same amount of light as any other f/2.8 lens - that is the point of the f-number notation.

At macro distances, the effective aperture is reduced. Look up "bellows factor". I have no idea what modern books would explain it in an accessible way, but the one I learned from is John Shaw's "Closeups in Nature" - and I had to, because I needed the bellows factor to calculate manual flash exposure.

Part of what makes macro difficult is getting enough light on the subject. If you are at the limits of the ISO that is acceptable to you, you either need a tripod and long exposure, flash, or to focus stack.


Shutter love, here is the extent macro photogs go to for good light. Some pretty cool rigs here. Macro takes another level of commitment. I love the things these guys are able to do.
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/780820



ultimaterowdy
Registered: Apr 18, 2008
Total Posts: 622
Country: United States

100 macro is the sharpest lens I have owned. as another poster has said, figure out what's going on there before you purchase more glass to satisfy you. macro lenses tend to be quite sharp & the 100 macro is no exception. it's (generally) fabulous.



boingyman
Registered: Jun 29, 2012
Total Posts: 872
Country: United States

shutterlove wrote:
Hmmm, I guess I want better image quality, and honestly I have never taken the 100 mm out shooting wildlife because I never thought I would get a sharp shot! I guess I am doing something wrong in that aspect. I shoot mostly out doors too.


boingyman can you explain why this would be good for me?

"Maybe looking an UWA zoom? or a shorter prime? I know it's not what you're looking for, but may be a blessing in disquise."

I am no expert, still learning and I want to get better, sharper shots, more keepers.

Thanks for all your advice.... any thoughts on the 28-135?


An UWA angle can open a whole new world for you, especially for landscapes. It can offer a totally different perspective, but it does take some understanding on how to use it. Not everyone is a fan of UWA lenses, but personally it's my favorite lens for landscape/cityscape/seascapes/etc when I really want to add a strong foreground element in my image. It may be a gamble for you to get it so my advice is to look at shots taken with UWA lenses and see for yourself. My recommendations would be the Canon 10-22 or Tokina 11-16. Sigma 10-20 is also pretty good and cheaper.

As far as a shorter prime goes there are so many reasons to list. On a 7D I would recommend a Sigma 30 (very good for the price) or if you want slightly longer Canon 50 1.4 or Sigma 50 1.4 are both good choices and priced well.

At the end you have to think what you'll benefit from the most within your budget.



CW100
Registered: Apr 03, 2009
Total Posts: 4531
Country: United States

shutterlove wrote:
Hi Everyone,

I am considering getting a prime lens, my two choices are the 85mm and the 135mm.
I shoot nature, wildlife, pets things like that. My current lenses are Sigma 17-70, Canon 100-400
and the 100mm Macro. I tend to like to get in as close as I can, meaning a longer focal length,
I find that my all around 17-70 does not get me in close enough.
I cannot afford L glass, wish I could, so with these factors in mind what would you recommend?

Also, I am planning on getting a 7D and I see you can package it with a lens, is the 28-135 worth
getting? I like the fact that it is longer than my 17-70. I appreciate any thoughts.


skip the 28-135
for macro (flowers, insects) look at the Canon 100mm 2.8 macro, Tamron 90mm 2.8 macro,



mitesh
Registered: Jun 28, 2005
Total Posts: 3904
Country: United States

CW100 wrote:

skip the 28-135
for macro (flowers, insects) look at the Canon 100mm 2.8 macro, Tamron 90mm 2.8 macro,


The OP stated that he already has canon 100/2.8 macro.