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Gear Talk => Lenses => Topic started by: JMan54 on November 15, 2012, 12:50:58 AM

Title: 100 f/2.8L or 135mm f/2L
Post by: JMan54 on November 15, 2012, 12:50:58 AM
Hi Everybody,

I'm looking into getting a 100 f/2.8L or 135mm f/2L, to do some portrait/ macro work. I won't be using the Macro a ton, but would like the feature. As of today, my budget only allows for one or the other, so I could use your help in deciding between the two.

Right now, I'm using a 24-70 f/2.8L Mark I, and a 50mm 1.4 on a 50D Body.

Recommendations?
Title: Re: 100 f/2.8L or 135mm f/2L
Post by: Marsu42 on November 15, 2012, 01:48:02 AM
First, we should be clear about the term "macro": Does that mean to you taking pictures of smaller objects like complete flowers and butterflies? This can be done with a lot of lenses, "real" macro near 1:1 mag is when your lens cap nearly hits the object, the dof gets razor-thin and the usable aperture goes down the drain so you often need a tripod - if it's the latter then you won't get around a "real" macro lens like the 100L.

Note: non-IS (imho unnecessary for "real" macro) macro lenses are quite affordable when used, look at the 100 non-L prices - you could get that next to the 135L.
Title: Re: 100 f/2.8L or 135mm f/2L
Post by: JMan54 on November 15, 2012, 02:43:28 AM
Yes, I'm referring more to the taking pictures of small objects aspect of it. I don't anticipate that I'll be doing much of the tripod-ed macro-type photography.
Title: Re: 100 f/2.8L or 135mm f/2L
Post by: Eli on November 15, 2012, 04:38:44 AM
Have you tried those focal lengths on a crop body?
Title: Re: 100 f/2.8L or 135mm f/2L
Post by: roadrunner on November 15, 2012, 05:10:43 AM
JMan, unfortunately, I do not own the 135L to compare it to, but I absolutely love my 100L. Like you mentioned, I use it primarily for portraits and only occasionally for true macro. Although I don't own it (I've used it once though), I would not trade my 100L for the 135L. They both offer amazing image quality, and I am constantly impressed with the results I get from the 100L. I think you would be hard pressed to tell the difference between the two lenses by comparing images from each.

Image stabilization, while not that important for the true macro work, it incredibly useful for portraits. It has been a great lens for typical portrait sessions, as well as low light wedding photography work. If I could choose just one lens, I would say the 100L is the way to go. I was going through the same decision about a year ago and decided the image quality and versatility of macro and IS were too good to pass up. Just my opinion of course.
Title: Re: 100 f/2.8L or 135mm f/2L
Post by: Eli on November 15, 2012, 05:27:55 AM
JMan, unfortunately, I do not own the 135L to compare it to, but I absolutely love my 100L. Like you mentioned, I use it primarily for portraits and only occasionally for true macro. Although I don't own it (I've used it once though), I would not trade my 100L for the 135L. They both offer amazing image quality, and I am constantly impressed with the results I get from the 100L. I think you would be hard pressed to tell the difference between the two lenses by comparing images from each.

Image stabilization, while not that important for the true macro work, it incredibly useful for portraits. It has been a great lens for typical portrait sessions, as well as low light wedding photography work. If I could choose just one lens, I would say the 100L is the way to go. I was going through the same decision about a year ago and decided the image quality and versatility of macro and IS were too good to pass up. Just my opinion of course.

Exactly the same situation with I; out of the two I chose the 100L. Great for portraits, it can do macro, it has hIS and it's weather sealed! Overall a more versatile and useful lens. Also the 135mm might be a bit long on APS-C, you could consider the 85mm 1.8 as well as some extension tubes for a cheaper option.
Title: Re: 100 f/2.8L or 135mm f/2L
Post by: AmbientLight on November 15, 2012, 05:58:40 AM
Regarding macro work you can also use the 100mm L macro for macro shots without using a tripod. You are not exactly required to use a tripod for good macro shots, especially if you are not trying to get to minimum focus distance with a rather static subject. Since you have stated to not have a requirement for trying to achieve that 1:1 aspect ration frequently. Nevertheless it is great to have the option. You probably won't want to part with this lens, once you have tried it out for macro work.

With that I strongly recommend the 100mm L macro for your stated usage scenario. For pure portrait work without any macro aspect to intended usage I would recommend the 135mm f2.
Title: Re: 100 f/2.8L or 135mm f/2L
Post by: neuroanatomist on November 15, 2012, 06:21:03 AM
Since you're shooting APS-C, I'd say get the 100L Macro.  For most indoor portraits, the 135L is too long on APS-C. 
Title: Re: 100 f/2.8L or 135mm f/2L
Post by: Northstar on November 15, 2012, 06:29:15 AM
Since you're shooting APS-C, I'd say get the 100L Macro.  For most indoor portraits, the 135L is too long on APS-C.


What he said.... for portrait shots the 135 is way too long on a crop body...get the 100
Title: Re: 100 f/2.8L or 135mm f/2L
Post by: The Bad Duck on November 15, 2012, 06:49:34 AM
A very nice portrait lens is the 100 /2.0 or the 85 /1.8

If you donĀ“t need the macro feature then you should consider one of those. I think they make better portrait tools than either 100 /2.8 macro.

I also agree with people about 135 beeing too long on aps-c but that is up to you. If you think you would like the longer lenses the sigma 150 /2.8 OS Macro could also be an interesting lens. I found that to be too long even on FF, and I fould that my macro work was... whole flowers and stuff that I could do with my 70-200 /4 or my 24-105.

good luck!
Title: Re: 100 f/2.8L or 135mm f/2L
Post by: roadrunner on November 15, 2012, 06:52:21 AM
Since you're shooting APS-C, I'd say get the 100L Macro.  For most indoor portraits, the 135L is too long on APS-C.

This is important to note. I will say that for portraits, I found even the 100L to be too long for my tastes on my 7D. It wasn't until I recently picked up a 5D Mark III that the 100L became one of my favorite lenses ever.
Title: Re: 100 f/2.8L or 135mm f/2L
Post by: neuroanatomist on November 15, 2012, 08:48:36 AM
Since you're shooting APS-C, I'd say get the 100L Macro.  For most indoor portraits, the 135L is too long on APS-C.

This is important to note. I will say that for portraits, I found even the 100L to be too long for my tastes on my 7D. It wasn't until I recently picked up a 5D Mark III that the 100L became one of my favorite lenses ever.

Very true, and I amost added that bit myself.  An 85mm lens makes for great portraits on APS-C (I started with the 85/1.8, moved to the 85/1.2L II).  Even 100mm is getting long for indoor use.  I have a 70-200/2.8, and when I bought it I had only the 7D, and to be honest the 70-200 range felt awkward on APS-C - too long indoors, to short for real reach outdoors.  It was a good backyard lens, outdoor events, that sort of thing.  After getting a 5DII, the 70-200mm lens saw a lot more use as on FF that's a great focal range indoors and out.
Title: Re: 100 f/2.8L or 135mm f/2L
Post by: 7enderbender on November 15, 2012, 09:54:23 AM
Hi Everybody,

I'm looking into getting a 100 f/2.8L or 135mm f/2L, to do some portrait/ macro work. I won't be using the Macro a ton, but would like the feature. As of today, my budget only allows for one or the other, so I could use your help in deciding between the two.

Right now, I'm using a 24-70 f/2.8L Mark I, and a 50mm 1.4 on a 50D Body.

Recommendations?


Like others have said: check if this is the right focal length for you. You'd be at an effective focal length of over 200mm with the 135L on your crop body. Not saying that this is bad necessarily. I use my 200mm lens often enough for outdoors portrait type situations. But that is certainly very different from how I use my 135L on full frame.

I've never used the 100L but hear it is very very good. I'm also more than happy with my 135L. It is extremely sharp and has beautiful out of focus blur. 2.0 aperture can come in handy and is totally usable on that lens. So it really comes down to focal length. A good 85 lens may be better for what most people would use a 135 for. Unless you are planing to go full frame any time soon.
Title: Re: 100 f/2.8L or 135mm f/2L
Post by: neuroanatomist on November 15, 2012, 10:04:28 AM
Couple of shots taken at the Massachusetts Horticultural Society's Elm Bank gardens, within a few minutes of each other, both with the 100L Macro IS on a 7D.  A very versatile lens...

(http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4098/4780808084_71d4eac7f2.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_brain/4780808084/in/set-72157624462568231/lightbox/)   (http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4098/4780829552_d878ff6f7b.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_brain/4780829552/in/set-72157624616379818/lightbox/)
Title: Re: 100 f/2.8L or 135mm f/2L
Post by: Jesse on November 15, 2012, 10:13:51 AM
""real" macro near 1:1 mag is when your lens cap nearly hits the object,"

You actually have a lot of workspace when shooting with the 100L. Your lens never nearly hits the object even at minimum focus....
Title: Re: 100 f/2.8L or 135mm f/2L
Post by: RLPhoto on November 15, 2012, 10:16:53 AM
Hi Everybody,

I'm looking into getting a 100 f/2.8L or 135mm f/2L, to do some portrait/ macro work. I won't be using the Macro a ton, but would like the feature. As of today, my budget only allows for one or the other, so I could use your help in deciding between the two.

Right now, I'm using a 24-70 f/2.8L Mark I, and a 50mm 1.4 on a 50D Body.

Recommendations?

The 135L is the best portrait lens for the money. You can get pretty close for light macro work with extension tubes if you really want.

If you do more macro than portraits, The 100L is for you.
Title: Re: 100 f/2.8L or 135mm f/2L
Post by: Jesse on November 15, 2012, 10:25:51 AM
The 100L is almost $100 cheaper and you get macro and IS. IMO it's a better value portrait lens.
Title: Re: 100 f/2.8L or 135mm f/2L
Post by: TWI by Dustin Abbott on November 15, 2012, 11:38:32 AM
I have the good fortune owning both lens, and I will confess that there is some overlap.  I would definitely agree that the 100L is the more flexible tool, particularly if you are shooting a crop body only.  In fact, if you only plan to shoot crop bodies, I think the 100L wins hands down.

If you are shooting FF, however, the 135L produces the finest images this side of the $6000 200 f/2L IS.  I bought it because I realized that my favorite shots from others were almost always with it.  If you are shooting environmental portraits, it is a sublime instrument. I have shot portrait sessions in terrible light and ended up with gorgeous results.  It has amazing delineation of your subject from the setting, and the transition to ooF area is incredibly smooth.  I use it a LOT in event work like weddings/business events, and it never fails to transform something mundane into something far more special.  I also use the 100L at event work, and it is also great.  But the 135L is something just a little more special.

Jesse said the 100L is a better value portrait lens.  I would agree only if you are talking crop format only.  If you are talking full frame, the 135L is arguably the best portrait lens in existence.
Title: Re: 100 f/2.8L or 135mm f/2L
Post by: RLPhoto on November 15, 2012, 12:07:49 PM
The 100L is almost $100 cheaper and you get macro and IS. IMO it's a better value portrait lens.

The 135L is teh portrait lens. Its a stop faster and has more compression. Plus, you can get used copies for around 750$.
Title: Re: 100 f/2.8L or 135mm f/2L
Post by: neuroanatomist on November 15, 2012, 12:20:26 PM
The 100L is almost $100 cheaper and you get macro and IS. IMO it's a better value portrait lens.

The 135L is teh portrait lens. Its a stop faster and has more compression. Plus, you can get used copies for around 750$.

Do you feel that the 135L is the best portrait lens for APS-C?  A typical headshot at 216mm FF-equivalent needs about 12 feet from the subject.
Title: Re: 100 f/2.8L or 135mm f/2L
Post by: Marsu42 on November 15, 2012, 12:26:46 PM
""real" macro near 1:1 mag is when your lens cap nearly hits the object,"
You actually have a lot of workspace when shooting with the 100L. Your lens never nearly hits the object even at minimum focus....

That's why I said "nearly" ... I just checked it, on my 60d the space between cap and object is about 2cm, I wouldn't really call this a lot of workspace ... but ymmv :->
Title: Re: 100 f/2.8L or 135mm f/2L
Post by: Jesse on November 15, 2012, 12:48:54 PM
Do you guys prefer the 135 over the 70-200 2.8 II for portraits (on full frame and comparing 135 at 2.0 vs. 200 at 2.8)?
Title: Re: 100 f/2.8L or 135mm f/2L
Post by: RLPhoto on November 15, 2012, 01:00:49 PM
The 100L is almost $100 cheaper and you get macro and IS. IMO it's a better value portrait lens.

The 135L is teh portrait lens. Its a stop faster and has more compression. Plus, you can get used copies for around 750$.

Do you feel that the 135L is the best portrait lens for APS-C?  A typical headshot at 216mm FF-equivalent needs about 12 feet from the subject.

Both lenses are very long on APS-C but I used the 135L with great success on my XSI & 7D.
Title: Re: 100 f/2.8L or 135mm f/2L
Post by: florianbieler.de on November 15, 2012, 01:24:50 PM
After playing with the 135mm I decided to return it. It is truly effin long, even on full frame, and I can't hold steady any longer time than 1/50s, even that is a hit or miss. Compared to the 100L with IS this is really useless, I'd rather use the 100L in dim light situations although it is one stop more closed but I can hold 1/15 to 1/10s without problems with the IS activated.

Despite the magical bokeh the 135 achieves, the 100L is sure the better and more universal choice because of macro and IS.
Title: Re: 100 f/2.8L or 135mm f/2L
Post by: Quasimodo on November 15, 2012, 02:06:35 PM
I agree with several here that 135 on a crop body is a bit long indoors. My wife uses my 135 often on her 600D, but mostly outdoors. However... If you go for the 100L (which is also a great lens), you not only give up a stop, but also speed on the AF. The 135 is very fast in AF. Second, I would also think about another point, which is that when you are about to invest in L glass as you are now, I would also think past your current camera. Don't know if you are thinking about going full frame or not, but if you see yourself going that way, I would argue that the 135 is the third best portrait lens in the Canon lineup (200 F2.0L, 85L II, 135L). A great lens will outlast a body..
Title: Re: 100 f/2.8L or 135mm f/2L
Post by: florianbieler.de on November 15, 2012, 02:15:25 PM
For me the difference between 100L and 135L is just too small to own them both. Either have 2.0 with perfect bokeh, but no IS, or have 2.8 with still great bokeh, IS and macro. For me the IS is quite the biggest deal here thus I stay with the 100L.

If you can afford both, sure, hit it up. I can't respectively spend it on other lenses.
Title: Re: 100 f/2.8L or 135mm f/2L
Post by: RLPhoto on November 15, 2012, 02:25:45 PM
85L II = 135L

They're are very, very close in producing great photos. So close I consider them Equal.
Title: Re: 100 f/2.8L or 135mm f/2L
Post by: Quasimodo on November 15, 2012, 03:01:59 PM
85L II = 135L

They're are very, very close in producing great photos. So close I consider them Equal.

I have the 135 and love it, and I am borrowing the 200 F2.0L for an indefinite timespan (a bit big to carry around, but great). I have borrowed the 85L II several times, and it has left me wanting. I am no expert to be able to speak with umph on which is best, but my impression is that the latter has an extra thing to it.
Title: Re: 100 f/2.8L or 135mm f/2L
Post by: Northstar on November 15, 2012, 03:11:26 PM
Hi Everybody,

I'm looking into getting a 100 f/2.8L or 135mm f/2L, to do some portrait/ macro work. I won't be using the Macro a ton, but would like the feature. As of today, my budget only allows for one or the other, so I could use your help in deciding between the two.

Right now, I'm using a 24-70 f/2.8L Mark I, and a 50mm 1.4 on a 50D Body.

Recommendations?

jman....it definitely depends on whether you will be shooting indoors or outdoors.  for indoor shooting of portraits on your crop body, even the 100 is a bit long.  the 135 for indoors is way too long...go over to a local camera store and put a zoom (or the 135 if they have it) lens on a crop body at 135mm and take a few shots to see for yourself.
Title: Re: 100 f/2.8L or 135mm f/2L
Post by: JMan54 on November 15, 2012, 06:15:07 PM
When I'm doing portraits with it, It'll probably be outdoors. I can definitely handle the indoors aspect with the 24-70 and the 50 f/1.4.