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Gear Talk => Lenses => Topic started by: bholliman on January 25, 2013, 12:10:13 PM

Title: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: bholliman on January 25, 2013, 12:10:13 PM
I am going to purchase a prime lens in the 85-135mm range, mostly for portraits and indoor shots on my 6D.
I already have a 70-200mm 2.8 II, but I often don't want to lug all that weight around.

I've been leaning towards the 135L, but recently have been thinking about buying a 100L macro for roughly the same cost as the 135 and using it for portraits and tightly framed indoor shots.  The 100L's macro capability would just be a nice plus I probably wouldn't use that much.

My concern with the 100L macro for my intended use is that I've heard it is soft beyond 10-15 feet.  I certainly need a lens that is capable of sharp pictures at longer ranges than that.  Does anyone who has used this lens have any comments or experience to share?

Since portrait and general purpose shooting is my primary need, should I just skip the macro lens for now and pick up the 135L?  I imagine I'll own both lenses eventually, but it might be 6-12 months before my next lens purchase.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: Radiating on January 25, 2013, 12:37:21 PM
I am going to purchase a prime lens in the 85-135mm range, mostly for portraits and indoor shots on my 6D.
I already have a 70-200mm 2.8 II, but I often don't want to lug all that weight around.

I've been leaning towards the 135L, but recently have been thinking about buying a 100L macro for roughly the same cost as the 135 and using it for portraits and tightly framed indoor shots.  The 100L's macro capability would just be a nice plus I probably wouldn't use that much.

My concern with the 100L macro for my intended use is that I've heard it is soft beyond 10-15 feet.  I certainly need a lens that is capable of sharp pictures at longer ranges than that.  Does anyone who has used this lens have any comments or experience to share?

Since portrait and general purpose shooting is my primary need, should I just skip the macro lens for now and pick up the 135L?  I imagine I'll own both lenses eventually, but it might be 6-12 months before my next lens purchase.

The 100mm macro has harsh bokeh past macro distance. It should never be chosen as a portrait lens.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: skitron on January 25, 2013, 01:46:36 PM
I am going to purchase a prime lens in the 85-135mm range, mostly for portraits and indoor shots on my 6D.
I already have a 70-200mm 2.8 II, but I often don't want to lug all that weight around.

I've been leaning towards the 135L, but recently have been thinking about buying a 100L macro for roughly the same cost as the 135 and using it for portraits and tightly framed indoor shots.  The 100L's macro capability would just be a nice plus I probably wouldn't use that much.

My concern with the 100L macro for my intended use is that I've heard it is soft beyond 10-15 feet.  I certainly need a lens that is capable of sharp pictures at longer ranges than that.  Does anyone who has used this lens have any comments or experience to share?

Since portrait and general purpose shooting is my primary need, should I just skip the macro lens for now and pick up the 135L?  I imagine I'll own both lenses eventually, but it might be 6-12 months before my next lens purchase.

The 100mm macro has harsh bokeh past macro distance. It should never be chosen as a portrait lens.

Sorry, but the bokeh quality of the 100L is one of the best in the entire Canon lineup when comparing at f2.8.

That said, I had focus issues with mine, and had to send it to Canon for paid repairs. So upon buying one, I would highly recommend doing some focus tests using tripod, EOS Utility to control the camera, and test chart. Mine would cause the image to jump in the frame when changing direction of focus and I could set AFMA to work when focusing from closeup and it would miss when focusing from infinity or vise-versa.

I suspect this is the origin of the "soft" comments. I even made a few myself before I came up with a definitive diagnosis of what was going on with my copy. I suspect mine is not the only copy that has this issue. However, I did test a friends and it was fine.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on January 25, 2013, 01:52:28 PM
The 135L is the better portrait lens but the 100L can be one as well. I prefer the extra compression and extra speed for portraits. At F/2, the 135L can already be a pain to PP all the flaws in a face and the macro would be even sharper @ F/2.8.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on January 25, 2013, 02:04:50 PM
"I prefer the extra compression"

I'd challenge anybody in a double blind test to accurately be able to tell the focal length used between the two lenses. Focused at "normal" portrait distances it wouldn't surprise me if the focal lengths were almost the same anyway.

35% more compression and the extra stop of speed is what made me make the same choice for the 135L. Its also the reason I decided to pass on the 85L for portraits, too tight and it will produce bigger noses.

These are my tastes and If I was able to notice the difference, that's enough for me to choose 135L > 100L for portraits.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: skitron on January 25, 2013, 02:05:34 PM
As for using it for portrait, florianbieler.de has a couple of nice examples on this thread page from the Lens Gallery:

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=1195.45 (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=1195.45)
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: mingyuansung on January 25, 2013, 02:33:17 PM
I have not tried extensively.  I have 100L for macro.  And I just bought a used 135L and plan to see which one is better for portrait. It really depends on before your next purchase, macro more or portrait more. I would suggest 100L first if you are not sure. The price is good right now for 100L. 
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: florianbieler.de on January 25, 2013, 02:47:21 PM
As for using it for portrait, florianbieler.de has a couple of nice examples on this thread page from the Lens Gallery:

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=1195.45 (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=1195.45)

Hey thanks for pointin' me out ;)

I also played with the 135L a bit, definitely also a very desirable portrait lens and even another tad sharper than the 100L. As I couldn't really afford both I sticked with the 100L because the difference is not that big (also not bokeh-wise) and you got IS and Macro on top. I say if you can afford both, get them both but if not then think about if you need IS and Macro. When you only want to do portrait and that mainly from a tripod, get the 135 instead.

The 100mm macro has harsh bokeh past macro distance. It should never be chosen as a portrait lens.

Well that's just rubbish. Throw your face at my shots with the 100mm (http://www.flickr.com/photos/florianbieler/tags/100mm/) and show me "harsh bokeh".
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: seekthedragon on January 25, 2013, 03:04:19 PM
The 100L is a quite impressive portrait lens. DOF is nice, Bokeh is lovely, it is compact and light. The AF is also fast and reliable (on 1D mkIII and 60D, with the AF limiter switch used).

However, I rather use the 70-200 II as it offers just a little worse IQ for a lot better focal range. IS is about equal. I do event photography most of the time, where portraits are included, but they are not the first priority. But if I would go on a creative session, when I have time to look for the perfect angle and distance, I would use the macro for portraits. The white guy is so heavy, that shaking hands are becoming a real issue after a few hours.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: TrumpetPower! on January 25, 2013, 03:10:08 PM
I don't have the 100L, but the 180L is my go-to passport-style portrait lens...not that I do a whole lot of portrait photography. Eric Broomfield, the subject of the attached portrait, still keeps raving that this is the best portrait of him that anybody's ever made. He was very reluctant to have me make the portrait because he's never before seen one of him that he likes. And that's even including the sweat drop, which he wanted me to leave in....

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: gary on January 25, 2013, 03:36:44 PM

The 100mm macro has harsh bokeh past macro distance. It should never be chosen as a portrait lens.
[/quote]

I have extensively used the 100mmL IS 2.8 for portrait work and have never experienced harsh bokeh. I have recently loaned it to my daughter who is using it in her capacity as a professional portrait and fashion photographer (Pandora'sThoughts.com), to compare with what she already has and she loves it. It would absolutely be my choice at the price it is.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on January 25, 2013, 03:48:33 PM
"I prefer the extra compression"

I'd challenge anybody in a double blind test to accurately be able to tell the focal length used between the two lenses. Focused at "normal" portrait distances it wouldn't surprise me if the focal lengths were almost the same anyway.

35% more compression and the extra stop of speed is what made me make the same choice for the 135L. Its also the reason I decided to pass on the 85L for portraits, too tight and it will produce bigger noses.

These are my tastes and If I was able to notice the difference, that's enough for me to choose 135L > 100L for portraits.
Again, I'd challenge anybody in a double blind test to accurately be able to tell the focal length used between the two lenses. Focused at "normal" portrait distances it wouldn't surprise me if the focal lengths were almost the same anyway.

The one stop of speed might make a difference, if you regularly shoot at f2 and reproduce small. People forget that dof is output sized and viewing distance specific, in this age of small web based output I well understand people chasing faster lenses, I print, and often big, at decent print sizes f4-5.6 only give you a couple of inches of sharp dof.

Ok, so what are you trying to say? That there is no discernible difference between the 135L and 100L?
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: cayenne on January 25, 2013, 03:50:19 PM

Can anyone post an example or two of the 100L being used for MACRO shots?

I'd like to see what that looks like....having never taken macro type shots before myself....

C
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: pdirestajr on January 25, 2013, 04:04:52 PM
They are both fine lenses.

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8082/8275252181_9e230306b0_z.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/phillyd/8275252181/)
Ben (http://www.flickr.com/photos/phillyd/8275252181/#) by Philip DiResta (http://www.flickr.com/people/phillyd/), on Flickr

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8347/8212608978_cd1a02333d_z.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/phillyd/8212608978/)
Happy Violet (http://www.flickr.com/photos/phillyd/8212608978/#) by Philip DiResta (http://www.flickr.com/people/phillyd/), on Flickr
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: brad-man on January 25, 2013, 04:19:16 PM

Can anyone post an example or two of the 100L being used for MACRO shots?

I'd like to see what that looks like....having never taken macro type shots before myself....

C


It's awesome...

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=1195.0 (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=1195.0)

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=11194.0 (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=11194.0)
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: brad-man on January 25, 2013, 05:10:34 PM
I am going to purchase a prime lens in the 85-135mm range, mostly for portraits and indoor shots on my 6D.
I already have a 70-200mm 2.8 II, but I often don't want to lug all that weight around.

I've been leaning towards the 135L, but recently have been thinking about buying a 100L macro for roughly the same cost as the 135 and using it for portraits and tightly framed indoor shots.  The 100L's macro capability would just be a nice plus I probably wouldn't use that much.

My concern with the 100L macro for my intended use is that I've heard it is soft beyond 10-15 feet.  I certainly need a lens that is capable of sharp pictures at longer ranges than that.  Does anyone who has used this lens have any comments or experience to share?

Since portrait and general purpose shooting is my primary need, should I just skip the macro lens for now and pick up the 135L?  I imagine I'll own both lenses eventually, but it might be 6-12 months before my next lens purchase.

The 100mm macro has harsh bokeh past macro distance. It should never be chosen as a portrait lens.


Bull crappies. This is one of the most all around excellent lenses that Canon produces. It is great for everything from macro to portraits to general telephoto shots. It is a lightweight and weather sealed jack-of-all-trades lens. The only improvement that could possibly be made is for it to be an f/2. Feel free to post an example of this "harsh bokeh" and show me the error of my ways...
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: Zlatko on January 25, 2013, 06:01:17 PM
The 100mm macro has harsh bokeh past macro distance. It should never be chosen as a portrait lens.
Oh my goodness, the bokeh of the 100L macro lens is exceptionally good at portrait distances.  Canon must have had its top bokeh wizards working overtime on this lens, building in every last bit of bokeh magic that could be packed into a 100/2.8 lens.  For bokeh, it stands out as one of Canon's best.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: TrumpetPower! on January 25, 2013, 06:08:42 PM
How can we set up a double blind test?

You wouldn't need a double blind test, just a test in which the viewer didn't know the lens.

Since it's portraiture we're discussing, I'd find a really good portrait photographer and her favorite model. Hand her one camera and the two lenses, and tell her to make a single portrait with each lens, and to make each portrait to the best of her abilities, but on the same set with the same lighting. Let the photographer critically pick the best composition, aperture, and whatever else, again, with the goal of maximizing the quality of each lens. She's probably going to pick different shooting positions and compositions for each lens; I know I would. Also have her do similar post-processing to each, but again maximizing quality for each file individually rather than slavishly insisting that the knobs must be spun synchronously.

Finally, hand the two (unlabeled) photos around for comparison.

I'm sure some will note that this is a much different protocol than the one I suggested for comparing sensor formats. That's because this is a subjective comparison of the subjective qualities of the two lenses, not an empirical analysis of one aspect of performance. The goal is to see both lenses at their best and do everything reasonable to make those lenses shine -- everything you'd normally do if you were simply using the lenses.

Maybe, for example, the one lens gives a bit more pop with a narrow depth of field, in which case the comparison is between a lens that produces the best image with a narrow depth of field and one that produces the best image with a bit wider plane of sharp focus. Maybe the one vignettes in a pleasing way and the other in a distracting way, so the comparison would be between lenses with different vignetting style. Whatever the case, showcase each lens at its best.

In addition to just the two final images for comparison, I'd also appreciate a review by the photographer explaining her experiences shooting each and why she gravitated to the usage she did for each lens.

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: vlad on January 25, 2013, 06:55:31 PM
I bought the 100 Macro (USM) first, precisely for the versatility mentioned by others, but a couple years later ended up getting the 135L as well.  It's probably been said before, but it bears repeating - the macro lens is more versatile and is pretty good at portraits, but once you start using the 135 for portraits, it's hard to go back to the macro.  The 135 is great at f2, which along with the tele compression lets you achieve DOF and background separation that 100 @ 2.8 just can't do.  If you don't find yourself craving more background blur at portrait distances, then the macro will be great for you.  I'm not going to make a big deal about compression - sure, it helps, but it's not like you can't take a great portrait at 85mm...
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: ChilledXpress on January 25, 2013, 07:07:50 PM
I am going to purchase a prime lens in the 85-135mm range, mostly for portraits and indoor shots on my 6D.
I already have a 70-200mm 2.8 II, but I often don't want to lug all that weight around.

I've been leaning towards the 135L, but recently have been thinking about buying a 100L macro for roughly the same cost as the 135 and using it for portraits and tightly framed indoor shots.  The 100L's macro capability would just be a nice plus I probably wouldn't use that much.

My concern with the 100L macro for my intended use is that I've heard it is soft beyond 10-15 feet.  I certainly need a lens that is capable of sharp pictures at longer ranges than that.  Does anyone who has used this lens have any comments or experience to share?

Since portrait and general purpose shooting is my primary need, should I just skip the macro lens for now and pick up the 135L?  I imagine I'll own both lenses eventually, but it might be 6-12 months before my next lens purchase.

The 100mm macro has harsh bokeh past macro distance. It should never be chosen as a portrait lens.

I call pure bull-shite!!!! Either you've never used it or you don't know how to use it. Great bokeh and a good portrait lens, not the best but very good. Here are a few examples and a macro!!!!

(http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6183/6048132317_b00ff7bc94.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dk_m/6048132317/)
BBQ marshmallows... YUMMM !!! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dk_m/6048132317/#) by David KM (http://www.flickr.com/people/dk_m/), on Flickr
(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5215/5728013778_0c5c8cef41.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dk_m/5728013778/)
Golf shoes (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dk_m/5728013778/#) by David KM (http://www.flickr.com/people/dk_m/), on Flickr
(http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2801/5735348169_525bf563f3.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dk_m/5735348169/)
Maui - Starfish, Culcita novaeguineae (cushion star fr. tropical N. Pacific) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dk_m/5735348169/#) by David KM (http://www.flickr.com/people/dk_m/), on Flickr
(http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2471/5712518950_fa29f54a7d.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dk_m/5712518950/)
Maui - Gardens (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dk_m/5712518950/#) by David KM (http://www.flickr.com/people/dk_m/), on Flickr
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on January 25, 2013, 07:27:30 PM
Ok, so what are you trying to say? That there is no discernible difference between the 135L and 100L?

The vast majority of the time for the vast majority of users yes there is effectively no difference in "normal" portraits. I would be very interested to know the actual focal lengths of the two lenses when focused at, say, 10 feet.

They are both superb portrait lenses, the 135 for the longest time stood alone as an exceptional lens in that range, and for the performance a very good price, but the 100 IS macro added a very interesting alternative and I for one, when buying the macro, was well prepared to not like it and sell it on, but that didn't happen.

How can we set up a double blind test?

Don't waste your time. I've used both and chose the 135L on the extra compression and the stop of light and that was on just my 5Dc's green tinged screen. If your arguing that the 100L is a better portrait lens, your mistaken. Many already agreed to the 135Ls clear superiority in portraiture and that's what the OP is going to do mostly.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: Normalnorm on January 25, 2013, 08:16:06 PM
I use the 100 Macro exclusively for portraiture in the studio. When outdoors I use my 70-200 2.8 for its versatility and the additional OOF I can achieve  at 200 mm at wider apertures.

That said I see two issues that occur between the lenses.
First is that the 100 has greater contrast and a touch better sharpness especially at large apertures. At f5.6 and smaller the difference is visible only in very large magnifications on screen.
The second is that achieving sharp focus at f2.8 is very difficult with the 70-200 at longer focal lengths. The 135 f2 would be even more difficult at f2.

I no longer use an aperture large than f3.5 because I need to deliver razor sharp results reliably. I do not want to be in the situation of having the best expression on a tight shot be soft where even Helen Keller can see it. At f3.5 and smaller I have a far greater success rate with no serious loss of bokeh.

In the studio I am often shooting at f8 so the speed of the undoubtedly excellent 135 f2 becomes meaningless.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: TrumpetPower! on January 25, 2013, 08:48:37 PM
In the studio I am often shooting at f8 so the speed of the undoubtedly excellent 135 f2 becomes meaningless.

f/8 is an awesome aperture for studio portraiture, especially with flash. The whole face is in sharp focus, and the hair is just a bit soft but still clearly defined. Most people for most portraits want the whole face to be sharp.

Razor-thin depth of field can be a compelling special effect to direct attention to just a very small portion of the photo...but most portraits are about a person's face, not just the iris of one eye. I personally would never want to shoot portraiture with a razor-thin depth of field unless there was some sort of exceptional reason to do so, such as with a model with a peculiar and compelling eye color or to help cover up particularly bad complexion with a model who was self-conscious about it.

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: steliosk on January 25, 2013, 09:01:14 PM
+1 for the 100 L macro
lighter, smaller, newer and has IS
awesome bokeh
permits shorter shooting distance.

Wanna sacrifice all that for 1 stop brighter lens which you won't practically use?
i don't know how sharp is the 135 at f/2 you'll probably use any of these lenses at f/4 minimum unless you really know what you're doing.

However the 100 L wide open is way too SHARP.

I own the 100 L macro
I bought it for portrait use and i love it.

here is a couple of samples with my 100 L

http://500px.com/photo/23665991 (http://500px.com/photo/23665991)
http://500px.com/photo/23486803 (http://500px.com/photo/23486803)
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on January 25, 2013, 09:11:41 PM

Don't waste your time. I've used both and chose the 135L on the extra compression and the stop of light and that was on just my 5Dc's green tinged screen. If your arguing that the 100L is a better portrait lens, your mistaken. Many already agreed to the 135Ls clear superiority in portraiture and that's what the OP is going to do mostly.

I have used the 135 too, indeed I still own the FD version of it. I am not arguing the 100 is a better portrait lens, what I am saying is for the vast majority of users most of the time they couldn't tell the difference between images from either, that is a very different position to assert. Throw in the macro ability, full weather sealing and the hybrid IS and for most people the 100 makes a "better" (more useful) lens.

Consider this, there is nothing that the 100mm macro can do for portraiture that cannot be done on 70-200LII, while the 135L gives me twice the light of either for effect or practical purposes.

The 100L is a fine macro lens, and my original comment said that it can be used as a portrait lens. I prefer the 135L.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: bholliman on January 25, 2013, 11:20:19 PM
Thanks for the excellent responses and example photos.

I don't think I can make a bad decision here as both the 100L macro and 135L can take awesome portraits as illustrated by the samples and links provided.  This is going to be a tough call!
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: TrumpetPower! on January 26, 2013, 09:27:41 AM
Thanks for the excellent responses and example photos.

I don't think I can make a bad decision here as both the 100L macro and 135L can take awesome portraits as illustrated by the samples and links provided.  This is going to be a tough call!

I just re-read your original post.

First, since you've got the 70-200 f/2.8 II, there are only a very few reasons you'd want anything else -- and image quality is not one of those reasons. Nothing is going to beat the IQ of that lens.

The 100L can do macro photography that the 70-200 can't.

The 135L is one stop faster than the 70-200. Big whoop. The 70-200 beats it in image quality, though the 135 is certainly no slouch.

Both are smaller and lighter -- and that's the reason you're indicating you're considering either.

So, here're my updated recommendations.

First, if macro photography is something you want to get into, the discussion is over: get the 100L.

But, if not, if macro is just a "well, I'd play with it if I had it" sort of thing, get some gaffer's tape and fix the 70-200 at 100mm. Shoot a full session with it, however you would if you had the 100L. Then do the same thing with the lens taped at 135mm. If you discover that you have a preference between the two focal lengths, that answers the question.

If your shooting doesn't reveal a strong favorite, run one of those EXIF analysis tools over the shots you've already taken with the 70-200 to see if a definite pattern emerges that way. I'd only recommend this after doing the gaffer's tape bit because this is an emotional decision as much as anything, and it could be that you want to use the one focal length but some sort of restriction forced you to use the other more.

If you still don't see a winner at that point...get the 135 f/2.8 with soft focus. It's very small, it's lightweight, it's cheap, it's pretty decent optically (though certainly not up to the standards of the 70-200 f/2.8 II!), and it's got a built-in soft focus filter for you to play with. Your primary expressed desire, after all, is for something small and lightweight when you don't want to haul around the big guns, and the 135SF fits the bill perfectly.

Also worth considering is its close cousin, the 100 f/2.0. It's even smaller and lighter than the 135 and one stop faster.

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on January 26, 2013, 09:34:59 AM
I love it when a user says "it's only one stop" while they forget its only one stop that separates the super-teles from L grade zooms. Infact, if its only one stop, why bother with f2.8? F/4 is good enough.

A stop is twice the light. Some want a a whole stop of ISO performance but put down a stop of advantage on a lens? I wish my paycheck was a stop better!
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: TrumpetPower! on January 26, 2013, 10:55:36 AM
I love it when a user says "it's only one stop" while they forget its only one stop that separates the super-teles from L grade zooms.

Eh, no. Not hardly. Not even close.

Except for the not-yet-available-for-sale 200-400, the fastest 400 you're going to get in a Canon zoom is f/5.6. The supertelephoto 400 is f/2.8. That's not only two stops of light, it's the difference between Group A autofocus (all points doing everything they can) and Group E autofocus (no dual-cross points, no high-precision points, cross points only in the center, mostly just horizontal-only points) with the 1Dx and 5DIII. Even the 24-105 f/4 has better autofocus performance than a zoom that reaches 400. Indeed, the 400 f/2.8 with a 1.4x teleconverter still has better autofocus than a zoom with 400mm -- and no zoom will cover 560 or autofocus worth a damn there if you somehow kludge it.

And context is key, too. Few people doing telephoto portraiture are doing so in conditions so dark that they're ISO-limited with a 5DIII or a 1Dx, with the rare exception of theatre and concert photographers. And DoF at standard portrait distances is already so insanely shallow at f/2.8 (let alone f/2) that most portrait photographers are going to be stopping down to at least f/4 if not f/8 to maintain sharpness of more than a single eyelash.

In contrast, typical shooting distances of a Great White are much longer. Typically, you're taking a whole-body portrait if not even a group shot, as opposed to a head shot. By the time (before, actually) the action is close enough for a head shot with a Great White, you're dropping it and picking up your second body with the 70-200. Depth of field is still shallow, but you've got more room to work with at those distances. That, and you need much faster shutter speeds than you do for portraiture or even the theatre or concert hall.

There's a reason why you'd always shoot a Great White wide open on the field and often wish it was even faster, but few successful studio portrait photographers are often pushing the aperture limits of their lenses.

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: skitron on January 26, 2013, 11:26:58 AM
...it's the difference between Group A autofocus (all points doing everything they can) and Group E autofocus (no dual-cross points, no high-precision points, cross points only in the center, mostly just horizontal-only points) with the 1Dx and 5DIII.

Speaking of AF groups, the 100L is in goup C while the 135L is in group A, so that might be something to help OP decide as well.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on January 26, 2013, 12:16:50 PM
I love it when a user says "it's only one stop" while they forget its only one stop that separates the super-teles from L grade zooms.

Eh, no. Not hardly. Not even close.

Except for the not-yet-available-for-sale 200-400, the fastest 400 you're going to get in a Canon zoom is f/5.6. The supertelephoto 400 is f/2.8. That's not only two stops of light, it's the difference between Group A autofocus (all points doing everything they can) and Group E autofocus (no dual-cross points, no high-precision points, cross points only in the center, mostly just horizontal-only points) with the 1Dx and 5DIII. Even the 24-105 f/4 has better autofocus performance than a zoom that reaches 400. Indeed, the 400 f/2.8 with a 1.4x teleconverter still has better autofocus than a zoom with 400mm -- and no zoom will cover 560 or autofocus worth a damn there if you somehow kludge it.

And context is key, too. Few people doing telephoto portraiture are doing so in conditions so dark that they're ISO-limited with a 5DIII or a 1Dx, with the rare exception of theatre and concert photographers. And DoF at standard portrait distances is already so insanely shallow at f/2.8 (let alone f/2) that most portrait photographers are going to be stopping down to at least f/4 if not f/8 to maintain sharpness of more than a single eyelash.

In contrast, typical shooting distances of a Great White are much longer. Typically, you're taking a whole-body portrait if not even a group shot, as opposed to a head shot. By the time (before, actually) the action is close enough for a head shot with a Great White, you're dropping it and picking up your second body with the 70-200. Depth of field is still shallow, but you've got more room to work with at those distances. That, and you need much faster shutter speeds than you do for portraiture or even the theatre or concert hall.

There's a reason why you'd always shoot a Great White wide open on the field and often wish it was even faster, but few successful studio portrait photographers are often pushing the aperture limits of their lenses.

Cheers,

b&

Don't be naive.

200mm f/2 - 70-200 f/2.8

300mm f/2.8 - 70-200 f/2.8 + 1.4 TC

400mm f/4 DO / 200-400 f/4 - 100-400 4.5-5.6

400mm 2.8 and upwards have no zoom equivalents in the range.

A stop is a lot. Don't belittle that fact.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: TrumpetPower! on January 26, 2013, 01:03:51 PM
Don't be naive.

200mm f/2 - 70-200 f/2.8

300mm f/2.8 - 70-200 f/2.8 + 1.4 TC

400mm f/4 DO / 200-400 f/4 - 100-400 4.5-5.6

400mm 2.8 and upwards have no zoom equivalents in the range.

A stop is a lot. Don't belittle that fact.

Except for the 400s, those aren't supertelephotos. And the 200-400 doesn't officially exist yet.

Your original quote specified "super-teles" versus "L-grade zooms"

Check the EF Lens lineup here:

http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/cameras/ef_lens_lineup (http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/cameras/ef_lens_lineup)

You could maybe make a marginal case for your original point by comparing the 400 f/5.6 against the 100-400, but the 400 f/5.6 is really just a 300 f/4 with a built-in teleconverter. Generally, "supertelephoto" really only applies to lenses with a physical aperture of 120mm and bigger.

But your original statement, that it's only one stop that separates supertelephotos from L zooms, is quite misleading. Those zooms all have apertures of about 70 mm. Indeed, that's almost a constant from the 70-200 f/2.8 all the way through the 100-400, as well as the 300 f/4 and 400 f/5.6 primes, and even the 85 f/1.2. In contrast, the majority of the supertelephotos have apertures twice that size, which is why they're in a league all unto themselves.

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on January 26, 2013, 08:03:26 PM
Don't be naive.

200mm f/2 - 70-200 f/2.8

300mm f/2.8 - 70-200 f/2.8 + 1.4 TC

400mm f/4 DO / 200-400 f/4 - 100-400 4.5-5.6

400mm 2.8 and upwards have no zoom equivalents in the range.

A stop is a lot. Don't belittle that fact.

Except for the 400s, those aren't supertelephotos. And the 200-400 doesn't officially exist yet.

Your original quote specified "super-teles" versus "L-grade zooms"

Check the EF Lens lineup here:

http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/cameras/ef_lens_lineup (http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/cameras/ef_lens_lineup)

You could maybe make a marginal case for your original point by comparing the 400 f/5.6 against the 100-400, but the 400 f/5.6 is really just a 300 f/4 with a built-in teleconverter. Generally, "supertelephoto" really only applies to lenses with a physical aperture of 120mm and bigger.

But your original statement, that it's only one stop that separates supertelephotos from L zooms, is quite misleading. Those zooms all have apertures of about 70 mm. Indeed, that's almost a constant from the 70-200 f/2.8 all the way through the 100-400, as well as the 300 f/4 and 400 f/5.6 primes, and even the 85 f/1.2. In contrast, the majority of the supertelephotos have apertures twice that size, which is why they're in a league all unto themselves.

Cheers,

b&

One stop of light is the same difference between the 135L and 100L. Which is the same one stop which seperates a 70-200L to a 200 f/2. Some are willing to pay the 5000$ for a stop yet, you belittle the twice the light advantage of the 135L as not a reason to chose it over the 100L. Super tele, meh, I use that term loosely for big expensive glass that 99% of people won't own.

The principle is still there in my comment, a stop is big step and enough to choose between lenses.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: bycostello on January 26, 2013, 08:10:13 PM
only maybe if you take pictures of lens targets... i think it is a great lens
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on January 26, 2013, 09:18:48 PM
The point of the one stop difference in portrait shooting is quite different from the point of one stop faster for telephoto shooting, your comparisons are weak and your argument disingenuous.

Shooting telephotos: compare a 300mm f4 at 1/125 second to a 300 f2.8 at 1/250 second, that extra shutter speed could well make the difference in subject motion or camera shake and is the primary reason for fast telephoto lenses, being able to achieve higher shutter speeds.

Shooting portraits: 135mm f2 at 11 feet, for a 3" dof; 100mm f2.8 at 8 feet (for the same framing though fractionally different perspective) for a 4" dof.

Now you can argue this as much as you like, but I know that practically nobody could tell the difference between the two images shot in the portrait scenario. Sure people will pay thousands for an extra stop, I have two 300 f2.8's and have never touched a 300 f4, but in portrait shooting, unless you are plying the one trick pony of ultra narrow dof, the one stop faster turns out to have very limited functionality, the macro IS on the other hand has functionality in bucket loads.

Yet again, I am not saying the 135 is a bad lens, is isn't, it is a superb lens (though long overdue a makeover), indeed Zac Arias stated that lens alone is worth owning a Canon system for, though he ended up not using it much, favouring the 85 f1.8 ( http://zackarias.com/for-photographers/gear-gadgets/canon-switch-update-all-is-well/ (http://zackarias.com/for-photographers/gear-gadgets/canon-switch-update-all-is-well/) ). But unless you are going to primarily shoot at f2 then there is nothing the 135 has over the 100 macro, indeed once you do go to f2.8, a mere inch difference in dof, then the 100 macro has many advantages over the 135.

If you have that mentality, go shoot the 70-200 f4L IS. No one will be able to tell the difference between the 2.8.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on January 26, 2013, 10:13:03 PM

If you have that mentality, go shoot the 70-200 f4L IS. No one will be able to tell the difference between the 2.8.

Most people couldn't tell the difference between f 2.8 and f4. Getting to the difference between f2 and f4 then we are getting into an area where I would hope most on here could, so no, if narrow dof is what you are trying to achieve then f4 is not particularly effective.

You seem to take offense not at the content, which is well backed up with maths, but at the contrary message. This is a forum, a place for ideas, nothing you have put forward supports your opinion, you can't point to an image, anywhere, that is unmistakeably shot with a 135 f2, that is not confrontational, it is just the truth. Don't forget I have a 135 f2 and used it for years, though all on film, I now have the 100 IS macro and know I couldn't tell the difference.

The 85 f1.2 does the narrow dof field well for two reasons, it is fast, obviously, but because it is a medium focal length you automatically move closer for the same framing, this also narrows your dof even more, however when comparing the 135 f2 and the 100 f2.8 the tables turn, you stand closer to frame the same for the slower lens, because you are closer your dof is less, seriously, we are talking 1" difference in dof on a wide open portrait from the two lenses.

If your buisness model is based on ultra narrow dof and you are getting lots of buisness then obviously the $5,000 more expensive 200 f2 makes sense, if you are anybody else the difference between a 135mm image shot at f2 and a same framed 100mm image shot at f2.8, well, that 1" dof difference is marginal at best.

My clients don't care between f/2 or f/4. That's my job and If I can see the benefit for f/2 I will use it.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on January 26, 2013, 10:32:42 PM

If you have that mentality, go shoot the 70-200 f4L IS. No one will be able to tell the difference between the 2.8.

Most people couldn't tell the difference between f 2.8 and f4. Getting to the difference between f2 and f4 then we are getting into an area where I would hope most on here could, so no, if narrow dof is what you are trying to achieve then f4 is not particularly effective.

You seem to take offense not at the content, which is well backed up with maths, but at the contrary message. This is a forum, a place for ideas, nothing you have put forward supports your opinion, you can't point to an image, anywhere, that is unmistakeably shot with a 135 f2, that is not confrontational, it is just the truth. Don't forget I have a 135 f2 and used it for years, though all on film, I now have the 100 IS macro and know I couldn't tell the difference.

The 85 f1.2 does the narrow dof field well for two reasons, it is fast, obviously, but because it is a medium focal length you automatically move closer for the same framing, this also narrows your dof even more, however when comparing the 135 f2 and the 100 f2.8 the tables turn, you stand closer to frame the same for the slower lens, because you are closer your dof is less, seriously, we are talking 1" difference in dof on a wide open portrait from the two lenses.

If your buisness model is based on ultra narrow dof and you are getting lots of buisness then obviously the $5,000 more expensive 200 f2 makes sense, if you are anybody else the difference between a 135mm image shot at f2 and a same framed 100mm image shot at f2.8, well, that 1" dof difference is marginal at best.

Thank you for illustrating my point, people will know which image they prefer, but they can't accurately and consistently tell the focal length or dof used for each image.

They're not suppose to privatebydesign. That's why they hire us photographers because we can discern these differences for them and to give them our vision.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on January 26, 2013, 11:04:35 PM

They're not suppose to privatebydesign. That's why they hire us photographers because we can discern these differences for them and to give them our vision.

I know, that is exactly why they do!

You can try and hide behind veiled superiority, I have worked for some pretty discerning clients too, I know definitively none of them know the difference between a 100 shot at 8 feet and f2.8 and a 135 shot at 11 feet and f2, they know lighting, posing, framing, they demand on time results of a high enough quality to do the job, they don't give a damn how I achieve that.

But we are getting off point, as I keep saying, both lenses are very good lenses, however for me, and I would suggest the majority of users, the functionality that the 100 IS Macro L has that the 135 f2L doesn't have are more useful than the functionality that the 135 has that the 100 doesn't have.

I can well understand people buying either lens without considering the other, but if people are considering both I believe in a toss up between the two most people will get more out of the 100.

And that's your decision. I like the f/2 look and my clients don't know what exactly that is but they like it as well.

In the end, there is nothing the 100mm macro can do for portraits that the 70-200LII cannot do. I'd wouldn't buy the macro solely based on this fact. The 135L may not have IS, but it gives a unique look at f/2 that neither of these lenses can give.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: Plamen on January 26, 2013, 11:46:18 PM

If you have that mentality, go shoot the 70-200 f4L IS. No one will be able to tell the difference between the 2.8.
Most people couldn't tell the difference between f 2.8 and f4.

Let us see. Can you tell me which one here is f/2.8, which is f/4, and which is f/2? All shot on crop.

https://picasaweb.google.com/102280064689407386179/Test?authkey=Gv1sRgCNeyraywjY3cBg#5837981280973351058 (https://picasaweb.google.com/102280064689407386179/Test?authkey=Gv1sRgCNeyraywjY3cBg#5837981280973351058)
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: skitron on January 26, 2013, 11:49:12 PM
In the end, there is nothing the 100mm macro can do for portraits that the 70-200LII cannot do.

I actually asked this very question recently and got this exact opinion (don't recall from whom) and was expecting to sell my 100L upon arrival of a 70-200 IS2.

FWIW, the reality is my 100L has notably better color rendition, better contrast and miles better bokeh than my 70-200 IS2, so it stays.

IMO, it's tough to go wrong with either the 100 or 135 and given the resale, it's not worth sweating the decision too much since you can always buy one, turn it for a good price and buy the other if it comes down to that...probably cheaper than renting both of them before buying.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: Plamen on January 27, 2013, 12:15:48 AM
But you are missing my point, direct comparisons are easy, BUT, can you definitively give the focal length and aperture of RLPhotos' three images?

No. But I do not buy lenses to look at other people photos. I can definitely tell the focal length and the aperture of a lens (assuming that somehow I do not know it) after I have used it. I can tell what f/2.8 brings to my photography that f/4 does not, etc.

BTW, I think that both lenses are good in a different way, and I own them both. For interior shots, I would choose the 100L, especially on crop, for the FL and for the IS.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: TrumpetPower! on January 27, 2013, 12:16:17 AM

If you have that mentality, go shoot the 70-200 f4L IS. No one will be able to tell the difference between the 2.8.
Most people couldn't tell the difference between f 2.8 and f4.

Let us see. Can you tell me which one here is f/2.8, which is f/4, and which is f/2? All shot on crop.

https://picasaweb.google.com/102280064689407386179/Test?authkey=Gv1sRgCNeyraywjY3cBg#5837981280973351058 (https://picasaweb.google.com/102280064689407386179/Test?authkey=Gv1sRgCNeyraywjY3cBg#5837981280973351058)

That's not the comparison under discussion.

Try again with a 100mm lens at f/2.8, a 135mm lens at f/2, and the subject filling the frame with both (meaning to zoom with the feet). And change the shooting angle so the background is different so you can't cue off of any background features.

By the time you've made those changes, it will be much harder to tell the difference.

Now, shoot one model on one set with the one combination and another model on another set with the other, and I doubt many here would be able to figure it out.

b&
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: skitron on January 27, 2013, 12:32:19 AM
BUT, can you definitively give the focal length and aperture of RLPhotos' three images?

Assuming little or no cropping, I'm guessing the dog was shot with a 85@4.0 or something along those lines, maybe shorter. The ratio of very large nose to tiny eyes means it was a relatively short lens to get that perspective. The apeture had to be smaller to create enough DOF to keep the nose and eyes both in focus since the dog has a long snout. It will be interesting to see what the actual setup was.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: koolman on January 27, 2013, 05:06:31 AM
Dear All,

I shoot a rebel t2i. I recently received the Canon 100mm Macro f/2.8 L as a gift from a relative.

It is my second "L" lens, the 35L being my first. It is my only long telephoto prime lens, so I used it for a few portrait shots.

Well!

The color and overall IQ on this lens - is superb. Its AF is very fast and accurate. The skin tones and overall rendering for people shots - in my opinion - is superb - just as fine as the 35L.

It is a tad slow 2.8 compared with the 1.4 of the 35. It also requires quite a large working distance on a crop.

I highly recommend it for portraits. For crop users - I would be careful before buying a 135L - the working distance would be very LONG.

(http://)
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: florianbieler.de on January 27, 2013, 08:05:14 AM
My concern with the 100L macro for my intended use is that I've heard it is soft beyond 10-15 feet

This had my curiosity and after shooting new portraits yesterday and looking closer at older shots I must say:

Well, f*ck.

I shot two full body portraits from a distance of about 3 meters. They both show not "softness" but something that looks like slight movement or when you can't hold the camera steady in your hands:

(http://www.abload.de/img/crop1lqugk.jpg)

(http://www.abload.de/img/crop3v4uvr.jpg)

I then crammed in my archives and found other shots taken in distance, here is a portrait that was heavily edited of course but you also can see it was not sharp in the first place

(http://www.abload.de/img/crop285urj.jpg)

And in a winter shot this also applies

(http://www.abload.de/img/crop46ouil.jpg)

These are 100% crops.

This pulls my opinion on that lens down so much right now I think about selling it for a 135L.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on January 27, 2013, 08:37:28 AM
BUT, can you definitively give the focal length and aperture of RLPhotos' three images?

Assuming little or no cropping, I'm guessing the dog was shot with a 85@4.0 or something along those lines, maybe shorter. The ratio of very large nose to tiny eyes means it was a relatively short lens to get that perspective. The apeture had to be smaller to create enough DOF to keep the nose and eyes both in focus since the dog has a long snout. It will be interesting to see what the actual setup was.

Nope all these images are shot @ f/2. The trick is proper technique to get what you want in focus.
If you can't tell between f/2.8 and f/2, bah you might as well shoot f/4 lenses because you won't be able to tell the difference either.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: skitron on January 27, 2013, 08:50:42 AM
BUT, can you definitively give the focal length and aperture of RLPhotos' three images?

Assuming little or no cropping, I'm guessing the dog was shot with a 85@4.0 or something along those lines, maybe shorter. The ratio of very large nose to tiny eyes means it was a relatively short lens to get that perspective. The apeture had to be smaller to create enough DOF to keep the nose and eyes both in focus since the dog has a long snout. It will be interesting to see what the actual setup was.

Nope all these images are shot @ f/2. The trick is proper technique to get what you want in focus.
If you can't tell between f/2.8 and f/2, bah you might as well shoot f/4 lenses because you won't be able to tell the difference either.

Then by all means educate us. Tell us how you were able to so distort the face of the dog and make such a massive nose and such small eyes so close together and yet maintain that DOF. We people you can't tell the difference and don't know proper technique want to know how to create these beady eyes and a huge nose peering thru a fog of blurred fur!  :)
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on January 27, 2013, 08:56:09 AM
BUT, can you definitively give the focal length and aperture of RLPhotos' three images?

Assuming little or no cropping, I'm guessing the dog was shot with a 85@4.0 or something along those lines, maybe shorter. The ratio of very large nose to tiny eyes means it was a relatively short lens to get that perspective. The apeture had to be smaller to create enough DOF to keep the nose and eyes both in focus since the dog has a long snout. It will be interesting to see what the actual setup was.

Nope all these images are shot @ f/2. The trick is proper technique to get what you want in focus.
If you can't tell between f/2.8 and f/2, bah you might as well shoot f/4 lenses because you won't be able to tell the difference either.

Then by all means educate us. Tell us how you were able to so distort the face of the dog and make such a massive nose and such small eyes so close together and yet maintain that DOF. We people you can't tell the difference and don't know proper technique want to know how to create these beady eyes and a huge nose peering thru a fog of blurred fur!  :)

It's called a higher angle in which you tilt the camera down slight to move the plane of focus just enough to get both eyes in focus @ f/2.

Geez, do you guys actually go out and shoot? Its feels like I'm talking to some test chart shooter here.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: skitron on January 27, 2013, 08:58:20 AM
My concern with the 100L macro for my intended use is that I've heard it is soft beyond 10-15 feet

This had my curiosity and after shooting new portraits yesterday and looking closer at older shots I must say:

Well, f*ck.

I shot two full body portraits from a distance of about 3 meters. They both show not "softness" but something that looks like slight movement or when you can't hold the camera steady in your hands:

I then crammed in my archives and found other shots taken in distance, here is a portrait that was heavily edited of course but you also can see it was not sharp in the first place

And in a winter shot this also applies

These are 100% crops.

This pulls my opinion on that lens down so much right now I think about selling it for a 135L.

I did some extensive testing of my 100L and discovered that it has mechanical issues in the focus mechanism. It produced similar results to what you are showing, but only did that part of the time. I tested another copy and it did not have the issue. I sent mine to Canon but haven't received it back yet...we'll see and I'll comment when I test it out. But given that, if OP goes for the 100L I'd definitely test it upon arrival or just go for the 135 instead.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: skitron on January 27, 2013, 09:07:42 AM
BUT, can you definitively give the focal length and aperture of RLPhotos' three images?

Assuming little or no cropping, I'm guessing the dog was shot with a 85@4.0 or something along those lines, maybe shorter. The ratio of very large nose to tiny eyes means it was a relatively short lens to get that perspective. The apeture had to be smaller to create enough DOF to keep the nose and eyes both in focus since the dog has a long snout. It will be interesting to see what the actual setup was.

Nope all these images are shot @ f/2. The trick is proper technique to get what you want in focus.
If you can't tell between f/2.8 and f/2, bah you might as well shoot f/4 lenses because you won't be able to tell the difference either.

Then by all means educate us. Tell us how you were able to so distort the face of the dog and make such a massive nose and such small eyes so close together and yet maintain that DOF. We people you can't tell the difference and don't know proper technique want to know how to create these beady eyes and a huge nose peering thru a fog of blurred fur!  :)

It's called a higher angle in which you tilt the camera down slight to move the plane of focus just enough to get both eyes in focus @ f/2.

Geez, do you guys actually go out and shoot? Its feels like I'm talking to some test chart shooter here.

That doesn't explain the distorted perspective of the huge nose and small close together eyes. To my knowlege, only a relatively short lens and close subject distance creates this "peep hole" type of perspective.

On such a dog, the nose to eyes distance is prabably 6 inches. So I for one would like to know which focal length and subject distance can create the DOF needed to keep both eyes and nose relatively in focus while at the same time skewing the proportions of the dogs face that way.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on January 27, 2013, 09:12:01 AM
BUT, can you definitively give the focal length and aperture of RLPhotos' three images?

Assuming little or no cropping, I'm guessing the dog was shot with a 85@4.0 or something along those lines, maybe shorter. The ratio of very large nose to tiny eyes means it was a relatively short lens to get that perspective. The apeture had to be smaller to create enough DOF to keep the nose and eyes both in focus since the dog has a long snout. It will be interesting to see what the actual setup was.

Nope all these images are shot @ f/2. The trick is proper technique to get what you want in focus.
If you can't tell between f/2.8 and f/2, bah you might as well shoot f/4 lenses because you won't be able to tell the difference either.

Then by all means educate us. Tell us how you were able to so distort the face of the dog and make such a massive nose and such small eyes so close together and yet maintain that DOF. We people you can't tell the difference and don't know proper technique want to know how to create these beady eyes and a huge nose peering thru a fog of blurred fur!  :)

It's called a higher angle in which you tilt the camera down slight to move the plane of focus just enough to get both eyes in focus @ f/2.

Geez, do you guys actually go out and shoot? Its feels like I'm talking to some test chart shooter here.

That doesn't explain the distorted perspective of the huge nose and small close together eyes. To my knowlege, only a relatively short lens and close subject distance creates this "peep hole" type of perspective.

On such a dog, the nose to eyes distance is prabably 6 inches. So I for one would like to know which focal length and subject distance can create the DOF needed to keep both eyes and nose relatively in focus while at the same time skewing the proportions of the dogs face that way.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: skitron on January 27, 2013, 09:30:40 AM
BUT, can you definitively give the focal length and aperture of RLPhotos' three images?

Assuming little or no cropping, I'm guessing the dog was shot with a 85@4.0 or something along those lines, maybe shorter. The ratio of very large nose to tiny eyes means it was a relatively short lens to get that perspective. The apeture had to be smaller to create enough DOF to keep the nose and eyes both in focus since the dog has a long snout. It will be interesting to see what the actual setup was.

Nope all these images are shot @ f/2. The trick is proper technique to get what you want in focus.
If you can't tell between f/2.8 and f/2, bah you might as well shoot f/4 lenses because you won't be able to tell the difference either.

Then by all means educate us. Tell us how you were able to so distort the face of the dog and make such a massive nose and such small eyes so close together and yet maintain that DOF. We people you can't tell the difference and don't know proper technique want to know how to create these beady eyes and a huge nose peering thru a fog of blurred fur!  :)

It's called a higher angle in which you tilt the camera down slight to move the plane of focus just enough to get both eyes in focus @ f/2.

Geez, do you guys actually go out and shoot? Its feels like I'm talking to some test chart shooter here.

That doesn't explain the distorted perspective of the huge nose and small close together eyes. To my knowlege, only a relatively short lens and close subject distance creates this "peep hole" type of perspective.

On such a dog, the nose to eyes distance is prabably 6 inches. So I for one would like to know which focal length and subject distance can create the DOF needed to keep both eyes and nose relatively in focus while at the same time skewing the proportions of the dogs face that way.

OK, so now we know you are a democrat.

But I still don't know how you distorted the dogs face proprtions that way and yet kept both his eyes and his nose in relative focus. Hey, I'm just an average snap-shooting hack with more gear than I need, but always willing to learn something new. Maybe just provide the EXIF like everybody else does? That way you won't be troubled with all these questions. If doing that to a dog is your trade secret and you don't want to share the recipe, I suppose I understand.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: florianbieler.de on January 27, 2013, 09:45:23 AM
My concern with the 100L macro for my intended use is that I've heard it is soft beyond 10-15 feet

This had my curiosity and after shooting new portraits yesterday and looking closer at older shots I must say:

Well, f*ck.

I shot two full body portraits from a distance of about 3 meters. They both show not "softness" but something that looks like slight movement or when you can't hold the camera steady in your hands:

I then crammed in my archives and found other shots taken in distance, here is a portrait that was heavily edited of course but you also can see it was not sharp in the first place

And in a winter shot this also applies

These are 100% crops.

This pulls my opinion on that lens down so much right now I think about selling it for a 135L.

I did some extensive testing of my 100L and discovered that it has mechanical issues in the focus mechanism. It produced similar results to what you are showing, but only did that part of the time. I tested another copy and it did not have the issue. I sent mine to Canon but haven't received it back yet...we'll see and I'll comment when I test it out. But given that, if OP goes for the 100L I'd definitely test it upon arrival or just go for the 135 instead.

Well I calmed down a bit now, the 100L has always been my favourite lens but I highly desired the 135L also. So I decided to finally get the 135L. That will probably eradicate the use of my 100L for portrait work but it's still great for macro and product photography.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: TrumpetPower! on January 27, 2013, 09:52:35 AM
But I still don't know how you distorted the dogs face proprtions that way and yet kept both his eyes and his nose in relative focus. Hey, I'm just an average snap-shooting hack with more gear than I need, but always willing to learn something new. Maybe just provide the EXIF like everybody else does? That way you won't be troubled with all these questions. If doing that to a dog is your trade secret and you don't want to share the recipe, I suppose I understand.

If you look at the snout between the eyes and the nose, you'll see that it's not in sharp focus. That tells you where the focal plane lies.

Either the shot was taken with a lens with movements or the eyes and the tip of the nose are parallel to the film sensor plane.

Now, imagine either the dog tilting his nose down or the photographer standing above him (or some combination of the two), enough to shoot the photo not straight on from the front, but from the top of the head.

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on January 27, 2013, 09:53:27 AM
Maybe just provide the EXIF like everybody else does?

I wasn't aware that posts from Iphones stripped the EXIF data. It apparently does just that.

Edit: It appears that CR forums strips the Exif Data. :\

http://images.us.viewbook.com/e387c6c2e81335c04d65622d2b31853d.jpg (http://images.us.viewbook.com/e387c6c2e81335c04d65622d2b31853d.jpg)

Edit 2: I don't know why this particular image is causing issues for you to understand. The 135L is mearly compressing the dogs nose to make it seem closer to the eyes. Thats where the 135L also shines better than the 100L, 35% more compression.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: skitron on January 27, 2013, 10:02:23 AM
If you look at the snout between the eyes and the nose, you'll see that it's not in sharp focus. That tells you where the focal plane lies.

Either the shot was taken with a lens with movements or the eyes and the tip of the nose are parallel to the film sensor plane.

Now, imagine either the dog tilting his nose down or the photographer standing above him (or some combination of the two), enough to shoot the photo not straight on from the front, but from the top of the head.

Cheers,

b&

I know the anatomy of such a dog and I understand shooting where both the nose and the eyes are in the focal plane, but it still doesn't add up to such a skewed "peep-hole" perspective to me. And given the dog's anatomy seems to require a much more substantial angle from top to get both eyes and nose in focus. But whatever...sometimes I inquire to discover how to do and others I inquire how to avoid.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: AprilForever on January 27, 2013, 03:49:13 PM
BUT, can you definitively give the focal length and aperture of RLPhotos' three images?

Assuming little or no cropping, I'm guessing the dog was shot with a 85@4.0 or something along those lines, maybe shorter. The ratio of very large nose to tiny eyes means it was a relatively short lens to get that perspective. The apeture had to be smaller to create enough DOF to keep the nose and eyes both in focus since the dog has a long snout. It will be interesting to see what the actual setup was.

Nope all these images are shot @ f/2. The trick is proper technique to get what you want in focus.
If you can't tell between f/2.8 and f/2, bah you might as well shoot f/4 lenses because you won't be able to tell the difference either.

Then by all means educate us. Tell us how you were able to so distort the face of the dog and make such a massive nose and such small eyes so close together and yet maintain that DOF. We people you can't tell the difference and don't know proper technique want to know how to create these beady eyes and a huge nose peering thru a fog of blurred fur!  :)

It's called a higher angle in which you tilt the camera down slight to move the plane of focus just enough to get both eyes in focus @ f/2.

Geez, do you guys actually go out and shoot? Its feels like I'm talking to some test chart shooter here.

That doesn't explain the distorted perspective of the huge nose and small close together eyes. To my knowlege, only a relatively short lens and close subject distance creates this "peep hole" type of perspective.

On such a dog, the nose to eyes distance is prabably 6 inches. So I for one would like to know which focal length and subject distance can create the DOF needed to keep both eyes and nose relatively in focus while at the same time skewing the proportions of the dogs face that way.

OK, so now we know you are a democrat.

But I still don't know how you distorted the dogs face proprtions that way and yet kept both his eyes and his nose in relative focus. Hey, I'm just an average snap-shooting hack with more gear than I need, but always willing to learn something new. Maybe just provide the EXIF like everybody else does? That way you won't be troubled with all these questions. If doing that to a dog is your trade secret and you don't want to share the recipe, I suppose I understand.

I haven't seen a quote pile this large since a thread about how awful the 7D is...
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on January 27, 2013, 04:46:49 PM
The EXIF just exposes "the look" for the self delusional nonsense that it so often is!

A 1.6 crop shot at 135 and f2 @ 100 iso is virtually identical in every respect, including dof and perspective, to a ff image shot from the same place with a 200 at f2.8 and 200iso. The dog shot could be done identically with any of the 70-200 f2.8 lenses. In that instance "the look" is entirely repeatable, maybe there is a good reason my customers don't care how I achieve my results, I know how to achieve them without thinking, or self delusion.

I hope that we don't have to beat another dead horse on the FF vs crop debate on DOF.

Do you have the basic common sense to realize that if I used the macro on the same crop body, the DOF would have been greater than the 135L @ f/2? The macro won't look as good as the 135L on either crop or FF bodies.

Also to mention that you could achieve the same look on FF yet, I pulled it off with a 80$ crop body and a lens half the price of said 70-200II, all thanks to that extra stop of light you continue to reject.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: skitron on January 27, 2013, 07:58:08 PM
Edit 2: I don't know why this particular image is causing issues for you to understand. The 135L is mearly compressing the dogs nose to make it seem closer to the eyes. Thats where the 135L also shines better than the 100L, 35% more compression.

Maybe I missed it elsewhere but the reason I asked for the EXIF is because nowhere is it stated what lens was used. At least not until your edit.

And as for compression, that was not my question. My question had to do with proportions. How was the nose made to look inordinately large compared to the eyes? Not that that is a bad thing, it actually adds to the shot since most people will interpret that as the dog being closer to the viewers face. I did not however think a 135 would do that much of a peep-hole effect...especially now that I see you did it with a crop body...that makes it a 216 equivalent.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on January 27, 2013, 09:46:23 PM
You know, you get to a point where either the person you talk to doesn't get it or just to stubborn to accept something.

It's stupid to compare one lens on crop to another on FF. I repeat STUPID!!!

The 100L vs 135L on crop. 135L looks better.

The 100L vs 135L on FF. 135L looks better.

Don't compare two lenses on two formats. Compare two lenses on the same format.

Once again, if 135L it looks this good on crop, it will look even better on FF.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on January 27, 2013, 10:43:34 PM
That's right, only the 135L could deliver that image on this particular cropped camera image! this even shows how good this lens is on crop cameras! No other lens could because no other lens is 135mm f/2 that melts the background like that with compression like that.

Your the one who said, blah blah blah "I could do that same shot from your crop camera on my FF camera with a 70-200II 2.8 blah blah blah" this mentality is completely wrong and stupid. You simply cannot accept that the 135L is a better portrait lens than the 100L, which BTW I never stated was bad but just not as good.

You have to be some sorta measuabator who has yet to post any real photos on this thread. You forget that the artist chooses his tool because the artist can tell between them. I can see a visual difference in the shots I've made with the 100L and the 135L both wide open. The 135L I found superior for portraits.

You say you can't tell the difference well good for you. I'm sure your happy with f2.8 and could argue that you wouldn't see a difference between 2.8 and f/4. Then you will say there is and I will say they're isn't. It's after all! Only one stop. :)

I've gave my experiences and opinions based on using both the 100L and 135L and I've even added some examples lying around my hard drive. Why you yourself have done little for the original OP except waste your time preaching to the choir who's shot on crop and FF cameras both lenses.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: mikemilton on January 30, 2013, 10:29:50 AM
I have the lens. It is quite sharp at any shooting distance. It makes a fine portrait lens (I've used it on both the 1DmIV and 1Dx). The 9 blade, rounded aperture give a nice bokeh. The IS is astounding.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: bholliman on January 30, 2013, 10:50:02 AM
Thanks again for all the great responses!  The 100L Macro and 135L are both really excellent lenses.

I still was undecided, but my brother made my choice easy - by giving me his 100L Macro lens.  My brother has been a hobby photographer since around 2005, but he has lost interest in the last year or two.  He seldom takes his DSLR (a 5D2 and a large assortment of Canon L glass) out of storage now.  What photography he does these days is with his iPhone 5 or Fuji X100.  We were discussing photography and I mentioned I was thinking about buying a 100L Macro or 135L and he said he would just give me his the 100L Macro and solve my "problem".

So, I'll be able to buy a 135L soon and have both lenses!  Life is good.  :)
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: florianbieler.de on January 30, 2013, 11:47:02 AM

So, I'll be able to buy a 135L soon and have both lenses!  Life is good.  :)

Exactly what I did now. The 100L is great for short range portraits, but somehow lacks quality when the subject is further away. There the 135 kicks in, oh I will probably use it for any portrait when I got the space available. 100L is still a keeper for its weather sealing and IS.

Also got a Kenko MC4 1,4x converter and this grants me 189mm 2.8 too  8)
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: pierlux on January 30, 2013, 12:40:52 PM
Thanks again for all the great responses!  The 100L Macro and 135L are both really excellent lenses.

I still was undecided, but my brother made my choice easy - by giving me his 100L Macro lens.  My brother has been a hobby photographer since around 2005, but he has lost interest in the last year or two.  He seldom takes his DSLR (a 5D2 and a large assortment of Canon L glass) out of storage now.  What photography he does these days is with his iPhone 5 or Fuji X100.  We were discussing photography and I mentioned I was thinking about buying a 100L Macro or 135L and he said he would just give me his the 100L Macro and solve my "problem".

So, I'll be able to buy a 135L soon and have both lenses!  Life is good.  :)

Or, you could have a look at your brother's large assortment of L glass, check if there's a 135L and, if yes, while discussing photography again, mention you are thinking about buying it...  ::) Then repeat the comedy for every L lens in the assortment.  :P :P :P
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: bholliman on January 30, 2013, 12:57:35 PM
... There the 135 kicks in, oh I will probably use it for any portrait when I got the space available. 100L is still a keeper for its weather sealing and IS.

I'm really looking forward to using both!

Or, you could have a look at your brother's large assortment of L glass, check if there's a 135L and, if yes, while discussing photography again, mention you are thinking about buying it...  ::) Then repeat the comedy for every L lens in the assortment.  :P :P :P

I thought about that.  Unfortunately, he doesn't have a 135L (but does have several other lenses I covet: 24L, 50L, 85L and 16-35L).  So, I'll start working on those next.  ;)
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: 7enderbender on January 30, 2013, 02:24:26 PM
I had been contemplating both as well. The 100L has the advantage of being a good portrait lens AND a very good macro lens. However, I decided to go with the 135L. Why? Because it's a focal length that I'm more accustomed to for portraits and since portraits were the main objective I decided to go with the hammer-over-swiss-army-knife approach. If the main goal had been macros I would have looked at it the other way.
Both are excellent lenses and (don't tell Canon that) really good value - if not a bargain compared to how much other very very good lenses cost.
For me personally, the IS in the 100L counts as a negative so that was another (small) factor.

I'm quite happy with the 135 and it performs really well. It's so sharp that at times you might want to carefully evaluate in post processing if you really want it that sharp depending on the subject...The bokeh is probably as good as it gets.

That being said: I may add the 100L at some point as well - as a macro lens. But since I'm not very interested in macro work at the moment it's somewhat lower on my list. And even then I may actually go with the TS-E 90 to cover that...

Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: wayno on January 30, 2013, 03:10:42 PM
Personally I've never been that happy with portraits from mine. There is something quite 'technical' looking about images from it that I never get with the 70-200. In that regard, i don't see the advantage of the macro for portraiture except perhaps weight (and focussing distance).
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: lintoni on January 30, 2013, 03:49:08 PM
Thanks again for all the great responses!  The 100L Macro and 135L are both really excellent lenses.

I still was undecided, but my brother made my choice easy - by giving me his 100L Macro lens. My brother has been a hobby photographer since around 2005, but he has lost interest in the last year or two.  He seldom takes his DSLR (a 5D2 and a large assortment of Canon L glass) out of storage now.  What photography he does these days is with his iPhone 5 or Fuji X100.  We were discussing photography and I mentioned I was thinking about buying a 100L Macro or 135L and he said he would just give me his the 100L Macro and solve my "problem".

So, I'll be able to buy a 135L soon and have both lenses!  Life is good.  :)

Life of Brian. You lucky bastard. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5i1cJIwE7M#ws)
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: bholliman on January 30, 2013, 04:27:14 PM
LOL!  ;D
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: Jesse on January 30, 2013, 04:27:35 PM
RL, people are able to create equally good portraits with either the 135L or the 100L because gear doesn't matter.


......
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: Jesse on January 30, 2013, 04:29:16 PM
Also, not every portrait is shot wide open. I don't think you're going to get much bokeh if you're shooting in a studio with a black backdrop shooting at f/11.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: brad-man on January 30, 2013, 04:38:28 PM
I had been contemplating both as well. The 100L has the advantage of being a good portrait lens AND a very good macro lens. However, I decided to go with the 135L. Why? Because it's a focal length that I'm more accustomed to for portraits and since portraits were the main objective I decided to go with the hammer-over-swiss-army-knife approach. If the main goal had been macros I would have looked at it the other way.
Both are excellent lenses and (don't tell Canon that) really good value - if not a bargain compared to how much other very very good lenses cost.
For me personally, the IS in the 100L counts as a negative so that was another (small) factor.

I'm quite happy with the 135 and it performs really well. It's so sharp that at times you might want to carefully evaluate in post processing if you really want it that sharp depending on the subject...The bokeh is probably as good as it gets.

That being said: I may add the 100L at some point as well - as a macro lens. But since I'm not very interested in macro work at the moment it's somewhat lower on my list. And even then I may actually go with the TS-E 90 to cover that...


Would you mind explaining why IS on the 100 counts as a negative?
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: Jesse on January 30, 2013, 04:43:54 PM
"In the end, there is nothing the 100mm macro can do for portraits that the 70-200LII cannot do."

eye portraits, yo
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: Kernuak on January 30, 2013, 04:49:04 PM
Also, not every portrait is shot wide open. I don't think you're going to get much bokeh if you're shooting in a studio with a black backdrop shooting at f/11.
But equally, if you do want to shoot wide open and like the narrow depth of field f/2 produces, then you're pretty stuck if you have the 100L macro. It's a combination of having the right tool for the job and flexibility. For portraits, the 135L does generally have a little more flexibility, as long as you have enough space.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: Jesse on January 30, 2013, 04:54:29 PM
What do I know though, I bought the 100L because it's the best lens for video out there.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: wayno on January 30, 2013, 05:32:00 PM
Bogging in again, I prefer the 70-200 2.8II IS (for flexibility) and the 85 (I have the Sigma) for portraiture personally. The 100L is great for macro but I just don't have a meaningful place for it in my own kit. If I didn't have the 70-200 2.8 then I would possibly find it more useful (the IS, for one) but when the option for truly luscious DOF lurks just around the corner at 85, I find it hard to justify the comparatively slow 100L at 2.8 (even if the bokeh is sweet).

Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on January 30, 2013, 06:22:47 PM
RL, people are able to create equally good portraits with either the 135L or the 100L because gear doesn't matter.


......

Exactly my point why even buy the 100L macro? Get the non-L 100 f/2 or 100mm macro non-IS.

Eye portraits are not considered to be portraits but details.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: Don Haines on January 30, 2013, 08:26:20 PM
I find the 100L works quite well as a portrait lens on a crop camera, particularly when you can't get right up into the person's face.....  It also works well for animal portraiture and excels at insect portraiture :)
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: Don Haines on January 30, 2013, 08:47:13 PM
well, the reproduction of the  perspective is not the best  with "160mm"  equivalent  compared to 100mm
In a head shoot the ears  looks bigger with "160mm" and the head flatter compared to 100mm on a 24x36.

I should have added to my post that on a crop camera I think that 50-60 mm is ideal most of the time.  Lately, I have shot a number of portraits of musicians while performing. They look a lot more relaxed when you are a reasonable distance away.... Edge of the stage as opposed to elbowing the sheet music stand out of the way..... And in those conditions the 100 is ideal. For studio work, birthday parties, etc, it's way too much reach and that's where I like the 50...
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on January 30, 2013, 10:04:53 PM
No need to buy a 100L for portraits when you have a 70-200II. It just not worth it for just portraits.

The 135L give you the extra speed for a unique look neither can deliver and its small, compact and fast.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: Plamen on January 31, 2013, 12:00:47 AM
OK, this is easy to cheat, so don't. Which of these images were shot with the 135 and which with the 100 IS L Macro? There are no prizes and each will have their own tastes, that is not the point, my point is can anybody reliably tell the two lenses apart, if you are honest I expect few, actually nobody, can.

Neither has a "unique look", the macro can do a lot more than the 135, but there are very good reasons to own either.

The child is NOT shot at f/2. In the other, the focus is too close for f/2 to make a huge difference. But when you focus farther away, things change.

Which one of those is shot with the 100L?

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8189/8128213296_4f2059abc7_c.jpg)

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8473/8146141724_e88ec6d5a5_c.jpg)


(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8327/8128947099_84f1e24e0c_c.jpg)

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8187/8143717788_9e1d3763fb_c.jpg)
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on January 31, 2013, 08:57:01 AM
The kid doesn't look f/2. Bokeh is harsh.

The ice-cream guy looks totally 135L. That's the look.

What I find most un-impressive is that none of those are your photos mr.privatebydesign. Lets see your photos comparing these lens.

Now here is my input. Which of these were shot with a macro and the 135L?
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on January 31, 2013, 12:07:01 PM
is this taken with a 100mm or a 135?

Might as well be shot with an iPhone. It'd look more appetizing than this.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on January 31, 2013, 12:53:57 PM
and you are right, this is a Iphone 4s, and what do I meant by this?
If we are showing pictures from one or another lens they do not tell us much if there not are two identical images captured.

Great because test charts are always more useful than actual photos made with the equipment.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on January 31, 2013, 03:49:58 PM
The kid doesn't look f/2. Bokeh is harsh.

The ice-cream guy looks totally 135L. That's the look.

What I find most un-impressive is that none of those are your photos mr.privatebydesign. Lets see your photos comparing these lens.

Now here is my input. Which of these were shot with a macro and the 135L?

So far you have committed to two images from eight, I wonder if you got any right from eight, I'll tell you which of my post were which in a couple of days, Plamen will have to tell us his.

Why would you find my lack of images impressive? That is such a strange thing to say, through this entire thread I have tried to get you to post images that display that "unique look" only the 135 can give you, do you think the "compression" of my 100 is different to others? That my lenses dof is better? I have also already pointed out that I don't have the 135 in EF, only FD. You are the one who has kept saying "only the 135 can do that", "35% more compression", "twice as much light", well, show me, because so far you have failed.

As for your four images, judging by the horrible bokeh I would say images one and four are with the 135, images two and three with the 100, assuming it isn't a trick question.

Don't be dumb. When I see a 135L image, I know it and will point it out.

As for you, you have no photos with either lens thus I hold your opinion irrelevant as you haven't shown you've used the equipment.

Horrible bokeh? hahahahaha. You are very wrong, all of them are 135L images. Stick that in your lens mount and smoke it.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: 7enderbender on January 31, 2013, 04:01:17 PM
I had been contemplating both as well. The 100L has the advantage of being a good portrait lens AND a very good macro lens. However, I decided to go with the 135L. Why? Because it's a focal length that I'm more accustomed to for portraits and since portraits were the main objective I decided to go with the hammer-over-swiss-army-knife approach. If the main goal had been macros I would have looked at it the other way.
Both are excellent lenses and (don't tell Canon that) really good value - if not a bargain compared to how much other very very good lenses cost.
For me personally, the IS in the 100L counts as a negative so that was another (small) factor.

I'm quite happy with the 135 and it performs really well. It's so sharp that at times you might want to carefully evaluate in post processing if you really want it that sharp depending on the subject...The bokeh is probably as good as it gets.

That being said: I may add the 100L at some point as well - as a macro lens. But since I'm not very interested in macro work at the moment it's somewhat lower on my list. And even then I may actually go with the TS-E 90 to cover that...


Would you mind explaining why IS on the 100 counts as a negative?


More stuff that you pay for, more stuff that breaks eventually and I personally see absolutely no use for IS other than increasing the keeper rate on borderline useful snapshots in low light perhaps. It's not a replacement for a tripod in situations where you'd want one. And it doesn't help when things are moving around.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on January 31, 2013, 04:04:41 PM
The kid doesn't look f/2. Bokeh is harsh.

The ice-cream guy looks totally 135L. That's the look.

What I find most un-impressive is that none of those are your photos mr.privatebydesign. Lets see your photos comparing these lens.

Now here is my input. Which of these were shot with a macro and the 135L?

So far you have committed to two images from eight, I wonder if you got any right from eight, I'll tell you which of my post were which in a couple of days, Plamen will have to tell us his.

Why would you find my lack of images impressive? That is such a strange thing to say, through this entire thread I have tried to get you to post images that display that "unique look" only the 135 can give you, do you think the "compression" of my 100 is different to others? That my lenses dof is better? I have also already pointed out that I don't have the 135 in EF, only FD. You are the one who has kept saying "only the 135 can do that", "35% more compression", "twice as much light", well, show me, because so far you have failed.

As for your four images, judging by the horrible bokeh I would say images one and four are with the 135, images two and three with the 100, assuming it isn't a trick question.

Don't be dumb. When I see a 135L image, I know it and will point it out.

As for you, you have no photos with either lens thus I hold your opinion irrelevant as you haven't shown you've used the equipment.

You are very wrong, all of them are 135L images. Stick that in your lens mount and smoke it.

So which of the four I posted are the 135? You already said not the girl on the swing, so three more guesses. What difference would it make if I have used either, I am asking you to post an image that has the "unique look" of the 135, you know, the images with "35% more compression", "twice the light", "much narrower depth of field", I, and others, have posted images shot with both and you can't tell them apart, I am not the one being dumb here.

Having said that I knew that images one and four were with your 135, the 100 doesn't have harsh bokeh like that, I got two right, 50%, even though it was a trick question!

Your opinion = irrelevant until I see some of your portraits from these lenses.

It's would be equal to me recommending a Ferrari or Zonda while I only used a ford. If you shot many portraits, you would likely also agree with the 135L being better for just portraits. :P
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on January 31, 2013, 04:34:01 PM

Your opinion = irrelevant until I see some of your portraits from these lenses.

It's would be equal to me recommending a Ferrari or Zonda while I only used a ford. If you shot many portraits, you would likely also agree with the 135L being better for just portraits. :P

So you can't tell the difference, but then I knew that. Your only defense is to resort to insults and insinuations. I shot the 135 on film for years, now I find the 100 macro a much more versatile lens with much nicer bokeh and vastly greater functionality.

After calling me dumb, do you want to know how dumb you are?
"The kid doesn't look f/2. Bokeh is harsh."
"When I see a 135L image, I know it ...."
That was shot with the 135 at f2.2, you might still be fooling yourself, but I doubt if anybody else is impressed with your avoidance, insults and insinuations.

You haven't shown an image with "a unique look, 35% more compression, twice the light, and much less dof" that you purport the 135 gives you, because you can't, there is not enough to distinguish between the two.

I have little respect for measuabators in photography. I've already displayed work with both lenses and I chose the 135L for already said reasons. If my conclusion is that the 135L is better and that's too much for you to handle, go ahead and waste your time. Preaching to the choir. I simply cannot respect you as a photographer until I've seen photographs with your work with BOTH lenses. Then atleast I could respect your opinions on this topic.

The 100L is a good portrait lens but the 135L, now that's a great portrait lens.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on January 31, 2013, 05:37:13 PM
If you cannot display a single photo PBD, I continue to lol at you because since I cannot take you seriously. XD

Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: Standard on January 31, 2013, 05:46:54 PM
Quote
The 100L is a good portrait lens but the 135L, now that's a great portrait lens.

Both are outstanding glasses in their own rights...and both can produce wonderful portraits in the right hands.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on January 31, 2013, 05:55:21 PM
was that a answer to me?
if it was, it is time for you to understand perspective and  also define what you mean with a better  portrait lens, that the ears is moving forward? flatter ?

No it wasn't.

But you do want to know, re-read my posts. I don't feel like wasting more time defining this. 
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: Don Haines on January 31, 2013, 06:14:07 PM

and perspective wise the 100mm is better , if we are discussing reproduction, naturalness of a heads shape, even better is 85mm.This basic photo knowledge if you have study perspective and portrait photo.

I agree with you.... longer lenses do make the ears seem bigger. I seem to remember reading somewhere that the typical distance that people from European cultures are apart while talking, corresponds to the angle of view of a 90mm lens on a 35mm camera. If you use a wider lens it makes it look like you are too close and longer lenses make it look like you are too far away.

Perhaps this explains Prince Charles.... Paparatzi use LONG lenses to take his picture... REALLY LONG lenses..
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on January 31, 2013, 06:52:08 PM
If you cannot display a single photo PBD, I continue to lol at you because since I cannot take you seriously. XD

You can't take me seriously? Really? You are the one who claims a "unique look", but can't actually show it. I have displayed four images, the only one you commented on as not being the 135, was from the 135, others have also displayed images. What difference does it make where the images come from? I think the only person who hasn't now got the point by now is you. You can continue with the personal attacks, like I said, it doesn't worry me in the slightest, but you are showing yourself and your opinions up for the pointless fallacies they are.

4 images, that aren't yours lol.

I've showed my proof, where's yours!?!
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: wickidwombat on January 31, 2013, 07:25:36 PM

and perspective wise the 100mm is better , if we are discussing reproduction, naturalness of a heads shape, even better is 85mm.This basic photo knowledge if you have study perspective and portrait photo.

I agree with you.... longer lenses do make the ears seem bigger. I seem to remember reading somewhere that the typical distance that people from European cultures are apart while talking, corresponds to the angle of view of a 90mm lens on a 35mm camera. If you use a wider lens it makes it look like you are too close and longer lenses make it look like you are too far away.

Perhaps this explains Prince Charles.... Paparatzi use LONG lenses to take his picture... REALLY LONG lenses..

not as long as the ones they use to shoot princess kate when she's nuding it up!
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on January 31, 2013, 07:39:34 PM
I've showed my proof, where's yours!?!

Oh I am sorry, I have made a silly mistake, for the last nine pages I mistook you for a knowledgeable photographer that knew his equipment and came to forums like this to spread the deep understanding you have for your craft, all the while giving unbiased opinions and astute insight to the technical aspects that allude and confuse the less experienced. I was wrong.

I took you as a photographer. I was deeply mistaken.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on January 31, 2013, 07:57:30 PM
Meet the man with facts,  and stop throwing pies at each other

- 35% more compression. = a unique rendering physically because of focal length.
- 1 stop advantage = a unique rendering physically because of aperture.

I don't know how much clearer I can demonstrate this, explain this, and many others agreed on this. PBD has shown no photos or portraits to prove that he's used the gear in question to the OP. Not a single photo. None. Zip. Zero. Nada.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: brad-man on January 31, 2013, 08:11:23 PM
I had been contemplating both as well. The 100L has the advantage of being a good portrait lens AND a very good macro lens. However, I decided to go with the 135L. Why? Because it's a focal length that I'm more accustomed to for portraits and since portraits were the main objective I decided to go with the hammer-over-swiss-army-knife approach. If the main goal had been macros I would have looked at it the other way.
Both are excellent lenses and (don't tell Canon that) really good value - if not a bargain compared to how much other very very good lenses cost.
For me personally, the IS in the 100L counts as a negative so that was another (small) factor.

I'm quite happy with the 135 and it performs really well. It's so sharp that at times you might want to carefully evaluate in post processing if you really want it that sharp depending on the subject...The bokeh is probably as good as it gets.

That being said: I may add the 100L at some point as well - as a macro lens. But since I'm not very interested in macro work at the moment it's somewhat lower on my list. And even then I may actually go with the TS-E 90 to cover that...


Would you mind explaining why IS on the 100 counts as a negative?


More stuff that you pay for, more stuff that breaks eventually and I personally see absolutely no use for IS other than increasing the keeper rate on borderline useful snapshots in low light perhaps. It's not a replacement for a tripod in situations where you'd want one. And it doesn't help when things are moving around.

Got it. Then I'm a bit confused as to why you were comparing the 135 to the 100 L rather than the significantly cheaper, but still optically exceptional 100 macro. For me, the excellent hybrid IS and weather sealing of the L are worth the difference...
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: Plamen on January 31, 2013, 10:16:42 PM
So far you have committed to two images from eight, I wonder if you got any right from eight, I'll tell you which of my post were which in a couple of days, Plamen will have to tell us his.

I do not want to get into this dispute and I did not even follow it carefully.

I just want to mention that all images I posted were taken with the 135L wide open on FF. You cannot take those images with the 100L. The 135L has 1.89x the diameter  (the physical aperture) of the 100L and that matters. It is close to 2 stop advantage, loosely speaking. It has the best bokeh I have seen but the 100L has surprisingly good bokeh as well.

If you take a head and shoulders shot, f/2 or even f/2.8 may be too much. But full body and background not too far - the 135L cannot be replaced by the 100L

Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: Radiating on February 01, 2013, 03:02:07 PM
Quote from: ChilledXpress
I am going to purchase a prime lens in the 85-135mm range, mostly for portraits and indoor shots on my 6D.
I already have a 70-200mm 2.8 II, but I often don't want to lug all that weight around.

I've been leaning towards the 135L, but recently have been thinking about buying a 100L macro for roughly the same cost as the 135 and using it for portraits and tightly framed indoor shots.  The 100L's macro capability would just be a nice plus I probably wouldn't use that much.

My concern with the 100L macro for my intended use is that I've heard it is soft beyond 10-15 feet.  I certainly need a lens that is capable of sharp pictures at longer ranges than that.  Does anyone who has used this lens have any comments or experience to share?

Since portrait and general purpose shooting is my primary need, should I just skip the macro lens for now and pick up the 135L?  I imagine I'll own both lenses eventually, but it might be 6-12 months before my next lens purchase.

The 100mm macro has harsh bokeh past macro distance. It should never be chosen as a portrait lens.

This is the same guy who say this about the 100mmL...
Quote


The 100mm macro has harsh bokeh past macro distance. It should never be chosen as a portrait lens.
I wonder about your "reviews"... so far you couldn't be farther from the truth. I call total BS.

I did extensive and even obsessive testing and sought out multiple sources to confirm my findings for that conclusion. Just because your baseless oppinions conflict with my well researched ones, doesn't make what I say BS. In fact it makes you extremely foolish.

The fact that the 100mm f/2.8 IS Macro has harsh bokeh past macro distances was confirmed by no less than two Canon reps when I was testing this lens as a portrait lens. Canon's stance is that this lens has harsh bokeh as a result of it's tuning for macro purposes. The bokeh is tuned to be the most pleasing as macro distances and becomes harsh past those distances as a tradeoff.

In fact the 100mm macro is tuned in every conceivable dimension from it's most basic design to be very specifically used primarily for macro work, and as a result has tradeoffs.

(http://www.photozone.de/images/8Reviews/lenses/canon_100_28_5d/bokeh.jpg)

(http://www.photozone.de/images/8Reviews/lenses/canon_100_28is_5d/bokeh.jpg)

Here's a comparison at an identical focal length and aperture. Notice how the OOF highlights look like laser beams, and the background is generally the opposite of buttery, but instead very crunchy and contrasty? That crunch is a result of the tuning the lens underwent to maximize macro detail, I'm told, which gives it extremely strange spherical abberations at normal focal lengths that are generally considered unacceptable. I'm not saying that this lens cannot be used to take good portraits, I've seen plenty of good ones taken with it, and I've even taken great portraits with it, I'm just saying that it should not be your first pick. (And might I remind you that that oppinion is echoed by Canon)
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: skitron on February 01, 2013, 05:23:32 PM
All other arguments aside, I've soured on the 100L for the reason that the "soft focus" issue cannot be repaired by Canon. I sent mine in with a short explanation how to test it. $208.93 later it is exactly the same as before. And  Canon USA says they need my 5D3 body in order to fix it despite me telling them I tried another 100L on my 5D3 and it does not have the issue and I also tried the bad 100L on another body and it still has the issue...  >:(

And Canon refuses to refund for a "repair" job that did nothing.

The sad part is, the lens is 14 months old, I've now spent another $208.93 and it stil has the same issue. Meanwhile my 14 month old Sigma 50 had issues, I sent it in, they fixed for free and it actually works correctly now.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: skitron on February 01, 2013, 05:42:44 PM
All other arguments aside, I've soured on the 100L for the reason that the "soft focus" issue cannot be repaired by Canon. I sent mine in with a short explanation how to test it. $208.93 later it is exactly the same as before. And  Canon USA says they need my 5D3 body in order to fix it despite me telling them I tried another 100L on my 5D3 and it does not have the issue and I also tried the bad 100L on another body and it still has the issue...  >:(

And Canon refuses to refund for a "repair" job that did nothing.

The sad part is, the lens is 14 months old, I've now spent another $208.93 and it stil has issues. Meanwhile my 16 month old Sigma 50 had issues, I sent it in and they fixed for free and it actually works correctly now.

The trick with Canon service dissatisfaction is to send it back, they won't give you your money back but there is a 6 month warranty on the repair, if it still behaves badly then send it back, say the repair is unsatisfactory. Don't stop at the second or third person you talk to either. Both my 16-35 and 24-70 have been in three times, it is hassle and costs postage one way, but it does get sorted in the end, well mine always have been.

I'm just going to contest the charge on my card. I'm not wasting any more time on it and I'm darn sure not sending those idiots my 5D3 body.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on February 01, 2013, 06:22:10 PM

Here's a comparison at an identical focal length and aperture.

Might be more valid if they were samples of the same area! It is not difficult to make the 135 look pretty bad in the background too, just see the image I posted earlier for an example, even RLP said there was no way that was his precious 135........

As far as I know, your portfolio/photos are too precious for anyone to see. ::)
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: comsense on February 01, 2013, 07:49:54 PM
Although its utterly useless to get into this discussion, since both sides have dug their heels deep. However,
1) Technically, any lens could be used as a portrait lens, even 8 mm. It's between art and artist; rest is irrelevant. So comparing 100 mm f/2.8 L macro IS vs 135 mm f/2 L for portraits is irrelevant and comparing apples and oranges.
2) That said, 85 mm f/1.2 L and 135 mm f/2 L are generally considered best portrait lenses in canon lineup.
3) Its foolish to undermine extra light gathering ability of lens even 1/2 a stop. Photography is about manipulating light; and mostly its limiting. More currency gives you better options.
4) From what I have seen (I looked at all photos posted), RL photo is better photographer than privatebydesign. Of course s/he may have hidden masterpieces and its my personal opinion.
I hope it brings peace here.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: Rocky on February 01, 2013, 07:53:06 PM
In the old film days, Leica designate the 90mm lenses as portrait lens and designate the 135 mm lenses as telephoto lens.  Canon does not make any 90mm lenses. Therefore Canon designate  the 100mm lens as portrait lens and 135mm  lenses as telephoto lens. The reason: 90mm give us the "proper perspective" while 135mm tends to compact the facial feature at portrait (head and upper body) composition.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: comsense on February 01, 2013, 09:47:30 PM
Clearly, you love argumentation. I am not taking any side here. I have already said I know people who take portraits with super wide angles lenses and make them pleasing. Photography is not about real life reproduction; robotic system can do that well. 135 f/2 does provide more z compression and thinner DOF. You can't change that fact. Your idea of blind test is also not wise. The fact that Ferrari can't go faster than cheap Hyundai in LA traffic jams does not negate its technical superiority (and I do not mean any of the lens is superior, just different). I am not going to be drawn into argument with you but I will wrap up with this advice. Passion is a good thing. Channel it into something good rather than penchant for arguments that borders irrelevant. You like 100 mm portraits - great!!!. And indeed it's a great lens. Just let someone else like the compression of 300 or creative angles of 16 mm.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on February 01, 2013, 09:55:00 PM

Here's a comparison at an identical focal length and aperture.

Might be more valid if they were samples of the same area! It is not difficult to make the 135 look pretty bad in the background too, just see the image I posted earlier for an example, even RLP said there was no way that was his precious 135........

As far as I know, your portfolio/photos are too precious for anyone to see. ::)

Is that the best you have got? Don't forget Radiating didn't shoot those images so you should say they don't count! Pathetic.........

Lol your the pathetic one here with no photos. So called photographer in his own mind.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: Plamen on February 01, 2013, 10:15:39 PM

[...] you'd think the 135 lovers could just post some images with unequivocal image characteristics that demonstrated this "unique look".

I did.

Quote
The differences in perspective and dof on a same framed portrait between a 135 @ f2 and a 100 @ f2.8 are so slight that nobody can reliably tell which lens was used.

The photographer can tell which lens could do the job. And just because the 135L has the unique look, does not mean that every photo must have that look.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: skitron on February 01, 2013, 10:57:44 PM
I just gotta laugh at all of this "proper perspective" stuff...especially all of this stuff about how there are miles of difference between what a 100 does to somebody's face vs a 135.

One shot below is with a 50 and cropped and the other with a 200 and cropped. Which is which (without looking at the EXIF)? The batteries are in a straight line, equally space, and about a 45 degree angle from the focal plane. Nothing was changed between shots. I FX'd them so you can't cheat by going off other possible clues since the question is about only perspective and compression.

That said, I do recognize that there is value in playing games with perspctive and framing (i.e. with focal length) to get a more commercial result. But my point is if you think there is this massive difference between a 100 and a 135 then I sure hope you dont shoot head/shoulders and full bust with the same lens... Or for that matter a kid and adult with the same lens...

Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: skitron on February 01, 2013, 11:12:47 PM
That is too easy, and I promise I didn't cheat.

The top one is from further away.

Dead wrong.

I'll reveal more after others have had a chance to opine.  :)

I suppose I should ask folks to explain their reasons since they have a 50/50 chance in guessing, LOL.  :D

A hint is that if you measure the batteries in shot 1, they are the same size as in shot 2. Same with the spacings.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: Plamen on February 01, 2013, 11:16:23 PM
"I did" Not really, you posted four shots and RPL guessed one right, I posted four and the only one he actually guessed on he guessed wrong. RPL posted four shots in a trick question and I got two right, so far nobody has beaten the law of averages, untrained monkeys should be right 50% of the time, you'd think our collective skills and experience could beat that wouldn't you?

This only means that not everybody can tell that look. I did demonstrate that look because those images cannot be taken with any other Canon lens. To know that for sure, you have to be behind the camera, and have experience. I own both lenses, and I have good reasons to own them both.

Quote
"The photographer can tell" That is entirely my point, they can't, [...]

I meant - the photographer behind the camera, not the one staring at the computer screen. Give me a black box with an FF body and one of those lenses  inside and give me 5 minutes. I will tell you which lens was in the box within 60 seconds after I download the images to a computer (well, the staring phase is unavoidable  :) ).

Quote
Look, the macro can shoot many more "unique" images than the 135, [...]

Of course, it can shoot macro, and it can be better in low light.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: TrumpetPower! on February 01, 2013, 11:23:15 PM
One shot below is with a 50 and cropped and the other with a 200 and cropped.

If I had to guess, the camera was on a tripod and the one with the 50 is much more cropped than the one with a 200. As such, if you also stopped the 200 down a lot more than the 50 (say, f/2 with the 50 and f/8 with the 200), the only difference between the two images would be resolution (and either motion blur if you compensated with shutter speed or noise if you compensated with ISO). And, scaled down for the Web, neither is going to be apparent.

If I'm right, then a coin toss is going to be as good as anything at determining which is which, so I won't even bother.

More interesting for this discussion would be full-frame, uncropped comparisons "zoomed with the feet" to simulate the actual reason one would choose the one lens over the other.

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: skitron on February 01, 2013, 11:34:38 PM
One shot below is with a 50 and cropped and the other with a 200 and cropped.

If I had to guess, the camera was on a tripod and the one with the 50 is much more cropped than the one with a 200. As such, if you also stopped the 200 down a lot more than the 50 (say, f/2 with the 50 and f/8 with the 200), the only difference between the two images would be resolution (and either motion blur if you compensated with shutter speed or noise if you compensated with ISO). And, scaled down for the Web, neither is going to be apparent.

If I'm right, then a coin toss is going to be as good as anything at determining which is which, so I won't even bother.

More interesting for this discussion would be full-frame, uncropped comparisons "zoomed with the feet" to simulate the actual reason one would choose the one lens over the other.

Cheers,

b&

You have the correct technical answer. They were shot at an identical distance (and the 200 was f/8 and the 50 f/2.2, FX added to mask resolution and other differences - you really know your stuff!).

The point was to illustrate the fact that even routine cropping and framing differences with a particular lens will in fact fairly drastically alter the so called "proper perspective". And if we define what "proper perspective" actually constitutes and then express it in terms of focal length - which has been going on for ten pages now - my point is that it is a complete ruse. Because if, just for example, the so called "proper perspective" is achieved with a 90mm for a tight head shoulder shot, then the facial proportions when increasing subject distance only enough so to shoot a full bust/waist up shot, become equivalent to being shot as a tight head/shoulders with roughly a 180mm.

All of that said, I think you have the right idea of what is useful in actually choosing. And I think the findings would be that a range of lens lengths work well. And some have a look to them that really is not so much about length as other factors. JMO of course.

[edit] forgot to add, those are D cells shot from about six feet. They are about the same height as a typical adult ear and nostrils to brow distance. The angle created roughly the same distance and depth from the left most to right most batteries as with adult nose to ear. All to say, a relevant model for the discussion.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: skitron on February 02, 2013, 12:35:08 AM
Now the reason I said the top one was from further was because on my monitor the image right most battery is 1-2mm larger than the bottom one...

OK, I follow you now. And yes, I totally agree the differences in perspective/framing are pretty small between the 100 and 135. I suppose good thing since I'm ditching my 100 due to focus problems and very well may end up with a 135.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: comsense on February 02, 2013, 02:03:52 AM
This discussion is becoming even more irrelevant. If you have 200 f/2 why would you use it at f/8 to match the framing of 50 @ 2? Of course if you match respective DOF by adjusting f stop and do identical framing they would look similar and most people would not be able to tell; like 2+2=3+1=4+0. That's not the point. Can you crop from 50 @ f/2.8 and make it look like 200 @ f/2? People don't buy 800 mm to match frame with 50 mm; its for reach. Similarly, people buy fast glass to use in low light and/or get thinner DOF. In good light and at f/8, I am sure most of you wont be able to pick photo taken with rebel kit lens out in blind test from ones taken with L glass.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on February 02, 2013, 04:03:48 AM
Privatebydesign's opinion is becoming more and more irrelevant by every post because he has yet to show a single photo to show he's used both the 135L and the 100L in portrait work. None. Zero. Zip. Nada. In PBD hands the 100L can't shoot anymore unique images than a lab rat, none at all.

How can anyone take him seriously? lol.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: brad goda on February 02, 2013, 05:21:25 AM
Blah blah blah...
Yes buy the 100mm Macro IS 2.8L...
also get the Canon "tripod mount ring D (B)" for tripod use... yes its pricy but all good accessories are... 220.00! yes,, but RRS plate for that was 80.00...
its 100mm and focuses close... its a macro... with hybrid IS... a very flexible lens.
hey this lens looks good too ;D ;D
you will love it.   and yes it IS lighter and more compact in the bag than the 70-200.

ps -- posters that say a lens is too sharp and contrasty for portraits...!!?? WTF are you off your cracker?
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: Marsu42 on February 02, 2013, 06:53:38 AM
Blah blah blah...
Was that a comment on previous posts or a prediction about the value of yours :-p ?

also get the Canon "tripod mount ring D (B)" for tripod use... yes its pricy but all good accessories are...
In this case, I guess you're also buying original, genuine Canon lens caps :-o ... for the rest of us I'd recommend this €18 tripod ring d (I've got it) over the €140 Canon item ... it is a good idea, makes moving the lens on the tripod more precise in comparison to a camera body mount:

http://www.ebay.de/itm/Metall-Tripod-Mount-Ring-D-Canon-EF-100mm-f-2-8L-Macro-IS-USM-/320968716828?pt=DE_Foto_Camcorder_Stative_Zubeh%C3%B6r&hash=item4abb39f21c#ht_1760wt_919 (http://www.ebay.de/itm/Metall-Tripod-Mount-Ring-D-Canon-EF-100mm-f-2-8L-Macro-IS-USM-/320968716828?pt=DE_Foto_Camcorder_Stative_Zubeh%C3%B6r&hash=item4abb39f21c#ht_1760wt_919)
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: skitron on February 02, 2013, 10:56:21 AM
This discussion is becoming even more irrelevant. If you have 200 f/2 why would you use it at f/8 to match the framing of 50 @ 2?

You are late to the party, so based on your comment I'll assume you haven't bothered to read all eleven pages of this (and understandably so).

The point of the experiment was to illustrate that all of this talk of "proper perspective" as expressed as a single lens focal length, is a complete ruse.

If someone wants to argue they generally get pleasing and/or more commercial perspectives with lenses in the such and such length class and they prefer a particular one because of better bokeh, contrast, color renditions, whatever, then I'm all for that, and that seems a whole lot more practical and useful imo than digging in and promulgating myths.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: TrumpetPower! on February 02, 2013, 11:39:20 AM
The point of the experiment was to illustrate that all of this talk of "proper perspective" as expressed as a single lens focal length, is a complete ruse.

To clarify a bit further, perspective is entirely a question of camera-to-subject distance. Different focal lengths obviously provide a different angle of view. If you fill the frame with a same-sized subject with two lenses of different focal lengths, simple trigonometry tells us that that means a different camera-to-subject distance and therefore a different perspective.

Depth of field and background blur is a function of aperture -- but not the f/number; rather, the actual physical size of the aperture. So, do the actual division and you'll discover that a 50mm f/2 has a 50/2 = 25mm physical aperture, and a 200mm f/8 has a 200/8 = also a 25mm physical aperture. So, if you stand in the same place and take a shot with a 50 f/2 and 200 f/8 and crop the 50 to the same angle of view as the 200, you get, for the most part, an identical image.

Obviously, 200/2 = 100, so a 200 f/2 image has much shallower depth of field than a 50 f/2. Add in perspective changes and the end result is that a head-and-shoulders shot from a 200 f/2 has a much shallower depth of field, a much more compressed perspective, and much more background separation than a head-and-shoulders shot from a 50 f/2 -- assuming, of course, the 200 is shot from four times the distance as the 50 and no cropping.

There'll be a similar difference between a 135 f/2 and a 100 f/2.8, but nowhere near as dramatic. Indeed, it'll be just about the same difference as between 135 f/2 and 135 f/3.5. Different? Yes. Dramatically different? No.

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: BrettS on February 02, 2013, 11:55:57 AM
[...]

More interesting for this discussion would be full-frame, uncropped comparisons "zoomed with the feet" to simulate the actual reason one would choose the one lens over the other.

+1
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: comsense on February 02, 2013, 12:07:31 PM
Thanks for summary, skitron and trumpet. There is nothing called portrait focal length and dof. Companies define that for simplicity sake (for simple minded client) and keeping real life reproduction in mind. At least for me, art photography is not about that. Focal length as well as dof are just a tool. I hope painting forum does not argue that size 1 brush is better that 2 for masterpieces. But you are allowed to say that this is my favorite focal length for portraits.
However, I disagree on subtle difference point. If you are able to see the subtle differences, it can be like tiny sand particle in eye. For people who can't see them, world is bliss. Passion for perfection is engine of creation. Life and things are usually not dramatic.
Specifically, the dof at f/2 vs f/3.5 for 135 @ 10 ft is .19  vs .32. thats not subtle mathematically, about 1.7 times more. But I get yr point, dof difference is visually subtle (still important to few), f/2 to f/3.5 can be difference between photo and no photo in certain low light situations.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: Plamen on February 02, 2013, 12:44:33 PM
Indeed, it'll be just about the same difference as between 135 f/2 and 135 f/3.5. Different? Yes. Dramatically different? No.

Judge for yourself, 135/4 vs. 135/2 (f/4 is closer to the truth than f/3.5, and I do not have a f/3.5 version of that picture on my computer anyway):


(http://i1178.photobucket.com/albums/x375/3p14/IMG_3219_zps82ff105f.jpg)


(http://i1178.photobucket.com/albums/x375/3p14/IMG_3222_zps2f177caf.jpg)
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: Marsu42 on February 02, 2013, 12:48:04 PM
So, if you stand in the same place and take a shot with a 50 f/2 and 200 f/8 and crop the 50 to the same angle of view as the 200, you get, for the most part, an identical image.

Thanks for the explanation! Though I have to comment/ask if the bokeh is not also very dependent on the lens build, i.e. the design of the aperture (blade number and rounded or not) esp. with point highlights in the background?
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: TrumpetPower! on February 02, 2013, 01:01:05 PM
Indeed, it'll be just about the same difference as between 135 f/2 and 135 f/3.5. Different? Yes. Dramatically different? No.

Judge for yourself, 135/4 vs. 135/2 (f/4 is closer to the truth than f/3.5, and I do not have a f/3.5 version of that picture on my computer anyway):

The f/2 exposure is also about a stop darker. Just rendering the background that much darker also serves to significantly make it fade away -- you've essentially got a double whammy going on.

Normalize the exposure between the two images and the difference will still be there, but it won't be as dramatic as your example suggests.

Indeed, you can do wonders for your OOF backgrounds in post-processing just by selectively darkening them by a stop or two -- which you can conveniently do with the vignette tool in most raw processors. And, yes -- that's why vignetting isn't such a problem with wide-open fast lenses, as well as part of the explanation for why fast glass produces better backgrounds; darker is almost always better when it comes to backgrounds.

So, if you stand in the same place and take a shot with a 50 f/2 and 200 f/8 and crop the 50 to the same angle of view as the 200, you get, for the most part, an identical image.

Thanks for the explanation! Though I have to comment/ask if the bokeh is not also very dependent on the lens build, i.e. the design of the aperture (blade number and rounded or not) esp. with point highlights in the background?

Aperture design will certainly change the shape of the out-of-focus points. It won't change their size.

The subjective quality of a lens's bokeh (smooth, confusing, buttery, harsh, whatever) is basically all about the shape, not the size.

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: Plamen on February 02, 2013, 01:21:58 PM
The f/2 exposure is also about a stop darker. Just rendering the background that much darker also serves to significantly make it fade away -- you've essentially got a double whammy going on.

Normalize the exposure between the two images and the difference will still be there, but it won't be as dramatic as your example suggests.

Here we go (it was 0.2 stop darker), 135/2 vs. 135/4. I just realized that those are images taken with a crop body. Anyway,

(http://i1178.photobucket.com/albums/x375/3p14/IMG_3222-2_zps3bf8cf60.jpg)

(http://i1178.photobucket.com/albums/x375/3p14/IMG_3219_zps82ff105f.jpg)
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: TrumpetPower! on February 02, 2013, 02:15:34 PM
The f/2 exposure is also about a stop darker. Just rendering the background that much darker also serves to significantly make it fade away -- you've essentially got a double whammy going on.

Normalize the exposure between the two images and the difference will still be there, but it won't be as dramatic as your example suggests.

Here we go (it was 0.2 stop darker), 135/2 vs. 135/4. I just realized that those are images taken with a crop body. Anyway,

(http://i1178.photobucket.com/albums/x375/3p14/IMG_3222-2_zps3bf8cf60.jpg)

(http://i1178.photobucket.com/albums/x375/3p14/IMG_3219_zps82ff105f.jpg)

It's good to have both sets, as it illustrates that, yes, the darker exposure makes the background fade away more. Not as much as the wider aperture to be sure, but in the same ballpark.

b&
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: Plamen on February 02, 2013, 02:55:13 PM
This is shot on FF now. Too cold outside, so I took two quick shots inside. The doll is about 1.5x the size of a human head.  In the 135L shot, the doll is a bit larger - I was too lazy to use a tripod and frame carefully. The "model" here is too close for the 135L to really create a dramatic difference but it is still different enough.

The harsh light in the background is there on purpose. The flowers were very close to the doll, maybe 50cm or so. Developed in LR, no lens corrections. The 135L image got less exposure.

135/2

(http://i1178.photobucket.com/albums/x375/3p14/IMG_4435_zpsd969a830.jpg)

100/2.8
(http://i1178.photobucket.com/albums/x375/3p14/IMG_4433_zps0ec705e6.jpg)
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on February 02, 2013, 03:03:10 PM
The 135L looks better. No surprise.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: TrumpetPower! on February 02, 2013, 03:19:10 PM
The 135L looks better. No surprise.

Depends on how much you're looking to isolate the subject and how much you're looking to put it in context. Each has its place, in other words.

b&
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: Marsu42 on February 02, 2013, 03:40:30 PM
I was too lazy to use a tripod and frame carefully.

The framing is rather different, moving the 100L towards the doll would have resulted in more background blur. No doubt the 135L is much more bokehlicious(tm), but if you want to do a comparison it'd be done properly, or you can also save the upload time...

Depends on how much you're looking to isolate the subject and how much you're looking to put it in context. Each has its place, in other words.

You constantly write reasonable things, please keep posting on CR :-)
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: comsense on February 02, 2013, 04:59:38 PM
The 135L looks better. No surprise.

Depends on how much you're looking to isolate the subject and how much you're looking to put it in context. Each has its place, in other words.

b&
Would you guys just give up?? Neither maths nor Bokeh is on your side
Argument was whether its clearly different, not whether one is desired over other
Quick maths I did:
DOF of 135 f/2 on FF @ 10 ft = .19 ft
DOF of 100 f/2.8 on FF @ 10 ft = .5 ft, 163% or 2.6 times more
And the equivalent f stop to get same DOF on 135 mm is f/5.6 not f/3.5 as you suggested.
And don't tell me f/5.6 to f/2 is just subtle, unless you have different definition for subtle.
You can't quantify bokeh so see plamen's post
It can't be more different and clear than this
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: Plamen on February 02, 2013, 06:07:54 PM
I was too lazy to use a tripod and frame carefully.
The framing is rather different, moving the 100L towards the doll would have resulted in more background blur. No doubt the 135L is much more bokehlicious(tm), but if you want to do a comparison it'd be done properly, or you can also save the upload time...

Wow - tough crowd! We have 12+ pages of posts and this is the first direct comparison, if I am not mistaken. And I am been hammered for 10% or so difference in framing, and for wasting bandwidth!
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: Marsu42 on February 02, 2013, 06:15:32 PM
Wow - tough crowd! We have 12+ pages of posts and this is the first direct comparison, if I am not mistaken. And I am been hammered for 10% or so difference in framing, and for wasting bandwidth!

I didn't want to cause undue alarm or attack you, and the surgar-coated version is also available  ... I just tried pointing out that some tiny headroom for even further future improvement exists, but your input is very much appreciated and even at the current state great and very helpful  :-)

Maybe I'm a bit over-critical, but I often observe researchers that for some matter discover exactly what they went out to find and knew before - it was a bit like that with your comparison shots: We know the 135L has better bokeh, so why bother with a real comparison to prove it :-p ?
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: Northstar on February 02, 2013, 07:01:02 PM
let's try to find some common ground...I'm sure we can all agree that the canon 135L and 100L are both superior to the Nikon 135 and 105?  ::) ;)

also, you know what I would pay to see at this point...a simple bet with real money, I provide 10 random shots with the 135 at F2, and 10 shots with the 100 at 2.8.  and RLphoto and Privatedesign put their money up....for each photo that rlphoto correctly identifies as the 135, he gets $100 from Private, and for each photo he get's wrong...he pays $100 to private.

if we could all gather around the monitor with our favorite beverage, that would be some good fun!  ;D 

 
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: comsense on February 02, 2013, 07:14:29 PM
Wow - tough crowd! We have 12+ pages of posts and this is the first direct comparison, if I am not mistaken. And I am been hammered for 10% or so difference in framing, and for wasting bandwidth!

I didn't want to cause undue alarm or attack you, and the surgar-coated version is also available  ... I just tried pointing out that some tiny headroom for even further future improvement exists, but your input is very much appreciated and even at the current state great and very helpful  :-)

Maybe I'm a bit over-critical, but I often observe researchers that for some matter discover exactly what they went out to find and knew before - it was a bit like that with your comparison shots: We know the 135L has better bokeh, so why bother with a real comparison to prove it :-p ?

Good you said that it was obvious. Now turn around and tell that to people who are hammering everyone who tries to tell this 'obvious' mathematical fact (as far as subject isolation is concerned; bokeh cant be quantified). They claim that difference is so subtle that most people cant pick it up in blind tests. Then, they either show crappy examples or 135 used at f/8 to match the DOF (dah, its going to be equal because you matched it) to make a point. Plamen shows first direct and relevant comparison and gets hammered by you for showing the 'obvious'. Fair world......
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on February 02, 2013, 07:34:09 PM
Wow - tough crowd! We have 12+ pages of posts and this is the first direct comparison, if I am not mistaken. And I am been hammered for 10% or so difference in framing, and for wasting bandwidth!

I didn't want to cause undue alarm or attack you, and the surgar-coated version is also available  ... I just tried pointing out that some tiny headroom for even further future improvement exists, but your input is very much appreciated and even at the current state great and very helpful  :-)

Maybe I'm a bit over-critical, but I often observe researchers that for some matter discover exactly what they went out to find and knew before - it was a bit like that with your comparison shots: We know the 135L has better bokeh, so why bother with a real comparison to prove it :-p ?

Good you said that it was obvious. Now turn around and tell that to people who are hammering everyone who tries to tell this 'obvious' mathematical fact (as far as subject isolation is concerned; bokeh cant be quantified). They claim that difference is so subtle that most people cant pick it up in blind tests. Then, they either show crappy examples or 135 used at f/8 to match the DOF (dah, its going to be equal because you matched it) to make a point. Plamen shows first direct and relevant comparison and gets hammered by you for showing the 'obvious'. Fair world......

Or some simply just can't accept that "I told you so."
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on February 02, 2013, 08:45:24 PM
Privatebydesign - number of unique images made. - 0

I don't believe you have a relevant opinion in determining character in comparing unique lenses.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: Plamen on February 02, 2013, 09:38:11 PM


First, the "comparison" plamen posted IS NOT relevant or the situation I have constantly referred to, I KEEP saying FOR THE SAME FRAMED IMAGE, that means moving forwards for the 100.

Exactly what I did. The error was about 10%.

I will post some more.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: Plamen on February 02, 2013, 11:04:33 PM


Why not just try and tell me which of the four images I posted many pages ago are shot with which lens, surely that should be easy seeing as how the 135 has a "unique look"? And that is my point, yet again, it is not about comparisons, it is about the FACT that nobody can RELIABLY tell what image was shot with which lens, nobody who alludes to this "unique look" can reliably identify it, if you can't reliably identify it it isn't "unique".

I answered that already, several times. It is not hard to use a lens with a unique look in a way that nobody can tell the difference with a f/4 zoom. It has unique look when you use it in a unique way.

I have comparisons of the 24-105 with the 50L, the 85LII, the 35L. You would not be able to tell a difference, and even under 100% it will be hard to say which is which. I can post them if you insist. So what now, since nobody can tell the difference in those shots, those three primes are useless?
Title: More comparisons
Post by: Plamen on February 02, 2013, 11:06:13 PM
More comparisons here (http://plamen.emilstefanov.net/100L_vs_135L_bokeh/index.htm).
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: RLPhoto on February 02, 2013, 11:10:07 PM


Why not just try and tell me which of the four images I posted many pages ago are shot with which lens, surely that should be easy seeing as how the 135 has a "unique look"? And that is my point, yet again, it is not about comparisons, it is about the FACT that nobody can RELIABLY tell what image was shot with which lens, nobody who alludes to this "unique look" can reliably identify it, if you can't reliably identify it it isn't "unique".

I answered that already, several times. It is not hard to use a lens with a unique look in a way that nobody can tell the difference with a f/4 zoom. It has unique look when you use it in a unique way.

I have comparisons of the 24-105 with the 50L, the 85LII, the 35L. You would not be able to tell a difference, and even under 100% it will be hard to say which is which. I can post them if you insist. So what now, since nobody can tell the difference in those shots, those three primes are useless?

Don't waste your time with PBD.  You've showed your photos to prove your point and explained yourself. He has nothing to show to support his views. He's just too stubborn to realize whats plainly in front of him.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: comsense on February 02, 2013, 11:32:05 PM


First, the "comparison" plamen posted IS NOT relevant or the situation I have constantly referred to, I KEEP saying FOR THE SAME FRAMED IMAGE, that means moving forwards for the 100.

Exactly what I did. The error was about 10%.

I will post some more.

Why not just try and tell me which of the four images I posted many pages ago are shot with which lens, surely that should be easy seeing as how the 135 has a "unique look"? And that is my point, yet again, it is not about comparisons, it is about the FACT that nobody can RELIABLY tell what image was shot with which lens, nobody who alludes to this "unique look" can reliably identify it, if you can't reliably identify it it isn't "unique". If the look it gives isn't unique then there needs to be a better reason to choose between the two lenses. My thought was that, bearing in mind nobody seems to be able to differentiate the lenses when used for portraits, the macro has much more flexibility. Now why is that so controversial?
You are dead wrong. Even if I accept your suggestion that one should buy 135 mm to walk away and match the composition of 100 mm (there is a reason why people buy suitable focal length) and hence make the imaging scale (physics term) same and hence the same depth of field. That is true because DOF for same imaging scale and same aperture (although f stop is not same in your examples) is unrelated to focal length. That seem be where you are falling down. Same DOF does not mean same OOF blur. The OOF blur or specifically, the infinity background blur (only measurable component defining bokeh) is dependent on physical size of entrance pupil in the imaging setup. That means the larger imaging formats, higher apertures and longer focal lengths will give you more out of focus blur, an essential prerequisite for good bokeh in addition to the lens design. With 135, you have bigger aperture as well as larger focal length and hence considerably more OOF blur even for same DOF. Now you can either read optics textbooks, or take comparable shots to test it as Plamen tried to show you. You can do better if you are not satisfied. Posting random shots of other people from here and there and asking which lens was it is not a proper experimental design. Even if you want to do blind test just take the shots on 100 and 135 with same DOF and ask people which one has better bokeh. That would tell you if its subtle or not. I repeat my analogy since you are not understanding it - What you are saying is essentially that Ferrari is as good as Hyundai. And as a proof you show a Ferrari stuck in one of those famous LA traffic jams with Hyundai. Does that make sense to you? 
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: split personality on February 02, 2013, 11:51:21 PM
Quite amazed that this thread is still going strong.

First of all, there's no magical thing such as "lens compression". It is simply due to the working distance between the camera and the subject that changes the perspective. A 24mm wide angle can achieve the same "lens compression" by taking the shot at the same distance with extreme cropping afterwards. The big penalty here is obviously resolution. For the 100mm to achieve the same perspective and "lens compression" as the 135mm, expect to crop out ~10% of your final picture. Honestly I didn't bother to do the math.

As of distinguishing between F/2 vs F/2.8 in terms of DOF, it is not always easy to the naked eye. Will your client complaint about the background not being blurry enough despite the strong composition, perfectly lit, well focused and expressive shot? Of course not! But is shallower depth of field more pleasing to the eye when isolating our subjects from the background? You bet!

Some examples:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-200mm-f-2-L-IS-USM-Lens-Review.aspx (http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-200mm-f-2-L-IS-USM-Lens-Review.aspx)

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-85mm-f-1.2-L-II-USM-Lens-Review.aspx (http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-85mm-f-1.2-L-II-USM-Lens-Review.aspx)

Simply move your mouse between each stop and don't tell me you cannot see the difference in the background blur. Perhaps Canon should stop selling the 200mm F/2 when everyone can simply get the superb 70-200mm F/2.8 II that actually zooms, much lighter, less expensive and pretty darn sharp and well built then just leave it at 200mm F/2.8. Obviously for those who tried the 200mm F/2 would disagree.

Besides DOF, F/2 is still one stop over F/2.8. I'm sorry but that's quite significant. We all know that IS doesn't stop motion blur so that extra stop of light can mean the difference between a blurry portrait shot at 1/50s vs a sharp one at 1/100s. In a very poorly lit church where no flash is allowed, a barely sharp 1/100s shot of the bride walking down the aisle vs a tack sharp 1/200s shot makes a huge difference.

At this point, you might say... meh.. why not just compensate with higher ISO? Awesome, let's talk about ISO.

The one stop advantage of the F/2 sometimes allows you to shoot at ISO 6400 instead of ISO 12800. You will certainly see a difference even on the 1DX or 5DIII. On the current 18MP APS-C crops, the difference is significant between ISO 1600 and 3200. Let's not even talk about 6400.

Call me old-fashioned but I prefer my portraits to be well composed in the camera without cropping, have a shallower DOF to isolate my subject, tack sharp with a faster shutter and maintaining a lower ISO for maximum image quality.

With the 100mm F/2.8 you are essentially compromising a combination of the above to achieve the same as the 135mm F/2. The biggest advantage which I won't deny is the macro capability. Now if you want to shoot extreme closeups (like filling the entire frame with one eye)... sure just get the 100mm F/2.8.

As far as portraiture is concerned, and let's stick with the classic definition of portraits, the 135mm F/2 is still a winner.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: skitron on February 03, 2013, 01:36:20 AM
LOL, I did not expect this thread to still be going either, but since it is and since my 100L is on the fritz and I  need to replace it...

...What is the collective opinion of the Canon 100 f/2? What I really want is a 100L f/1.6, and that to me would be a very cool lens, but alas no such animal exists.

Any comments specific to this particular lens?
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: wayno on February 03, 2013, 01:56:10 AM
Get some perspective fellas (pardon the obvious pun). Lot of bickering over two lenses :)
I can't quite believe the way this conversation (argument) has unravelled.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: Chosenbydestiny on February 03, 2013, 02:02:14 AM
Are some of you going blind? The short answer is yes, a macro lens can be used as a portrait lens, technically. But when you're taking a photo of a person who is facing your camera, and your trying to get a natural look.... Macro lenses are horrible for that. Most of them are too sharp, oversaturate and don't render skin tones naturally. If you can't see that in the sample comparisons alone I suggest getting your eyes checked. That's why specialty lenses are designed specific ways, to excel in the areas they were designed for. Simple as that.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: notapro on February 03, 2013, 02:19:24 AM
I write this entry as a disinterested (i.e., impartial) observer, and also to echo comsense’s hope for peace between RLPhoto and privatebydesign.

I see between the two writers something of what I have seen in other contexts when reasonable persons discuss questions of how human expression is realized in artistic or creative contexts.  My observations are neither meant nor intended to be definitive.  Rather, I present my perception as a “best-guess-paraphrase” of the lively exchange in this thread on Canon’s 135 f/2L and 100 f/2.8L Macro IS lenses.  My characterizations of RLPhoto and privatebydesign rest only on what I have read or seen from them on this site and on what I have seen on any of their personal sites they have referenced.

From my reading of RLPhoto’s entries in this and in other threads, as well as from my perusal of his website, I understand him to be a photographer-as-artist.  His work is photography qua photography, and his language coincides with that identity.  Many of RLPhoto’s posts have noted the question of “good photography”.  Indeed, RLPhoto reminds me pianists (for example), who play beautifully, regardless of what instrument they have at hand, be it a Yamaha, a Steinway, or a Bösendorfer.  At no point would such pianists deny differences in physical and acoustic properties of the instruments.  It is not uncommon, though, that such a pianist–let’s call him Chuck–might make statements such as “I get the best tone from the action on a Bösendorfer.  A Steinway keyboard doesn’t let me be as expressive of maestoso aspects”.  So, when RLPhoto refers to a “unique look” in his use of the 135L, I take his use of language in the context of how photographers qua photographers express themselves.  Put another way, when talking about their field, such photographers may at times tend to use language in non-literal ways, despite their word choices.  I do not pretend to speak for RLPhoto, but I offer the proposition that, when he cites “35% more compression”–for example–his statement does not derive from measurements taken in a physics or optics laboratory.  He is speaking more loosely, I speculate, than would a physicist on the same matter.  When he speaks of a “unique look”, he speaks as Chuck does in describing the action of a Bösendorfer.

Alternatively, privatebydesign, in the majority of his posts, appears to express himself in rather literal ways.  He offers advice and opinion based on technical, specified, published, or other such concrete, testable information or data.  Naturally, then, for someone who uses language in a more literal way–let’s call him Fred–on hearing statements such as that made by Chuck, might respond along the lines of, “What do you mean you can’t be as expressive on a Steinway?  In what way?  By what criteria?  Are you suggesting that you can’t get the same sound and expressiveness on a Steinway as you can on a Bösendorfer?”

And there it begins.  Chuck might say, “When I play a Bösendorfer, I get the tone I want, a tone that I know, a tone I can hear.  I don’t need to measure anything.  I know what I’m playing and what I’m hearing.  Fred might say, “If we record two persons playing the same passage, the Steinway pianist can get, with minor accommodations, the same or similar level of expressiveness as you can on your Bösendorfer.”  “No, he can’t.”  “Yes, he can.”  And so it goes.

Before continuing, let me clarify that my analogy is not that of comparing pianos from different manufacturers with lenses from a single manufacturer.  My analogy goes merely to the matter of two different objects producing similar–or not–results.  Furthermore, the piano-lens comparison is not at issue here.

But a focus on language is.

I imagine that RLPhoto and privatebydesign might agree on a good deal in photography.  What seems to have happened is that RLPhoto’s use of language strikes privatebydesign as imprecise and, even, as an instance of spreading inaccurate or misleading information.  I do not take RLPhoto to be someone who would spread misinformation deliberately, and neither do I take him to be “wrong” in his statements.  He speaks what is true for him, what is true for his experience, and what is true for his work.  I speculate further that he does not propose to speak in the manner of a scientist, and that he does not respond or conduct his posts in a scientistic mode.

Alternatively, privatebydesign’s observations on the 100 and 135 lenses seem to be grounded on principles of mathematics and physics.  His statements on the lenses are also not based, I believe, on anything in the way of feeling or art.  What he expresses is true, verifiable, and not inherently inflammatory.

Both gentlemen, then, have expressed truths, but they have “talked past each other”, so to speak.  I stand with others in this thread in being surprised by the continued tension between RLPhoto, privatebydesign, and their occasional supporters.

I suggest that a difference in the way each contributor uses and understands language in the context of how they view and practice their fields placed them, inadvertently, in a less than sunny exchange.  If this is in fact the case, then perhaps reconciliation between parties is possible.

Peace, anyone?
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: wayno on February 03, 2013, 03:08:14 AM
Well said. That's my take as well. I can understand the idea about the 'feel' of a lens. That's the romance of it. Not everything can or should be boiled down to hard science. But I can appreciate PBD's viewpoint too. Both are wrong. And right.
Title: Re: More comparisons
Post by: Marsu42 on February 03, 2013, 03:35:44 AM
More comparisons here (http://plamen.emilstefanov.net/100L_vs_135L_bokeh/index.htm).

Thanks, there are some with more comparable framing (esp. the book shelf)!

The 100L, being mainly a macro lens, doesn't need a very large open aperture since for objects near the lens the bokeh is bound to be strong, and the problem usually is a too tiny dof. But I'm not surprised that for head+shoulders portraits the 100L cannot eliminate the background, that's why it's "only" dual use and there are fast primes. But it's also my experience that f2.8 for portrait distance still "integrates" the background.

The 100L is a great "budget" (€900, argh) alternative, esp. since I've got the Kenko 1.4x tc to have stronger compression or macro working distance when I need it.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: Chosenbydestiny on February 03, 2013, 09:23:17 AM


First, the "comparison" plamen posted IS NOT relevant or the situation I have constantly referred to, I KEEP saying FOR THE SAME FRAMED IMAGE, that means moving forwards for the 100.

Exactly what I did. The error was about 10%.

I will post some more.

Why not just try and tell me which of the four images I posted many pages ago are shot with which lens, surely that should be easy seeing as how the 135 has a "unique look"? And that is my point, yet again, it is not about comparisons, it is about the FACT that nobody can RELIABLY tell what image was shot with which lens, nobody who alludes to this "unique look" can reliably identify it, if you can't reliably identify it it isn't "unique". If the look it gives isn't unique then there needs to be a better reason to choose between the two lenses. My thought was that, bearing in mind nobody seems to be able to differentiate the lenses when used for portraits, the macro has much more flexibility. Now why is that so controversial?

You're right, to an extent. But you're wrong to an even further extent. Yes, distance, the amount of light, composition, etc play a very big factor in creating an image. But macro lenses, like other lenses have very noticeable strengths and weaknesses. In terms of image quality itself, I don't know how you can't see it. I saw it right away after borrowing a 100L and comparing it to my 135mm and 85mm lenses. Macro images look horrible for head and shoulder shots. I can even see it in full body portraits. Color wise, sharpness wise, they're over the top. Fixing it all in post is no excuse, over saturation destroys the range from the standard portrait distances. So no, nobody wants to use a bloody 100L for portraits, mostly for those reasons, and some because of AF performance and speed which is another sacrifice. If you need to get close, it's no compromise, get a macro lens. But don't tell me it's equal or better than portrait lenses.
Title: Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
Post by: Marsu42 on February 03, 2013, 09:41:21 AM
I don't know how you can't see it. I saw it right away after borrowing a 100L and comparing it to my 135mm and 85mm lenses. Macro images look horrible for head and shoulder shots. I can even see it in full body portraits. Color wise, sharpness wise, they're over the top.

Like privatebydesign, I seem to be in the humble "can't see it" group - could you please elaborate what exactly "over the top" concerning color/sharpness means?