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Gear Talk => Lenses => Topic started by: VitorMachado on June 18, 2013, 05:28:14 PM

Title: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: VitorMachado on June 18, 2013, 05:28:14 PM
I'm currently in the market for a telephoto L lens, but stuck between these two. I've never owned nor shot either lens so that's my biggest issue. Here's the question; which one should I buy? I shoot cars so I'd like to have the perfect 16:9 aspect ratio from a distance, but also get more up close if needed. The 100L will basically knock out two birds with one stone due to the extremely small focus distance, but then the 135L has been crowned the king of the L lenses. Which decision should I make? Your help is appreciated!
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: bholliman on June 18, 2013, 06:11:04 PM
I'm currently in the market for a telephoto L lens, but stuck between these two. I've never owned nor shot either lens so that's my biggest issue. Here's the question; which one should I buy? I shoot cars so I'd like to have the perfect 16:9 aspect ratio from a distance, but also get more up close if needed. The 100L will basically knock out two birds with one stone due to the extremely small focus distance, but then the 135L has been crowned the king of the L lenses. Which decision should I make? Your help is appreciated!

For me the right answer was 135L.  I don't have much interest in macro photography so was looking primarily for a portrait/tele lens and the 135L fits the bill perfectly.  It will focus as close as 3 feet, which is generally plenty close enough outside.  The sharpness and color rendition of this lens are hard to beat.  I have only limited experience with the 100L and its is a wonderful lens as well.  Its advantage is of course its macro capability.  The 135L is a stop faster and better bokeh.
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: Eli on June 18, 2013, 06:36:17 PM
If I were in your shoes I'd go for the 100L. You don't need the extra stop when shooting cars, actually you may even need to stop down further.
And depending on the type of "car photography" you do, you may even use the macro for detailed shots, especially of the interior.
Plus not to mention image stabilization and weather sealing.

I've had both lenses but sold the 135mm. The 135mm is the king of creamy backgroud portraits, only get it if you plan on shooting at f2 often. I kept the 100L as its a great multi purpose lens, and fairs just as well at f2.8 onwards as the 135mm (apart from AF speed, which isn't too bad if you use the focus limiter).
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: neuroanatomist on June 18, 2013, 06:37:31 PM
I have both, both are excellent; the 135L is my go-to for portraits and often indoor sports, the 100L is used primarily for macro. 
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: GoodVendettaPhotography on June 18, 2013, 07:18:21 PM
You should buy the 135L and get the 100mm non L for special occasions or marco work. Both of your choices are great lenses, but I found myself almost always using the 135L.
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: mwh1964 on June 18, 2013, 08:48:01 PM
Hi, Think you gave the answer yourself. The 100L would get you the required flexibility plus IS. If you suddenly should turn focus onto portraits the 100L would also do a very decent job. And if not then buy the 135L at that point in time. Enjoy your new lens.
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: chas1113 on June 18, 2013, 09:43:37 PM
I just went through the same internal debate. I ended up with the 100L for the following reasons: 1:1 macro; nine-blade aperture gives very good blur (not as creamy as the 135, but very good at 2.8 nonetheless); IS; weather-sealing; price (it's a hair cheaper); sharpness wide open....in a nutshell — versatility.
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: John on June 18, 2013, 10:11:26 PM
i hardly ever shoot macro. i have both lenses and i use the 135L a lot more often than the 100. i use the 135 for portraits and indoor sports. i love the lens a lot.
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: tnargs on June 18, 2013, 10:18:02 PM
Which camera will it mainly be for, the 6D or 60D?
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: Pi on June 18, 2013, 10:21:42 PM
What cars, real cars (not models)? 135mm or 100mm would be too long for that, I guess.
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: Z-06 on June 18, 2013, 10:28:08 PM
How much close up do you need? (Shot with the 135L 2013 Detroit Autoshow)

(http://i221.photobucket.com/albums/dd165/haldavnekar/2013NAIASDetroit-002.jpg)

(http://i221.photobucket.com/albums/dd165/haldavnekar/2013NAIASDetroit-003.jpg)
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: VitorMachado on June 18, 2013, 11:14:06 PM
Thanks for the replies, they're really helping. I am leaning towards the 100L solely because of it's versatility, but the 135L does indeed have the best bokeh, which is something I need. Does anyone know if both of these lenses are sharp wide open? These 2 pictures I have included below were taken using the 50 1.4, but stopped down to about 2.5/2.8, due to its massive chromatic aberration around the wheels' reflections. Thanks again!
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: Pi on June 18, 2013, 11:22:58 PM
Thanks for the replies, they're really helping. I am leaning towards the 100L solely because of it's versatility, but the 135L does indeed have the best bokeh, which is something I need. Does anyone know if both of these lenses are sharp wide open? These 2 pictures I have included below were taken using the 50 1.4, but stopped down to about 2.5/2.8, due to its massive chromatic aberration around the wheels' reflections. Thanks again!

They are both sharp enough wide open not to worry. There might be some CA from the reflections with the 135 wide open but the 100L cannot open so much anyway. The 100L renders more saturated colors. For your application, the 100L might be better - the IS is a big plus. The 135L does have better bokeh though.

P.S. I posted some comparisons  here (http://plamen.emilstefanov.net/100L_vs_135L_bokeh/index.htm) some time ago. Sorry, a very different setup, no cars.
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: mwh1964 on June 18, 2013, 11:46:36 PM
Great pictures. Why not stay with your 50 f/1.4 and save the money. Just a thought.
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: Z-06 on June 19, 2013, 07:22:49 AM
Like mwh says above, 50 1.4 is an excellent lens for cars photography. I have shot the entire Detroit Auto Show during press days with three lenses, 50 1.4, 135 f2 and 70-200 IS. The primes for stationary cars (including ones on pedestals) and the zoom for unveils or ones coming on stage. To me, it is an extremely versatile combination.

Cars, in my opinion, do not have that much macro details as much as an insect would that would absolutely require a dedicated macro lens. With additional f-stop on the 135 it makes a difference.

Following were shot with 50 1.4.

(http://i221.photobucket.com/albums/dd165/haldavnekar/2013NAIAS-024-1.jpg)

(http://i221.photobucket.com/albums/dd165/haldavnekar/2013NAIAS-014.jpg)
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: Dylan777 on June 19, 2013, 08:50:48 AM
No comment on 100L - never own one

I like 135L alot ;)
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: TWI by Dustin Abbott on June 19, 2013, 08:55:02 AM
If your primary purpose is shooting cars and you are at all concerned about ISO, I would actually recommend the 100L over the 135L.  Why would I say that when the 135L is a stop faster?  Because of not having IS, I typically shoot the 135L at a shutter speed of at least 1/160th second.  And that is fine when I am shooting event work, because I need a shutter speed high enough to counter motion blur from human activity.  But if you are shooting static objects like cars, I can shoot the 100L at 1/15th second all day and get sharp pictures.  1/25th is almost a guaranteed sharp image.  The IS is really, really effective.  You will actually end up shooting lower ISO with the 100L in the situation you are describing unless you are using a tripod, which I doubt.  I also think that you will find framing a little more flexible with the 100L.  Understand that the 135L is perhaps my favorite lens, but for your application I think the 100L is the better choice.
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: awinphoto on June 19, 2013, 09:55:15 AM
The 135L is a superb lens, when it is in focus and when it is stabilized...  F2 is very very shallow and hard to control for some photographers and lack of IS could be killer in some situations...  I've had way too many great photos missed by my assistants with the 135 indoors because of camera shake, mis focus, etc...  So if your shooting indoors on tripod, go for it.  Otherwise if you are handholding, the 100L is my recommended lens. 
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: Harry Muff on June 19, 2013, 10:12:40 AM
I have the 100L and I love it.


It's a proper do-it-all lens. Not too short, not too long, sharp as anything, IS built in, and there's also macro which can be lots of fun.


The 135L is an amazing lens but might be a tad restrictive in some circumstances.
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: sdsr on June 19, 2013, 12:24:00 PM
I have them both.  What would probably push me in the direction of the 100L is the IS (though I almost never have a problem with the 135 hand-held unless the light's pretty low) and, especially important to me, the very short MFD (as you would expect with a macro lens).  I like being able to get up close to fine details/small things sometimes (I don't mean macro work as such).  True, you probably won't need to do so that much with cars, but when I was at a vintage car show last summer with just my 24-105 I encountered several hood ornaments which made me wish I had my 100L (I'll just have to go again this year...).  Being able to get closer, by the way, may obviate any superiority the 135 L may have in terms of bokeh - the bokeh quality from both lenses is superb, and when you factor in magnification, distance ratios etc. I bet there's not much, if anything, in it (didn't someone fairly recently demonstrate here that they're essentially the same in that regard?). 

The only relative disadvantage the 100L has is a disadvantage all macro lenses have - focusing, especially in low light, can be slow if the next subject is significantly farther/closer than the current one.
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: VitorMachado on June 19, 2013, 10:19:27 PM
I think I have made up my mind. Just like any other photographer though, I wish I could have both. Anyways, the 100L seems to make more sense after all this great feedback. Even though 99% of my photo shoots are tri-pod'd, the IS can be a huge beneficial advantage. Rolling shots are always possible and who doesn't like to have IS when you hit a dead end, so to speak. The one stop loss of bokeh should be fine, considering the 100L's looks fantastic. Another thing that really caught my attention was better saturated colors. This is very important in my work and can automatically win over the competition between the two. Lastly, who doesn't like having macro. There hasn't been many instances where I needed macro on location, but it's nice to have. In my spare time I love shooting in this second world we all call "macro".
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: symmar22 on June 21, 2013, 05:50:45 AM
I have the 135L, but in your case I think the 100L would fit the task better, more flexibility, will allow you to shoot closer and lots of small details outside and inside the car (gauges, seats, switches), where the 135 is pretty useless. I do not have the 100L (I use a 90 TS-E for close-up), but I am seriously considering buying one; I love my 135, but the lack of IS and quite narrow angle of view makes it less flexible, I use it mainly when I want a strong subject / background separation.
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: GMCPhotographics on June 21, 2013, 06:24:28 AM
I'm currently in the market for a telephoto L lens, but stuck between these two. I've never owned nor shot either lens so that's my biggest issue. Here's the question; which one should I buy? I shoot cars so I'd like to have the perfect 16:9 aspect ratio from a distance, but also get more up close if needed. The 100L will basically knock out two birds with one stone due to the extremely small focus distance, but then the 135L has been crowned the king of the L lenses. Which decision should I make? Your help is appreciated!

Sorry for coming into this disccusion a bit late. The 135L is a great L lens but certainly not the king.
It's fast focussing and offers a great look to it's images. But it's considered to be more of a portrait lens that a general purpose lens (although I use mine more than my 70-200 f2.8 L IS II).
The 100L macro took a bit of a slating when it was first released becuase it was seen as just an IS addition. This is a little unfair, my copy is amazingly sharp. Mine is sharper than my 135L...this is where I get loads of replies say "this cannot be" and I get loads of people flinging lens charts at me...This is the case with both my copy and my 2nd photographer's copies. My 85IIL is sharper than my 135L, belive it or not. It's AF is improved to the point that it's great with non macro stuff too. It's Image Stabiliser is very very good and it feels lighter too. I like the 135L a lot, but it's not the same lens as the 100L Macro. Yes they both cover a simular focal range, but the look and results are different. Maybe the question you should ask yourself is...if you were to use the 100L would you miss the extra stop and 30% longer reach? Or if you chose the 135L, would you miss the closer focssing / macro / IS options of the 100L Macro? If you can't decide then you probably need both lenses.
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: funkboy on June 21, 2013, 07:34:06 AM
My 85IIL is sharper than my 135L, belive it or not.

All great lenses, but any discussion involving high-end lens sharpness should involve an AFMA test...
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: Pi on June 21, 2013, 07:48:18 AM
My 85IIL is sharper than my 135L, belive it or not.

All great lenses, but any discussion involving high-end lens sharpness should involve an AFMA test...

And some intensive pixel peeping.
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: VitorMachado on June 21, 2013, 10:42:02 AM
I'm currently in the market for a telephoto L lens, but stuck between these two. I've never owned nor shot either lens so that's my biggest issue. Here's the question; which one should I buy? I shoot cars so I'd like to have the perfect 16:9 aspect ratio from a distance, but also get more up close if needed. The 100L will basically knock out two birds with one stone due to the extremely small focus distance, but then the 135L has been crowned the king of the L lenses. Which decision should I make? Your help is appreciated!

Sorry for coming into this disccusion a bit late. The 135L is a great L lens but certainly not the king.
It's fast focussing and offers a great look to it's images. But it's considered to be more of a portrait lens that a general purpose lens (although I use mine more than my 70-200 f2.8 L IS II).
The 100L macro took a bit of a slating when it was first released becuase it was seen as just an IS addition. This is a little unfair, my copy is amazingly sharp. Mine is sharper than my 135L...this is where I get loads of replies say "this cannot be" and I get loads of people flinging lens charts at me...This is the case with both my copy and my 2nd photographer's copies. My 85IIL is sharper than my 135L, belive it or not. It's AF is improved to the point that it's great with non macro stuff too. It's Image Stabiliser is very very good and it feels lighter too. I like the 135L a lot, but it's not the same lens as the 100L Macro. Yes they both cover a simular focal range, but the look and results are different. Maybe the question you should ask yourself is...if you were to use the 100L would you miss the extra stop and 30% longer reach? Or if you chose the 135L, would you miss the closer focssing / macro / IS options of the 100L Macro? If you can't decide then you probably need both lenses.

That is a great point, but you said it yourself, maybe I need both. And that's MY problem, I can't buy both. I'd really like to have the subject and backdrop separation the 135 brings but these detail shots really mean a lot as well. If it means anything, I have the 60mm macro for for my 60D.
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: RLPhoto on June 21, 2013, 11:01:19 AM
My 85IIL is sharper than my 135L, belive it or not.

All great lenses, but any discussion involving high-end lens sharpness should involve an AFMA test...

An some intensive pixel peeping.

That's a bold claim.
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: Random Orbits on June 21, 2013, 11:51:57 AM
That is a great point, but you said it yourself, maybe I need both. And that's MY problem, I can't buy both. I'd really like to have the subject and backdrop separation the 135 brings but these detail shots really mean a lot as well. If it means anything, I have the 60mm macro for for my 60D.

Yes, that means a lot.  If you're ok using 2 bodies, then use the 60 on the 60D and the 135 on the FF.  The only reason for pause is if you plan on getting the 70-200L II in the future.  If you do, I suggest getting the 70-200 II first.  There's not that big a difference between the 135L and the 70-200L II at f/2.8 at smaller and the zoom gives you a wide focal length range and better AF (servo).  I have both, but I tend to use the zoom a lot more because of sports.  The 135 is used specifically for portraits and low light indoor applications.

Perhaps the best path is to get the 135L now and trade in the ef-s 60 in the future to help offset the 100L's cost.
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: VitorMachado on June 21, 2013, 01:49:48 PM
That is a great point, but you said it yourself, maybe I need both. And that's MY problem, I can't buy both. I'd really like to have the subject and backdrop separation the 135 brings but these detail shots really mean a lot as well. If it means anything, I have the 60mm macro for for my 60D.

Yes, that means a lot.  If you're ok using 2 bodies, then use the 60 on the 60D and the 135 on the FF.  The only reason for pause is if you plan on getting the 70-200L II in the future.  If you do, I suggest getting the 70-200 II first.  There's not that big a difference between the 135L and the 70-200L II at f/2.8 at smaller and the zoom gives you a wide focal length range and better AF (servo).  I have both, but I tend to use the zoom a lot more because of sports.  The 135 is used specifically for portraits and low light indoor applications.

Perhaps the best path is to get the 135L now and trade in the ef-s 60 in the future to help offset the 100L's cost.

That's what I was thinking. I wish I could be using my macro lens on my main body, but beggars can't be choosers. Getting the 135L now seems to be what I'm leaning toward, even though I posted about the 100L. I would benefit alot more off the  135 than the 100. I just wanted best of both worlds with the macro lens.
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: CarlTN on June 21, 2013, 01:58:35 PM
Thanks for the replies, they're really helping. I am leaning towards the 100L solely because of it's versatility, but the 135L does indeed have the best bokeh, which is something I need. Does anyone know if both of these lenses are sharp wide open? These 2 pictures I have included below were taken using the 50 1.4, but stopped down to about 2.5/2.8, due to its massive chromatic aberration around the wheels' reflections. Thanks again!

Nice shots!

The 135 gives a narrower FOV and far shallower depth of field, so if you want that type of shot, go with the 135.  Its bokeh is the best I have ever used.

The 100L might be slightly sharper wide open, depending on how accurate your focus is, and the ultimate sharpness of the shot due to shutter speed, vibration, etc.  The differences in sharpness are not that much, and on the 6D, probably nill.

I'll just echo some of the above comments.  The 100L would be good if you ever plan to do macro shots.  The 135 is great for everything, provided you can take in enough FOV at 135mm.  My copy certainly stays very sharp even as you close down towards f/32.  So it will give some deep focus, provided you have enough light at such a small aperture.

If it were my money and I wanted a macro, I would buy the new Tamron 90mm f/2.8 (it also has stabilization).  It costs less than the Canon 100L, its image quality looks to be at least as good or better from the online images I've seen so far.  And at 90mm, for those wider shots, it will take in a bit more FOV.
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: Pi on June 21, 2013, 02:14:39 PM
My 85IIL is sharper than my 135L, belive it or not.

All great lenses, but any discussion involving high-end lens sharpness should involve an AFMA test...

An some intensive pixel peeping.

That's a bold claim.

It was about comparing the 85L and the 135L, not about the usefulness of MA.
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: Dylan777 on June 21, 2013, 02:32:53 PM
My 85IIL is sharper than my 135L, belive it or not.

All great lenses, but any discussion involving high-end lens sharpness should involve an AFMA test...

Both are excellent lenses. My 85L II is super @ f1.2. As you can see photos below.
1. 135L @ f2
2. 85L II @ f1.2 - I did moved toward to the chair to get 135L view

f1.2 Vs f2, not bad for 85L II @ f1.2. My 2cents: the 85L seems to be sharper than 135L at wide open - no scientific data of course, just by looking at the photos with my ave Joe's eyes ;)

ZERO AFMA on both lenses
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: Pi on June 21, 2013, 03:16:35 PM
1. 135L @ f2
2. 85L II @ f1.2 - I did moved toward to the chair to get 135L view

Not enough.

Quote
ZERO AFMA on both lenses

And that seems to be the a problem, your 135 shot is front focused.
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: funkboy on June 21, 2013, 10:04:07 PM
That is exactly the point I was (sleepily) trying to make:  I'd guesstimate that 9 in 10 of the folks on forums that say "my copy of lens X is sharper than lens Y, I've tested them both" didn't actually calibrate their AFMA before they did their "testing", and it's awfully rare that anyone mentions that they actually *did* check AFMA beforehand.  The same likely goes for people returning lenses because they got a "bad copy"...

Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: Dylan777 on June 23, 2013, 05:58:44 PM
1. 135L @ f2
2. 85L II @ f1.2 - I did moved toward to the chair to get 135L view

Not enough.

Quote
ZERO AFMA on both lenses

And that seems to be the a problem, your 135 shot is front focused.

What make you said that?
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: Dylan777 on June 23, 2013, 06:06:08 PM
That is exactly the point I was (sleepily) trying to make:  I'd guesstimate that 9 in 10 of the folks on forums that say "my copy of lens X is sharper than lens Y, I've tested them both" didn't actually calibrate their AFMA before they did their "testing", and it's awfully rare that anyone mentions that they actually *did* check AFMA beforehand.  The same likely goes for people returning lenses because they got a "bad copy"...

The diff between 0  and +1 by 12points(880 vs 892, x50 in distance) through Reikan FoCal, I wonder the human can see this diff? I rather leave my @ zero ;)
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: castillophotodesign on June 23, 2013, 07:55:56 PM
In my opinion the 100L is better than the 135L at everything, except that the 135L is F2 one extra stop a more creamy bokeh. No Macro capibility on the 135L though. They are both super sharp. Here is a shot a took today with the 100L

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=477892775621625&l=cd6dc2eeb5 (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=477892775621625&l=cd6dc2eeb5)
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: castillophotodesign on June 23, 2013, 08:05:08 PM
this is for sure one of my favorite lenses, here is a photo of of berries splashing into the water

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=447114842032752&l=aee6ee295c (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=447114842032752&l=aee6ee295c)
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: Pi on June 23, 2013, 08:12:12 PM
The diff between 0  and +1 by 12points(880 vs 892, x50 in distance) through Reikan FoCal, I wonder the human can see this diff? I rather leave my @ zero ;)

But I can see it on the crops you posted...
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: neuroanatomist on June 23, 2013, 08:15:18 PM
The diff between 0  and +1 by 12points(880 vs 892, x50 in distance) through Reikan FoCal, I wonder the human can see this diff? I rather leave my @ zero ;)

Perhaps not.  But AF systems aren't perfect - take a bunch of shots, and while a properly AFMA'd lens will result in spot-on focus on average, any given shot may be a bit off. By ensuring the AFMA is correct, you're ensuring that the shots that are a bit off are less off. 

In my opinion the 100L is better than the 135L at everything, except that the 135L is F2 one extra stop a more creamy bokeh. No Macro capibility on the 135L though. They are both super sharp.

My 135L focuses a lot faster than my 100L. That makes it a better choice for action, so for me it's more than just the extra stop of light.
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: Zv on June 23, 2013, 08:46:03 PM
To OP - it all comes down to personal choice. Some prefer a 100mm look and others like the longer 135mm look. Both lenses are sharp, both are excellent. If you think you might need macro capability then your choice is simple. If portraits and indoor sports is your thing then the 135 is a clear winner.

With regards to wide open performance - the 100 may be sharper wide open at f/2.8 but remember the 135 f/2 is super sharp once it's stopped down. So if you were to compare both @ f/2.8 then the 135 (probably) has the advantage.

There's something else about the 135 that gives you this special kind of look. I dunno if it's bokeh or the clarity or how it handles colors but it all comes together nicely. Then again maybe the 100L has that look?
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: Dylan777 on June 23, 2013, 09:17:54 PM
The diff between 0  and +1 by 12points(880 vs 892, x50 in distance) through Reikan FoCal, I wonder the human can see this diff? I rather leave my @ zero ;)

But I can see it on the crops you posted...

Show me...pin point the areas
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: CarlTN on June 25, 2013, 04:24:40 PM
That is exactly the point I was (sleepily) trying to make:  I'd guesstimate that 9 in 10 of the folks on forums that say "my copy of lens X is sharper than lens Y, I've tested them both" didn't actually calibrate their AFMA before they did their "testing", and it's awfully rare that anyone mentions that they actually *did* check AFMA beforehand.  The same likely goes for people returning lenses because they got a "bad copy"...

My 135 has always needed +2 AFMA, whether it was on the 50D, the 1D4, or the 6D. 

Frankly, if 9 out of 10 people are not doing AFMA, that is one sorry state of affairs!  They have no business buying this equipment if they can't use it correctly. 

Certainly not all lenses need AFMA adjustment...
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: symmar22 on June 25, 2013, 05:18:28 PM
Sorry to say, but actual lens sharpness has nothing to see with AFMA. AFMA is to calibrate the precision of the AF camera / lens combination. If a lens is not sharp in AF mode, it's because of the camera / lens combination, it says nothing about the real sharpness of the lens, though it will of course give a sharper image in AF mode when the AFMA is properly adjusted.

 A lens can be extremely sharp and show poor results because of a bad AF adjustment, but the same lens focused manually will show perfect results (unless defective).  If you want to compare lens sharpness, the only way is a solid tripod, a powerful steady light source (or flash) and manual focusing with x10 magnification on live view. If you test your lens in AF, you test the AF ability with one specific lens, not the optical sharpness of the lens.
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: CarlTN on June 25, 2013, 05:56:29 PM
Sorry to say, but actual lens sharpness has nothing to see with AFMA. AFMA is to calibrate the precision of the AF camera / lens combination. If a lens is not sharp in AF mode, it's because of the camera / lens combination, it says nothing about the real sharpness of the lens, though it will of course give a sharper image in AF mode when the AFMA is properly adjusted.

 A lens can be extremely sharp and show poor results because of a bad AF adjustment, but the same lens focused manually will show perfect results (unless defective).  If you want to compare lens sharpness, the only way is a solid tripod, a powerful steady light source (or flash) and manual focusing with x10 magnification on live view. If you test your lens in AF, you test the AF ability with one specific lens, not the optical sharpness of the lens.

This should be common knowledge.
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: TWI by Dustin Abbott on June 26, 2013, 08:24:16 AM
Sorry to say, but actual lens sharpness has nothing to see with AFMA. AFMA is to calibrate the precision of the AF camera / lens combination. If a lens is not sharp in AF mode, it's because of the camera / lens combination, it says nothing about the real sharpness of the lens, though it will of course give a sharper image in AF mode when the AFMA is properly adjusted.

 A lens can be extremely sharp and show poor results because of a bad AF adjustment, but the same lens focused manually will show perfect results (unless defective).  If you want to compare lens sharpness, the only way is a solid tripod, a powerful steady light source (or flash) and manual focusing with x10 magnification on live view. If you test your lens in AF, you test the AF ability with one specific lens, not the optical sharpness of the lens.

This should be common knowledge.

A lot of things (that aren't) should be common knowledge.  For example, Consumer Reports knocks a lot of Ford products because of the Sync entertainment system (BMW with it's iDrive before).  My brother in law is the parts manager at a major Ford dealership.  He tells me that the system is almost never defective; it always comes down to people either not knowing how to use their cell phones (for hands free calling) or simply not being familiar with touch screen devices.  No one reads the manual; they just blame the system for "not working right".
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: GMCPhotographics on June 26, 2013, 08:37:56 AM
That is exactly the point I was (sleepily) trying to make:  I'd guesstimate that 9 in 10 of the folks on forums that say "my copy of lens X is sharper than lens Y, I've tested them both" didn't actually calibrate their AFMA before they did their "testing", and it's awfully rare that anyone mentions that they actually *did* check AFMA beforehand.  The same likely goes for people returning lenses because they got a "bad copy"...

Guys, I'm not in the habit of posting any of my files at 100% on a public forum. I've been using my 85IIL and 135L in a professional manner for nearly six years now. I've used them both on my 5D/5DII and currently 5DIII camera progressions. Since the 5DII became available, I have microadjusted every lens which I currently use. I use Lensalign pro by Colorvision. I've used this to test everything from my Siggi 12-24mm through to a 400mm f2.8 L IS with a 2x TC on it.
My comments about my particular copy of the 85IIL and 135L have been observed on a consistent basis over the last six years. My second photographer's 135L seems a little sharper than mine, but her 85IIL isn't quite as sharp as mine, this is on her own 5DII's which are calibrated to her lenses. It's not MA in these cases but production variance in the optics. It's a good reason why I don't tend to trawl online lens charts becuase each lens is slightly different and most sites only test a few copies at best.
So when I say that my copy of the 85IIL is a tad sharper than my 135L, the emphasis here is on the MY copy. Your milage might vary somewhat.
Judging optical resolution is only one aspect of a lens...we all know how bad the purple fringing is with the 85IIL...and the AF is no ball of fire...or that the drive by wire AF feels a little weird to use...or that it weights almost as much as a 70-200 in a lens which is about 1/4 of the size.
But given the choice, I'd rather use the 85IIL over a 135L.
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: neuroanatomist on June 26, 2013, 08:42:41 AM
If you want to compare lens sharpness, the only way is a solid tripod, a powerful steady light source (or flash) and manual focusing with x10 magnification on live view.

Actually, the proper way is not to rely on focusing lens at all.  Using live view with 10X magnification to focus initially is fine, But the actual test shots should be captured with focus bracketing using a slider or macro rail to adjust the distance in very small increments.  Then, the sharpest of the resulting bracketed shots should be used.
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: symmar22 on June 26, 2013, 01:24:09 PM
Agreed,  there are much more scientific ways to test a lens, it should not even be on the camera but mounted on an optical bench. But not everyone has one home ;)

My point was just to say that judging a lens by taking 2 pictures handeld while relying on AF is pointless, you should at least use manual focusing and a solid tripod, to get an idea. This is of course by no mean a scientific method.

As GMCphoto pointed out, resolution is only one part of a lens properties, and not necessarily the most important. I consider all my lenses sharp enough for work, though they don't have the same sharpness. Being into architecture and landscapes, a distortion free lens is for me somehow more important; yes it can be corrected in post, but with a slight loss in frame, and can make precise alignment very difficult. 24mm is my standard lens, the 24-105 is so curved on the sides at 24mm that it makes it almost impossible to align the sides on a straight structure.

Strong chroma can sometimes be difficult to remove completely (15mm fisheye).

Extreme vignetting can bring noise in the picture when post processed (I'm still hesitating to buy the 35mm f2 IS because of its very strong vignetting).

Field curvature is a problem for 2D reproduction.

Finally sharpness is the least problem IMO, unless you end with a bad copy of a lens, it can be easily enhanced; I need to use my wides f11-f16, sometimes f22, though I can see the loss of resolution on the RAW due to diffraction, a bit of sharpening and they look perfect. I never had a complain because a picture was not sharp enough, so this is all relative.

When working, I never select a lens because it's sharper than another one, but because it allows me the focusing distance, angle of view, depth of field or shift capacity I need for a specific situation.
Title: Re: 100L vs. 135L
Post by: CarlTN on June 26, 2013, 01:31:16 PM
That is exactly the point I was (sleepily) trying to make:  I'd guesstimate that 9 in 10 of the folks on forums that say "my copy of lens X is sharper than lens Y, I've tested them both" didn't actually calibrate their AFMA before they did their "testing", and it's awfully rare that anyone mentions that they actually *did* check AFMA beforehand.  The same likely goes for people returning lenses because they got a "bad copy"...

Guys, I'm not in the habit of posting any of my files at 100% on a public forum. I've been using my 85IIL and 135L in a professional manner for nearly six years now. I've used them both on my 5D/5DII and currently 5DIII camera progressions. Since the 5DII became available, I have microadjusted every lens which I currently use. I use Lensalign pro by Colorvision. I've used this to test everything from my Siggi 12-24mm through to a 400mm f2.8 L IS with a 2x TC on it.
My comments about my particular copy of the 85IIL and 135L have been observed on a consistent basis over the last six years. My second photographer's 135L seems a little sharper than mine, but her 85IIL isn't quite as sharp as mine, this is on her own 5DII's which are calibrated to her lenses. It's not MA in these cases but production variance in the optics. It's a good reason why I don't tend to trawl online lens charts becuase each lens is slightly different and most sites only test a few copies at best.
So when I say that my copy of the 85IIL is a tad sharper than my 135L, the emphasis here is on the MY copy. Your milage might vary somewhat.
Judging optical resolution is only one aspect of a lens...we all know how bad the purple fringing is with the 85IIL...and the AF is no ball of fire...or that the drive by wire AF feels a little weird to use...or that it weights almost as much as a 70-200 in a lens which is about 1/4 of the size.
But given the choice, I'd rather use the 85IIL over a 135L.

Interesting, but that preference is really mostly due to the wider field of view, and perspective, from having less focal length...is it not?  No doubt you love the color and bokeh.

I've only rented the 85 f/1.2L once.  I liked it, but overall not as much as my 135L.  Certainly the focus by wire and slowness of AF is not useful.  The sharpness by f/5.6 at infinity doing landscape, exceeded that of my 135.  But below f/5.6, my 135 was sharper...at or near infinity focus.  At closer focus, the plane is so shallow with both lenses, that it really comes down to which bokeh and field of view you prefer, in my opinion.  For doing most portrait work, certainly the wider field of view could work better, it seems to me. 

I do wish there was a zoom, perhaps from 90 to 125mm or 140mm...that would be ideal.  Maybe f/1.4, 1.6. or 1.8.  It would likely be light enough to use (much smaller/lighter than the 200 f/2), but larger/heavier than the 85 f/1.2.  Of course if Canon built it, it would cost $7k.  But they, and all lens makers, are scared to death to build anything with a front element around 90mm.  For some reason they all have to either be 77mm, or else jump to 125mm.  All of you successful pros would be touting it as mind-blowing, and telling the rest of us that we owe it to ourselves to try one...hahaha.