April 21, 2014, 10:03:49 AM

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Messages - ahsanford

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I get the impression from your various responses to answers to your initial question that you really want to buy a 135L, so why not just go ahead?  If you find that it doesn't add anything useful after all, you'll likely be able to sell it for around what you paid for it. 

I would be surprised if you didn't find the bokeh better from the 135mm wide open than from your 70-200 wide open, but the same is true of your 100L, and, as privatebydesign points out, the fact that you can get much closer to your subject with the 100L makes it potentially an even better blur-machine than the 135L - depending, of course, on how far you want to/can be from your subject.  It may be that the 135L provides better bokeh on objects farther from the subject - I've not done any direct comparisons myself, but you can probably find some online if interested - and the 135L avoids the hunting that you can get with the 100L, albeit at the expense of focus distance and IS.  But given how context-specific these perhaps rather fine differences are, it's much better to compare them first hand if you can.  (I've ended up with both the 100L & 135L, don't expect to sell either one,  and prefer the 70-300L to the 70-200L 2.8, but that's just me.)

Again, fair comment.  I see the the 100L and 135L serving different needs, so perhaps I will pick it up.

- A

I have been seeking the 135mm purely because I miss having a light short telephoto because the 70-200 is so big and heavy.
However, here's an FYI: the 135mm isn't really available refurbished for $ 700 at Canon. It's a cached page: they don't have it for sale (not just in stock). I checked.

Of course.  I can't get it this moment, but they will restock throughout the sale and I might get lucky.

Normally, that deal ($696) sells out in minutes.  The 70-200 F/2.8L IS II (for $1450 or so) sold out within the first moment of the sale starting.  Stock levels vary, but a deal's a deal.

You can track all of this and set auto-notifications here:

- A

Of course some will need one lenses feature set over the others, a very few will need both speciality feature sets regularly enough to need both all three, but I'd venture very few people really put all three to very good use. That is not to say I am against collecting, I am not, just a small reality check on what we need.

That's 100% fair.  It seems odd to start hoarding short tele focal lengths that I only go to about 10-20% of the time.  My bag could be filled out in other areas:  see my prior post, and there's nary an ultrawide to be found.

I guess the 135L intrigues me as a unique, high reputation lens that is more than the sum of its specs.  I've seen pics taken with it that say much more than 'this is one stop faster than the 100L and 70-200L' and I wanted to know if that's only a product of shooting wide open.

- A

Also, can't the 135L take teleconverters?  Is the pocketable 2x option worth it for space reasons?

I'd imagine that the 135L + 2x won't be as sharp or quick on the AF as the longer end of the 70-200, but (a) it will be longer and (b) the aggregate space it would take up in the bag will be smaller/lighter.

I could see a smaller bag with a wider prime (or standard zoom) with a 135 + 2x as a pretty flexible setup if I was going on a photo walkabout, event in the city, visiting family -- in short, at events where I'm not sure what I'm going to see.  Anyone ever try that combination?

Ouch -- maybe not, based on this TDP comparison:

- A

I noticed that you also have a 100 L. How much do you use that lens for macro purposes? How much are you using that lens for portraits now? Or for other non-macro uses? I think another comparison question you should consider is between the 100 L and 135 L and much has been written on that comparison in these forums. It boils down to this: for your use, what will the 135 allow you to do that you can't currently do with the 100? How often will you want to do those different things and is the price worth it to you? Or, if you don't use the 100 L for macro purposes, do you want to sell it and get the 135?

Great question.  There is a 0% chance I sell the 100L to get the 135L.  The 100L scratches quite a few itches for me.

With the 100L, I bounce equally between macro work, general short tele use (candids at range, kids, 'the second prime in my bag', etc.) and concert photography with it.  It's desirable for all the practical reasons I've heard for the 135 over the 70-200 -- less conspicuous, lighter, smaller, etc.

The 100L is an underrated 100mm tele, and I've taken some great shots with it.    But when I do use it as a tele, I can only praise it for sharpness (which it has buckets of) but not color or bokeh.  The 100L is very good -- don't get me wrong -- but for color/bokeh it's 'modern-non-L-prime good' and not 'something magical/special about this L prime good' that I hear from the 35L, 50L, 85L, 135L, 200 F/2L, etc.  I think there is more to it than just the added stop(s) of light those lenses offer, and I welcome your perspective on that.

So I don't see the 135L (obviously) replacing the macro work or short tele with IS when I need it, but I would see the 135L becoming my go-to for dedicated portraiture and possibly as the '2nd prime in my bag' on days with good light where I don't necessarily need the 100L's IS.

- A

I have both.  The 70-200 II is a stellar lens, it's my second most-used after the 24-70/2.8 II.  The 135L is useful for portraits of one person (otherwise, you'll need to stop down past f/2.8 for sufficient DoF anyway). It's also very useful for indoor sports, where the extra stop means lower ISO.

As always, Neuro, that's dead on.  F/2 really is a single subject aperture, isn't it?



with all the great Canon Store refurb deals doing on of late, I thought about picking up the 135 F/2L.  With the sale, it would be $696 including shipping, which is a terrific deal.

That lens has a stellar reputation:  this forum and the tests/reviews I've read agree that this lens is an impressive performer.

My only pause in snatching one up is that I already own the stellar 70-200 F/2.8L IS II, and I have to wonder.  Is being one stop quicker really that valuable?  Is the bokeh that magical?  Is it that extra-bit sharper over one of the sharpest zooms made?

Thoughts?  Knowing that I have the 70-200, if I picked the 135 up, would it just sit in my bag for dedicated portraiture work?

If it helps with your answer: 
  • Besides the 70-200, I use a 5D3 with a 24-70 F/4 IS, 28 F/2.8 IS, 40 F/2.8, 50 F/1.4, 100 F/2.8L IS and a 2x T/C.
  • Enthusiast only -- not a pro.

I appreciate the guidance!

- A


I'll close the voting before this falls off of people's radar.  Thanks for participating!

- A

Weird categories because the Canon L is far from being the benchmark from an academic perspective.

It has a special rendering that people either love or not. If they don't, then it's a OPS and saying as good as the Canon 50 L is not a necessarily a compliment  :)

I think it will be 90-95% of the Otus. It will loose something on things like bokeh, coma, etc. But I think in most photographic contexts it will be almost indistinguishable, and with the advantage of AF and affordability.

Agree.  In the 50mm prime space, Canon's various price points are not clear-cut Good / Better / Best.  The old 1.4 is often sharper than the L, but some folks rave about the color/draw/bokeh of the L.

But thanks for participating.  The poll results are not a surprise.

- A

As someone who has not shot any video on my DSLRs, can someone explain to me the value in spending 4k on a 50mm zeiss lens to mount on a DSLR that is going to down sample the image to 2 mega pixels?

This is something I've never understood either.  I understand that cine lenses are expensive because their designs need to minimize focus breathing and zooms are usually parafocal, but it seems like they should have relatively low sharpness requirements.

I don't shoot video either, but I've heard the same.  Parfocal zooms, in particular, are costly.

But I'd like to hear how the non-resolution upsides of the Otus might benefit video -- after all, it's not $4k just because of resolution and build quality.   I hear it manages chromatic aberrations well, has low distortion, great bokeh, etc. -- are those especially desirable for video?

- A

Lenses / Poll: How good do you think the Sigma 50 F/1.4 Art will be?
« on: March 21, 2014, 09:23:05 PM »

Odd ranking categories to be fair, but they were the best I could run out quickly.  Given the hype & Sigma's recent track record, I've not offered the possibility that the lens is a dud.

Take 'performance' to mean whatever you choose.  I realize that comparing AF and MF lenses together is impossible given that some folks *must* have AF, but indulge me.

Curious to see how this comes out.  Thanks for voting.

- A

Lenses / Sigma 50mm F/1.4 Art price to be announced on April 11th...
« on: March 21, 2014, 05:53:59 PM »

It's sad, but all I have to look forward to is a future date for a price announcement for a lens that isn't even available yet:


- A

Business of Photography/Videography / Re: Calumet U.S. Bites the Dust
« on: March 14, 2014, 12:39:17 PM »
TDP added a bit from their FB page before it went down:


Of note:  "Stay tuned, as we are exploring opportunities to reopen select locations to keep serving our customers. We will post any updates here if there are any."  And then the FB page went down.

I wonder if this is an opportunity for profitable stores to stay open as privately-owned franchises.  We'll see.

- A

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