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Author Topic: Need comparisons between Canon 135L vs 100L  (Read 10469 times)

cayenne

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Need comparisons between Canon 135L vs 100L
« on: October 23, 2012, 12:14:55 PM »
Hi folks,

Still a bit of a lens noob.....and have been looking at these two lenses. Many people swear on how good and sharp they are.
One is f/2.8 and the other f/2.  More and more I'm thinking for any future lens purchases, 2.8 is the absolute minimum...and lower is something I do like as that I don't own a flash yet, and many pics I like to take you can't use them (concert shots, nightime in bars/clubs)...both for video and stills.

So, can someone give me why they like one over the other? 

They seem pretty close in focal length...what use would one be superior at than the other?

I hear the term "macro" thrown around a lot...but I don't know exactly what that means...can someone fill me in why a macro lens would be superior to a non-macro lens?

I hear a lot about these lenses....many seem to rate these at times higher and nicer in many respects than the 85L....

One last thing....throwing this int the mix. I'm debating getting one of these....vs, just saving a bit more and going for the 70-200 2.8 IS II L lens....would just getting this pretty much make getting either the 135L or 100L macro redundant? If not...then what specific purposes and niches in lens-dom, for want of a better made up word, does each excel at.....

Another way to maybe ask it...if one was to save (a lot) and get all three...how would they compliment each other for a day of shooting out and about?

Thanks in advance,

cayenne

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Need comparisons between Canon 135L vs 100L
« on: October 23, 2012, 12:14:55 PM »

Drizzt321

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Re: Need comparisons between Canon 135L vs 100L
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2012, 12:25:19 PM »
Macro means you can make things appear as large on the sensor as they are to life, or a magnification of at least 1:1. So if you have a penny that's 0.75 inches, it will project an image that is 0.75 inches on your sensor, or even greater if you have a greater than 1:1 magnification.

Macro can be a lot of fun, but if you want to really get into it, you'll need a very steady tripod, some specialized lighting and setup, and likely a specialized mount to go on your tripod to position your camera exactly.

Now relating to the lenses, I have the 135L and love it, the 100L f/2.8 Macro is a great lens, rented it once and wouldn't mind owning it, but not as high on my priority list right now.

The 70-200 f/2.8 IS v2 is a fantastic lens, good chance it'll be the next lens I buy. If you aren't going to be right up on the stage, I'd say go for the 70-200 because it gives you a lot more flexibility. You can get some wider shots and get more of the band, or zoom right in and get just one or two members, or even just their face or instrument. The IS is very good, and f/2.8 can help keep your shutter speed up to freeze the action.

I'd say that the 135L is for the times you want to really make an impression, and you don't need as much flexibility and want to get a close up portrait shot that is very unique at f/2.0. Personally, I'd go for the 70-200 if I could have just one lens for general purpose short telephoto in dim lighting. However, I won't ever get rid of my 135L, it's just one of those special lenses.

EDIT: You're shooting on a full frame, right?  That'll make the 70-200 even more attractive. If you're shooting on an APS-C body, the 70-200 will seem longer due to the cropped angle of view of 112-320mm which will mean you'll need to be a good bit further back from your subject, unless you want to get a very tight closeup. That said, it's an amazing lens, especially if you have plans go to up to full frame anytime, even if it's 5-10 years away.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2012, 12:27:50 PM by Drizzt321 »
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pierceography

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Re: Need comparisons between Canon 135L vs 100L
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2012, 12:39:45 PM »
I own both the 100mm f/2.8L and the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM.  I've never used the 135mm f/2L, so I may be a bit biased in the following opinion.

If you combine the 70-200mm f/2.8L and the 135mm f/2L, the only real difference between the two is the aperture at 2.8 and 2.  It is a difference, but is it worth the extra $1,000+ of purchasing the 135mm?  I think most people here would agree that the 70-200mm is a more versatile lens, and the 135mm is great for portraits.  However, if I had the 70-200mm already on my camera, I wouldn't see many instances where I'd take it off in favor of the 135mm.  But again, I've never used the 135.

Now onto the 100mm f/2.8L.  I love this lens for a completely different reason than the 70-200mm: macro.  The 100mm isn't by any means my most widely used lens (my 24-70 and 70-200 by far dominate body time), however it's probably my favorite lens in terms of the quality shots I get out of it.  Not because it's a better lens,  but because it serves a different purpose than any other lens in my bag.  I recently went on vacation to the Caribbean, and took my 5Dm3 and 7D.  The 100mm was attached to my 7D nearly the entire trip.  And while the majority of my shots came from my 5Dm3 with the 24-70mm and 70-200mm, after I got back and went through post on some of my favorite shots, I found quite a few more "keepers" coming from my 7D + 100mm combo.

And even as a portrait lens it does very well.  The best pictures I got of my wife were with the 100mm while we were walking along the beach and the 7D + 100mm was the only camera I had.  Not that the 135 would have done worse... in fact, it may have done better with the shallower DoF.  However, having macro capability on a lens really gives my camera bad a whole new arsenal of possibility.

Just my $0.02... but I do love my 100mm and highly recommend it.
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Re: Need comparisons between Canon 135L vs 100L
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2012, 01:12:45 PM »
The 70-200L f/2.8 II, 135L and 100L are all great lenses, and you really can't go wrong with any of them.  How you intend to use them and your budget will determine which one would work best for you.

If you shoot sports, the 70-200L f/2.8 II is king.  It performs well and the zoom range helps when the subjects are moving around.  That it holds its own against other lenses in the same focal length range is a testament to well the 70-200L II performs.

If you focus on portraits, then the 135L is a good choice.  If you want something longer, then you can consider the 70-200L f/4s or a 70-300L, which are less expensive, smaller and lighter.  The extra stop over the 70-200L II is welcome in really dim settings (i.e. auditoriums), but you lose the versatility of a zoom.

If you have either 70-200L II or the 135L, there really isn't a need to get a 100L macro.  You can then opt for the non-L version.  You don't need to shoot 1:1 to make macros useful.  Take a look at the max magnification specs of your current lenses.  A lot of them will be in the 0.1 to 0.3 range.  If you want to get a tighter shot, then you can either crop or use a macro.

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Re: Need comparisons between Canon 135L vs 100L
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2012, 01:20:19 PM »
The 135L is just one of those "magic" primes that if you get everything right, It rewards you with Stunning bokeh, color, and contrast right out of the camera. After editing, my 135L shots are some of my most favorite.

Its relatively Cheap, Sharp, Light, Discreet, Compact and gives A+ images. It really is a Magic Black Tube.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2012, 01:22:48 PM by RLPhoto »

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Re: Need comparisons between Canon 135L vs 100L
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2012, 01:27:28 PM »
The 135L is just one of those "magic" primes that if you get everything right, It rewards you with Stunning bokeh, color, and contrast right out of the camera. After editing, my 135L shots are some of my most favorite.

Its relatively Cheap, Sharp, Light, Discreet, Compact and gives A+ images. It really is a Magic Black Tube.

I've made the decision to scrap my 70-200L II IS for indoor volleyball, and use my 135L instead.  Yes I'll have to get off my butt, but it'll be worth it.  Side shots of people serving at f/2 is simply amazing.
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cayenne

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Re: Need comparisons between Canon 135L vs 100L
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2012, 01:44:50 PM »
Macro means you can make things appear as large on the sensor as they are to life, or a magnification of at least 1:1. So if you have a penny that's 0.75 inches, it will project an image that is 0.75 inches on your sensor, or even greater if you have a greater than 1:1 magnification.

Macro can be a lot of fun, but if you want to really get into it, you'll need a very steady tripod, some specialized lighting and setup, and likely a specialized mount to go on your tripod to position your camera exactly.

Now relating to the lenses, I have the 135L and love it, the 100L f/2.8 Macro is a great lens, rented it once and wouldn't mind owning it, but not as high on my priority list right now.

The 70-200 f/2.8 IS v2 is a fantastic lens, good chance it'll be the next lens I buy. If you aren't going to be right up on the stage, I'd say go for the 70-200 because it gives you a lot more flexibility. You can get some wider shots and get more of the band, or zoom right in and get just one or two members, or even just their face or instrument. The IS is very good, and f/2.8 can help keep your shutter speed up to freeze the action.

I'd say that the 135L is for the times you want to really make an impression, and you don't need as much flexibility and want to get a close up portrait shot that is very unique at f/2.0. Personally, I'd go for the 70-200 if I could have just one lens for general purpose short telephoto in dim lighting. However, I won't ever get rid of my 135L, it's just one of those special lenses.

EDIT: You're shooting on a full frame, right?  That'll make the 70-200 even more attractive. If you're shooting on an APS-C body, the 70-200 will seem longer due to the cropped angle of view of 112-320mm which will mean you'll need to be a good bit further back from your subject, unless you want to get a very tight closeup. That said, it's an amazing lens, especially if you have plans go to up to full frame anytime, even if it's 5-10 years away.

Thanks for the post...

Yes, forgot to post...I have a 5d3....so, definitely using FF.

C

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Re: Need comparisons between Canon 135L vs 100L
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2012, 01:44:50 PM »

RLPhoto

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Re: Need comparisons between Canon 135L vs 100L
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2012, 01:49:30 PM »
The 135L is just one of those "magic" primes that if you get everything right, It rewards you with Stunning bokeh, color, and contrast right out of the camera. After editing, my 135L shots are some of my most favorite.

Its relatively Cheap, Sharp, Light, Discreet, Compact and gives A+ images. It really is a Magic Black Tube.

I've made the decision to scrap my 70-200L II IS for indoor volleyball, and use my 135L instead.  Yes I'll have to get off my butt, but it'll be worth it.  Side shots of people serving at f/2 is simply amazing.

The 70-200mm is sharp, practical, and very versatile lens. I wouldn't scrap it for sports but the 70-200mm, IMO has always lacked that little extra touch that the 135L has.

In the end, my other lenses will go before my bread and butter 135L.

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Re: Need comparisons between Canon 135L vs 100L
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2012, 02:07:26 PM »
I don't have the 100L but I do have the 135L and it is a must have lens IMO.  The 100L is a macro so I would not compare them I would just consider them for different purposes.  I do have the 70-200 f/2.8 II and while it is an excellent work horse lens, it is not the same as the 135L.  I use them for different purposes as well and I need them both.  The 135L is very light and easy to use as a walk around lens.

135L examples with minimal editing...



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cayenne

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Re: Need comparisons between Canon 135L vs 100L
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2012, 02:19:20 PM »
I don't have the 100L but I do have the 135L and it is a must have lens IMO.  The 100L is a macro so I would not compare them I would just consider them for different purposes.  I do have the 70-200 f/2.8 II and while it is an excellent work horse lens, it is not the same as the 135L.  I use them for different purposes as well and I need them both.  The 135L is very light and easy to use as a walk around lens.

135L examples with minimal editing...





Beautiful pics....and always great to see a happy puppy!!
:)

Can you go a bit more in depth to explain when you say "I do have the 70-200 f/2.8 II and while it is an excellent work horse lens, it is not the same as the 135L.  I use them for different purposes as well and I need them both.  " ?

What are the specific purposes you use the 135L for? What specific purposes do you use the 70-200 f/2.8 II for?

Again, thanks to you and to everyone for the replies....

cayenne

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Re: Need comparisons between Canon 135L vs 100L
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2012, 03:09:06 PM »
OK, i have the 100L, 135L, and the 200L. I also used the 70-200 2.8v2 in the past. Selling the three primes would allow me to buy the 70-200, so this is why i won't:

100L: yes, i do macro now and then. i want a macro lens. However it is also my favorite portrait lens. It's stunningly sharp, fast, wonderful bokeh, always great results.
135L: well, my other favorite portrait lens ;)  The look this thing gives your fotos is unique. Creamy, yet sharp, wonderful, wonderful colors, especialy skin color!
200L: ok, i need something like 200mm, fast, sharp and i cannot afford the 70-200 on top. It's a good lens, but it has no wow effect like the 100L and the 135L and it's not even as good as the 70-200 - less fast, less sharp - but at least it's much smaller and lighter.
70-200: I won't trade my primes for this lens because it is no macro lens and it won't give my pics the special look they get from the 135 and to some point also the 100. Then it's a BIG lens. You'll have prying eyes on you wherever you go with it. Yet it's more versatile than the primes by far!

My advice: don't buy the 135 unless you want the very special look it gives you in closeup portraits. The 100L is much more versatile, you can use it in low light situations, thanks to IS. Buy a used one now. When you saved extra money you can sell it again and get yourself the 70-200 if you feel, that you need the flexibility the lens gives you.

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Re: Need comparisons between Canon 135L vs 100L
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2012, 03:15:09 PM »

Beautiful pics....and always great to see a happy puppy!!
:)

Can you go a bit more in depth to explain when you say "I do have the 70-200 f/2.8 II and while it is an excellent work horse lens, it is not the same as the 135L.  I use them for different purposes as well and I need them both.  " ?

What are the specific purposes you use the 135L for? What specific purposes do you use the 70-200 f/2.8 II for?

Again, thanks to you and to everyone for the replies....

cayenne

First off, I always use a prime over a zoom when I can.  But if I need a zoom due to fast moving subjects (I can't run around and shoot a moving subject like a child or animal) or if I need excellent tracking then I would use the 70-200 over the 135L.  I think the 70-200 also does a better job acquiring focus lock in low light than my 135L but I honestly don't even try to use the 135L in low light much at all.  If I am unsure of what I'll run into situation wise then I would take the zoom.

Now if I know that I will control the shooting situation and the light is okay then I'll use the prime 135L.  If I know that I need to carry the camera and lens around for many hours then I might also take the 135L since it is waaaay lighter.  And if I want to get a semi-circular smear then I will use the 135L or the 85L wide open.  The 70-200 wide open just can't produce that look.

Hope that helps.
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Re: Need comparisons between Canon 135L vs 100L
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2012, 03:19:44 PM »
Own them both and iqnis very good with both, but the 135 is twice the light I'm and they don't even remotely compare in .AF speed... if you don't need macro the 135 is the one you want for action and portraits...
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Re: Need comparisons between Canon 135L vs 100L
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2012, 03:19:44 PM »

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Re: Need comparisons between Canon 135L vs 100L
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2012, 03:46:54 PM »
I own both the 135L and the 100L Macro. I love both and do not see selling either one of the them in the future.

The 100L is my first lens purchased. It is extremely versatile. Out of all my primes, I liken this lens to a zoom because of its "macro" ability to focus closeup while still have the reach of a standard telephoto. It fits nicely in between the 85mm and 135mm focal range and easily covers both. For portraits, it's very sharp, so sharp that at times I need to dial down details, ie. blemishes, skin pores on the face. At f/2.8 it produces beautiful DOF and creamy bokeh. I use this lens for just about everything. It works great for street photography as well. The IS is fabulous and allows me shot in lowlight situations. I've taken lots of shots in dense fog and the images came out great. So good that many thought I'd used a tripod. Fairly light when compared to other telephoto primes or the more popular 70-200 zooms. In inclement weather such as rain or snow, I usually carry this one around. This is because the included lens hood is quite long which perfectly keeps out water and snow from landing on the front elements. Don't take my words for it, take a look at images I've shot and see for yourself.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dunghoang/

So, why did I pick up the 135L if the 100L is so great? Two reasons. (1) The 135L is f/2.0 which produces a different kind of bokeh and DOF that is simply beautiful. f/2.0 also allows me to shoot even in darker environment. Sure the 100L has IS but knowing how to shoot without IS yields even better results in lowlight situations (2) The 135L works with teleconverters while the 100L do not. With the EF 2x III Extender, I get 270mm at f/4.0. It's also good to know that many street photographers shoot with the 135L because of its ideal reach and discreet black color (as compared to the white of the 70-200mm lenses).

Truth is, if you're on the fence deciding whether to pick up the 100L or the 135L, it's gonna be a difficult decision. There are benefits to both. You need to look at your shooting style. What exactly do you want to achieve? Do you like the ability to shoot macros? Do you like street photography? Do you prefer the bokeh of one over the other? Are you comfortable shooting without IS? I don't think you'lll go wrong with either one.

Great thread!  I'm about to pull the trigger on the 100mm macro because I'm now doing more close-up product shots and portraits and it's good to hear that it can do double duty. 
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Re: Need comparisons between Canon 135L vs 100L
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2012, 03:58:59 PM »
I own all 3 mentioned lenses.
100 - using it only for macro shots, sharp at F4
135 - sharp at F2.8 (a bit slower AF, prone to yellow cast if sun light is in / near the frame), the best bokeh (the most blurred [pleasing] background); I do not use 100 or 70-200 for IS (monopod does the same service).
70-200 II - sharp at F3.5 (fastest AF, zoom is sometimes necessary)
(I use 200, 135, 85 primes in any low light situations [including gym sports].)

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Re: Need comparisons between Canon 135L vs 100L
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2012, 03:58:59 PM »