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Author Topic: Canon 100mm f2 usm vs 70-200mm f4l (non-is) vs 135mm f2L  (Read 3281 times)

seymour110

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Canon 100mm f2 usm vs 70-200mm f4l (non-is) vs 135mm f2L
« on: December 14, 2012, 03:57:06 AM »
Yes I understand these lens are, in a number of ways, very different but just wandering what people's opinion of each is.

My reasons -

100mm f2 USM - great aperture + sharp, relatively inexpensive (could therefore afford a flashgun also) + is small + nice focal length - but not L/is fixed focal length which might not be long enough on full frame.

70-200mm f4l - not great aperture but usable - great zoom range which is useful as I shoot landscapes + good build. - but is quite large comparatively speaking, and is not subtle.

135mm f2l - amazing sharpness + aperture -is subtle for focal length - but v expensive & fixed focal length.

I mainly shoot landscapes and I need a tele to get some nice compressed shots. Hoping to do some more portrait.

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Canon 100mm f2 usm vs 70-200mm f4l (non-is) vs 135mm f2L
« on: December 14, 2012, 03:57:06 AM »

azezal

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Re: Canon 100mm f2 usm vs 70-200mm f4l (non-is) vs 135mm f2L
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2012, 04:46:15 AM »
I hope you don't mind if I ask others here to help us out with some sample pictures if possible
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CharlieB

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Re: Canon 100mm f2 usm vs 70-200mm f4l (non-is) vs 135mm f2L
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2012, 07:15:29 AM »
70-200/4.0L

For compression, distant scenery... you'll want the extra reach, won't need the faster apertures.

Should you do some portraiture, the speed of f/4 is not bad either, shooting someplace in shorter end of the zoom's range.  Serious portraiture - getting the eyes and nose tip in focus requires nearly f/5.6 anyway if the person is facing the camera and both eyes are to be in focus.  With the head turned, so the near eye is in focus, you can get the nose tip in focus at wider openings but.... have to deal with the far eye being out of focus, so f/5.6 is still where you want to be.

If you settle on a fixed 100mm lens, I urge you to consider the 100/2.8macro nonL as well, which is outrageously sharp, and you lose practically nothing over the 100/2.0  - Consider that for what seemed like forever, years ago, the Nikkor 105/2.5 was the defacto portrait lens, when film, mechanical cameras and manual focus was all the rage.  And, it did the job well, and deserved the praise it got.

paul13walnut5

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Re: Canon 100mm f2 usm vs 70-200mm f4l (non-is) vs 135mm f2L
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2012, 02:16:29 PM »
I use the 70-200 f2.8 L non IS and the 100mm f2.0.

At 100 the prime has the edge, especially comparing f2.8 with f2.8.

It's more compact and is obviously potentially two stops brighter than the f4 zoom.

I don't see them as duplication, I use my zoom in situations where I wouldn't use the prime, and vice versa.

seymour110

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Re: Canon 100mm f2 usm vs 70-200mm f4l (non-is) vs 135mm f2L
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2012, 07:02:30 PM »
Interesting. Thanks so much guys. Its a really tough choice. I'm planning to be in Hong Kong in August so I think the 100mm f2 might be useful as its pretty subtle (though still using a whopping great big 5d)

seymour110

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Re: Canon 100mm f2 usm vs 70-200mm f4l (non-is) vs 135mm f2L
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2012, 07:21:01 PM »
I hope you don't mind if I ask others here to help us out with some sample pictures if possible

no problem

funkboy

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Re: Canon 100mm f2 usm vs 70-200mm f4l (non-is) vs 135mm f2L
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2012, 09:07:55 PM »
Well, here on the forum there are massive galleries of all 3 if you want to get a better feel for them.  Also pbase.com has a feature where you can search by lens.

Personally, I own

  • 85mm f/1.8 USM, very similar to the 100 f/2 you're asking about
  • 135 f/2L
  • & sold my non-IS 70-200 f/4L a few years back

Of the three, I feel that the 85mm f/1.8 has the best bang/buck ratio, although the 135L comes close.  They're all great lenses.

My decision to go for the 85 f/1.8 vs. the 100 f/2 was based on better hand-holdability and more utility indoors or in tight spaces.  The 85 will give you more keepers than the 100 in the same scenario due to the shorter focal length & faster aperture, and you can always crop a little if you have to.  It's also less expensive.

My advice is to get the 85 1.8 now & get a feeling for short telephotos.  It's the least expensive of the bunch & a lens that you'll continue to use even if you get other telephotos.  I think of it as the little brother of the 135L.  A very competent little brother at that.

Which brings me to the 135L.  If you've got the cash, it's a no-brainer.  It's probably the sharpest Canon lens south of $1000.  With a light monopod and a steady hand, you can get close to making up for the lack of IS.  It also has the advantage of being teleconverter compatible, and it's so sharp that the 135L with my 1.4x TC II looks about like my former 70-200 f/4L non-IS without the TC.  Which is still very very good, but is also why I sold the zoom as it didn't give me "that lovin' feelin" that I get with the 135L.  There's just something to be said for massive aperture at telephoto focal lengths, and the 135L is sort of the last financial stepping stone for mere mortals in this domain (the next step being lenses like the 200 f/2 and 300 f/2.8, which cost the price of a decent used car).  I'm seriously considering adding the new 2x TC III to my bag as it's supposed to be significantly better than the previous generation 2x TCs.

Another fine lens to consider if you don't need a massive aperture is the new 100 f/2.8L IS macro.  It's razor-sharp from 1:1 out to infinity & has an awesome IS system, plus of course the added advantage of being an awesome macro lens.  It's priced in the same neighborhood as the 135L.

BTW my "macro lens" is the 85 f/1.8 USM with Kenko extension tubes, which works quite well.  Like the 1.4x TC, just chuck one or two of the extension tubes in your bag (they're a lot lighter than a TC as they have no glass elements :-) and you always have a macro lens with you.  They work great with even smaller/cheaper lenses like the nifty 50 as well.

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Re: Canon 100mm f2 usm vs 70-200mm f4l (non-is) vs 135mm f2L
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2012, 09:07:55 PM »

seymour110

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Re: Canon 100mm f2 usm vs 70-200mm f4l (non-is) vs 135mm f2L
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2012, 06:31:57 AM »
Thanks all.

Must admit its now a case of 100mm f2 usm or 70-200mm f4l usm. 100mm would actually fit in my Billingham small, whilst I don't think the zoom will. Though a little concerned if the 100 is zoomed in enough for some nice tele landscapes.

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Re: Canon 100mm f2 usm vs 70-200mm f4l (non-is) vs 135mm f2L
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2012, 06:31:57 AM »