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Author Topic: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens  (Read 34252 times)

bholliman

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100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
« 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.
Bodies:  6D, EOS-M (22/2 and 18-55)
Lenses: Rokinon 14mm 2.8, 35mm 2.0 IS, 85mm 1.8, 100mm 2.8L IS Macro, 135mm 2.0L, 24-70mm 2.8L II, 70-200mm 2.8L IS II, Extenders: EF 1.4xIII, EF 2xIII ; Flash: ST-E3-RT, 600EX-RT (x3)

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100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
« on: January 25, 2013, 12:10:13 PM »

Radiating

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Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
« Reply #1 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.

skitron

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Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
« Reply #2 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.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 02:08:25 PM by skitron »
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Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
« Reply #3 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.

RLPhoto

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Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
« Reply #4 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.

skitron

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Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
« Reply #5 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
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mingyuansung

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Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
« Reply #6 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. 
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Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2013, 02:33:17 PM »

florianbieler.de

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Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
« Reply #7 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

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 and show me "harsh bokeh".
« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 02:53:32 PM by florianbieler.de »
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seekthedragon

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Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
« Reply #8 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.

TrumpetPower!

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Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
« Reply #9 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&

gary

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Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
« Reply #10 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.
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Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
« Reply #11 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?

cayenne

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Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
« Reply #12 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

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Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2013, 03:50:19 PM »

pdirestajr

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Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2013, 04:04:52 PM »
They are both fine lenses.


Ben by Philip DiResta, on Flickr


Happy Violet by Philip DiResta, on Flickr
« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 04:06:32 PM by pdirestajr »
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brad-man

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Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
« Reply #14 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=11194.0

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Re: 100mm 2.8L Macro IS as a portrait lens
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2013, 04:19:16 PM »