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Author Topic: Zeiss 100 f/2 vs. Canon 85 f/1.2 II vs. Canon 135 f/2  (Read 3989 times)

B.Lee

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Zeiss 100 f/2 vs. Canon 85 f/1.2 II vs. Canon 135 f/2
« on: May 28, 2013, 01:56:55 AM »
I'm looking to complete my three-lens setup and I'm debating between either the Zeiss 100 f/2, Canon 85 f/1.2 II or the Canon 135 f/2. I currently use the Sigma 35 f/1.4 and Canon 200 f/2.8, therefore I'm looking for a general purpose lens for portraits, street photography and macro (via extension tubes if I choose one of the Canons).

Any suggestions?
« Last Edit: May 28, 2013, 05:43:26 AM by B.Lee »
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Zeiss 100 f/2 vs. Canon 85 f/1.2 II vs. Canon 135 f/2
« on: May 28, 2013, 01:56:55 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Zeiss 100 f/2 vs. Canon 85 f/1.2 II vs. Canon 135 f/2
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2013, 07:11:14 AM »
IMO, 35mm to 135mm is too big a gap, so I'd go 85mm.  But, while the 85L is great for portraits, its 'ponderous' AF means it's really not general purpose.

So...how about the Sigma 85/1.4 and the Canon 100/2.8L Macro. Those two combined cost less than the 85L, and actually, if your macro shots will be from a tripod, save $350 and get the non-L macro.  A dedicated macro is much better than tubes.
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Re: Zeiss 100 f/2 vs. Canon 85 f/1.2 II vs. Canon 135 f/2
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2013, 09:28:58 AM »
No comment on Zeiss.

As Neuro mentioned, 85L II AF is on the slow site. This lens will give very high quality images. I tried this lens on my 5D III a week ago, but decided not to buy at this moment. I ended up with 135L. Will pair it up with my 50L.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2013, 10:38:29 AM by Dylan777 »
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Prime: 40mm -- 50L -- 85L II -- 135L -- 400L f2.8 IS II -- Zeiss FE 55mm f1.8

pierceography

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Re: Zeiss 100 f/2 vs. Canon 85 f/1.2 II vs. Canon 135 f/2
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2013, 09:43:20 AM »
I agree with neuro in that the gap of 100mm (35mm - 135mm) between your lenses would be... annoying.  And the 85mm, while a fantastic lens, is not suited for street photography because of its slow AF.  However, I'm not sure how well the 100mm(L) would work for street photography either.  It can take awhile to hunt across the entire focal range, while the 135mm is quite fast.  Though, I would take that comment with a grain of salt, since I haven't used the focal range limiter on the 100mm, as I generally only use it for macro.

If it were up to me, I'd probably go with the 135mm and possibly pick up a 50mm f/1.4 (Canon or Sigma) and the Canon 85mm f/1.8.  That would give you a pretty nice range of primes, and still come in less than the cost of the 85mm f/1.2L II.  Granted, you wouldn't have a dedicated macro lens, but as you've already pointed out, you can always go with extension tubes.
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RGF

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Re: Zeiss 100 f/2 vs. Canon 85 f/1.2 II vs. Canon 135 f/2
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2013, 10:27:12 AM »
I have heard, tho I don't own one, that the 100L macro is a great lens for general (street) photography

privatebydesign

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Re: Zeiss 100 f/2 vs. Canon 85 f/1.2 II vs. Canon 135 f/2
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2013, 10:48:05 AM »
Another vote for the Canon 100 L Macro, it is a remarkably versatile lens. Zeiss is a name; weather sealing, AF and Hybrid IS are real features that make far greater differences to images than a few lppmm on a test chart. Oh, and the Canon has curved aperture blades for very smooth bokeh.
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Re: Zeiss 100 f/2 vs. Canon 85 f/1.2 II vs. Canon 135 f/2
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2013, 10:57:27 AM »
I'm looking to complete my three-lens setup and I'm debating between either the Zeiss 100 f/2, Canon 85 f/1.2 II or the Canon 135 f/2. I currently use the Sigma 35 f/1.4 and Canon 200 f/2.8, therefore I'm looking for a general purpose lens for portraits, street photography and macro (via extension tubes if I choose one of the Canons).

Any suggestions?

The Canon 100mm f2.0 USM is a very well regarded lens too. It's a bit of a sleeper, often passed over for the 85mm f1.8, 100mm L macro or 135L. Personally, I would choose the 100L macro if I was looking to add the veratility of a macro to my line up. I would choose the 85mm f1.8 over the f1.2 L for versatility and size. The L is not a light lens....it's like a cannon ball. I would choose a 135L if I wanted a mid tele as my main long lens.

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Re: Zeiss 100 f/2 vs. Canon 85 f/1.2 II vs. Canon 135 f/2
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2013, 10:57:27 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Zeiss 100 f/2 vs. Canon 85 f/1.2 II vs. Canon 135 f/2
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2013, 11:01:08 AM »
I have heard, tho I don't own one, that the 100L macro is a great lens for general (street) photography

It's decent. The OP mentions portraits, and while the 100/2.8L does ok there, I prefer a wider aperture for portraits.
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Re: Zeiss 100 f/2 vs. Canon 85 f/1.2 II vs. Canon 135 f/2
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2013, 11:05:57 AM »
+1 for the 100L.  Using the focus limiter does decrease hunting time quite a bit.

No single lens will be perfectly suited for portrait, street and macro, but the 100L does all three well.  If you want a shallower DOF for portraiture, then that will be a 4th lens that can be a bit more specialized (i.e. 85L II).  With the 100L in hand, the 85 f/1.8 and 100 f/2 become less useful, because they require a lens change for about 1 stop.  At that point, I'd look for a f/1.2 or f/1.4 lens to supplement the 100L to get a better separation.

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Re: Zeiss 100 f/2 vs. Canon 85 f/1.2 II vs. Canon 135 f/2
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2013, 12:11:13 PM »
The 135L is a perfect lens for what you've described. It's only pitfall is the lack of IS.
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Axilrod

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Re: Zeiss 100 f/2 vs. Canon 85 f/1.2 II vs. Canon 135 f/2
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2013, 12:21:03 PM »
I have all 3 of the mentioned lenses, and that's a tough choice (Since they are all my favorite lenses pretty much).

85L - Amazing bokeh, not much better out there for portriats, AF is a bit slow as you've been told, but hey at least it has AF (which the ZE 100 doesn't.)

ZE 100 - I love this thing, it is absolutely insanely sharp and has excellent contrast/micro contrast, the focus ring is smooth as butter, hard stops at Infinity and Macro, but I have to say I am biased towards this one since I shoot video and don't need AF.  It does have focus confirmation, so the point lights up and it beeps when you have the focus right, and it's much easier to shoot manual focus with Zeiss lenses since the throw is much longer than on Canon lenses.  I had the 100L before this and loved that one as well, it's 1/2 the price and you get IS and AF (although the AF is pretty darn slow on the 100L).  If you need AF I'd go with the 100L, it's much cheaper.  If you want the best, go with the Zeiss.

135L - I don't think anyone has anything bad to say about this one, it's one of Canon's sharpest lenses and the AF is super fast.  It is a bit long to not have IS, but that's never been an issue for me.  It's the cheapest of the bunch by a long shot.

I'd consider maybe picking up the 135L and then getting an 85mm f/1.8 to see how you like the 85mm focal length.  For $300 the 85 1.8 is an amazing lens.  Or if you can only get one maybe the 100L, it's a tough choice, but that's the most versatile of the bunch and fits all the needs you mentioned.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Zeiss 100 f/2 vs. Canon 85 f/1.2 II vs. Canon 135 f/2
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2013, 06:50:37 PM »
Since you're considering a Zeiss too, I assume that AF speed is not a concern for you, so... I'd go for the Canon 85/1,2 without second thoughts. Corner sharpness is definitely uninpressive just like the AF speed, but apart from that, it is maybe one of the best tele lenses for portrait on the market. You'll love it.

If you find a 135mm to be more useful, the 135/2 is a great lens. Nothing to criticize.

As far as a 100mm is concerned, I really like the Canon 100/2, which has an impressive sharpness on the whole frame already wide open, nearly no vignetting, beautiful bokeh and it's quite unexpensive. It has not the build quality of the Zeiss, but it's much cheaper and has a good AF.

Talking about Zeiss, last year I shot a short with the Zeiss Contax Planar 85mm f/1,4 and I just fell in love with it.

bdunbar79

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Re: Zeiss 100 f/2 vs. Canon 85 f/1.2 II vs. Canon 135 f/2
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2013, 07:29:40 PM »
The Canon 100 f/2.0 lens is awesome.  I was surprised at how sharp that and the 85 f/1.8 were when I tested them at a basketball game.

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Re: Zeiss 100 f/2 vs. Canon 85 f/1.2 II vs. Canon 135 f/2
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2013, 07:29:40 PM »

B.Lee

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Re: Zeiss 100 f/2 vs. Canon 85 f/1.2 II vs. Canon 135 f/2
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2013, 04:40:35 AM »
Thanks all!

After much deliberation, reviewing samples and reviews, and taking into consideration your guys' input, I just bit the bullet on the Zeiss for $1375 like new on eBay (still within warranty)!

My reasoning: I tried the 100L and found that although it was uber sharp, it simply lacks the "character" of the other lenses being compared. The 135L on the other hand seems to possess this character, but might be slightly too long for situational indoor use. Lastly, the 85L seems to fit the bill perfectly being a faster lens and an ideal focal length, but the comments on the sluggish AF really swayed me towards the Zeiss: although it is manual focus, its focus confirmation should be sufficient enough and will hopefully incite some creative juices; not to mention its macro capabilities and its $400+ cheaper price difference for a used but like new condition!

Anyways...just thought I'd share with you my thought process, flawed or not.

Thanks again for all your input, this forum is by far the most helpful I've subscribed to.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2013, 04:47:31 AM by B.Lee »
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B.Lee

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Re: Zeiss 100 f/2 vs. Canon 85 f/1.2 II vs. Canon 135 f/2
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2013, 04:45:53 AM »
ZE 100 - I love this thing, it is absolutely insanely sharp and has excellent contrast/micro contrast, the focus ring is smooth as butter, hard stops at Infinity and Macro, but I have to say I am biased towards this one since I shoot video and don't need AF.  It does have focus confirmation, so the point lights up and it beeps when you have the focus right, and it's much easier to shoot manual focus with Zeiss lenses since the throw is much longer than on Canon lenses.  I had the 100L before this and loved that one as well, it's 1/2 the price and you get IS and AF (although the AF is pretty darn slow on the 100L).  If you need AF I'd go with the 100L, it's much cheaper.  If you want the best, go with the Zeiss.

Would you mind sharing a few samples of your ZE, just to tide me over until mine arrives? ;D
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Re: Zeiss 100 f/2 vs. Canon 85 f/1.2 II vs. Canon 135 f/2
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2013, 04:45:53 AM »