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Author Topic: Help with a potriat lens  (Read 3887 times)

MagnumJoe

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Help with a potriat lens
« on: August 06, 2013, 10:43:26 PM »
I currently have a 6D and 24-105mm lens.  I want a portrait lens to take photos of my grand children.  I'm thinking of these 2 lenses.  Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS vs Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS.  The reviews I've read point that both are great lenses, but the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS is slightly better, but the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS is more versatile.  I don't have the cash for the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS. 
I have a Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS coming this week that I rented, so I'll have a chance to try it out. I just wanted your opinion on the better portrait lens.

I've attached a couple of pictures shoot with the 24-105.

 
Cameras:  5D MK III, 6D,   Lenses: Canon EF 70-200mm MK II f/2.8| Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 | Canon EF 50mm f/1.4, Tamron 24-70 VC

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Help with a potriat lens
« on: August 06, 2013, 10:43:26 PM »

Harry Muff

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Re: Help with a potriat lens
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2013, 10:56:51 PM »
Oh, believe me, the 100L is PLENTY versatile.
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AudioGlenn

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Re: Help with a potriat lens
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2013, 12:49:53 AM »
Would you mind saving for a little longer for the 70-200 2.8 IS II?  It's an amazing lens.  I use this lens 60% of the time I'm shooting.
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Help with a potriat lens
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2013, 12:59:00 AM »
If you also want to shoot macro, the 100L makes sense. For around the cost of the 70-200/4L IS, you could get the 85mm f/1.8 and the 135mm f/2L.  That's like a portrait 1-2 punch.  An f/4 lens on FF is ok if you've got plenty of physical separation between subject and background, or in a studio with strobes and a backdrop (where I use f/9 or so).  But for 'candid' portraits, a faster aperture is preferable.
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hawaiisunsetphoto

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Re: Help with a potriat lens
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2013, 09:53:27 PM »
If you also want to shoot macro, the 100L makes sense. For around the cost of the 70-200/4L IS, you could get the 85mm f/1.8 and the 135mm f/2L.  That's like a portrait 1-2 punch.  An f/4 lens on FF is ok if you've got plenty of physical separation between subject and background, or in a studio with strobes and a backdrop (where I use f/9 or so).  But for 'candid' portraits, a faster aperture is preferable.

This would be a great solution.  The 135mm is an epic portrait lens for the price.  Or, a version I 70-200mm f/2.8L IS might also work for you, if you can find a deal on a nice used one.
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MagnumJoe

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Re: Help with a potriat lens
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2013, 09:59:48 PM »
If you also want to shoot macro, the 100L makes sense. For around the cost of the 70-200/4L IS, you could get the 85mm f/1.8 and the 135mm f/2L.  That's like a portrait 1-2 punch.  An f/4 lens on FF is ok if you've got plenty of physical separation between subject and background, or in a studio with strobes and a backdrop (where I use f/9 or so).  But for 'candid' portraits, a faster aperture is preferable.

Thank everyone, I took Mr. Neuroanatomist advice.  I bought the 85mm 1.8 today and probably will buy the 135mm f/2L next.  My plan is this, using the 85mm on my 6D and if I need more range I can put the 85mm on my T3i for now.
Cameras:  5D MK III, 6D,   Lenses: Canon EF 70-200mm MK II f/2.8| Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 | Canon EF 50mm f/1.4, Tamron 24-70 VC

vic

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Re: Help with a potriat lens
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2013, 11:25:59 PM »
I own a 5D MkII with 24-105L, 100L, and 70-200L IS.

IMHO the 100L as well as the 70-200L IS are both produce nicer bokeh and are slightly sharper wide open than the 24-105L, and they all are great lenses for portrait. There could be a slight different in sharpness between the 100L vs the 70-200L IS if you are pixel peeping, but to my eyes they are roughly on par with each other, but the 70-200L IS is the more convenience to use as a portrait lens.

I now wish that I have one of the 70-200L f/2.8 flavor to see if the wider aperture worth the extra weight/money.

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Re: Help with a potriat lens
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2013, 11:25:59 PM »

TexasBadger

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Re: Help with a potriat lens
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2013, 12:00:27 AM »
I agree with Neuro.  85 1.8 and 135 2.0 L.
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MagnumJoe

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Re: Help with a potriat lens
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2013, 10:56:20 PM »
If you also want to shoot macro, the 100L makes sense. For around the cost of the 70-200/4L IS, you could get the 85mm f/1.8 and the 135mm f/2L.  That's like a portrait 1-2 punch.  An f/4 lens on FF is ok if you've got plenty of physical separation between subject and background, or in a studio with strobes and a backdrop (where I use f/9 or so).  But for 'candid' portraits, a faster aperture is preferable.

I wanted to report back and thank you for your suggestion.  I bought the 85mm and rented the f4 70-200. Since I ordered the 85mm f/1.8 from Amazon I knew I could send it back if the f/4 70-200 rocked my world for portraits.  It was cloudy here today in the Florida Panhandle after showers from 2-6pm.  But I had to chance to use both the 85mm and the 70-200.  Your advice "for me"  was spot on, thank you.
Cameras:  5D MK III, 6D,   Lenses: Canon EF 70-200mm MK II f/2.8| Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 | Canon EF 50mm f/1.4, Tamron 24-70 VC

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Help with a potriat lens
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2013, 11:07:18 PM »
Generally, primes like the 85 are better for portraits.  They have a smoother background than the zooms.  You can set a wide aperture to control the depth of field as you prefer.  The 135mmL is another great portrait lens, but you need to get back a ways if you want more than just the head and shoulders.
 
This was a difficult shot with almost no light and the 135mmL.  I was back from the stage a long way.
 

 
Another with the 135
 

MagnumJoe

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Re: Help with a potriat lens
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2013, 11:22:52 PM »
I currently have a 6D and 24-105mm lens.  I want a portrait lens to take photos of my grand children.  I'm thinking of these 2 lenses.  Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS vs Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS.  The reviews I've read point that both are great lenses, but the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS is slightly better, but the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS is more versatile.  I don't have the cash for the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS. 
I have a Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS coming this week that I rented, so I'll have a chance to try it out. I just wanted your opinion on the better portrait lens.

I've attached a couple of pictures shoot with the 24-105.

As much as I like the picture on my original post, it was about 3pm on bright sunny day. This photo I shot with the 85mm @ 1.8 on a cloudy day with flash is nothing at all to brag about.  It's just a sharper photo, even though the composition is poor.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2013, 11:28:03 PM by MagnumJoe »
Cameras:  5D MK III, 6D,   Lenses: Canon EF 70-200mm MK II f/2.8| Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 | Canon EF 50mm f/1.4, Tamron 24-70 VC

thgmuffin

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Re: Help with a potriat lens
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2013, 05:58:57 AM »
I can't decide between the Sigma 85mm F1.4 and 135mm F2L...


drmikeinpdx

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Re: Help with a potriat lens
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2013, 12:14:24 AM »
The combination of the 85mm 1.8 and the 135 2.0 is very hard to beat for people photography.  I also have the 100mm F/2.0 and it doesn't get used much any more.  I made an effort to find a job for it recently and found one... taking pix of classic hood ornaments at an antique car show!

The Sigma 85 F/1.4 is interesting.  I've been reading consumer reviews and there seems to be a high percentage of bad lens reports out there.  You would definitely want to buy it from a place with a liberal return policy and be prepared to test it extensively on receipt.

Here is a shot with the 85 1.8 at F/2.0 on my 5D3



Here is a shot with the 100 2.0 at F/2.8



And here is one with the 135L at F/2.8




Basically, any of the lenses will allow you to easily separate your subject from the background with shallow DOF.  It just depends on how big your subject is and how far away you want stand.
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Re: Help with a potriat lens
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2013, 12:14:24 AM »

Zv

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Re: Help with a potriat lens
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2013, 02:25:23 AM »
I had the 85mm 1.8 but didn't like it. Mainly because I had to stop the thing down to f/4 to get rid off the purple and green fringing (especially in moderate - strong backlit subjects, which is common in portrait photography). I didn't want to spend time fixing that in LR either (1000+ images from a wedding = major headache). So I now use the 135L which is awesome. Well worth the money.

I also have the 70-200 f/4L IS, but this gets used less as the 135L seems to be more than enough. However, if I was to require something a bit wider than my 135 or more flexibility I would opt for the zoom. Even f/4 gives very nice bokeh in certain situations, especially at the 200mm end. You want most of the facial fearures in focus anyway so for me f/2.8 is a bit too shallow.

I'm hoping Sigma update their 85 1.4 next year as that would compliment the 135L I have nicely. For now my 70-200 will do just fine.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2013, 02:29:08 AM by Zv »
6D | 17-40L | 24-105L | 70-200 f4L IS | 135L | SY 14 2.8 | Sigma 50 1.4

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mwh1964

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Re: Help with a potriat lens
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2013, 04:10:47 AM »
The zoom for sure giving your subject. You want flexibility more than anything if children is the main subject for your photography.
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Re: Help with a potriat lens
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2013, 04:10:47 AM »