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Author Topic: 100MM 2.8 USM or THE 100MM L for portrait and macro work??  (Read 4030 times)

skoobey

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100MM 2.8 USM or THE 100MM L for portrait and macro work??
« on: October 10, 2013, 04:21:50 PM »
I was wondering what are your opinions on 100mm Canon macro lenses?

I plan on buying something that is great both for fashion macro (face-close ups, jewelry, eyes, lips, nails) and portrait (including full body shots). I dislike changing lenses, and I only have one body(edit it's a 5d mkII) to work with.

Autofocus has to be great, I tested a used 100mm USM MAcro, and it back-focused a lot, and I'm not sure is that a common problem, as many have complained about the early examples of this lens, and I don't know how old that lens was. ;D

Distortion is my big concern. How much is there in both of them when it comes to barrel/pincushion?

I own 24-105, but it does have a way too strong of a distortion, and I don't like that effect one bit. It is only perfectly straight at 35mm. I shoot with a lot of horizontal/vertical/diagonal lines on the set and it MUST be straight at the capture.

Sharpness is a must, 24-105 is reasonably sharp, but I really hope to get something much sharper.

Bokeh is important only as far is looks good, not broken up too much (like 50 1.8 for example), and not jaggedy, but I shoot stopped down exclusively, so DOF is really nothing to consider.

Price is important, but I'll stretch if I must.

Anyone has experience with either/both? Your opinion?  :) :) :)

Maybe even some other manufacturer?  :o

I shoot using 5d mkII. I shoot fashion and internal AF is just fine with me.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2013, 06:19:55 PM by skoobey »

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100MM 2.8 USM or THE 100MM L for portrait and macro work??
« on: October 10, 2013, 04:21:50 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: 100MM 2.8 USM or THE 100MM L for portrait and macro work??
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2013, 04:30:55 PM »
Lens recommendations are difficult without knowing what body you have.

As for backfocus, if you're shooting with a reasonably fast lens (f/2.8 or wider), either have a body with AFMA or plan to send body+lenses to Canon for calibration.

The 100L is ok for portraits, a great choice for handheld macro.  I prefer the 85L or 135L for portraits, you could consider the 85/1.8 or 100/2.
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skoobey

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Re: 100MM 2.8 USM or THE 100MM L for portrait and macro work??
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2013, 04:39:03 PM »
Lens recommendations are difficult without knowing what body you have.

As for backfocus, if you're shooting with a reasonably fast lens (f/2.8 or wider), either have a body with AFMA or plan to send body+lenses to Canon for calibration.

The 100L is ok for portraits, a great choice for handheld macro.  I prefer the 85L or 135L for portraits, you could consider the 85/1.8 or 100/2.

I don't have a budget for both 85 1.8 and a 100mm macro, and are a bit too close focal-length vise, aaand I really need a macro lens. :D

135 is great, but my studio is too small, and I could only use it for up to waist images.

I do have AFMA on 5d II, but that tested lens was focusing inconsistently. 

In what respect are 85mm 1.8 and 100mm 2.0 better than 100mm USM Macro or 100mm L Macro? :) Just trying to compare.

seekthedragon

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Re: 100MM 2.8 USM or THE 100MM L for portrait and macro work??
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2013, 05:30:34 PM »
I never had any other prime, but the 100L is just awesome for both portraits and handheld macro (jewels, small details, flowers, etc.) I don't think you would regret it. It performs better for portraits than my 70-200 II.

neuroanatomist

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Re: 100MM 2.8 USM or THE 100MM L for portrait and macro work??
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2013, 05:31:52 PM »
In what respect are 85mm 1.8 and 100mm 2.0 better than 100mm USM Macro or 100mm L Macro? :) Just trying to compare.

The 85/1.8 and 100/2 focus faster than the macro lenses, and provide more subject isolation.  In a studio setting, those may not matter much (with strobes and backdrops, I often stop down quite a bit).

The IS can really help with handheld close ups, although it's only good for ~2 stops at 1:1.
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skoobey

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Re: 100MM 2.8 USM or THE 100MM L for portrait and macro work??
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2013, 06:00:10 PM »
In what respect are 85mm 1.8 and 100mm 2.0 better than 100mm USM Macro or 100mm L Macro? :) Just trying to compare.

The 85/1.8 and 100/2 focus faster than the macro lenses, and provide more subject isolation.  In a studio setting, those may not matter much (with strobes and backdrops, I often stop down quite a bit).

The IS can really help with handheld close ups, although it's only good for ~2 stops at 1:1.

I don't care abut bokeh much if that's what you mean by subject isolation(so I haven't mentioned it in the OP, I guess I should say I don't care 'bout it), unless it is REALLY strange, like super crisp or super-broken up like some Sigmas, I don't want that.

I shoot mostly f10-f16.  ;)

I am more concerned about the "quality" of the image like contrast, chromatic problems, flare, sharpness at macro level, sharpness when stopped down, sharpness at 10ft 15ft 20ft 30ft. That kind of info.  :D  :D  :D

chas1113

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Re: 100MM 2.8 USM or THE 100MM L for portrait and macro work??
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2013, 06:27:12 PM »
I have a 5DII, EF 24-105mm L and had the 100mm macro USM and traded up to the 100L. My experience was exactly the same as yours: I found AF on the 100 macro difficult to nail. The zoom is great but not the sharpest at 100mm. The L is the one you want; I absolutely love mine for portraits and close-up/macro work.
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Re: 100MM 2.8 USM or THE 100MM L for portrait and macro work??
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2013, 06:27:12 PM »

skoobey

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Re: 100MM 2.8 USM or THE 100MM L for portrait and macro work??
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2013, 06:36:31 PM »
I have a 5DII, EF 24-105mm L and had the 100mm macro USM and traded up to the 100L. My experience was exactly the same as yours: I found AF on the 100 macro difficult to nail. The zoom is great but not the sharpest at 100mm. The L is the one you want; I absolutely love mine for portraits and close-up/macro work.

How about distortion? Had any trouble with that? :) 24-105 is great all-rounder but distortion at 100 complimented by softness is just killing me. I love it most at 35-65(it's straight range).

It is really important for me that the lens is super straight, super sharp and the colors to be right.

skoobey

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Re: 100MM 2.8 USM or THE 100MM L for portrait and macro work??
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2013, 06:53:16 PM »
I never had any other prime, but the 100L is just awesome for both portraits and handheld macro (jewels, small details, flowers, etc.) I don't think you would regret it. It performs better for portraits than my 70-200 II.

That's also what I was wondering, as I know 70-200 is best at 100mm.  :D

rs

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Re: 100MM 2.8 USM or THE 100MM L for portrait and macro work??
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2013, 07:03:59 PM »
How about distortion? Had any trouble with that? :) 24-105 is great all-rounder but distortion at 100 complimented by softness is just killing me. I love it most at 35-65(it's straight range).

It is really important for me that the lens is super straight, super sharp and the colors to be right.
It seems ok to me:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Lens-Distortion.aspx?FLI=4&FLIComp=0&Lens=355&Camera=453&LensComp=674
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chas1113

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Re: 100MM 2.8 USM or THE 100MM L for portrait and macro work??
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2013, 07:23:41 PM »
I have a 5DII, EF 24-105mm L and had the 100mm macro USM and traded up to the 100L. My experience was exactly the same as yours: I found AF on the 100 macro difficult to nail. The zoom is great but not the sharpest at 100mm. The L is the one you want; I absolutely love mine for portraits and close-up/macro work.

How about distortion? Had any trouble with that? :) 24-105 is great all-rounder but distortion at 100 complimented by softness is just killing me. I love it most at 35-65(it's straight range).

It is really important for me that the lens is super straight, super sharp and the colors to be right.

I haven't used the 100L at less than 5-6 feet for portraits (i.e. studio setting), but outdoor portraits show good sharpness, contrast and color as well as good subject isolation at up to, say, 40 feet. I have found distortion to be very low with negligible CA. And mine is a refurb bought through the Canon store.

The EF 100mm macro USM was a great lens.....the L improves upon it in almost every way IMHO.

5D III | 5DII | Fuji X-E1 | EF 17-40 | EF 24-105 | EF 35 IS | EF 50 f/1.4 | EF 100L | EF 70-300L | EF 100-300L | EF 300 f/4 IS

chas1113

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Re: 100MM 2.8 USM or THE 100MM L for portrait and macro work??
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2013, 07:30:01 PM »
Oh, forgot to add, I feel perfectly confident shooting it wide open....it's THAT sharp. For reference, I never shoot my 24-105 at less than 5.6, it's just too soft. Similarly, my 70-300L is shot at a minimum of 5.6, but usually at f/8 because there,it just has that pop I love. The 100mm L is about the only lens I own that I am comfortable shooting wide open all the time. I don't even shoot my Zeiss C/Y 85 wide open — and that lens is super sharp.
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skoobey

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Re: 100MM 2.8 USM or THE 100MM L for portrait and macro work??
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2013, 07:37:52 PM »
Oh, forgot to add, I feel perfectly confident shooting it wide open....it's THAT sharp. For reference, I never shoot my 24-105 at less than 5.6, it's just too soft. Similarly, my 70-300L is shot at a minimum of 5.6, but usually at f/8 because there,it just has that pop I love. The 100mm L is about the only lens I own that I am comfortable shooting wide open all the time. I don't even shoot my Zeiss C/Y 85 wide open — and that lens is super sharp.

Good to know, but I really do only shoot stopped down, so that 10-16 sharpness is really important to me. :)

Also good to know is that it remains sharp for up to 40ft, longest I shoot is probably 50ft, and I can afford to open up the aperture  when shooting form further away.

Obviously the most important thing is that it is sharp in portraits and beauty as well as products, as it is where the softness really is obvious.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2013, 07:41:21 PM by skoobey »

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Re: 100MM 2.8 USM or THE 100MM L for portrait and macro work??
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2013, 07:37:52 PM »

chas1113

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Re: 100MM 2.8 USM or THE 100MM L for portrait and macro work??
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2013, 07:41:15 PM »
Oh, forgot to add, I feel perfectly confident shooting it wide open....it's THAT sharp. For reference, I never shoot my 24-105 at less than 5.6, it's just too soft. Similarly, my 70-300L is shot at a minimum of 5.6, but usually at f/8 because there,it just has that pop I love. The 100mm L is about the only lens I own that I am comfortable shooting wide open all the time. I don't even shoot my Zeiss C/Y 85 wide open — and that lens is super sharp.

Good to know, but I really do only shoot stopped down, so that 10-16 sharpness is really important to me. :)


No worries, then. Watch diffusion beyond f/16 maybe.
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chas1113

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Re: 100MM 2.8 USM or THE 100MM L for portrait and macro work??
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2013, 07:42:14 PM »
Not diffusion, I meant diffraction. ???
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Re: 100MM 2.8 USM or THE 100MM L for portrait and macro work??
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2013, 07:42:14 PM »