October 25, 2014, 11:48:50 PM

Author Topic: 100mm 2.8 vs 85mm 1.8  (Read 3780 times)

awinphoto

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100mm 2.8 vs 85mm 1.8
« on: August 07, 2014, 06:05:20 PM »
Okay guys... i'm about to pull the trigger on a new lens for my portrait work, the Canon 85 1.8.  Cheap, excellent sharpness, fast...  And then my boss (wife) asks me... what can this lens do that our 100 2.8 CANT do.  I've done a lot of self research and i'm sold.  While I would love to get the 85 1.2, that's just not in our cards and budget at this moment.  I often shoot in tight places and to be able to blur the background just a smidge more (less photoshop work for me) is very attractive as to reduce our downtime, plus it will give us more wiggle room with framing not being AS tight.  Now here is where I need your help guys... those who have both lenses, had both lenses, or similar lenses, what i'm looking for is kind of a side by side portrait showing the 85 at 1.8-2 and the 100 at 2.8...  a nearer background 2-3 feet is ideal for this purpose... help me sell this lens to my wife...  Yeah yeah i know the common answer will be to rent one and let her see, but to be honest, the nearest place i can rent a lens is a few hours away and to have one shipped out, well lets just say i'm hoping you guys can help first...  Ok... Ready... Go! 
Canon 5d III, Canon 24-105L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 70-200 F4L, Canon 100L 2.8, Canon 85 1.8, 430EX 2's and a lot of bumps along the road to get to where I am.

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100mm 2.8 vs 85mm 1.8
« on: August 07, 2014, 06:05:20 PM »

Jamesy

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Re: 100mm 2.8 vs 85mm 1.8
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2014, 06:58:49 PM »
Which 100 2.8 are you talking about? The non-L or the L with IS? There is also the 100mm F2.0

awinphoto

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Re: 100mm 2.8 vs 85mm 1.8
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2014, 07:03:17 PM »
2.8 L
Canon 5d III, Canon 24-105L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 70-200 F4L, Canon 100L 2.8, Canon 85 1.8, 430EX 2's and a lot of bumps along the road to get to where I am.

ScottyP

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Re: 100mm 2.8 vs 85mm 1.8
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2014, 07:15:41 PM »
The background is only 2-3 feet behind the subject?  Can you get much blur that close to the background?
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Re: 100mm 2.8 vs 85mm 1.8
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2014, 07:26:50 PM »
2.8 L

When I got my 70-200 mkii, I sold my 100L assuming that it was redundant... enough at least. I then bought an 85 1.8.  I liked the 85, but it has 3ft min focusing distance... and that was problematic  because I didn't want to be 3 ft from my new born daughter. 

So I bought the 100L again because it has a 1ft mfd and that made a huge difference... being able to engage with my subject...

The 85... was good... and many of the first photos of my daughter are taken with the 85... but the 100L is WOW.  When the focus was right (and we are dealing with shallow depth of fields and a little pain in the butt that is constantly moving), the eyes were just as sharp as can be... I can see the umbrella clear as day in the catchlight...

So I lean towards the 100L for portaits... yes it can be too sharp... but i just soften that up in post. 

As for the bokeh... I like the 100L... I acknowledge the 85L is better... but I'm not sure I would say the 85 usm is better.
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100L->85mm f/1.8 USM-> 8mm ->100L & 85L

JumboShrimp

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Re: 100mm 2.8 vs 85mm 1.8
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2014, 08:06:55 PM »
How about the Canon EF 100/2? Good reviews all around and I really like mine ...

sagittariansrock

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Re: 100mm 2.8 vs 85mm 1.8
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2014, 08:57:26 PM »
How about the Canon EF 100/2? Good reviews all around and I really like mine ...

If anything, he will be even harder pressed to explain why he wants a 100/2 in addition to the 100/2.8 ;)
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Re: 100mm 2.8 vs 85mm 1.8
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2014, 08:57:26 PM »

sagittariansrock

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Re: 100mm 2.8 vs 85mm 1.8
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2014, 09:07:56 PM »
Okay guys... i'm about to pull the trigger on a new lens for my portrait work, the Canon 85 1.8.  Cheap, excellent sharpness, fast...  And then my boss (wife) asks me... what can this lens do that our 100 2.8 CANT do.  I've done a lot of self research and i'm sold.  While I would love to get the 85 1.2, that's just not in our cards and budget at this moment.  I often shoot in tight places and to be able to blur the background just a smidge more (less photoshop work for me) is very attractive as to reduce our downtime, plus it will give us more wiggle room with framing not being AS tight.  Now here is where I need your help guys... those who have both lenses, had both lenses, or similar lenses, what i'm looking for is kind of a side by side portrait showing the 85 at 1.8-2 and the 100 at 2.8...  a nearer background 2-3 feet is ideal for this purpose... help me sell this lens to my wife...  Yeah yeah i know the common answer will be to rent one and let her see, but to be honest, the nearest place i can rent a lens is a few hours away and to have one shipped out, well lets just say i'm hoping you guys can help first...  Ok... Ready... Go!


I think there is a big advantage in 85mm vs 100mm for portraits.

The perspective for a half to quarter body portrait is different, and in my opinion the 85mm FL provides greater perception of depth. 100mm is too compressed for a half-body perspective on a FF.

You might not be able to use it at f/1.8 all the time though- I tried an 85/1.8 for a while and the images are slightly soft and have some purple fringing wide open. I am not a professional, so I suppose you will have more need for QC and less time for PP. 85/2.8 is great but will give you less background blur. On the other hand, I am not fond of the blur on the 100L. In my case, the 70-200 II is far, far better than the 85/1.8 at f/2.8, so there was no justification for me to keep the prime.

The 85/1.8 is a good bang for your buck. It will allow you to stand closer when you need to, open the aperture wider when you need to, is smaller and inconspicuous. It is cheap enough that if you need to resell it, you won't lose much money.

I would really love to get a fast 85mm that works great wide open and narrowly missed on the 85/1.2 refurb'd today. Probably for the best though- what I want is an 85/1.4 with faster AF, and it seems Sigma is preparing my Christmas present as we speak.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2014, 09:14:49 PM by sagittariansrock »
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JonAustin

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Re: 100mm 2.8 vs 85mm 1.8
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2014, 09:36:08 PM »
I owned the 85/1.8 for six years, and then sold it after I bought the 100/2.8L IS. That was 4 years ago. My primary portrait work is headshots (head and shoulders) framing, and if anything, the 85's framing was a little too "loose" for my tastes, so I was always doing a lot of cropping.

I rarely shoot portraits at less than f/4, but that's because they're more commercial-oriented, rather than "artsy."

I've upgraded my 70-200/2.8L IS to the mark II version since buying the 100, but have never considered selling the prime.

The 85/1.8 is currently < $400, and you could probably recoup most of your purchase price, if you decided not to keep it. (After using mine for six years, I sold it for the original purchase price, but prices had gone up in the meantime, and mine was in like-new condition.)
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awinphoto

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Re: 100mm 2.8 vs 85mm 1.8
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2014, 10:45:05 PM »
Thanks for all your responses. The 100mm 2.8 is great, can use it for many things, but if I need to do a 3/4 or full length shot, I'm using every square inch of my studio which makes things a little challenge, so the looser feel, in that situation would be welcome. I don't intend to depart from my 100, but add to it. Does anyone off any bokeh comparisons? Thanks for all your insights
Canon 5d III, Canon 24-105L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 70-200 F4L, Canon 100L 2.8, Canon 85 1.8, 430EX 2's and a lot of bumps along the road to get to where I am.

dank

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Re: 100mm 2.8 vs 85mm 1.8
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2014, 11:09:46 PM »
I use both.  I have never tried the 85L, but I'm pretty amateur so can't justify spending that much on that size lens.  For the price, the 85 f/1.8 is great value.  The bokeh is pretty good.  As others have said, I wouldn't necessarily say it's better than the 100L  f/2.8 with regards to bokeh.  It's clearly a good focal length for portraits on a FF body.  Though, the 100L macro is surprisingly good.  It would be too long on a crop body, I'd imagine.  Those two lenses, the 24 - 105L and the new addition of the new 16-35L are my most used travel kit. 


 

nielsgeode

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Re: 100mm 2.8 vs 85mm 1.8
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2014, 02:49:37 AM »
I own both lenses and use both for portrait work, depending on the mood I'm in. If you drop me an e-mail at niels [at] geode [dot] nl (at = @ and dot = ., without the spaces), I will try to make some portraits beginning of next week and send them to you.

Niels

sunnyVan

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Re: 100mm 2.8 vs 85mm 1.8
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2014, 05:42:13 AM »
Okay guys... i'm about to pull the trigger on a new lens for my portrait work, the Canon 85 1.8.  Cheap, excellent sharpness, fast...  And then my boss (wife) asks me... what can this lens do that our 100 2.8 CANT do.  I've done a lot of self research and i'm sold.  While I would love to get the 85 1.2, that's just not in our cards and budget at this moment.  I often shoot in tight places and to be able to blur the background just a smidge more (less photoshop work for me) is very attractive as to reduce our downtime, plus it will give us more wiggle room with framing not being AS tight.  Now here is where I need your help guys... those who have both lenses, had both lenses, or similar lenses, what i'm looking for is kind of a side by side portrait showing the 85 at 1.8-2 and the 100 at 2.8...  a nearer background 2-3 feet is ideal for this purpose... help me sell this lens to my wife...  Yeah yeah i know the common answer will be to rent one and let her see, but to be honest, the nearest place i can rent a lens is a few hours away and to have one shipped out, well lets just say i'm hoping you guys can help first...  Ok... Ready... Go!

The specular highlights produced by the 85 1.8 look angular, not circular. That's part of my consideration when I sold it. Also maximum usable aperture is probably about 2.5 which is too close to my 100L's 2.8. Bokeh is not 135L quality. Nobody should expect that. But it's far better than 50 1.4. Personally like 100mm blur better though. Also it has no weather sealing.

On the good side the 85 focuses faster than the 100L. The focus seems more consistent and reliable. This is only based on my personal experience.

The 85 is a great value lens. You should definitely try it. Nothing to lose.
6D, 24-70 2.8L II, 16-35 F4L IS, 17-40L, 100 2.8L, 70-200L F4 IS, 85 1.8, 135L, Sigma 35 1.4, 600Ex-RT, Rokinon 14mm, EOS M

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Re: 100mm 2.8 vs 85mm 1.8
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2014, 05:42:13 AM »

lloyd709

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Re: 100mm 2.8 vs 85mm 1.8
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2014, 05:59:04 AM »

The specular highlights produced by the 85 1.8 look angular, not circular. That's part of my consideration when I sold it. Also maximum usable aperture is probably about 2.5 which is too close to my 100L's 2.8. Bokeh is not 135L quality. Nobody should expect that. But it's far better than 50 1.4. Personally like 100mm blur better though. Also it has no weather sealing.

On the good side the 85 focuses faster than the 100L. The focus seems more consistent and reliable. This is only based on my personal experience.

The 85 is a great value lens. You should definitely try it. Nothing to lose.

Don't agree with you on the usable aperture of 2.5.  It's the best lens I own and virtually never take it off 1.8 for professional portrait work - it's a belter of lens, I reckon by far the best bang for buck in the Canon line up.




dank

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Re: 100mm 2.8 vs 85mm 1.8
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2014, 02:14:41 PM »

The specular highlights produced by the 85 1.8 look angular, not circular. That's part of my consideration when I sold it. Also maximum usable aperture is probably about 2.5 which is too close to my 100L's 2.8. Bokeh is not 135L quality. Nobody should expect that. But it's far better than 50 1.4. Personally like 100mm blur better though. Also it has no weather sealing.

On the good side the 85 focuses faster than the 100L. The focus seems more consistent and reliable. This is only based on my personal experience.

The 85 is a great value lens. You should definitely try it. Nothing to lose.

Don't agree with you on the usable aperture of 2.5.  It's the best lens I own and virtually never take it off 1.8 for professional portrait work - it's a belter of lens, I reckon by far the best bang for buck in the Canon line up.

I agree, the value proposition is impressive.  I have no problems opening it up, either. 

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Re: 100mm 2.8 vs 85mm 1.8
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2014, 02:14:41 PM »