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Author Topic: 135L or 100L macro?  (Read 9610 times)

mortadella

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135L or 100L macro?
« on: January 11, 2012, 03:13:58 PM »
Like many on the forum, I took advantage of the great prices that were available for a new body and upgraded to the 5dmk2, this is my first foray into the Full-Frame universe, and it happened ahead of schedule.  I always planned to upgrade my glass first, then the body.  Now I find myself with only the 50 1.4 & 70-200 f4 non-IS that actually work with my body.  My EF-S lenses are on craigslist. 

I tend to use the wide range much more than tele (definitely getting the 17-40L) but recently (after renting the 135L for a week) it was so sharp it really inspired me to start shooting people i.e. portrait, and candid shots.  Never really had much of a desire to do so before, and now it's something I would like to learn and develop a much stronger skill for. 

So my question to anyone who has experience with both, which do I go with?  The 135L or the 100L macro?  I really loved the 135L its crazy sharp even at f2, loved it.  However, the 100L macro is enticing...IS and macro capability (macro is something I haven't tried yet, but I would like to at some point) are definitely pluses of course you lose a stop vs the 135L but you get 4 back with the hybrid IS.  I've seen some portraits with the 100L macro and they were quite sharp.  So I'm torn, I'm sure many are going to recommend that I rent the 100L macro and then make the decision, which is logical and I may end up doing that, but am interested to get some feedback from the forum.

Oh...and as far as price goes, it's negligible, 135L is $924 and the 100L macro is $886 which is a difference of only $38.

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135L or 100L macro?
« on: January 11, 2012, 03:13:58 PM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: 135L or 100L macro?
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2012, 03:20:18 PM »
Looking at your existing focal lengths, I'd recommend that you go for the 35mm L first.  The 17-40mmL is ok on the 5D MK II, but you get what you pay for.  I sold mine off due to its getting little use.  The 35mm K is under $1300 right now, and is a pleasure to use.  Be sure to AFMA it, that can make a huge difference.

I have the 50mm 1.4,  70-200mm f/4 L IS, 100mmL 135mm L, and 35mm L along with a lot of others.  The 135mm L is my most used, followed closely by my 35mm L.

neuroanatomist

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Re: 135L or 100L macro?
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2012, 03:41:45 PM »
I agree that if you like to shoot wide, the 35L and 24L are much better than the 17-40mm, although neither are ultrawide (for that, I went with the 16-35L II).  I have the 35L and it's a gret lens.

Back to your question of 100L Macro vs. 135L - I have both, and both are excellent.  As you state, the 100L does very well for portraits, and you can get decent OOF blur with f/2.8 on FF (the same as f/1.8 on your old crop body).  The 135L does focus a bit faster, so it's better for shooting action, but then, the 5DII is a handicap there.  So, in your place, I think of those two, I'd go for the 100mm L Macro first.

You also need to consider your intended uses for the lens.  If what you're looking for is a great lens for portraits, that you plan to use mostly or only for portraits, then the 135L is the best choice.  The 100L Macro is not quite as good as a portrait lens, but is a much more versatile lens overall, including the macro capability.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2012, 04:18:13 PM by neuroanatomist »
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briansquibb

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Re: 135L or 100L macro?
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2012, 04:03:40 PM »
Simple facts:

1. The 135L has the same reach as the 85 on a crop
2. The 135L on the 5DII gives a beautiful smooth blurred background
3. The 100 macro on a 5DII means you have to get close to the subject - not good with insects

I would bet on the 135L being a faster AF than the 100L

Brian

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Re: 135L or 100L macro?
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2012, 04:11:31 PM »
While the 100mm Macro is probably a more versatile lens, after trying both lens myself I decided to take the 135L for portraits.  I just prefered the slightly longer focal lenght ... So for portraits I would vote for the 135L and if your budget allows it, I second others recommendation to also consider the 35mmL.

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sheedoe

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Re: 135L or 100L macro?
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2012, 04:14:31 PM »
Just wondering: would I get a better IQ and bokeh by using the Canon 135mm 2.0L with the 5d Mark II, or the 85mm 1.2L II with 60D? I already own the 2 bodies and the 85, do I really need the 135mm?
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kubelik

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Re: 135L or 100L macro?
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2012, 04:17:12 PM »
sheedoe, I think you'll find the 135mm f/2.0 L on a 5D II will outperform the 85mm f/1.2 L II on the 60D.  whether or not it's enough of a difference to merit the 1 grand it costs to buy it ... that's your call.

personally, for the OP, my vote is for the 100mm f/2.8 L Macro, because of the versatility.  it sounds like the portrait shooting is mainly for amusement, and being able to also shoot close-ups with the lens is a big plus.  if you ever really get into portraiture and/or sports, you're going to probably want a 70-200 f/2.8 anyway.

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Re: 135L or 100L macro?
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2012, 04:17:12 PM »

briansquibb

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Re: 135L or 100L macro?
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2012, 04:27:24 PM »
Have a look in the various lens sections.

Isn't the 85 on the 5DII to your liking - it is a beautifully sharp lens

OK this is on the 1D4 - but it does show how sharp it is

Brian

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Re: 135L or 100L macro?
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2012, 04:30:36 PM »
Just wondering: would I get a better IQ and bokeh by using the Canon 135mm 2.0L with the 5d Mark II, or the 85mm 1.2L II with 60D? I already own the 2 bodies and the 85, do I really need the 135mm?

I've actually done this test, 5DII + 135L vs. 7D + 85L II (same sensor as 60D). For IQ, the 5DII+135L wins (sharper corners, less noise, much less CA, but more vignetting).  For bokeh, the quality is about the same (and the quantity of OOF blur is the same for 85/1.2 on crop as 136/1.9 on FF, so effectively the same).

OTOH, the 85mm f/1.2 gives you something the 135L cannot - f/1.2 on a FF camera. DoF doesn't get much thinner than that, and the 5DII + 85L is a great combo!
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alipaulphotography

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Re: 135L or 100L macro?
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2012, 04:44:01 PM »
Which has a shallower depth of field (both on full frame) 85mm f/1.2 or 135mm f/2?

As for the original question. I'd always go for the 135mm unless you do macros a lot. Probably the best lens that canon makes.

mortadella

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Re: 135L or 100L macro?
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2012, 04:47:36 PM »
I agree that if you like to shoot wide, the 35L and 24L are much better than the 17-40mm, although neither are ultrawide (for that, I went with the 16-35L II).  I have the 35L and it's a gret lens.

Back to your question of 100L Macro vs. 135L - I have both, and both are excellent.  As you state, the 100L does very well for portraits, and you can get decent OOF blur with f/2.8 on FF (the same as f/1.8 on your old crop body).  The 135L does focus a bit faster, so it's better for shooting action, but then, the 5DII is a handicap there.  So, in your place, I think of those two, I'd go for the 100mm L Macro first.

You also need to consider your intended uses for the lens.  If what you're looking for is a great lens for portraits, that you plan to use mostly or only for portraits, then the 135L is the best choice.  The 100L Macro is not quite as good as a portrait lens, but is a much more versatile lens overall, including the macro capability.

I was pretty happy about grabbing the 17-40 for my wide purposes but now...not so much.  Unfortunately, the alternatives are quite a bit more, like double.  My 70-200 preforms pretty well for being the cheapest L lens, figured the price reflects the lack of features mainly, and IQ to a lesser degree on an L lens, but I guess I'm mistaken about that.  With an f4 maximum aperture, lack of weather sealing, no IS etc. is why its a bargain, figured the same would be true about the 17-40.  Is it really that bad?

If that's the case I may have to postpone the purchase of the 135L/100L macro, and allocate those funds to addressing my wide range ($700 for a 17-40 isn't going to cut it apparently), since that is still the large majority of my shots, especially with a trip to Hawaii next month - wide is a must have.  I can still take portraits with my 50 but that would exclude street and candid shots.  Obviously, the 70-200 can take over for those duties however, the long gray lens isn't as discreet, f4 doesn't get you as dramatic an OOF blur even at 200mm, and as sharp as it is its not in the same league as the primes.

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Re: 135L or 100L macro?
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2012, 04:52:09 PM »
Just wondering: would I get a better IQ and bokeh by using the Canon 135mm 2.0L with the 5d Mark II, or the 85mm 1.2L II with 60D? I already own the 2 bodies and the 85, do I really need the 135mm?

I've actually done this test, 5DII + 135L vs. 7D + 85L II (same sensor as 60D). For IQ, the 5DII+135L wins (sharper corners, less noise, much less CA, but more vignetting).  For bokeh, the quality is about the same (and the quantity of OOF blur is the same for 85/1.2 on crop as 136/1.9 on FF, so effectively the same).

OTOH, the 85mm f/1.2 gives you something the 135L cannot - f/1.2 on a FF camera. DoF doesn't get much thinner than that, and the 5DII + 85L is a great combo!

Thanks. This helps a lot. I might get the 135mm later this year. Thanks to kubelik also for your input.
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Re: 135L or 100L macro?
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2012, 04:56:39 PM »
Not to be repetitive but I recently went through the same mental exercise. Eventually, I want both but the question was what was more important for me now. Main objective was portraits/candids/etc. Yes, the 135L is very sharp. But more importantly, its OOF blur is just so nice. I'm sure the 100L macro is close and I'm not even sure if I'd be able to tell the difference. But then again, there is something about the 135 that works well for me. Maybe it's because I grew up using my dad's A1 first and there was "only" the FD versions of the 50 and the 135. Those are still my favorites.

If your objective was macros with the occasional portrait the 100L would be a no-brainer. If the main concern is people then the other way round. Can't go wrong either way. Though, while there may be few alternatives for good macro lenses the 135L is a thing on its own.
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Re: 135L or 100L macro?
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2012, 04:56:39 PM »

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Re: 135L or 100L macro?
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2012, 05:01:52 PM »
Hard to say.  The macro gives you 1 to 1 magnification and nice background blur ( bokeh ) for portraits.  However, the 135L will give you a bit more blur and background to subject compression.  Also it depends if you will need to capture any fast moving objects.  The 135mm has pretty fast USM autofocus.  Whereas the 100L macro is pretty slow to focus, even with the limiter set.

Both are going to give stellar results.
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Re: 135L or 100L macro?
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2012, 05:11:41 PM »
I think we can add a new new answer to the Canon Rumors FAQ:

Q) Should I buy the 135mm F2 or the 100mm F2.8 Macro?

A) Buy the 35mm 1.2, it's twice as expensive.

Seriously, if you are really trying to decide between the 100 macro and the 135 non macro, here are a couple things to consider about the 100 macro "L".

1) It is crazy sharp.
2) It has great IS
3) You can use it for macro when you want.
4) You can hand hold close focus shots.
5) It's a good focal length for portraits.
6) It has an auto-focus distance switch that you can use, so that focus is faster and more accurate depending on whether you are using it for macro or for regular shooting.

Downside: for "true" macro the IS isn't all that useful since the narrow depth of field usually requires that you use a tripod anyway (too hard to get accurate focus handholding.) It is, however, very useful for quasi-macro work where you want to get in close to a subject.

I can't speak to the 135 f2. I'm sure it is a great lens as well. All depends on whether or not the extra stop and extra 35mm focal length are more important to you than the Macro and IS.
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Re: 135L or 100L macro?
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2012, 05:11:41 PM »