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Author Topic: 135L or 100L macro?  (Read 9466 times)

pwp

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Re: 135L or 100L macro?
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2012, 05:45:06 PM »
I took advantage of the great prices that were available for a new body and upgraded to the 5dmk2. Now I find myself with only the 50 1.4 & 70-200 f4 non-IS that actually work with my body.

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. 

I'm going to throw a curve ball here and suggest you don't get either of them. At least not yet. The 17-40L is a great value lens, that's a good choice. I've used mine daily for commercial work since it was announced in 2003, and I've got fussy clients. The 17-40L is a very good flexible lens.

If you're uncertain about the 100L vs 135L don't rush in. You already have an extremely good lens in your 70-200 f/4L. Don't under-rate it.

Full frame is a different experience to APS-C. Use your 5DII for a few months with the 70-200 and see what focal lengths you tend to use the most. This will inform you on whether to get the 100L or the 135L. You might be perfectly happy with the 70-200. Your upgrade money may be better spent on a 70-200 f/2.8.

While I am in the fortunate position of having a comprehensive lens set, if I could only keep two lenses they would be the 70-200 f/2.8Lis and the 17-40L. I buy new lenses to cover a clear and obvious creative or commercial need.

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Re: 135L or 100L macro?
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2012, 05:45:06 PM »

mortadella

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Re: 135L or 100L macro?
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2012, 06:08:27 PM »
I took advantage of the great prices that were available for a new body and upgraded to the 5dmk2. Now I find myself with only the 50 1.4 & 70-200 f4 non-IS that actually work with my body.

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. 

I'm going to throw a curve ball here and suggest you don't get either of them. At least not yet. The 17-40L is a great value lens, that's a good choice. I've used mine daily for commercial work since it was announced in 2003, and I've got fussy clients. The 17-40L is a very good flexible lens.

If you're uncertain about the 100L vs 135L don't rush in. You already have an extremely good lens in your 70-200 f/4L. Don't under-rate it.

Full frame is a different experience to APS-C. Use your 5DII for a few months with the 70-200 and see what focal lengths you tend to use the most. This will inform you on whether to get the 100L or the 135L. You might be perfectly happy with the 70-200. Your upgrade money may be better spent on a 70-200 f/2.8.

While I am in the fortunate position of having a comprehensive lens set, if I could only keep two lenses they would be the 70-200 f/2.8Lis and the 17-40L. I buy new lenses to cover a clear and obvious creative or commercial need.

Paul Wright

I like your idea about having a 2nd look at the 70-200 with the 5dmk2 as I certainly haven't had a chance to put it through it's paces on the new body yet.  There are some downsides that I have considered when comparing it to the subject primes; mainly the fact that it's not as fast or discreet, the bokeh should be much nicer on the full frame as compared to what I was getting on the crop, but still not in the same league as those primes.

Your high praise of the 17-40L contradicts some other opinions here about that lens.  I thought I was going to be in good shape with it and not have to worry about the wide end, and get away with it pretty cheap at the same time. 

Lots of good feedback though on both sides of the argument, seems as though the 135L has the majority of nods.

....All depends on whether or not the extra stop and extra 35mm focal length are more important to you than the Macro and IS.

Nice way to simplify the thought process!

Decisions, decisions...thanks to everyone who knocked the 17-40L because now I need to figure out what I'm going to do about the wide FL 1st before I move on one of these 2 primes  :-\

neuroanatomist

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Re: 135L or 100L macro?
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2012, 06:22:58 PM »
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.

Wide angle zoom lens designs for a FF image circle are more difficult than telephoto zoom designs - the fact that the 70-200/4 and the 17-40/4 are close in price is consistent with the 17-40 needing more optical compromises and suffering lower IQ for them.  It has a LOT of barrel distortion, and at wide apertures, especially at the wide end, the corners are a mushy mess.  Not sure if one of the EF-S lenses you sold was the 10-22mm, but the small image circle makes a huge difference - for the same cost, the 10-22 delivers much better optical performance (rivals the 16-35 II except for the slower aperture). 

Now, the 17-40mm isn't all bad - like any piece of gear, if you know its limitations and how to work around them, you can get good results.  For example, don't shoot architecture at 17mm. Generally, if you shoot the 17-40mm at 20mm or narrower and stopped down to f/8-f/11 (e.g. landscapes from a tripod), it's fine.  If you plan to shoot at 17mm f/4 a lot, you'll likely be disappointed.  So...good as a landscape lens, not so good as a walkaround lens (for which I'd really recommend the 24-105mm, as 24mm on FF is wide enough for many needs (equivalent to 15mm on crop).  But, the best time to get the 24-105 is with the 5DII as a kit, when you pay just $800 for the lens.

Have you considered renting for your Hawaii trip, perhaps the 16-35 II?
« Last Edit: January 11, 2012, 07:18:08 PM by neuroanatomist »
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Re: 135L or 100L macro?
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2012, 06:48:06 PM »
[...] 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.

Good point about the IS that I totally forgot in my assessment above. I personally count IS as a negative in any lens. I find its usefulness overrated and see it as another lose part that will shorten the lifespan of the lens. IS -and frankly the AF - will potentially be two of the reasons for me to look elsewhere for a macro lens (and wide angle prime).

Not a very popular view, I know, but one I'm willing to reasonably defend. And just a different perspective. Not trying to convince anyone one way or another.
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branden

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Re: 135L or 100L macro?
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2012, 07:44:21 PM »
Just another voice seconding trying out the 70-200 more thoroughly before upgrading. The 70-200 isn't shy.

briansquibb

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Re: 135L or 100L macro?
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2012, 07:53:31 PM »
Just another voice seconding trying out the 70-200 more thoroughly before upgrading. The 70-200 isn't shy.

The 70-200 f/2.8 II is sharp but the background blur doesn't compare

willrobb

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Re: 135L or 100L macro?
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2012, 08:02:52 PM »
If you are doing mostly portraits I would think the 135mm f2L would be more up your street, I don't own it but from what everyone says it would seem the compared to the 100mm f2.8L HIS macro it's faster, it has nicer bokeh, it is one of the most solid performers in the canon L series and for those reasons it's on my list of lenses to get.

However, if you are wanting quite a versatile lens the 100mm f2.8L macro is a really nice lens to have in your kit. I have it and I love it, even though it's probably my least used lens as I mostly only use it for product shots (which isn't my main thing). I've found it to be great for individual portraits and even a good travel lens when I don't want to lug my 70-200mm f2.8L around. I've attached some example photos from it.

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Re: 135L or 100L macro?
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2012, 08:02:52 PM »

willrobb

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Re: 135L or 100L macro?
« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2012, 08:15:39 PM »
p.s, the photo of the whisky glass base above with "Michael Jackson" signed on it is not the singer, but the famous whisky/beer taster.....now there's a job for you.

Axilrod

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Re: 135L or 100L macro?
« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2012, 08:39:17 PM »
Good point about the IS that I totally forgot in my assessment above. I personally count IS as a negative in any lens. I find its usefulness overrated and see it as another lose part that will shorten the lifespan of the lens. IS -and frankly the AF - will potentially be two of the reasons for me to look elsewhere for a macro lens (and wide angle prime).

Not a very popular view, I know, but one I'm willing to reasonably defend. And just a different perspective. Not trying to convince anyone one way or another.

I agree with you about not necessarily needing AF with a macro lens, but the 100L is pretty useful outside of Macro Photography.  I used mine for portraits a good bit when I had it, and got some really fine detail shooting video with it. 

I see where you're coming from about IS being a negative, but in the 100's defense it is one of the few Canon lenses with Hybrid IS (part optical and part electronic) and it works incredibly well. 

Honestly if OP could live without AF and IS, the Zeiss 100mm f/2 is an incredible lens.  Granted it's the same price as a 135L and 100L combined.  I sold my 100L last summer and still regret it, I'd still like to get another copy, but wouldn't get rid of my 135 for it.  So I guess they are equal to me in terms of usefulness and performance, so I suppose it comes down to personal preference and how useful it is for you.
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mortadella

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Re: 135L or 100L macro?
« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2012, 12:29:13 AM »
.... I've found it to be great for individual portraits and even a good travel lens when I don't want to lug my 70-200mm f2.8L around. I've attached some example photos from it.

Nice shots, Are those all at f2.8?

Wide angle zoom lens designs for a FF image circle are more difficult than telephoto zoom designs - the fact that the 70-200/4 and the 17-40/4 are close in price is consistent with the 17-40 needing more optical compromises and suffering lower IQ for them.  It has a LOT of barrel distortion, and at wide apertures, especially at the wide end, the corners are a mushy mess.  Not sure if one of the EF-S lenses you sold was the 10-22mm, but the small image circle makes a huge difference - for the same cost, the 10-22 delivers much better optical performance (rivals the 16-35 II except for the slower aperture). 

Now, the 17-40mm isn't all bad - like any piece of gear, if you know its limitations and how to work around them, you can get good results.  For example, don't shoot architecture at 17mm. Generally, if you shoot the 17-40mm at 20mm or narrower and stopped down to f/8-f/11 (e.g. landscapes from a tripod), it's fine.  If you plan to shoot at 17mm f/4 a lot, you'll likely be disappointed.  So...good as a landscape lens, not so good as a walkaround lens (for which I'd really recommend the 24-105mm, as 24mm on FF is wide enough for many needs (equivalent to 15mm on crop).  But, the best time to get the 24-105 is with the 5DII as a kit, when you pay just $800 for the lens.

Have you considered renting for your Hawaii trip, perhaps the 16-35 II?

That's some useful information to have and understand when looking to buy a wide angle for a full frame, I had never considered that the size of the sensor can contribute to that distortion on the corners, I guess shouldn't be a surprise though as vignetting is a more of an issue on FF for similar reasons.

I was hoping to take advantage of some of the rebates that now expire on Feb 7th but I might not want to rush into this, renting for my trip isn't a bad idea, as nothing is better than actually having shot with that lens to give you confidence when you click "checkout". 

As far as a walk-around lens, I do see a 24-105L in my future at some point, I noticed that the used market has been pretty well stocked with them, and most are new (parted out of a 5dmk2 kit) and thats driving the actual used ones down even further in price, so I might grab one at some point.  The new prices on those primes were the used prices a few months back, and that ridiculous sharpness and IQ of the 135L is fresh on my mind.  But the 24-105L might just be my best bet for the time being, 24 on a FF is plenty wide for a lot of shots.

gwei8

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Re: 135L or 100L macro?
« Reply #25 on: January 18, 2012, 11:52:48 AM »
I used to own 17-40 during my crop camera days and was never impressed, sold it and got the 10-22.... to me it was night and day. Now owning the 24-105 and 5D2, I understand why many people say.... "if i can only grab one lens for a trip, it's 24-105".

bycostello

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Re: 135L or 100L macro?
« Reply #26 on: January 18, 2012, 11:59:58 AM »
i got the 100 purely because of the macro... useful for me as a wedding photographer, tight shots of flowers, details like rings...  as always on these questions comes down to what you use it for...

valerca

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Re: 135L or 100L macro?
« Reply #27 on: February 05, 2012, 06:59:20 AM »
... some example photos with Canon EOS 1DS Mark III and Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM from Danny Tuason - http://www.pbase.com/dtuason/kelly_marie

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Re: 135L or 100L macro?
« Reply #27 on: February 05, 2012, 06:59:20 AM »

Quasimodo

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Re: 135L or 100L macro?
« Reply #28 on: February 05, 2012, 07:39:57 AM »
This might be dead thread, but I would just like to voice my opinion.

First I would like to say that I am a new user here, but I have enjoyed reading the post on this forum for a while.

In my limited experience, the only reason to consider either or on the 100L and the 135 is cost. I have both, and not long ago I was in that very situation where I had to choose. Now I am in the lucky situation that I have both. The 135 is probably my favorite lens of all I have, and it makes portrait shooting both fun and easy. The 100L is good for portraits too (although given that I find the distance of the 135 great for theese shots, since I feel you get more natural shots without getting in the subjects face), but my main use is for macro. I long considered the 180L for macro, but I went for the 100L after reading reviews on photozone.de and the-digital-picture.com

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Re: 135L or 100L macro?
« Reply #29 on: February 05, 2012, 08:15:43 AM »
Get the 135/2.0 now: fast AF, great bokeh, sharp. Then save your pennies for the Zeiss 100/2.0 macro: one stop faster than the Canon 100, and sharper, better bokeh, no distortion, great for portraits and macro.

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Re: 135L or 100L macro?
« Reply #29 on: February 05, 2012, 08:15:43 AM »