85mm f/1.2 ii or 135mm f/2

K-amps

EOR R
Aug 8, 2011
1,790
1
Indianapolis
Sorry if this topic has been covered before ;) , but If I were to add a nice portrait lens to my collection of zooms, which one should I consider and why? Some of the things I would like you guys to factor in are:

Buying used, resale value, is the 85mm worth 2x the price of a 135mm etc

thanks!
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
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I've got both, but I'd go for the 85L II if your budget allows. I believe you have the 70-200 II, and while the 135L is an excellent portrait lens, and the 1-stop difference with the 135L is noticeable, it's not a huge difference. The 85L is really a wonderful lens, great for portraits. Get a 3-stop ND filter if you'll be shooting outdoors and want to open up the aperture.
 

K-amps

EOR R
Aug 8, 2011
1,790
1
Indianapolis
Thanks Neuro. I have never shot anything below f2.8, so please elaborate on using the 3 stop ND, would I still over expose if I had the shutter at 1/8000th of a sec?
 
Mar 14, 2012
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K-amps said:
Thanks Neuro. I have never shot anything below f2.8, so please elaborate on using the 3 stop ND, would I still over expose if I had the shutter at 1/8000th of a sec?
A 3 stop ND would get you back to shutter speeds that you would be used to using your 70-200 II outside in bright light. Let's say that with a f/2.8 lens you find yourself at 1/4000s at ISO 100. The 85L II at f/1.2 would require shutter speeds at around 1/20000s, which is beyond the limit of the camera, so the exposure is blown. The 3 stop ND would get you back down to shutter speeds between 1/2000 and 1/4000.
 

RLPhoto

Gear doesn't matter, Just a Matter of Convenience.
Mar 27, 2012
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San Antonio, TX
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135L hands down. It's has less distortion, more compression, is much cheaper, and is Uber Sharp.

The 85L is awesome too but it still may distort faces alittle more when getting too close on FF and the bokeh is more "creamy" on this lens.

I prefer more compression but Distortion can look good on certain subjects.
 

K-amps

EOR R
Aug 8, 2011
1,790
1
Indianapolis
Random Orbits said:
K-amps said:
Thanks Neuro. I have never shot anything below f2.8, so please elaborate on using the 3 stop ND, would I still over expose if I had the shutter at 1/8000th of a sec?
A 3 stop ND would get you back to shutter speeds that you would be used to using your 70-200 II outside in bright light. Let's say that with a f/2.8 lens you find yourself at 1/4000s at ISO 100. The 85L II at f/1.2 would require shutter speeds at around 1/20000s, which is beyond the limit of the camera, so the exposure is blown. The 3 stop ND would get you back down to shutter speeds between 1/2000 and 1/4000.
Thanks, RO, I figured that the ratio of the shutter speeds would be 4x of the f/2.8, I just didnt know what the actual boundaries are in terms of if I'd regularly crossing 1/8000th in normal daylight, or how often.
 

ablearcher

EOS 80D
Sep 23, 2010
152
0
Canada
135L for me. Aside from debatable items (like bokeh, IQ, sharpness, etc, etc) there is one thing that would make me take 135L over 85L - AF speed.
 

helpful

Ecclesiastes 3:11
Mar 6, 2012
247
2
I find the 135mm f/2 more useful. It is so fast (in more ways than just the aperture) and much more well balanced.

And I would recommend for the time being the Sigma 85mm 1.4 over the Canon 1.2.

Since a new 135mm might be coming out, I would buy the Sigma 85mm 1.4 if I were you. The Sigma 85mm 1.4 is practically the best achievement of Sigma.

You will not regret it. And if later on you were to buy the Canon 1.2 and use the Sigma 1.4 and Canon 1.2 side by side, I am sure that you will prefer the Sigma 1.4. The only downside to the Sigma is it doesn't have the fancy candy cane look.
 
Jul 12, 2011
375
8
I'd take the money and buy the 135 f2.0 - and then use what's left over for the 85mm f1.8. Both are incredibly
sharp and have their own uses. While I covet the 85mm f1.2, the 400% price difference is just too much for me
for a couple of stops.
 

Tcapp

EOS 7D MK II
Mar 24, 2012
506
0
31
Portland OR
www.TimothyCapp.com
helpful said:
I find the 135mm f/2 more useful. It is so fast (in more ways than just the aperture) and much more well balanced.

And I would recommend for the time being the Sigma 85mm 1.4 over the Canon 1.2.

Since a new 135mm might be coming out, I would buy the Sigma 85mm 1.4 if I were you. The Sigma 85mm 1.4 is practically the best achievement of Sigma.

You will not regret it. And if later on you were to buy the Canon 1.2 and use the Sigma 1.4 and Canon 1.2 side by side, I am sure that you will prefer the Sigma 1.4. The only downside to the Sigma is it doesn't have the fancy candy cane look.
+1.

Go for the sigma 85 1.4 Its my favorite lens. ANd Might I suggest a CPL for bright outdooor shooting? It basically functions as a 2 stop nd filter, but also boosts saturation and reduces reflections when you need it to.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

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Mar 25, 2011
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I have a 135mm L, its great for FF, but I'dlove to have a 85mm f/1.2. I do have the f/1.8 version, but it have used it less than half as much as my 135mm L, in fact, it gets basically the same use as my 50/1.4 and 2/3 the images of my 35mm L.
I keep looking for a deal on one, but they are not as often found locally on Craigslist.
 

K-amps

EOR R
Aug 8, 2011
1,790
1
Indianapolis
No one suggesting that for the same money, get both the Sigma f/1.4 and the 135L? :D

On a separate note:

I read a review on the Sigma 1.4, (http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Sigma-85mm-f-1.4-EX-DG-HSM-Lens-Review.aspx) and it showed both the Sigma and the Canon @ f/1.4. The canon had much more OOF blur quantity than the Sigma even though they were both at f/1.4. Anyone know about this and why?

Looking at the pictures it seems the Canon renders backgrounds more OOF/Blur than the Sigma does at comparable F stops. If my eyes are any good, it seems Canon at f2.0 renders as much OOF as the sigma does at f1.4.
 

bdunbar79

EOS 5D MK IV
May 16, 2012
3,152
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40
Wadsworth, OH
To actually answer the question, if I had to choose ONE, I'd get the 85L. However, since I shoot sports, the 135L works great there. 85L is great for portrait work/wedding work.
 
Mar 14, 2012
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180
neuroanatomist said:
I've got both, but I'd go for the 85L II if your budget allows. I believe you have the 70-200 II, and while the 135L is an excellent portrait lens, and the 1-stop difference with the 135L is noticeable, it's not a huge difference. The 85L is really a wonderful lens, great for portraits. Get a 3-stop ND filter if you'll be shooting outdoors and want to open up the aperture.
+1. The 2.3 stop advantage makes the choice between the 85 and 70-200 more pronounced. The sigma is 0.3 stop slower but is a lot less expensive, but that is a different set of pros/cons. Ultimately, it comes down to which focal length you prefer: 85 or 135? If you value the focal lengths about the same, then a fast 85 lens will give you a larger DOF difference from your existing kit.
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
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Question for those suggesting the 135L - the OP has the 70-200/2.8L IS II...does that change your opinion? Just curious...

K-amps said:
Thanks Neuro. I have never shot anything below f2.8, so please elaborate on using the 3 stop ND, would I still over expose if I had the shutter at 1/8000th of a sec?
On bright days, 1/8000 s has sometimes been insufficient for me, even at ISO 50.
 

RLPhoto

Gear doesn't matter, Just a Matter of Convenience.
Mar 27, 2012
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San Antonio, TX
www.Ramonlperez.com
neuroanatomist said:
Question for those suggesting the 135L - the OP has the 70-200/2.8L IS II...does that change your opinion? Just curious...

K-amps said:
Thanks Neuro. I have never shot anything below f2.8, so please elaborate on using the 3 stop ND, would I still over expose if I had the shutter at 1/8000th of a sec?
On bright days, 1/8000 s has sometimes been insufficient for me, even at ISO 50.
Nope. It's lighter, faster and more discreet that the 70-200.
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
24,604
2,060
Fair enough.

I can say that, having all three (70-200 II, 85L, and 135L), I use the zoom most and the 135L the least. It's a wonderful lens, but for me, there are few situations - mainly tight portraits - where it's my go-to lens.
 

wickidwombat

EOS 5D SR
Oct 27, 2011
4,543
0
here is my standard recomendation to try the sigma 85 f1.4

since you have a 5d3 the af on the canon 85 is going to be quite slow the sigma is significantly better on 5d bodies on 1d bodies the canon 85 closes the gap a bit but the cost difference is massive you can buy the sigma 85 and the canon135 and still have a good chunk of change for what the canon 85 costs and iq from the sigma is on a par with the canon 85.
 

bdunbar79

EOS 5D MK IV
May 16, 2012
3,152
0
40
Wadsworth, OH
RLPhoto said:
neuroanatomist said:
Question for those suggesting the 135L - the OP has the 70-200/2.8L IS II...does that change your opinion? Just curious...

K-amps said:
Thanks Neuro. I have never shot anything below f2.8, so please elaborate on using the 3 stop ND, would I still over expose if I had the shutter at 1/8000th of a sec?
On bright days, 1/8000 s has sometimes been insufficient for me, even at ISO 50.
Nope. It's lighter, faster and more discreet that the 70-200.
Depends on the situation. This statement is not true for sports. You'll miss way too many shots. It's good for sports only if you have a pre-determined area of the field or court that you will be photographing. If you don't know the region, you go to the 70-200L, most of the time.