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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 27 Jun 2013 (Thursday) 10:15
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Need your opinion - Sigma 85 or 135L?

 
AlanU
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Jun 28, 2013 09:47 |  #31

As far as AF accuracy is concerned I'd say in general the canon red ring should be more accurate.

AF and capturing "childhood" is something I take seriously. I have absolutely zero tolerance of inconsistent AF. Between the two mentioned I'd take a 135L.

However on the other hand I have a preference to take in some of the environment in the frame. 85mm does give some story telling while paying great attention to the subject (kids/headshot/portait​s). Only canon 85mm for my gearbag though....

If your 5dmk3 is somewhat newly acquired I'd revisit the 85 f/1.8. "good" colours with accurate fast AF and most of all extremely affordable. All fast primes have somewhat of purple fringing but the 85Lmk2 exhibits that PF aswell.

Bulk of my photos (I have 3 kids) wideangle is most preferred for beautiful documentation of growth. If you get "in your face" 135mm focal lengths I'd certainly make sure I supplement with wideangle.

135Lis the best bang for the buck redring along side your awesome 17-40L.

As far as colour is concerned I still think the 100L has better colours than the aging 135L.

For my run and gun kit at family outings I sometimes bring my 24mm and 85 f/1.8 as a light versatile prime combo. In close quarters or even family walks the 24mm with full frame allows me to frame a bit more environment. Looking through thousands of photos I really enjoy the wide angle lenses (16-35, 24mm) since it stirs up memories much better than headshot or a fame primarily full body. 135L would be used for very speicfic "looks" 35mm isn't all that special to me but I still keep my 35L around (gave the wife my 5dc with 35L combo).

If you want a blown out creamy bokeh the 135L would be great. For the sake of capturing the moment outdoors you already have one of the best portrait lenses from canon. Your 70-200 mk2 is killer awesome. I still think the 135L will separate you and your child in a longer distance so a shorter FL seems more suitable for a little runner.


5Dmkiv |5Dmkiii | 24LmkII | 85 mkII L | | 16-35L mkII | 24-70 f/2.8L mkii| 70-200 f/2.8 ISL mkII| 600EX-RT x2 | 580 EX II x2 | Einstein's
Fuji X-T2 w/battery booster | 16mm f/1.4 | 56 f/1.2 | TT685
Sony 2 x A7iii w/ Sigma MC-11 adapter | GM16-35 f/2.8 | Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 | GM70-200 f/2.8 |Sigma Art 24 f/1.4 | Sigma ART 105 f/1.4 | Godox V860iiS & V1S

  
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drzenitram
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Jun 28, 2013 10:10 |  #32

Thorrulz wrote in post #16072338 (external link)
The 135L is faster, more accurate and more consistent in focusing than the Sigma 85. That's a very important edge right there for the 135L. I tried out the Sigma 85 in store and it could only come up with a 1 in 3 in focus hit rate at f/2. The 135L is made to be used wide open and not closed down as many other lens need to be to attain desirable sharpness. I would have hated to see what the keeper rate would have been for the Sigma at f/1.4.

While you or others may prefer the colors or the bokeh of the Sigma, it is a strength of the 135L and many more individuals do prefer the Canons more natural saturated colors.

I still believe though it comes down to the focal length to which the OP prefers though as to deciding which lens would best suit them.

I had a much different experience with both copies of the sigma 85 I had and the 135L I owned, as well as the 135Ls I rented in the past. You see, I used to rent all of my expensive glass for events, and while I loved the photos I got from the 135L, the lens was inconsistent when it came to locking focus. After I got my first full frame body I picked up the sigma 85, it was fantastic, the AF was quick and spot on, it was super sharp, and it made for some incredible subject separation.

However, I bought into the 135L hype again and thought that I should give it a try on my full frame body, so I sold the sigma 85 and bought another 135L. Same problems, inconsistent focus and handholding it required much higher shutter speeds than the 85, so I sold the 135L and went back to the sigma 85. I've been happy ever since.

Both copies I have owned of the sigma 85 are VERY sharp wide open at f1.4 and are very consistent. I can't say the same thing for the 135L.


| Bodies - 5D Mark II, T2i | Lenses - Helios 44-2, Sigma 35mm 1.4, Sigma 85 1.4, Sigma 70-200 2.8 OS, Tamron SP AF 1.4x TC | Lights - 430ex ii x2, Random 3rd party strobes

  
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Tmuussoni
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Jun 28, 2013 14:17 |  #33

Thorrulz wrote in post #16072338 (external link)
The 135L is faster, more accurate and more consistent in focusing than the Sigma 85. That's a very important edge right there for the 135L. I tried out the Sigma 85 in store and it could only come up with a 1 in 3 in focus hit rate at f/2. The 135L is made to be used wide open and not closed down as many other lens need to be to attain desirable sharpness. I would have hated to see what the keeper rate would have been for the Sigma at f/1.4.

While you or others may prefer the colors or the bokeh of the Sigma, it is a strength of the 135L and many more individuals do prefer the Canons more natural saturated colors.

I still believe though it comes down to the focal length to which the OP prefers though as to deciding which lens would best suit them.

Trying the Sigma for 5 minutes in store imo does not equal real life usage. You are simply underestimating the Sigma bit too much here...

Sigma 85mm is fantastic lens and does not loose to the 135L in terms of overall IQ or bokeh. The different focal lengths give them a different look, that is for OP to decide which one he likes more.

As to OP's question, I would definitely go for the Sigma as you already have the 70-200 f2.8L II IS and it is damn close to 135L in IQ...


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Buckeye1
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Jun 28, 2013 15:09 |  #34

I personally like the 135L F2.0 better. Right now, the price is about the same for both, so cost is not an issue. However, I have had bad focusing experiences with the Sigma 85...in any Sigma for that matter. What body are you using? Sorry I did not read all the posts.

The 100L (as someone had suggested) is a very good portrait lens; don't let the "Macro" moniker deter you from doing something other than macros with it.




  
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delhi
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Jun 28, 2013 15:13 |  #35

135L @f2 renders very magical images. Not sure why.
USM focus performance is some of the best if not the best I've ever experienced with a high-grade lens. It is fast and confident to lock on.

Haven't tried the S85 tbh, so can't comment on experience.

Check your image exif to see what FL you tend to shoot at.


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kin2son
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Jun 28, 2013 19:19 |  #36
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Thanks for all the suggestion.

Well I think I'll give the Sigma another try.

One of the deciding factor is the price difference. I can get a brand new s85 for $689, whereas the cheapest I can find for 135L is just over $1k.

When I had the s85 back then I was still shooting with 5D2, I wouldn't say it was inconsistent but more the nature of dealing with thin dof, ss and subject movement.

Thanks all.


5D3 Gripped / 17-40L / Σ35 / 40 Pancake / Zeiss 50 MP / Σ85 / 100L Macro / 70-200 f2.8L II IS / 430 EX II / 580 EX II / Canon 2xIII TC / Kenko Ext. Tubes
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drzenitram
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Jun 28, 2013 19:54 |  #37

kin2son wrote in post #16074294 (external link)
Thanks for all the suggestion.

Well I think I'll give the Sigma another try.

One of the deciding factor is the price difference. I can get a brand new s85 for $689, whereas the cheapest I can find for 135L is just over $1k.

When I had the s85 back then I was still shooting with 5D2, I wouldn't say it was inconsistent but more the nature of dealing with thin dof, ss and subject movement.

Thanks all.

Wow. Where'd you find that price on the s85? That's a killer price for sure.


| Bodies - 5D Mark II, T2i | Lenses - Helios 44-2, Sigma 35mm 1.4, Sigma 85 1.4, Sigma 70-200 2.8 OS, Tamron SP AF 1.4x TC | Lights - 430ex ii x2, Random 3rd party strobes

  
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kin2son
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Jun 28, 2013 20:23 |  #38
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drzenitram wrote in post #16074362 (external link)
Wow. Where'd you find that price on the s85? That's a killer price for sure.

I'm in Australia, currently there's a local store running a sale where I can get one brand new for that price with local warranty ;)

I honestly think it's too good to let it slip. Can probably resale it down the road for the same price.


5D3 Gripped / 17-40L / Σ35 / 40 Pancake / Zeiss 50 MP / Σ85 / 100L Macro / 70-200 f2.8L II IS / 430 EX II / 580 EX II / Canon 2xIII TC / Kenko Ext. Tubes
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Sirrith
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Jun 28, 2013 21:10 |  #39

For that price I'd be all over it.


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frankk
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Jun 28, 2013 21:12 |  #40

drzenitram wrote in post #16072767 (external link)
I had a much different experience with both copies of the sigma 85 I had and the 135L I owned, as well as the 135Ls I rented in the past. You see, I used to rent all of my expensive glass for events, and while I loved the photos I got from the 135L, the lens was inconsistent when it came to locking focus. After I got my first full frame body I picked up the sigma 85, it was fantastic, the AF was quick and spot on, it was super sharp, and it made for some incredible subject separation.

However, I bought into the 135L hype again and thought that I should give it a try on my full frame body, so I sold the sigma 85 and bought another 135L. Same problems, inconsistent focus and handholding it required much higher shutter speeds than the 85, so I sold the 135L and went back to the sigma 85. I've been happy ever since.

Both copies I have owned of the sigma 85 are VERY sharp wide open at f1.4 and are very consistent. I can't say the same thing for the 135L.

This is interesting. I guess it is copy dependent. I picked up a used 135L a few months ago and it was probably easiest and shortest acclimation period I've ever experienced. I never doubted it and had very high keeper rates wide open on day one.

I'd say, for more than half of my lenses, I went through a doubt period where I struggled to get consistent results but once I learned the lens it became easy.




  
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DamianOz
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Jun 28, 2013 21:24 |  #41

kin2son wrote in post #16074430 (external link)
I'm in Australia, currently there's a local store running a sale where I can get one brand new for that price with local warranty ;)

I honestly think it's too good to let it slip. Can probably resale it down the road for the same price.

What shop?


Bodies - Canon EOS 5DIII | EOS 6D
Primes - TS-E24 f/3.5L II | Σ 35mm F1.4 DG Art | EF 85 f/1.2L II | EF 135 f/2L
Zooms - EF 16-35 f/2.8L II | EF 24-70 f/2.8L II | EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II | Σ 24-105mm F/4 DG OS Art | Σ 120-300mm F/2.8 DG OS Sport

  
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kin2son
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Jun 28, 2013 21:40 |  #42
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DamianOz wrote in post #16074574 (external link)
What shop?

Digidirect.com.au

10% off storewide ;)


5D3 Gripped / 17-40L / Σ35 / 40 Pancake / Zeiss 50 MP / Σ85 / 100L Macro / 70-200 f2.8L II IS / 430 EX II / 580 EX II / Canon 2xIII TC / Kenko Ext. Tubes
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david ­ lacey
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Jun 29, 2013 00:10 as a reply to  @ kin2son's post |  #43

You have the 70-200 mk2 so it seems like the faster 85mm would be a nice fit. I know for me that is what I would choose in your shoes mostly because I like to shoot in the 70~100 range most with some 135mm and even less 200mm.

I too have tried 2 copies of the 85 1.8 and just dont like that lens even though it focuses super fast and accurate.




  
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dylan81
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Jun 29, 2013 01:37 as a reply to  @ david lacey's post |  #44

The 135 is lightening fast and incredibly accurate, no questions asked (as you should already know). I would say it's as good as my new 24-70 II and it doesn't get much better than that. I would say 135 hands down.




  
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kin2son
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Jun 29, 2013 21:04 |  #45
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Thanks for all the responses.

I have placed the order for the S85, one of the reason is the price being too good to be ignored.

Worst case scenario I can always return the lens or getting it calibrated, but I am confident with it.


5D3 Gripped / 17-40L / Σ35 / 40 Pancake / Zeiss 50 MP / Σ85 / 100L Macro / 70-200 f2.8L II IS / 430 EX II / 580 EX II / Canon 2xIII TC / Kenko Ext. Tubes
EOS M / EF-M 18-55 / EF-M 22f2 / Ricoh GR aka Ultimate street camera :p
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