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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 05 Jul 2013 (Friday) 11:50
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70-200 f/4IS vs 100 f/2.8L for Potraits

 
KristyT2i
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Jul 05, 2013 11:50 |  #1

I'm looking for a portrait lens to pair with my 24-70 Mark II on my 6D camera. Unfortunately, I spent too much money on my 24-70 Mark II, and can now only afford a lens in the $7-900 range. I was pretty set on buying a 70-200 f/4IS, but I'm worried about the lack of background blur at f/4. This has me also considering the 100 f/2.8L Macro. I looked over the mtf numbers of both lenses and they are nearly identical, with the 100L being ever so slightly sharper (Not sure why people say that macro lenses are "too sharp" for portraits, because according to the MTF numbers this isn't the case.)

I think overall I'd use this lens 70% for Portraits, 20% for walking around to pair with the 24-70 Mark II, and 10% for food photography. I like that the Macro does 2.8, has Image stabilization, and is black/light. I like that the 70-200 f/4 IS has faster autofocus in case I want to take action pictures of my dog, and obviously goes to 200mm. I think again my main consideration is just portraits and image quality of the portraits. I'm going to be traveling to the US next month to visit aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, etc. I'd like a lens to take with me to take pictures of them. I know the macro lens does 2.8, but at f/4 would the 100 f/2.8L and 70-200 f/4is produce the exact same image quality for portraits....or would one produce better color, saturation, "pop", etc?




  
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KristyT2i
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Jul 05, 2013 11:52 |  #2

P.S. I should add that the 135L is out for me. I like having IS and may consider it if it gets updated soon.

P.P.S. Most of my portraits are going to be half body to full body shots. So i'd most likely stay between the 70-135 end. But I'll be outdoors so it doesn't matter too much.




  
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gonzogolf
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Jul 05, 2013 11:55 |  #3

Leaving the 135L off the list because it doesnt have IS is short sighted, its better than either of those lenses for portraits, focuses faster than the macro and the lack of IS isnt really a factor in many shooting situations. If and when its updated (that rumor is ancient) it will be a $2,000 lens.




  
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cdang
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Jul 05, 2013 11:59 |  #4

Don't discount the 135.. Are you shooting outdoors portraits at night ?




  
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KristyT2i
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Jul 05, 2013 12:06 |  #5

Well since my 24-70ii doesnt have IS either, I figured if I needed something for low light the IS would be useful. I dont own any other lenses besides the 24-70ii. Plus, I've owned lenses with IS and without, and I always get more keepers with the IS. I guess I have bad technique or something. Lastly, I bought a 35L last year, and after the Sigma 35 came out and the prices dropped I got a fraction of what I paid when I upgraded to the 24-70ii. I'm scared of that happening again.

All three of these are pretty big reasons for me.




  
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Vertigo1
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Jul 05, 2013 12:08 |  #6

I own the 100L and used to own the F4IS, but on a crop rather than full frame.

Personally, unless you want to get into macro work too, I'd go with the F4IS. The 100L may be slightly sharper but not by that much and the F4IS is certainly sharp enough already, plus it's an incredibly flexible lens for which you'll find a lot of other uses.


Canon 5D3/6D | EF 16-35 f/4L IS | EF 24-70 f/2.8L II | EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II | EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS II | EF 35 f/1.4L II | EF 50 f/1.4

  
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KristyT2i
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Jul 05, 2013 12:13 |  #7

I think for me the concern is less about the sharpness, as it for the f2.8 vs f4. For headshots it might not matter, but for half body portraits, I'm worried that I wouldn't be able to get the background blur I wanted.




  
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gonzogolf
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Jul 05, 2013 12:18 |  #8

KristyT2i wrote in post #16093847 (external link)
I think for me the concern is less about the sharpness, as it for the f2.8 vs f4. For headshots it might not matter, but for half body portraits, I'm worried that I wouldn't be able to get the background blur I wanted.

Both are incredibly sharp, probably sharper than a portrait lens needs to be anyway. But once again, you are ignoring the elephant in the corner, if you want background blur 135L or 85L are your better choices, in terms of quality or quantity, and since the 85L is twice the price....




  
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Vertigo1
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Jul 05, 2013 12:18 |  #9

Whilst f/2.8 will obviously provide a shallower DoF and more subject isolation than will f/4, I don't think you'll struggle with f/4 to be honest, especially on full frame where it'll give you slightly shallower DoF than would f/2.8 on a crop.


Canon 5D3/6D | EF 16-35 f/4L IS | EF 24-70 f/2.8L II | EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II | EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS II | EF 35 f/1.4L II | EF 50 f/1.4

  
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amfoto1
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Jul 05, 2013 12:24 |  #10

On full frame, you hardly need IS on a 135mm, especially one that offers f2.0. Sure, it would be nice at times to have IS, but I can guarantee you that if/when Canon upgrades it to have IS, the lens will be $500US or more expensive than it is now.

EF 135/2L at f2.0 on 5DII...

IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8051/8112941582_436a1bfe8d_z.jpg

EF 135/2L at f4 on 5DII...
IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8220/8265506312_697739e2da_z.jpg


EF 135/2L at f4 on 7D...
IMAGE: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5064/5621528555_a87f15f38a_z.jpg

It depends upon your distance to the subject and the distance between the subject and any background objects, how much background blur you'll get with the 70-200/4.

EF 70-200/4L IS at 155mm and f4 on 7D (background very close)...
IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8122/8638337880_f15f5fc6c6_z.jpg

EF 70-200/4L IS at 93mm and f4 on 7D (very close to minimum focus distance, distant background)...
IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8262/8637245577_061e7c2908_z.jpg

Alan Myers (external link) "Walk softly and carry a big lens."
5DII, 7DII(x2), 7D(x2) & other cameras. 10-22mm, Tokina 12-24/4, 20/2.8, TS 24/3.5L, 24-70/2.8L, 28/1.8, 28-135 IS (x2), TS 45/2.8, 50/1.4, Tamron 60/2.0, 70-200/4L IS, 70-200/2.8 IS, 85/1.8, Tamron 90/2.5 Macro, 100/2.8 USM, 100-400L II, 135/2L, 180/3.5L, 300/4L IS (x2), 300/2.8L IS, 500/4L IS, EF 1.4X II, EF 2X II. Flashes, studio strobes & various access. - FLICKR (external link) - ZENFOLIO (external link)

  
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Kronie
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Jul 05, 2013 12:29 |  #11

I have owned both and used both for portraits. The only reason that I bought the 100L over the 135 is because I do lots of macro so it serves a dual purpose. If I was in your shoes with just a 24-70 I would get the 70-200.




  
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paparios
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Jul 05, 2013 12:50 |  #12

KristyT2i wrote in post #16093847 (external link)
I think for me the concern is less about the sharpness, as it for the f2.8 vs f4. For headshots it might not matter, but for half body portraits, I'm worried that I wouldn't be able to get the background blur I wanted.

I have both the 70-200 f4L IS and the 100 f2.8L IS. Both lenses are very sharp and with a very good IS. Here are two examples with each lens. The first taken, without flash, with the 7D and the 100L at ISO3200, f2.8, 1/15 sec. The second was taken with the 50D and the 70-200 at 200mm, ISO100, f4, 1/13 sec. As you see both pictures are well below the recommended shutter speed, thanks to their IS.

Miguel


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Canon 5D MKII, Sony A7, Canon EOS M, Canon 7D, Sony A6000, Canon 50d with grip, Canon 400D with grip, Bower 14 f2.8, Bower 35 f1.4, EF 40 f2.8, Tokina 12-24 f4, EFM-22 f2 STM, EFM 18-55 f3.5-5.6 IS STM, EFS 18-55 f3.5-5.6, Tamron 28-75 f2.8, EF 85 f1.8, EF 100 f2.8L IS, EF 70-200 f4L IS, EF 75-300 f4-5.6, Sigma 150-500 f5-6.3, Sony E 16-50, Sony FE 28-70

  
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ceegee
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Jul 05, 2013 13:20 |  #13

The 70-200 f4 IS is a great portrait lens and gives excellent subject separation. I use it a lot for animal portraits.


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Gear: Canon 7D, Tokina 12-24 f/4, Canon 24-105L f4, Canon 70-300L, Canon 60 macro f/2.8, Speedlite 580 EXII, 2x AB800

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KristyT2i
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Jul 05, 2013 13:36 |  #14

Thank you for all the help and the pictures guys..I really appreciate it.

I've decided that none of the options are going to make me happy, and they all have compromises. So I am going to wait for a Canon 135L IS, Sigma 135 Art, or save up and get the 70-200 Mark ii. In the meantime I'll just use my 24-70ii on the long end for portraits.




  
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Vertigo1
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Jul 05, 2013 13:48 |  #15

If you want a stonking portrait lens on the cheap, how about picking up an 85mm f/1.8 either new or used. Could be an interim solution until you can afford the lens you really want and might give you an idea how you'd get on without IS.


Canon 5D3/6D | EF 16-35 f/4L IS | EF 24-70 f/2.8L II | EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II | EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS II | EF 35 f/1.4L II | EF 50 f/1.4

  
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70-200 f/4IS vs 100 f/2.8L for Potraits
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