kaitlyn2004 wrote in post #17131784
I've got the Canon 100 f2.8 L macro lens, but have been eyeing the 85mm and 135mm for some time.
I will be skipping the 85 1.2L, but it seems the Sigma 85 1.4 and Canon 1.8 are very comparable, whereas the Canon is much smaller/lighter and cheaper!
Then of course there is the 135 F2 which everyone loves.
While my macro only goes to 2.8, it's obviously sharp wide open. I'm not sure on a few things...
1) Should I even consider 85 AND 135, or just pick one? Especially since I've got the 100 macro?
2) Should I even consider EITHER of them, or just try to stick with the 100 macro?
I would plan to use the lens mostly for portraits on my FF camera.
Depends on what your goal is.
What do you use the 100L for? Do you utilize the macro function, or not?
Are you shooting exclusively natural light?
Do you primarily shoot environmental or are you in a studio setting, both?
Do you primarily do portrait work that is face/bust/fullbody?
How much working room would you prefer? Intimate? Or distance?
The 85 F1.4 and 135 F2 do a lot of the same things. But, how you want to render a background differs due to focal length here, and the apertures. The F1.4 is good for a single person, but for a duo, it's harder to get both in focus unless you're doing full body environmental which means you're stopping down for depth of field. The 135F2 is similar there, but you have to be even further away to get the full body shot of a duo, or even one person. Always consider if that maximum aperture creates a depth of field that is enough for you to get your subjects in focus if you have more than one. If one subject, it's less of a big deal. But with several subjects it quickly can become a situation where you may need to stop down. And if you stop down, did you really need either lens at that point? Keep that in mind.
If you're shooting a lot of macro, stick with the 100L. If you're not really shooting tons of macro, do you really need that lens? You can always put a diopter or extension tube on any of your other lenses for the macro shots for a dime. That means you could sell the 100L and get a faster portrait lens and have less overlap.
Alternatively, don't get the 85 nor the 135. The 100 already is a great portrait lens. Are you willing to pay that extra money for something that is only 1 stop faster really? It will still produce lots of subject isolation and functions great as a portrait lens.
Instead, I'd be looking at a 35mm lens as a compliment, instead of 85/135 when you already have 100. If you didn't already have the 100, I'd probably seek the 135L first. And maybe swing a 85 F1.8 in there later, just to have that option. I'm often shooting 85mm for my portrait because I do a lot of outside environmental work where I want telephoto and fast aperture for isolation, but I don't want to stand 40 feet away from my subjects where it's hard to talk if it's windy, etc. I like being a little closer. Gives me more forgiving working room, easier to drop down or step up on a ladder, etc, and not have to do it far away trying to figure out angles. If you think that sounds more like what you're after, consider the Sigma 85 F1.4. I shoot a manual 85 F1.4 myself, as I prefer that for maximum control.