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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 02 Sep 2014 (Tuesday) 14:16
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85mm 1.8/1.4 or 135 f2?

 
kaitlyn2004
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Sep 02, 2014 14:16 |  #1

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.


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Talley
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Sep 02, 2014 14:17 |  #2

I'm really the worst person to answer this but I vote Sigma 85mm!


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gacon1
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Sep 02, 2014 15:09 |  #3

kaitlyn2004 wrote in post #17131784 (external link)
...
I would plan to use the lens mostly for portraits on my FF camera.

135 f2 L !




  
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Brendo666
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Sep 02, 2014 15:33 |  #4

Similar situation for me.

I have owned the 100L for a while and have been wanting a 135L and 85 1.8 for a while. I had a 50 1.4 and never used it so i sold it and picked up a 85 1.8. I am really happy i did because i really really enjoy the lens! I haven't used my 100L for a while even before the 85, but i am deciding to keep it for when i want to use it. For portraits i shoot only 35 and 85 and i am really really happy with that combo.

I still really really want the 135 but budget does not quite allow for it. I think you will be happy with either one.


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CanonYouCan
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Sep 02, 2014 15:35 as a reply to  @ gacon1's post |  #5

In past I had the 135L on crop (too long), sold it, but re-bought it after seeing Dankata's dreamshots on FF.
This is a perfect IQ/bokeh/sharp/fast focus portrait lens, most of us don't use it much due to the longer focal length, it should be used more often! (includes myself :) )

I had 85 1.8 twice due to setup changes.
Now I rebought it to test next to my 85 1.2L MKI, now that I saw the difference myself the 1.8 is for sale.
What distinguishes the L is the depth of colour and the superb balance of contrast and microcontrast. I recently went on a shoot with the 85 f1.8, shots from the L had wonderful deep rich colours and contrast; shots from the 85 f1.8 looked washed out in comparison and couldn't totally match the L even after PP. It's very sharp though, as shown in lens tests such as the one at Photozone. But lens test sites only measure resolution, never colour depth or contrast, and these are the real differences in IQ between L and non-L glass in my experience. Other say the 85L really excells in full body shots.
A collegue photographer once said : this is the last lens I would ever sell, maybe it's a collector's item in future as other brands don't make dreamy f1.2's :)

Recently I became the Sigma Art line (replaced 35L with 35 1.4 art and bought the 50 1.4 Art), perfect primes.
Before my choice I also read the reviews of 85 1.2L vs 85 1.4, but the Sigma would have inconsistent focusing copies.
An it's not from the Art gamma, that's why I never trusted it and I bought the 85 1.2L MKI secondhand instead.

If I had to choose 1 it would be the 135L, Canon's best lens ever made, you can't say anything negative about it.
Both 85L/135L are a dream & collector's item in each portrait/modelphotogra​phers collection.


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bobbyz
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Sep 02, 2014 15:42 |  #6

What you going to shoot? Sorry if I missed that. I don't know why would you say sigma 85mm f1.4 and canon 85mm f1.8 care comparable. It is more like 85L and sigma 85mm f1.4 up there. Personally I find canon 85mm f1.8 to be after all of them (85mm f1.2 L, sigma 85mm f1.4, and 135L) unless I was shooting indoor sports where I would take 85mm f1.8.


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kaitlyn2004
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Sep 02, 2014 15:56 |  #7

CanonYouCan wrote in post #17131908 (external link)
If I had to choose 1 it would be the 135L, Canon's best lens ever made, you can't say anything negative about it.

Um, where is the IS? :)

Thanks for your insights


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MalVeauX
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Sep 02, 2014 17:11 |  #8

kaitlyn2004 wrote in post #17131784 (external link)
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.

Heya,

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.

Very best,


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CanonYouCan
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Sep 02, 2014 17:20 |  #9

IS is handy, but not the most important thing, weddingphotographers managed years with their 70-200 2.8L non IS when it didn't exist.
Today I noticed a lot of people find IS the most important.

A collegue today sold his 55-250 IS for a 'small premium' Tamron 70-300 f4-5.6 VC.
I asked him why he didn't upgrade to a f2.8 (for example the Tokina 80-200 2.8) as his budget was limited.
He thought the VR would be the solution to his problems (but he had allready IS on his 55-250 IS and it's the same F4-5.6 are dark lens), he couldn't manage to focus on cloudy weather/inside.

People rather choose IS than faster lenses, if I could only chose 1 I would chose the faster non-IS.
In past I had the 70-200 2.8L MKI non IS and it was superb, just some faster shutterspeeds.

If you check Dankata's pic in the lens sample database, you will love this lens and forget about IS. The sharpness/purity/razor​fast focus/bokeh gives this the most pure optics possible in the Canon lineup with also great price/quality. The 135L is an outside lens anyway (you need a lot of space).

IS would be nice in a version II, but don't know about the (double?) price and weigth, knowing Canon. Just like they don't make a 85 1.2L II IS, seen the current weight & price :)

kaitlyn2004 wrote in post #17131925 (external link)
Um, where is the IS? :)

Thanks for your insights


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CRCchemist
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Sep 02, 2014 17:22 |  #10

Go with the 135, because you're going to want a narrower depth of field on the 85mm f/1.8 and the 135 f/2 will give you that narrower depth of field.

The next longer choice is going to be the 200mm f/2 if you can afford it.




  
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CRCchemist
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Sep 02, 2014 17:25 |  #11

CanonYouCan wrote in post #17132058 (external link)
IS is handy, but not the most important thing, weddingphotographers managed years with their 70-200 2.8L non IS when it didn't exist.
Today I noticed a lot of people find IS the most important.

A collegue today sold his 55-250 IS for a 'small premium' Tamron 70-300 f4-5.6 VC.
I asked him why he didn't upgrade to a f2.8 (for example the Tokina 80-200 2.8) as his budget was limited.
F4-5.6 are dark lenses, he couldn't manage to focus on cloudy weather/inside.

People chose IS than faster lenses, if I could only chose 1 I would chose the faster non-IS.
In past I had the 70-200 2.8L MKI non IS and it was superb, just some faster shutterspeeds.

If you check Dankata's pic in the lens sample database, you will love this lens and forget about IS. The sharpness/purity/razor​fast focus/bokeh gives this the most pure optics possible in the Canon lineup with also great price/quality. The 135L is an outside lens anyway (you need a lot of space).

IS would be nice in a version II, but don't know about the (double?) price and weigth, knowing Canon. Just like they don't make a 85 1.2L II IS, seen the current weight & price :)

This is well said. I usually turn the IS off on most of my lenses anyway.




  
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vertigo235
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Sep 02, 2014 21:22 |  #12

I'd say 135L if I could chose between the 2.


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Sep 02, 2014 21:59 as a reply to  @ vertigo235's post |  #13

Im not sure how much use you would get out of either of these lenses as you already have the 100, but i vote for the 135L. I owned the 85 1.8 which I used on a crop body, but I was not a fan of it (I'm aware that many people are, but it quickly became my least used lens). After upgrading to full frame I picked up a 135L and it quickly became my most used lens. For very similar field of view on the FF that the 85 had on the crop, I put this down to other characteristics of the lens. For me, for closely cropped portraits and for outdoor portraits, I much, much prefer the 135L.

Ive never owned the 85 1.4, but have used one a few times, and found the experience to be similar (although a little better) than the Canon.




  
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Sep 02, 2014 22:09 |  #14

The Sigma 85mm f/1.4 and the Canon 85mm f/1.8 are NOT comparable even the Canon 85mm f/1.2 is NOT as sharp as the Sigma between f/1.4 and f/2.8 which by the way is over all the best of those three 85mm (from DxO Test)
i took a leap of faith buying the Sigma f/1.4, 2 years ago, it's the best leap of faith i ever had, this lens change my mind about Sigma and third party lenses, it's auto focus is very fast and very accurate (it never miss the focus at f/1.4 nor any f/stop unless it's my fault)

here some review/ comparison between these 3 lenses >
http://www.dxomark.com …__270_795_241_7​95_322_795 (external link)

Sigma 85mm f/1.4 VS Canon 85mm f/1.2 >>> both @ f/1.4
(on mouse over the picture to see the Canon 85, on mouse out the picture to go back to the Sigma ;) )
http://www.the-digital-picture.com …omp=0&FLIComp=0​&APIComp=1 (external link)

Sigma 85mm f/1.4 VS Canon f/1.8 >>> both @ f/2
http://www.the-digital-picture.com …omp=0&FLIComp=0​&APIComp=1 (external link)

And the sharpest is ... the Sigma f/1.4 ;)

Having said that, for portrait i use only the 85mm, i have the 100L but i find it a bit too long, but the 100mmL is very nice for portraiture and very sharp wide open, and if you feel comfortable with this length, i'll say just keep it you might not need any 85mm (the 135 is not for me it's far too long and for 1 stop i can use the 70-200 instead if i need 135mm)


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Sep 02, 2014 22:29 |  #15

I love my 100L and have used it on several occasions wide-open for outdoor portraits. It offer me enough subject separation while keeping them in full focus.
What exactly is it lacking that would suggest buying a new lens is needed?

I will offer my own opinions and comments to help.
Contrary to the BUY BUY BUY mentality.
If you're debating between 85mm and 135mm then I would doubt the problem is the FL of 100mm.

If your reasoning is speed and the problem is the wide DOF with the 100L f2.8
Then your following statement say your not even considering the 85L f1.2 lens.
Therefore it seem DOF and speed are not the issue at hand.

Perhap is it the FL you don't like?
While it is a different FL I don't think the resulting image with 85mm f1.8 or Sigma f1.4 would be
that different than the 100mm f2.8 shot and your give up IS as well.
Perhaps there would be a thinner DOF on the Sigma, but also a wide FL.
Once you set forward to keep the same framing you increase the DOF in the subject.

The 135L f2 lens will be the most different. It offers both a longer FL and a faster speed.
It will give you a bit more subject separation and compress the background more.
The colors will be true and the images sharp. It is a very well loved portrait lens.

Of the options listed the most reasonable thing to do it shot with the 100L until you notice a limitation.
If you are considering sell the 100L and buying both a 85mm and 135mm lens, then those two lenses will render significantly different images when compared to one another.

I would never give up my 100L, although 90% of it's use is a macro lens. The other 10% is great portraits.


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85mm 1.8/1.4 or 135 f2?
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