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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 18 May 2015 (Monday) 21:58
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Tell me, am I nuts thinking of ditching my Canon 135 f2/L for a 85 f1.8

 
itsallart
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Post edited over 4 years ago by itsallart. (2 edits in all)
     
May 18, 2015 21:58 |  #1

I'm not a pro but have just completed a Pro course and getting more sessions booked; well, here is my dilemma: do I ditch the canon 135mm f2/L for the 85mm f1.8 after reading so many wonderful reviews and seeing some gorgeous portraits? Or, should I get one of those and then decide? I do a fair amount of portraits and shoot with a Canon 6d, dreaming of the 5d3?
I would love to hear some feedback. Thanks :)


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FarmerTed1971
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May 18, 2015 22:01 |  #2

Just buy one... they come up here all the time for $300.


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itsallart
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May 18, 2015 22:07 as a reply to  @ FarmerTed1971's post |  #3

FarmerTed, but tell me why would you get one? Advantages and disadvantages. Show me some pics taken with the 85mm one, please and tell me why?


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elitejp
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May 18, 2015 22:18 |  #4

I have both and use both for portraits and have a 6d. I personally tend to use the 135 more (maybe because its newer to me)but overall its really just a personal decision in which you like best. Both perform wonderfully. Like Ted said just add a 85 if you like that focal length, i wouldnt see the point in selling the 135 to get an 85.


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mannetti21
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May 18, 2015 22:47 |  #5

itsallart wrote in post #17562032 (external link)
here is my dilemma: do I ditch the canon 135mm f2/L for the 85mm f1.8

I did just that and have not regretted the decision. However, if you are looking for a lens specifically for portraits, its hard to beat the 135L. I would loosely argue that the 135 does extremely well with portraits, so well in fact, that it almost seems to be a specialty lens with not a ton of versatility. Just my personal experience and I'm sure you can find plenty of exceptions/examples to counter that statement.

IMO, one major drawback to the 135L is, ironically, the 135mm focal length. During events and difficult lighting I use the 85 far more often than the 135. I found that when I want/need the 135mm length, the 70-200 fills in nicely (even for most portrait scenarios). The one thing I didn't realize prior to purchasing the 135 was that despite it being f/2, it really isn't suited for low-light situations due to the focal length. To eliminate camera shake, I always had to keep the shutter at about 1/250, so I essentially neutralized the benefits of the wide aperture by having to select a faster shutter speed. I'm not sure why I couldn't get away with a 1/200 speed, but for me, it really had to be 1/250 to get crisp shots consistently. (Maybe something to do with the size/weight of the lens???) With the 85 1.8, not only do I gain an additional 1/3 stop via aperture, but I can also stay at 1/100 to gain an additional 2/3 stop over the 135L. Therefore, I was gaining a full stop of light in real-world use of the 85 1.8 over the 135L.

So, while the above may not apply to your originally intended use, I think it's something worth considering before purchasing the lens.



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CyberDyneSystems
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May 18, 2015 22:56 |  #6

I got them both, and use them both.
I would never part with the 135mm. I use it more often than the 85mm, but for $300.00 -ish the 85mm is well worth the price. It's certainly one of the best bang for buck lenses out there.

Overall IQ and "dreaminess" or "magic" goes to the 135 hands down.

But that 85mm with it's lightning fast AF and super light weight and cost,. it's a no brainer for when 135 is too long.

as for the 135mm and versatility, it is also my favorite performing arts lens (low light, action, tight framing) and it's THE BEST "candid at an event" lens.


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CyberDyneSystems
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May 18, 2015 22:58 |  #7

P.S.

...as you requested,


Your Nuts! :)


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FEChariot
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May 18, 2015 23:03 |  #8

Keep the 135; add the 85


Canon 7D/350D, Σ17-50/2.8 OS, 18-55IS, 24-105/4 L IS, Σ30/1.4 EX, 50/1.8, C50/1.4, 55-250IS, 60/2.8, 70-200/4 L IS, 85/1.8, 100/2.8 IS L, 135/2 L 580EX II, 430EX II * 2, 270EX II.

  
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MalVeauX
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May 18, 2015 23:14 |  #9

itsallart wrote in post #17562032 (external link)
I'm not a pro but have just completed a Pro course and getting more sessions booked; well, here is my dilemma: do I ditch the canon 135mm f2/L for the 85mm f1.8 after reading so many wonderful reviews and seeing some gorgeous portraits? Or, should I get one of those and the decide? I do a fair amount of portraits and shoot with a Canon 6d, dreaming of the 5d3?
I would love to hear some feedback. Thanks :)

Heya,

Keep the 135L. It's a magical lens. Just because you're not using it right now, you may find you want it later again. The 85 F1.8 is such an inexpensive lens, that it just doesn't matter. If you're starving for $300, and you're willing to let go of the 135L for it, then I'll suggest you stop full bore and ask what convinced you to change from the 135L to the 85 F1.8. If the answer is focal length, then I would direct you to several other options, like the 85L I & II, Sigma 85 F1.4, Samyang 85 F1.4, Jupiter 9 85 F2, Zeis Planar T 85 F1.4 (or Otus if you're made of money), etc. While the EF 85 F1.8 is a good lens, it's not a superb lens. It's just really good for it's cost. Fast to focus (lightning fast). Light weight. Fairly sharp. Has some CA wide open. Good bokeh. And fast 85's still give that telephoto look to portraits and can isolate nicely.

Generally speaking, regardless of all the differences, the biggest most obvious difference is simple: focal length!

You need to figure out if you like the 85mm focal length on your full frame, or if you like the 135mm focal length. Or both? One lends you more working room in smaller spaces. Another allows greater isolation. While the 135L is a sharp, fast lens, it's defining feature is the quality of bokeh it has. There's plenty of sharp long telephotos that are fast. But the kind of OOF area rendering is the biggest difference between them. That's why the 135L is still so magical.

As nice as the 135L is, it's not for all. I for one, do not bother with it. Why? I favor 85mm. I also favor 200mm (so I have 85 F1.8, 85 F1.4 and 200 F2.8L, all primes; I use the 85 F1.8 when I need autofocus. I use the 85 F1.4 when I just want a fast, sharp wide open F1.4 telephoto lens, manual focus. I use the 200 F2.8L when I have lots of working room and want supreme isolation). For me, it's 35mm, 85mm and 200mm. Those are my common "portrait" focal lengths. I like those. User preference.

For you, you need to figure out what focal length is good for you.

The EF 85 F1.8 is an inexpensive, good lens. For every great photo you see that a good photog makes with it, you'll see another made by the 135L. The lens doesn't matter. The user does. You're not seeing magic that the 85 F1.8 pours out. You're just seeing what a good photog can do with just about any tool.

I know a lot of people who will give up their 85 F1.8 for a 135L in a heart beat.

***************

Anyhow, here's some typical stuff I do with a cheap EF 85 F1.8:

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8716/17310010299_dc22f59ef1_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/snCj​Zr  (external link) IMG_3860 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7733/17308503998_294de618a1_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/snuB​dJ  (external link) IMG_3869 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://c3.staticflickr.com/3/2896/14009153343_877a7046f9_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/nkWz​dB  (external link) IMG_0471 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://c3.staticflickr.com/3/2934/14067425772_c896982415_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/nr6e​zE  (external link) IMG_0790 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5442/17796943152_15a2b54ed5_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/t7DZ​as  (external link) IMG_3929 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://c4.staticflickr.com/4/3798/13449966105_d70c9fec3d_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/muwA​kk  (external link) IMG_3009 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8834/17216181394_99097b939d_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/sekq​VG  (external link) IMG_3984 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

.... And frankly, I could have used any focal length really, and any sensor size (some of these are APS-C, some are full frame; makes no difference to me, just affects how close I'm standing to the subject).

Up to you!

Very best,

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GeoKras1989
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May 18, 2015 23:24 |  #10
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Yes, you are completely out of your mind. I had the 135L and 200 2.8L. I sold them both for a 70-200 2.8 OS, which after 5 years, or so, became too heavy for me to carry around. Switched to the f/4L IS USM (almost bought yours), and have missed the 135L since. I have the 100 f/2, which is a poor man's (woman's) substitute. The 135L is excellent wide open. The 85 1.8 I had, and the 100 I still have, are not. Add an 85 1.8, if you like. Keep the 135L.


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burb1972
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May 18, 2015 23:55 |  #11

I have a 100f2, and could sell some lenses to get a 135f2. It depends on the individual and what they shoot. I am not a professional but could sell a 28-75 tamron, 70mm 2.8 macro tamron and my 100f2 to get one. Is there somewhere where they compare the two with samples. Or would you just sell the lenses and pocket 500$ and keep the 100f2.


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May 19, 2015 00:04 as a reply to  @ itsallart's post |  #12

Sorry, I cannot. I split the difference and got the 100L.  :p


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May 19, 2015 00:10 |  #13

Yes, you're nuts. But feel free to mail me your 135 until you come to your senses. I'll keep it from getting fat and lazy while you're in therapy.

Keep the 135, eat Ramen for a month, buy the 85, smile like a child on Christmas day.


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gqllc007
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May 19, 2015 07:58 as a reply to  @ bumpintheroad's post |  #14

Here is 135 at F/2.8


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Patrick ­ H
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May 19, 2015 09:06 |  #15

If you dont like the length why not. I had the 85 1.8, fell out with it. Bought the 1.2L and pushed myself to use it but just found it too short. got the 135 and it is never off the 6D.


5D mkIV | 35Lii | 135L | + some zooms.

  
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Tell me, am I nuts thinking of ditching my Canon 135 f2/L for a 85 f1.8
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