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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 31 Mar 2016 (Thursday) 23:15
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EF 100 f/2.8 Macro USM or 100 f/2 USM for portraits?

 
russkny
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Mar 31, 2016 23:15 |  #1

Hi all,

I'm having a bit of a hard time deciding between these two lenses - mainly for portrait use, but also for general photography - and was hoping to get some additional advice.

I already own an 85 f/1.8 USM, but do like working with a 100mm lens for tighter headshots. I actually already bought the 100 f/2.8 Macro USM and do like a lot about the lens, but also think that maybe 100 f/2 USM would be a better option. I'll be using this lens with my 5D MK3, by the way.

Things I like about the EF 100 f/2.8 Macro USM:

-solid construction; I like that it's longer and thus easier to hold in my hands
-seems to be very sharp and renders colors and detail beautifully - based on the short amount of time I used it
-macro capability - never had a macro lens before so this is very new and fun to me

Things I don't like so much:

-even though it's a f/2.8 lens, not all cross-type focus points are available on my 5D MK3 - instead of 41 cross-type points I only get a cluster of 21 in the center
-manual focus ring is WAY TOO fast at longer distances - took me forever to dial in good focus manually
-can't go lower than f2.8 :-| - not a deal breaker, but it's nice to have an extra stop when needed
-I was also reading Ken Rockwell's review of the EF 100 f2.8L Macro, which optically is supposed to be the same or better than the non-L version, and at longer distances sharpness seems to suffer quite a bit compared to the 100 f/2. ( http://www.kenrockwell​.com …es/100mm-f28-is.htm#sharp (external link) ). Overall he says the 100 f/2 is probably one of the sharpest Canon lenses, which I like.

Ideally I would have both of these, and maybe I will at some point, but for the time being - which one would you choose?

Best,
Russ


Photo Gear: Sony A7R II | Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8
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DoughnutPhoto
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Apr 01, 2016 01:28 |  #2

It might be as simple as "if you like doing macro, go with the macro". You already have the 85mm. I think the 100mm f2 might be too similar to own both. The macro feature of the 100 f2.8 macro is something new and fun for you so I'd hang onto the macro lens.


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drifter106
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Apr 01, 2016 01:42 |  #3

X2 what he said.....

You already have 1.8 with the 85mm. To have the 1.8 f-stop for 15mm vs your advantages is enough for me to suggest opting for the macro.


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algold
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Apr 01, 2016 05:34 |  #4

You already have 85/1.8 and 100/2.8 macro. It makes more sense to add 135/2 L to your collection for tighter headshots.


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NemethR
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Apr 01, 2016 09:35 |  #5

I would go with the macro.

The f/2 vs f/2.8 is really not that big of a deal most of the time, yet the extra close-up ability of the Macro will make it a lens, that can deliver much more fun for your money.


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Nikon D850 | Nikon 70-200 f/2.8G VR II | Nikon 85mm f/1.8G | Nikon 35mm f/1.8G

  
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Bassat
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Apr 01, 2016 10:23 |  #6

I have the 85 1.8 & 100 macro, and 135L. To me, the 100 is macro-ONLY. I've had 2 copies of the 100. I bought one used, and the other new from Canon. AF is way slow compared to the 85 and 135.




  
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russkny
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Apr 01, 2016 18:46 |  #7

Thanks for the replies, everyone.

I certainly considered 135L, especially with the $100 rebate they have going on right now. Will have to see if it's within a budget :)

Since I heavily rely on autofocus, do you think not having access to those 41 cross-type points will hinder the camera's ability to achieve sharp focus consistently? I rarely use center focus point and recompose, instead I usually use the focus point closest to the eye.

To me, getting sharp images consistently trumps everything. My 85 1.8 and 50 1.4 both do that, but as I mentioned earlier, I feel like I'm a little too close to the subject for some of the shots with the 85. 135L (if I can afford it) may be a bit restricting indoors, which is where I shoot mostly. That's why 100mm sounds so appealing.

Taking everything else out of the equation and focusing purely on performance, sharpness and overall image quality - which of the two 100mm do you think would be better for 1/2 body to head and shoulders portraits?

Thanks again for your help!

Cheers,
Russ


Photo Gear: Sony A7R II | Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8
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msowsun
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Apr 01, 2016 20:07 |  #8

Since you already have the 100mm 2.8 Macro, I would sell your 85mm 1.8 and then buy the 100mm 2.0

I have both 100's and use them for two different purposes.


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CanonYouCan
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Post edited over 2 years ago by CanonYouCan. (6 edits in all)
     
Apr 05, 2016 18:04 |  #9

I would definitely sell that 85 1.8 and buy the Canon EF 100mm F2.8L USM Macro with Hybrid IS for portraits & macro.
This is the best!

With the hybrid IS you gain 4 stops (!) so this compensates the f1.8 more then enough.
With the 100mm you have a softer bokeh <> 85mm due to the longer focal distance.
So there will be not much difference bokehwise between the 85 @ 1.8 <> 100 @ f2.8 and you have no purple fringing problems in bright light.

In past I was interested to buy this one, but the macro stuff is something special.
I had the Sigma 150 2.8 Macro but the insects where not "monstruous big", as the wow shots you see online.
A macro photographer told me that I needed to buy a 5:1 magnification macro for the best results (the Canon MP-E 65mm).
As this lens costed €1200 I sold my Sigma and quit macro photography as shots where not that enlarged...


Sony A7 III | Metabones V | Canon 17-40 F4 L | 24-70 2.8 L | 70-200 2.8L II
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msowsun
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Apr 05, 2016 20:22 |  #10

CanonYouCan wrote in post #17961996 (external link)
I would definitely sell that 85 1.8 and buy the Canon EF 100mm F2.8L USM Macro with Hybrid IS for portraits & macro.
This is the best!

With the hybrid IS you gain 4 stops (!) so this compensates the f1.8 more then enough.
With the 100mm you have a softer bokeh <> 85mm due to the longer focal distance.
So there will be not much difference bokehwise between the 85 @ 1.8 <> 100 @ f2.8 and you have no purple fringing problems in bright light.

...

Or for about the same money you could buy both the 100mm 2.0 and 100mm 2.8 Macro USM like I did.


Mike Sowsun / S110 / SL1 / 80D / EF-S 24mm STM / EF-S 10-18mm STM / EF-S 18-55mm STM / EF-S 18-135mm STM / EF-S 18-135mm USM / EF-S 55-250mm STM / 5D3 / Samyang 14mm 2.8 / EF 40mm 2.8 STM / EF 50mm 1.8 STM / EF 100mm 2.0 USM / EF 100mm 2.8 USM Macro / EF 24-105mm IS / EF 70-200mm 2.8L IS Mk II / EF 1.4x II
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russkny
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Apr 05, 2016 23:04 |  #11

Thanks for all the suggestions!

I'm still deciding what to do, but most likely will be returning the 100 f2.8 Macro due to lack of extra cross-type focus points. I think in the long run, since I don't plan to do much of macro photography, a lens that enables extra 20 cross-type points would be more useful.

Right now I'm thinking if I should get the 135 f/2 and/or 100 f2 :rolleyes:


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FEChariot
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Apr 06, 2016 00:02 |  #12

algold wrote in post #17956790 (external link)
You already have 85/1.8 and 100/2.8 macro. It makes more sense to add 135/2 L to your collection for tighter headshots.

This is what I was thinking too. The 135/2 is brilliant. If budget is an issue, sell the 100/2.8 and replace it with a set of Fotodiox extension tubes for $50 at B&H and use them with the 85 and 135 for the macro needs.


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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CanonYouCan
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Apr 06, 2016 05:44 |  #13

For both macro & portraits the L with hybrid IS would be great.
For only portraits I would pick the 135L.

russkny wrote in post #17962312 (external link)
Thanks for all the suggestions!

I'm still deciding what to do, but most likely will be returning the 100 f2.8 Macro due to lack of extra cross-type focus points. I think in the long run, since I don't plan to do much of macro photography, a lens that enables extra 20 cross-type points would be more useful.

Right now I'm thinking if I should get the 135 f/2 and/or 100 f2 :rolleyes:


Sony A7 III | Metabones V | Canon 17-40 F4 L | 24-70 2.8 L | 70-200 2.8L II
Sigma 50 1.4 Art | Sigma 85 1.4 Art

Lighting : Godox AD600B TTL + Godox V860II-S + X1T-S
Modifiers: 60cm Collapsible Silver Beautydish + grid | Godox 120cm Octagon softbox + grid
Tripod: Vanguard Alta 253CT carbon

  
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frugivore
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Post edited over 2 years ago by frugivore. (2 edits in all)
     
Apr 06, 2016 06:36 |  #14

Another option is to get the 200mm f/2.8. Lots of background blur, razor sharp - you just need to be mindful of your shutter speed when handholding since it has no stabilization. I usually stop down to f/5.6 for headshots. I use f/1.2-2 only for full body shots, so the extra stop you lose isn't that significant.

If you also want to do some macro, you can get a close up lens which will bring it to 0.6x magnification. I find that good enough for most things.

Together, about $200 cheaper than the other options you're considering.




  
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EF 100 f/2.8 Macro USM or 100 f/2 USM for portraits?
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