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100mm f/2.8 IS L Macro VS. 135mm f/2 L

by J4R3D / January 21, 2010 6:38 PM PST

Will be placing on a 40D looking to do portraits. Which would be the best investment? I know the ups and downs of each... I would just like some opinions. Thank you.

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Portrait lenses
by hjfok / January 22, 2010 1:41 AM PST

The 135mm f/2L lens may be a little long for portrait for the 40D, unless you like head shots a lot. It is great for indoor action photos without flash.

The 100mm f/2.8L macro is a very good lens.

But if you really want a portrait lens, then consider the 85mm f/1.2L II or the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS. The 24-105mm f/4L IS is also a good and versatile lens for close and group portrait shots. The 85mm f/1.8 is also good and less expensive.

I personally use the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS for close up head/shoulder portraits, and 24-105mm f/4L for general and group portrait shots on the 5D MkII. And on the 30D, I use the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS more often than the 24-105mm f/4L. I pick these lenses because they are very versatile and has good image qualities. I'm not a pro, most shots are candid shots, so a zoom lens is easier and more versatile for me.

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the 2 lenses are not for the same application !
by jump1127 / January 22, 2010 6:12 PM PST

I used to shoot the recent-released EF100mm F2.8L IS macro. The lense was outstanding for macro photograpy. However, when it comes to portrait, EF135mm F2L simply beat the new released macro lense.

For my direct experience, 85 F1.2LII and 135F2L are outstanding lenses for portrait, considering the dim light. However, shooting outdoor and agaist the light reveal most Canon's lense weakness. Lenses' ghosting and flares are some undesired results, even the mighty L lense has no exception to that. So far, EF 24 F1.4L II is the best coating DSLR lense against any lighting circumstance. Perhaps, the new upcoming 70-200 F2.8L IS II may have solve these problems.

Lenses' techonology has somewhat fall behind the camera's technology. For instance, the new issued Canon CMOS sensor is likely claimed " gapless inside the small sensor cell". It's great indeed. However, it also reveals how good your lenses are. If the lense's glass quality is poor, the sensor will reveal that on the output. For instance, vignetting, chromatic aberation, sharpness, and etc. So far, Canon need to push more toward the lense's quality. Many lenses are outdated and require a significant improvement. Sorry for so much bragging.

Unless you're using a full frame Canon DSLR, neither 100 F2.8L IS nor 135 F2L is right alternative. But, for portrait shooting, 135 is better than 100 F2.8L IS. I think that 50mm F1.2L is also the right lenses for your 40D regard the multiply effect. It'll be somewhat like 85mm for 40D. Good luck.

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