85mm f1.8 vs 135mm f2 L

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by CrackedButter, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

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    #1
    I'm thinking of purchasing the 135mm f2 L, but wondering if I really need to. I found one second hand which is only a little more than double the price of the 85mm f1.8 brand new.

    Use, wedding photography and I'm anticipating doing some gigs as well. I know the 135mm has a very close focusing distance, like 90cms. I have just never used either of them long enough to make a kind of informed decision.

    Nobody please suggest the 85 f1.2 L, out of my price range.

    I have the 24-70mm L so the difference between 70mm and 85mm I'm thinking isn't that much, hence the reason for leaning towards the 135mm.

    My camera is full frame.
     
  2. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #2
    The 135 f/2L is one of Canon's best lenses. The 85 f/1.8, while a very nice lens, is a step down from the 135L. Do you find that the 24-70L is too short for what you're doing? Have you considered the 70-200 f/2.8? It's a full stop slower than the 135, and not quite as sharp, but it's definitely more versatile, especially for weddings where things can change quickly.

    I say go with the 135L if you need the reach and the speed; it's an absolutely phenomenal lens. I agree, 70 vs. 85 wont give you a tremenous amount of additional reach. If you don't need f/2, I would seriously consider the 70-200 f/2.8, though.
     
  3. CrackedButter thread starter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

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    #3
    I find the 70mm side of my lens hasn't got any reach! Its akin to closing one eye! For $165 (a UK resident doing the conversion) more i could get the 70-200 L but its bigger, heavier, plus I would never want to go that long.
     
  4. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #4
    Since I know you're on full frame, I'd suggest the 135 mm. I agree that 70 mm and 85 mm is close enough, so unless you really like taking portraits at around 70 mm, but you're missing low light capabilities.

    You've also mentioned weddings, I think you'd fare better with the 135 mm, you won't be in the couple's face as much. Also, from the point of view of weight, it's likely to be the best match: the 70-200 mm f/2.8 is too heavy (by your own admission -- and I can tell you, yes, it's heavy) and the f/4 does not fare too well in low light situations. On the other hand, the 70-200 mm is a very good focal length range and much more versatile. I wouldn't underestimate the fact that you can't move as much about during the ceremony, so a zoom is very convenient.
     
  5. toxic macrumors 68000

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    #5
    100/2 or 135.

    find someone with a 70-200 to try out? that way you can set the zooms to 85, 100, and 135, and see which suits you best. I just don't imagine 85 solves your problem.
     
  6. CrackedButter thread starter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

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    #6
    I've handled the 70-200. It isn't a fun lens to hold at all and it makes sense what you're suggesting Toxic. I already hold a 1Ds series body with the 24-70 and a flash, I would hate to handle such a longer lens for a long time. Because I always zoom with my feet I'm not going to use a tripod either.

    I think we're all reading from the same page. :) I know what to buy now.
     
  7. pprior macrumors 65816

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    #7
    I own both the 85L/1.2 and the 135L/2. I know you're comparing the 1.8 version, but on a FF body I'd definitely go for the 135. It is a very fast focusing lens, has beautiful bokeh and the 85 will not be much different from your zoom focal length.

    Of course a lot depends on your shooting style. if you're wanting full length shots then you'll be a couple feet back further with the 135.

    Now if you were comparing the 1.2, then it gets harder, because the extra light gathering ability can be very nice.

    I love my 135, it's my second favorite lens (behind the 85/1.2 :D ), but I have a 1DIII (crop body) - so the 135 is often a bit long. If I were shooting full frame I bet the 135 would be my go to lens.

    FWIW.
     
  8. koruki macrumors 6502a

    koruki

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    #8
    Totally agree and would recommend the 135 as well. I'm picking one up soon for my FF 5D2
     
  9. wheezy macrumors 65816

    wheezy

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    #9
    I own it and it's just beautiful, I don't think it's possible to say something bad about it except 'it's not wide enough'. And no, that makes no sense cause it's not a wide angle. What am I saying? It's beautiful, that's what I'm saying.

    If you ever need more reach just grab the 1.4x Converter and you'll have a 189mm 2.8.

    Also, it's great for events, you're plenty far away to be out of people's faces. It's terrific. You already picked though, so I'm just throwing more gas on your fire.
     
  10. nutmac macrumors 68040

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    #10
    At $1049 MSRP, Canon's new EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM macro could be another lens worth considering. While 1-stop disadvantage over 135mm could be a deal breaker for some, as well as "newness" and lack of reviews, it does have 2 to 4-stop image stabilizer (new state-of-the-art hybrid variety) and macro capability (which could be useful for shooting wedding decorations).
     
  11. dllavaneras macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

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    #11
    Not to mention that if you compare the MFT charts for both lenses, the 100 f2.8L is better than the 135L. Again, you'd have to use both and see if the difference is worth it.
     
  12. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

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    #12
    The 135L is an incredible lens, and as I've said here before, I would definitely own it if I shot Canon.
     
  13. sangosimo Guest

    sangosimo

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  14. toxic macrumors 68000

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    #14
    if everyone went just by MTF charts, everyone would only have macro primes.

    macros excel in sharpness, lack field curvature and spherical aberration, and fall flat in other areas because of it.
     
  15. CrackedButter thread starter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

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    #15
    There is an advert at the bottom of this page telling me I should actually buy a 135L!
     
  16. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #16
    Yup and macros are optimized for great performance at short distances (obviously) while most other lenses are optimized for great performance near infinity.
     
  17. CrackedButter thread starter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

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    #17
    I never look at MTF charts, the reputation of a lens will interest me more.

    Another reason to go with the 135mm L is because its weather proof, just like my camera body.

    The 100mm L looks great and conveniently sits in between the other lenses but I can't get it second hand.
     
  18. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #18
    Besides, IQ as a factor is overrated. Lenses are nowadays much better than 30, 40, 50 years ago -- and yet they somehow managed to take breathtaking photos anyway! If the photo touches you, then you don't care about contrast and sharpness in the corners.
     
  19. CrackedButter thread starter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

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    #19
    I actually have an overblown sky in an image I'm about to show a client, I hope you're right, they are fine but the sky is annoying me.
     
  20. PeteB macrumors 6502a

    PeteB

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    #20
    The 135L isn't weather-proof. It doesn't have the little rubber band on the mount that your 24-70 does. Therefore, it'll let water into your camera body if you manage to get it drenched. I wouldn't recommend using it in heavy rain.
     
  21. CrackedButter thread starter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

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    #21
    Ah no. I naturally assumed it was since it was L series glass. Hmmm, well thanks for letting me know.
     
  22. PeteB macrumors 6502a

    PeteB

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    #22
    List of weatherproof lenses

     
  23. CrackedButter thread starter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

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  24. nutmac macrumors 68040

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    #24
    Following are also weather sealed.

    EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM
    EF 100mm f/2.8L macro IS USM
    EF 200mm f/2L IS USM
    EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM
    EF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM
    EF 500mm f/4L IS USM
    EF 600mm f/4L IS USM
    EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM
     
  25. pprior macrumors 65816

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    #25
    Thank you for including that. I almost freaked out as I've been shooting my 300/2.8L IS in the pouring rain on multiple occassions :)
     

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