$1000 budget: Canon 100mm 2.8L *OR* 100mm 2.8 + 50mm 1.4?

Started Sep 21, 2012 | Discussions thread
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$1000 budget: Canon 100mm 2.8L *OR* 100mm 2.8 + 50mm 1.4?
Sep 21, 2012

I am a portrait photographer who specializes in babies and children. I have a 5dmkii with the 24-105 F4L IS lens. I would like to start doing macro work now (hands, feet, eyes) and in the near future would also like a lens with better depth-of-field. Half of my work is done in a controlled light studio, and half is done outdoors in plentiful ambient light. I will not use a tripod/monopod.

I have the following questions that I'd like help with:

1. Will the image stabilization (IS) from the 100mm 2.8L be noticeable in my macro work, given the subject matter and conditions?

2. How will the image quality between the 100mm 2.8L and the 50mm 1.4 compare? The 100mm has smaller aperture but is higher quality and has IS. The 50mm is lower quality (reviews say it's soft at 1.4), but has larger aperture. I'd like the lens that will give me the best quality portrait image with the best depth-of-field.

Examples of the depth of field and macro I'm looking for are shown here:

Canon EOS 5D
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