85/1.8 vs 135/2.0 vs 70-200/4IS for shooting kids / portraits?

Started Jun 24, 2007 | Discussions
Selwin Regular Member • Posts: 376
85/1.8 vs 135/2.0 vs 70-200/4IS for shooting kids / portraits?

Next week i'm going to pick up my first dSLR, a 5D. As a travel kit, I'm thinking at the moment:

  • 5D

  • 16-35II

  • 50/1.8II

  • 70-200/4.0 IS

For shots around the house, however, I am thinking about getting a good prime to shoot images of my 18 month old daughter. Just for shots of her playing in the backyard and stuff. I also would like a good prime to create shallow DOF portraits.

So I was thinking, I could start with those using the 70-200/4 IS that I have anyway, but if it comes short on bokeh and DOF and sharpness, which of the two primes would you get:

  • 85/1.8

  • 135/2.0

The 85/1.8 seems very good value for the money, but the 135/2.0 gets the best marks from the users. Many regard this as a legendary lens.

Thank you.
--
Selwin

Currently still enjoying film SLR, film scanner and Photoshop CS3. Switching from F6
to 5D and maybe later also a OneDthree in 2007.

bad_doggie Contributing Member • Posts: 721
Re: 85/1.8 vs 135/2.0 vs 70-200/4IS for shooting kids / portraits?

Selwin wrote:

So I was thinking, I could start with those using the 70-200/4 IS
that I have anyway, but if it comes short on bokeh and DOF and
sharpness, which of the two primes would you get:

  • 85/1.8

  • 135/2.0

The 85/1.8 seems very good value for the money, but the 135/2.0
gets the best marks from the users. Many regard this as a legendary
lens.

the 70-200/4 IS won't come up short on bokeh or sharpness. perhaps DOF, but you'll find out. make your choice based on the FL that you need: buying a legendary lens that you can't use because its too long is no good; nor is buying a prime that you never use because your zoom is so good and much more flexible.

for indoor portraits, your 50/1.8 should be a good start.

Rick Bucich Contributing Member • Posts: 532
Re: 85/1.8 vs 135/2.0 vs 70-200/4IS for shooting kids / portraits?

I agree that the 50 is a great indoor lens. I own the 1.4 and love it.

I would also recommend the 85mm which is also rather legendary in it's own right.

But, I find the long minimum focus distance and focal length make it better for outdoors.

I often need to shoot one handed as I distract my 8 month old son with one hand and the 50 works much better in these situations.

Given the three options, I'd go with the 85mm
--
Seriousness & competence are different

OP Selwin Regular Member • Posts: 376
Re: 85/1.8 vs 135/2.0 vs 70-200/4IS for shooting kids / portraits?

Hi,

Thank you both for your input. At the moment, I'm slightly leaning towards the 135/2.0 for its supposed better bokey and focusing (read it on some other sources). I will use it on a 5D, so I'm a bit concerned the 85/1.8 could be a bit too wide for my daughter, because she always turns to me when I come near and then of course I cannot make the picture I was after.

Any of you care to send me some links to samples? I'd really appreciate some originals (original size).

Thanks.
--
Selwin

Currently still enjoying film SLR, film scanner and Photoshop CS3. Switching from F6
to 5D and maybe later also a OneDthree in 2007.

jrscls Veteran Member • Posts: 6,082
Re: Don't forget the 100mm f2

The 100 f2 is also a great lens. I love it on the 30D and it would be a great portrait lens on full frame like the 5D as it can be a bit long on a crop body at times. If you want something half the cost and smaller than the 135 f2, then the 100 f2 might be a good choice. I would think that the 50 f1.8 would be a bit short on FF for tight head/shoulder portraits on FF.

 jrscls's gear list:jrscls's gear list
Fujifilm X-T2 Fujifilm XF 23mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R Fujifilm XF 16mm F1.4 R WR XF 90mm +1 more
alex.di Contributing Member • Posts: 568
Re: 85/1.8 vs 135/2.0 vs 70-200/4IS for shooting kids / portraits?

Bokeh and focus on the 135/2 is no better than the 85/1.8. Contrast is slightly higher, and it's slightly sharper wide open.

Buy the 135/2 because you like the focal length, not for the reasons above.

montereyphoto Senior Member • Posts: 1,386
Re: 85/1.8 vs 135/2.0 vs 70-200/4IS for shooting kids / portraits?

Without a doubt you would be better served by either the 24-70mm f2.8 or the 24-105mm f4 IS lenses. I would pick the 24-105mm which covers the most frequently used 35mm "portrait" lenses, the 85mm and the 105mm. Most people are happier with the 24-105mm, and there are many who have owned the 24-70mm and got rid of it after dealing with constant back focus problems and bought the 24-105. I have yet to encounter anyone who has sold the 24-105mm to buy the 24-70mm lens.

Outdoors the 70-200mm will work quite well and at f2.8 provides a pleasing bokeh.

Indoors have the ability to zoom for groups, couples, full body, half, etc. is a necessity unless you have an enormous studio.

Bruce

fstein Forum Member • Posts: 61
shooyonh kids

for shooting kids, I preser a smith & wesson.

maiaibing Veteran Member • Posts: 4,602
135/2.0 is superior for shooting kids / portraits

David Indech wrote:

Bokeh and focus on the 135/2 is no better than the 85/1.8. Contrast
is slightly higher, and it's slightly sharper wide open.

Not true if this is intended to give the impression that they produce the same kind of pictures. See http://www.wlcastleman.com/equip/reviews/85_100_135/index.htm

for some excellent real world comparison. What you see is what you will get. And the difference is in your face (and picture).

This is not to say that focal length is irrelevant - it is an important issue too. 135mm is almost 200 mm on a crop camera. That's long! But there will be a visible difference between many of your pictures when you chose one over the another.

Myself - I bought the 135L to supplement my 70-200 f/4L IS and a 35L for cramped indoor spaces. I almost exclusively have people as my subjects (portraits, groups, action etc.). Your mileage may vary.

Hope you end up happy with your final choice!

 maiaibing's gear list:maiaibing's gear list
Canon EOS 6D Canon EOS 5DS R Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM Canon Extender EF 1.4x III +6 more
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