HEADSHOTS: 85L 1.2 or 100L f/2.8 Macro IS USM?

Started Nov 23, 2012 | Discussions
Photomonkey Senior Member • Posts: 2,015
Re: HEADSHOTS: 85L 1.2 or 100L f/2.8 Macro IS USM?
1

I have the 85 1.8 and the 100 macro and I ALWAYS go for the 100 as it has a more comfortable working distance for me. Both are sharp and contrasty but the 100 also allows me to get a lot closer when I need to. I use the 85 when I need f2 but that is almost never as the high ISO performance of the 5Dmk2 and 3 is so good. I also don't like the shallow DOF at f2 that creates problems when photographing more complex compositions in low light.

 Photomonkey's gear list:Photomonkey's gear list
Kodak Pixpro S-1
rebel99 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,025
Re: HEADSHOTS: 85L 1.2 or 100L f/2.8 Macro IS USM?

one lens that hasn't been mentioned surprisingly, is zeiss 100mm f2 makro! i acquired this lens along with 21mm f2.8 distagon and the first time i shot a portrait with 100mm, i could not believe my eyes, the portrait was literally stunning. i do have many "L" prime lenses but zeiss optics' IQ is above all of them, there is no question in my mind. for your situation, i strongly recommend trying this zeiss 100mm f2, if you can find one, and see what you think!

cheerz.

OP shutterthug Forum Member • Posts: 82
Re: HEADSHOTS: 85L 1.2 or 100L f/2.8 Macro IS USM?

Thx for input, though it's kinda tough to judge without a standardized crop.  Still, I can see a bit of what you're saying.

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—m

OP shutterthug Forum Member • Posts: 82
Re: HEADSHOTS: 85L 1.2 or 100L f/2.8 Macro IS USM?

Thank you for sharing, msbeezy.  I agree, there is nothing quite like the 85L wide open, but that's not the DOF I'm after with my headshot work.  Shooting full-frame 85mm, f/3.5 at 6' gets me a DOF of about 2"—eyes razor sharp, ears a little soft.

Calculator says I'll need to back off about a foot or so at 100mm to maintain my preferred DOF, or tighten up a bit and nail the crop in camera and maybe close to f/4.0.  Either way works!

NOTE: Just because a lens is capable of shooting at f/1.2 doesn't mean it's the best f-stop for a given photo.  It does, however, mean you might be overinvested in a lens if you're not using the feature that makes it so exclusive.  I've just been waiting for an L prime in about the same focal length with fast AF—looks like the 100L may be the ticket.

—m

msbeezy wrote:

I have all three of these..85, 100, 135...as well as a few more..50 1.2, 35, 24....

Anyways since the question was about the two that's what I'dd add my .02 to

Firstly yes the 100 is a stellar lens for head shots..providing you're provided adequate distance.

Secondly the 85 is a stellar lens for head shots too !! It presents a completely different presentation tho I'd say,,,dreamier,,sexier,,with the creamier softer background.

I'd say it comes down to the final look look you're after...like if it's a business profile...grab the 100..if it's a studio portrait of wife for hubby thing...the 85 is your friend..

My girls..

100L IS @ 3.2

85L Vll @ 1.2

And this is what can happen if you don't watch your f with the 85 and go for the gold with 1.2...too thin to get both eyes

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—m

OP shutterthug Forum Member • Posts: 82
Re: HEADSHOTS: 85L 1.2 or 100L f/2.8 Macro IS USM?

Thanks, MAC.  Good input.  Can't wait to give this lens a go in the studio.

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—m

OP shutterthug Forum Member • Posts: 82
Re: HEADSHOTS: 85L 1.2 or 100L f/2.8 Macro IS USM?

Thanks, Foggy.  I owned the non-L 85 some years ago, and came to appreciate the build and optics of the L family and thought the tradeoff in focus speed would be worth it—and it was.
If this discussion were simple a question of 85L or 100L in terms of IQ/focus speed, the smart money would indeed lead the smart money to the "plain-old" 85mm.

HOWEVER, if that's all it was about I would keep the 85L.  It's the additional macro capability that adds another dimension of money-making ability to the lens for my food work that the 85L can't touch.  I would be using macro to make money more often than I would be shooting faster than f/2.8.  I think that kind of sums it all up, doesn't it?  Might have stumbled into the answer that was in my head all along.

Ain't this forum amazing?

—m

foggy wrote:

My suggestion probably won't work for at least 2 reasons but I'll put my ideas on the table anyway. 1. you like the 85mm look on a full frame in your work. And it just works for you. What you are looking for is faster focus. You also need macro for some of your work.

My suggestion for a lens is not an L lens so there is the issue of ego as you said. I look at that as a challenge that for you is only handled if you meet your needs in your photography. The lens I'm talking about is Canons 85mm 1.8 lens, the 1.2 L is a tad sharper, has more contrast etc. But the improvement over the 1.8 is so small that if you did see a difference between the two lenses output, it would most likely be human error. On the 1.2 the soft creamy bokeh is a scoosh more pronounced at settings above 1.8 as compared to the 1.8 lens. You shoot around 3.5 so this should not be an issue. What the 1.8 has is much faster AF, fast enough to use in some sports events.

The 85 1.8 uses 58mm filters so less mass to the elements so faster AF with USM motor. For macro a thought would be use Canons 2 element diopter filters the 250 and 500D they are hard to find, easier in 58mm. But they also stack if you put the 500 on first. You lose no light as you would with an extension tube. They also add no distortion, they do not lessen the quality of the lens they are mounted on.

The 1.8 is not up to L build quality but is very good. The cost right now is $359.00 till 12/1/2012 in the states. So it is a deal as far as price.

Well that’s my thoughts what say you..?

Foggy

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—m

OP shutterthug Forum Member • Posts: 82
Re: HEADSHOTS: 85L 1.2 or 100L f/2.8 Macro IS USM?

Noted, Rick.  Would still need to get the 100L in the studio to compare for myself...

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—m

OP shutterthug Forum Member • Posts: 82
Re: HEADSHOTS: 85L 1.2 or 100L f/2.8 Macro IS USM?

Thanks for the input.  I will check it out...

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—m

MirekE
MirekE Contributing Member • Posts: 925
Re: HEADSHOTS: 85L 1.2 or 100L f/2.8 Macro IS USM?

shutterthug wrote:

Thx for input, though it's kinda tough to judge without a standardized crop. Still, I can see a bit of what you're saying.

-- hide signature --

—m

I know. Plus, this is not shot at a portrait distance. But these are 100% crops, nobody will ever see this level of detail in prints. The 85 is special wide open, but at f/3.5 it boils down to handling preference and ROI, I think.

OP shutterthug Forum Member • Posts: 82
Re: HEADSHOTS: 85L 1.2 or 100L f/2.8 Macro IS USM?
1

UPDATE:

For those of you interested where this headshot photographer landed on the 85L/100L question, I've now had some time to develop an informed opinion.

Having used the 100L Macro for several client sessions in a controlled studio environment where I can make comparisons to my work with the 85L, here's the short of it:

Whether used on my venerable 5D2 or my new 5D3, the 100L has performed wonderfully. My "hit rate" has been noticeably higher with this lens, where I'd grown used to an apparently unacceptable fallout rate with the 85L.  I'm shooting at the same f/3.5 aperture, mind you.  But to be fair, I think the 85L demands the better AF system of the 1DX/5D3, which I have not had the benefit of until this past week.

So if you're asking me which lens for headshots, my answer is going to be "save your money and get the 100L, unless you've got a 1DX/5D3 and you also shoot a lot of low light events."

Katy Fattaleh, Actress (Columbus, OH)

But if you recall from my original post, I was also weighing the macro capability of the 100L because I also do food work. Hamstrung by the 85L's lackluster near focal limit and left to over-cropping, it seemed like a good play.

Mac & Cheese Pizza — Barley House (Cleveland)

Vanilla Bean  Bread Pudding (with too much ice cream on it) — Barley House (Cleveland)

VERSATILITY:  How did I get by all these years without a lens like this?

—m

MAC Forum Pro • Posts: 13,618
Re: HEADSHOTS: 85L 1.2 or 100L f/2.8 Macro IS USM?

shutterthug wrote:

UPDATE:

For those of you interested where this headshot photographer landed on the 85L/100L question, I've now had some time to develop an informed opinion.

Having used the 100L Macro for several client sessions in a controlled studio environment where I can make comparisons to my work with the 85L, here's the short of it:

Whether used on my venerable 5D2 or my new 5D3, the 100L has performed wonderfully. My "hit rate" has been noticeably higher with this lens, where I'd grown used to an apparently unacceptable fallout rate with the 85L. I'm shooting at the same f/3.5 aperture, mind you. But to be fair, I think the 85L demands the better AF system of the 1DX/5D3, which I have not had the benefit of until this past week.

So if you're asking me which lens for headshots, my answer is going to be "save your money and get the 100L, unless you've got a 1DX/5D3 and you also shoot a lot of low light events."

But if you recall from my original post, I was also weighing the macro capability of the 100L because I also do food work. Hamstrung by the 85L's lackluster near focal limit and left to over-cropping, it seemed like a good play.

VERSATILITY: How did I get by all these years without a lens like this?

—m

Thanks for sharing.   My 100L sits and stays on my 5d for portraits and macros.  interesting to see how the best work

Peter Hurley,  DVD,  50mpxl, 120 macro, and Kino Flo

http://fstoppers.com/peter-hurley-the-art-behind-the-headshot

http://fstoppers.com/category/originals/page/4

 MAC's gear list:MAC's gear list
Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Canon EOS 7D Mark II Canon EOS Rebel T7i Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM +6 more
OP shutterthug Forum Member • Posts: 82
Re: HEADSHOTS: 85L 1.2 or 100L f/2.8 Macro IS USM?

MAC wrote:

shutterthug wrote:

UPDATE:

For those of you interested where this headshot photographer landed on the 85L/100L question, I've now had some time to develop an informed opinion.

Having used the 100L Macro for several client sessions in a controlled studio environment where I can make comparisons to my work with the 85L, here's the short of it:

Whether used on my venerable 5D2 or my new 5D3, the 100L has performed wonderfully. My "hit rate" has been noticeably higher with this lens, where I'd grown used to an apparently unacceptable fallout rate with the 85L. I'm shooting at the same f/3.5 aperture, mind you. But to be fair, I think the 85L demands the better AF system of the 1DX/5D3, which I have not had the benefit of until this past week.

So if you're asking me which lens for headshots, my answer is going to be "save your money and get the 100L, unless you've got a 1DX/5D3 and you also shoot a lot of low light events."

But if you recall from my original post, I was also weighing the macro capability of the 100L because I also do food work. Hamstrung by the 85L's lackluster near focal limit and left to over-cropping, it seemed like a good play.

VERSATILITY: How did I get by all these years without a lens like this?

—m

Thanks for sharing. My 100L sits and stays on my 5d for portraits and macros. interesting to see how the best work

Peter Hurley, DVD, 50mpxl, 120 macro, and Kino Flo

http://fstoppers.com/peter-hurley-the-art-behind-the-headshot

http://fstoppers.com/category/originals/page/4

Huge fan of friend & mentor Peter Hurley's work.  You aren't serious about headshots if you haven't watched his DVD.  Period.

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—m

Sovern Contributing Member • Posts: 907
Re: HEADSHOTS: 85L 1.2 or 100L f/2.8 Macro IS USM?

shutterthug wrote:

I'm a professional headshot photographer and have been using the 85L on my 5D2 for years. I typically shoot handheld, f/3.5 @ 1/320sec under my usual lighting setup.

I'm not really hurting for IS and am OK with the focal length of the 85L, but I rented the new 100mm Macro today for some food work and it got me thinking: I don't really use the 85L in "God mode" (wide open f/1.2) for any of the work that pays the bills around here.

So I'm wondering if the faster autofocus and the Macro capability might not be worth considering as a replacement. Funny, I've really grown attached to the heft of the so-called "Canonball" and see the world at 85mm (a problem I know I need to correct, just admitting it's my comfort zone).

Any thoughts, gang?

—m

www.michaelcavotta.com

If you don't need the 1.2 speed of the 85L I would get the 85 1.8 instead. I'ts still a stop and 1/3rd faster than the 100mm 2.8 macro and has one of the fastest auto focuses of any of the Canon lenses.

For macro work a wider lens than 100mm and 85mm would make much more sense especially for food photography. I can't imagine trying to take photos of food close up with a 100mm....it has a small FOV.

Dunloveme Regular Member • Posts: 105
Re: HEADSHOTS: 85L 1.2 or 100L f/2.8 Macro IS USM?

Can somebody show me some sample pictures of Full Body Portrait taken by 100mm 2.8L HIS Lens ?? i wonder if 100L can take beautiful full portrait. i plan to get this lens soon. Thanks

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