Home Forums Let’s Talk Photography Lenses (I'm talking Canon but feel free to share)

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    So I just ordered a Canon 135 f/2L today. I got a pretty stellar deal on it between store credit from my junked out phone and some certificates I had. I am wondering though if I may have jumped the gun on it as I hadn’t had a chance to rent the 100mm L to cross compare. The IS is alluring but when I rented the 135 in the past, the creaminess of the bokeh was so lovely that I was instantly lusting after it.

    What are your thoughts on the 135?

    Also, as a point of topic:
    What lens is your go-to and what lens do you think you couldn’t live without?


    What lens is your go-to and what lens do you think you couldn’t live without?

    I have several lenses.  If I could only take one with me and I did not know exactly what I would be shooting it would be either a Sigma 18-250 on a crop body or a Canon 28-300 on a full frame body.  Neither is super fast but they are stabilized and versatile.

    I had a 135 mm FD lens but did not replace it with an EF lens when I changed systems.  I have the old Sigma 150 macro and Canon’s 100 L macro.  The 100’s stabilization is awesome.  You can really shoot macro, hand held.

    Your 135 is a stop faster than the 100.  I think you would be happy with either lens and perhaps more happy with the 135 if you like the bokeh.


    You’re forgetting, you have a crop body.  So, essentially you have a 216mm lens that’s going to be really tight and not very versatile.. Great lens though, I have one.

    I think you jumped the gun, primes are nice when you have a wide range of them. Personally, had I of been you, (whereas I realize I am not.) I would’ve got a 24mm or a 35mm to supplement your 50mm, or would’ve just bought a 24-70…. Personally, I’d have gotten the 24mm f/1.4 and had a somewhat equivalent to a 35mm ..

    So yea, it’s a nice lens, but I don’t think you’ll be using it much.. I might be wrong.. 😮

    This is just how I perceive things when it comes to lenses.. What you have now is too tight.. If you’re ever wanting to do anything aside from headshots without backing up into the next neighborhood, I’d get wide.. Not long. (whole lot of innuendos going on here! LOL)


    Side note: http://www.flickriver.com/lenses/canon/

    Great site with a shittonne of images to perpetuate a lenses potential and greatness.


    Depends on what you are shooting with it.

    As said above, at 216mm it is a tight view but then, the 200mm prime is number 2 on my to get list as I can and do like and use that focal length a lot. (specifically for barns set off the road a ways.)

    I have shot the 135 you bought quite a bit and probably the sharpest glass I have shot with aside from my 100 macro. Personally, I do not like IS as I shoot on a tripod with a cable release and mirror lockup 90% of the time so it is money wasted for me, but I don’t shoot people either.


    I feel ya, I’d like to get a 400mm f/2.8 strictly because I like shooting wildlife. I mean a 2x III on a 400 would be 800 @ 5.6 which isn’t bad at all.. Put that on a crop body an you get the equivalent of 1,280mm :D..


    I actually have a 5D Mk II. I got a hell of a deal on a shelf display from Best Buy (and I mean a hell of a deal!). I work at the store I got it at so I know it spent most of it’s time locked up with no battery inside it (I bought the protection though, just in case I murder it. Plus I can get it cleaned and I got my employee discount…)

    I bought the 135 because I wanted something a little longer so I don’t have to get right up on people. I have a 50 1.4 and I actually picked up a used 24-70 on Craigslist in the fall. (I love the 24-70!) This is my 3rd L lens and since they run roughly the same pricing, I could exchange the 135 for the 100. The macro would definitely be a nice touch. I’m using a 50mm sigma macro currently so I wasn’t sure I should spring for another macro yet. I’ve heard that the 100mm L is still pretty nice for portraits but I haven’t spoken to anyone who has ever used it that way. Have any of you?

    I just can’t seem to capture any of the magic of wildlife. I live in Colorado and am kicking myself for that, but it’s different enough from portraits that I’m not really sure how to make it special, you know?


    Sweet deal. 5d Mk II is an awesome camera.. Well, I concede to you then, apparently I was misinformed about what you had at some point.. What you have is a good deal then.. All you really need is a 85mm and you have a pretty useable range..  I’d personally sell off all the other lenses (aside from the 24-70) and buy a 70-200

    24-70 and 70-200.. Once you’ve got both of those lenses, then work on gathering primes.. When speaking in terms of versatility you can’t really beat those 2 as a pair.. When getting primes, I’d suggest buying the 85mm f/1.2 mark II, then an 35mm.. As far as macro goes, I’d go for the 180mm 3.5 over the 100.. You can get closer without scaring off whatever it is you’re trying to shoot.

    I have a copy of the 100mm f/2.8L, I’m a gear monkey.. I pretty much have everything except for the super primes (200mm f/2 and up)

    The lens is sharp as a tack (100mm), it’s a good lens for both macro and portraits.. The 135 is probably one of the sharpest if not THE sharpest lens.. I really guess it all comes down to what you want..

    When I am on a job, I carry a 16-35. 24-70, 70-200 and an 85mm.. Nice thing is, I have all 4 on a camera and all 4 are fast lenses.. So, I miss _nothing!_ and I don’t have to swap lenses every 10 to 15 minutes 😀 I know you do photo shoots for people in settings where you are in charge and have time to swap things out.. But for weddings and events where you don’t really have the luxury of time.. Zoom zooom.. 😀

    as far as wildlife goes, just buy a 400mm f/5.6L or a 200mm f/2.8L and get a 2x extender.  Kinda a slow lens (400mm) but how many people shoot birds at night *eh*


    From a Nikon shooter’s standpoint, the only reason I would switch over would be because of the 135/2L. It’s quite good.

    That being said, I get along pretty well with the Zeiss 100/2 Makro-Planar.

    My go to lens is the new Sigma 35/1.4 and I can’t live without the Zeiss Distagon T* 2,8/21mm ZF.2.  I’m a landscape shooter though, so there’s that to account for. For portrait work, I’d have to say I generally grab the Nikon 85/1.4G or the Zeiss 100/2 Makro-Planar.


    No, that is absolutely a perfect point! Having the lenses on multiple bodies would be a HUGE help in a hectic setting. I think that’s why I’m done with weddings until I can establish a little bit more skill for them. I like being able to take my time and I HATE missing things! You just don’t get that with wedding photography. It makes me so sad when brides don’t set aside enough time for themselves or for their portraits with their new hubby! I know when I finally tie the knot, I’m going to have to save for a loooong time, because that’s one of the most important things to me.

    Maybe I should share what I’ve got so I can kind of set the scene:

    I have a 5D Mk II (and a T3i that was the first dslr that I bought myself)
    Speedlite 580 EX II
    70-200 2.8L (Non IS)
    24-70 2.8L
    50 1.4
    85 1.8
    Sigma 50 Macro DG HSM
    Sigma 10-20 (not really used much anymore)
    and the 135 2L coming to the family soon

    I have purchased my flash and many of my lenses second hand (with the exception of the 50, 70-200 [that was an open box I got for a steal at work] and now the 135) so I have saved a lot and I think I have a pretty established bag. I want all my lenses to have that pretty red band on the top but I think I’m in a good place until I am prepared to fully ultilize the quality they bring.
    I realize I am VERY lucky to have been able to support my hobby financially. I’m not trying to be some noob out blowing money. I did a lot of research and haggled my way through a lot of these purchases. I hope I’m not coming off like that. I want to learn everything I can and I spent the last three years collecting glass instead of buying a nicer SLR out the gate so that I could learn in the mean time.

    My first love is portraiture. So the recommended equipment for that is what I’m really interested in. I will be fully honest; I suck at nature photography.


    Well honestly, upgrade your 70-200 to IS. and really, I don’t see a reason to get much else.. However, you should work on selling off your 580 and getting 3 600 ex rt’s and a ste3 remote if your wanting to learn ocf .. 5d Mark II is compatible with HSS over radio via STe3 (i’ve done it.) you just can’t do grouping.. It’ll show a warning about the sync speed, but it still works. The STE3 doesn’t have af assist beam or optical/infrared just radio, but you can drop that all together and just use a 600 as a trigger in optical mode or radio if you wanted to keep your 580 and buy a 430 ex ii and a 600 and run them all optically (which works but nothing like radio) 😀 I think you’ve got a pretty good start at lenses, I’d worry more about other things and swap things out over time.. I think ocf is where you should look now.. flashguns / stands / modifiers.. Just my $20.00 input 😀


    Awe I think my other post got deleted. I was asking your opinion on the 16-35. What do you use it for most? The gentleman who sold me his 24-70 has a 17-40 he offered to make me a sweet deal on if I was ever interested. I have rented a 35mm L from Borrowlenses.com and really liked it. The minimum focus distance was awesome! I’ve been tempted to try out the 24mm L to see how it performs in ill lit, semi cramped spaces like the Penny Arcade here. I’ve heard that it has less distortion that the 24-70 at 24mm, but I don’t know myself.

    I really appreciate the advice about the flashes. I would love to pick up the 600! I’m semi frugal though (I hardly pay full price for my equipment, I wait for sales and specials so maybe the holidays??) so I’ve got my fingers crossed for an open box to stumble through my store. I have heard that sometimes using transmitters can be unreliable but again, no experience personally so I’m only going off heresay.


    I use it for groups, or whatever else I find a use for it to use it for 😛

    As far as transmitters, canon OE equipment, I don’t think I’ve had a misfire.. I’ve had pwizards and they’ve noticeably misfired quite frequently.

    As far as reliability goes, they are definitely a way ahead of optical/IR.. Like I said, I’ve got STe3 and the 600’s and haven’t had a problem..



    What kind of body are you shooting with and do you have thoughts on the 17-40? (Sorry, I’m a sucker for talking about this kind of stuff)


    I have a 1ds mark iii, 2 5d III’s, 5d II, and a 60D

    17-40 is a fine lens.. little soft at the edges, but it’s really a good lens.. Notwithstanding it’s only 700 for L quality.. it’s not bad at all 😀

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