100mm IS macro as a portrait lens?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by joel_p, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. Hi,
    I recently sold my Tamron 90mm macro and was going to buy the Canon 100mm macro. I currently also use the Canon 100mm 2.0 (and 70-200 2.8) as portrait lenses. The photozone site suggests that the new 100mm IS has great bokey at 2.8. I can't really afford the 100mm IS without also selling my 100/2.0. I have no doubt that the IS lens is a great macro lens, but does anyone have any views on the 100mm 2.8 IS as a portrait lens (esp compared to the 100/2.0)? Any insight or recommendations would be great.
    Cheers,
    JP
     
  2. Well, I am very much interested in what other collegues will say on this topic :) I personally have the 100mm 2.8 Macro and I am quite satisfied with it even for my portraits! And it is very sharp, but I was thinking before, that as this 100mm is great, that I have to buy this one you have 100mm 2.0 as it is not for macro, but ... I did not buy the other lens, so I kept my 100mm macro and yes, portraits are very sharp and beautiful and it blurs backgrounds beautifully at 2.8. But, I think that this Macro 100mm is not good if you want to do some group portrait meaning that it requires a specific distance to do sharp portraits, at least I noticed that, but maybe it is my inexperience more than the lens :) anyway, I did by me the sublime 85mm 1.8 especially for my portraits and I am quite satisfied :) so, If you are not really doing macro, I suggest to you to sell this 100mm and to buy the 85mm :)
    So, let us hear the others :))
     
  3. Macro lenses should in theory offer optics that will be as good as, if not better than dedicated portrait lenses. However, I am wondering about performance wide, or almost-wide open. Bokeh is an important element of a portrait lens. I am thinking the quality of bokeh would be inferior if two lenses (one macro, one portrait) in the same price/performance class, were tested against each other.
     
  4. thanks guys.
    Biliana, nice shot.
    Sam, my 100/2.0 suffers from some pretty bad vignetting wide open but I do appreciate the ability to go to 2.4 or 2.0. Don't know whether bokeh would be better on the 2.0 vs 2.8 macro. Perhaps too early to tell.
    Cheers, JP
     
  5. If you can't afford multiple lenses right now, the 100IS might be an interesting choice for you, because it will give you macro capability, good looking background blur, weather sealing and image stabilization, which can sometimes significantly help with image quality if you shoot handheld. The sharpness is somewhere between 135/2 and 85/1.2, color and contrast similar to other L primes.
    I have a few examples on my blog , but no portraits, sorry.
     
  6. I'm no expert but I recently got the L macro plus studio flashes and the portraits are superb to my eye.

    You might want to read The Digital Picture review.
     
  7. From what I have read, I understand that macro lenses are, by and large, very sharp, and I would imagine that with that sort of focal length, f/2.8 is plenty to afford you some superb background blur. My main portrait lens goes to f/1.8 but I rarely shoot wider than say f/2.5 when doing portraits.
    <p>I think you won't be disappointed in this choice, should you choose to go for it. It may be a good idea to scan through your portraits with your 100 f/2 and see what aperture you used most (or was most pleasing to your eye)...
     
  8. @Matthijs C. ---yes but the L 100mm is something else! it is an L lens - the best!
     
  9. The DP review was very flattering indeed....but their impression of the non-IS lens was similarly so. Mark, i did exactly what you suggested and found quite a few portraits done at 2.0 and 2.4...more than I thought. I will likely keep my 100 2.0 and go for the non-IS macro.
     
  10. The DP review was very flattering indeed....but their impression of the non-IS lens was similarly so. Mark, i did exactly what you suggested and found quite a few portraits done at 2.0 and 2.4...more than I thought. I will likely keep my 100 2.0 and go for the non-IS macro.
     
  11. Joel, thanks for getting back to let us know. As I said, you can't really go wrong with the IS or the non-IS. I considered getting one myself but I think I've been swayed into getting the 135L ;-)
     
  12. Yes Joel, I think you have to keep your 100mm 2.0 cause it is a good lens and the macro one is just slightly better if we are not talking of this L lens :)
    and regarding the IS image stabilizator, I am not satisfied with it, as it burns your battery very fast, and it does not show much improvement regarding the photo, at least I think so :)
    so good weekend to you and keep shooting with 100mm :)
     

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