85 1.8 vs 100 2.0

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by james_o'gara|1, Oct 24, 2004.

  1. The subject line pretty much says it all -- I'm trying to decide on a
    portrait lens, and wonder if there are paritsans of either of these
    designs. the difference in focal length is not my concern; either an
    85 or a 100 is fine for my purposes.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Are you shooting film or digital, If digital, what magnifacation rate?
  3. The focal length difference isn't that significant, but the 85 f/1.8 is notably sharper wide open. For that reason alone I would go with it.
  4. Find a rental house that will allow you to rent both lenses. Do a quick shoot, look at the results and buy which you prefer.
  5. You might like to consider 85mm f/1.2, instead...
  6. Thanks, Stephen, but actually I was seeking information from people with first hand experience with one or both lenses.
  7. I have the 85 and had the 100. I kept the 85 because I felt it was superior in resolution & contrast.

    There's an actual test somwhere on the NET (I believe it may be Castlemann site) where those two lenses are compares in a legit, scientific way and, again, the 85 came out on top, if I recall correctly.

    Strangely enough, there are sites which rate the 100 above the 85...so, you are now back to where you started ;)
  8. I have the 85mm 1.8 and are better than my 24-70 2.8,17-40,50/1.8,35-80/3.5 and the 28-75/2.8. the pictures are have a beatiful blurry background,the colors are kind of more contrasty,and sharper.

    if you do a search on this lens you will find that they are higly reagarded.

    other lens that are as good or better are the 135/2

    but if you buy the 85 I can promise you one thing,You will not regret it.
  9. The link for the article is


    85mm 1.8 is a killer lens. Silent, crazy fast motor, light and sharp sharp sharp. I always bring with me.
  10. I have a 85/1.8. I bought it new from B&H. I don't find my copy sharp wide open. It is not soft but I wouldn't call it sharp either. I still like it as is. It has good size, weight and focus speed. My copy is fairly sharp from f5.6 and on.
  11. Of these two lenses, I only have the 85/1.8 but many of my sharpest and most pleasing photos have been taken with it. And with the exception of my 50/1.4 all my other lenses are L glass.
  12. I have the 85 1.8 and the 100 2.8 macro. I do not find that the 85 1.8 lets you get tight enough for a head shot only. The 100 on the other hand does let you take tight shots of peoples' faces. I do not know for you but I picked the slower 2.8 for it doubles as a macro lens as well as a portrait lens. Be warned that the 100 macro is a little too sharp for flattering portraits. I think you can always diffuse a sharp lens but you cannot do the reverse.
  13. Comparing Canon primes is like comparing different models in Porsche's lineup. They're all good.
  14. The most important thing to do is NOT rely on what other people tell you. For example, you'll read the 85mm is sharper than the 100mm wide open. In fact this has been stated here. I suspect this is based on William Castleman's tests of the two lenses rather than first-hand experience. My first-hand experience, however, is the opposite of William's. (I own the 100mm.)

    So...if you can do so try 'em both for yourself and pick the one you prefer. There's too much sample variation and testing variation for anyone else's opinion but your own to be definitive.

  15. As a 10D owner (1.6x crop), I bought an 85mm f/1.8 for 135mm FOV equivalency, just as I bought a 50mm to achieve a near-85mm FOV. As noted above, it's a great lens, although I don't find myself using it as much as my 70-200 zoom.

    The only thing I DON'T like about it is the clip-on style lens hood (as opposed to the bayonet-style on most other Canon hoods).
  16. In "scientific" tests there may be differences, but in real-world situations (meaning if you actually use the lens to photograph normal daily subjects), there is no difference between them.

    Both will also make good "kind of macro" with an extension tube. The 85 and 135 L are one step up, but at a price (law of diminishing returns).

    People can debate these subjects forever, but if, as you say, the focal lenght does not impact your decision, just toss a coin in the air and go out and use it.
  17. http://www.photo.net/equipment/canon/100-2 this reviwever sure likes his 100/2. 85/1.8or 100/2? It makes more sense to me to take into consideration what other lenses one has. I see two possibilities; you are either a 24-35-85 man, or a 28-50-100 man. I find the 50mm and 85mm perspectives a little to close - so I opted for the 100mm/2. The telephoto compression effect is a bit more 'noticeable' from 100mm on. A final note; I have truly started believing that there is a bit of quality-control lottery involved in EF merchandise...
  18. Both are awesome lenses. Really, it depends on what you have already.

    I have a 100/2, but only because I already had a 50/1.8. If I'd had a 35/2 instead, I would have followed up with a 85/1.8.

  19. You can't really go wrong. I have the 85 and I love it, so I guess my vote goes that way.
  20. 15mm and a third of a stop!

    They're both great lenses. Just pick the one that a) fits in with the lenses you've got [i.e.
    24/50/100] or b) the focal length you prefer for portraits [you will need to get a little
    closer with the 85mm for a tight composition].

    Its really too close to call. I have the 85, mainly because the shop had that and no 100mm!
    I am very very happy with it.

  21. Thanks to all for these helpful answers. Looks like an 85 1.8 is in my future.
  22. >> I see two possibilities; you are either a 24-35-85 man, or a 28-50-100 man.

    After trying all focal lengths in primes and zooms I am - most certainly - a 24-35-85 man. In fact, I am a 24-35-85 prime man......

    Happy shooting ,
  23. I have both, they are sharp and fast with USM anf FTM, use the same filters and lens hood. Both do not focus close enough for me so I use a close-up lens or EX 12 at times
  24. I'm a 35-50-85-135 guy.

    Which suits me just fine, because I can get about the same lengths if
    and when I go with a 1.6x crop digital. :)

    I'm sure you'll be happy with your 85/1.8, James. Can't go wrong.
  25. Wow.

    I'm an 35-50-85 guy.

    And I'm reallly really looking at the 135 to replace the 70-200.

    Great minds think alike? :)
  26. I love the 85mm 1.8! Super sharp lens! Most of the stuff in my portfolio was taken with one.

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