Canon EF 100mm f/2

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Christie Photo, Aug 3, 2007.

  1. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    When I bought my first digital camera, I chose to equip a zoom lens. I decided the EF 24-85mm was a good choice.

    The only zoom I owned prior to that purchase was a Nikkor 35-135mm macro for my film cameras. I always suspected that the zoom did not measure up to my fixed focal length lenses.

    Since I began the digital chapter of my life, I made one other lens purchase... 17-40mm zoom. I deliberately chose a lens with Canon's "L" designation hoping to see a big difference in the results.

    I've never be "blown away" by any image I produced.

    My latest acquisition is the 100mm. From the instant I put it on the camera, I realized my suspicion was about to be affirmed. The fixed focal length lens produces images noticeably sharper than either of the zooms.

    [​IMG]

    I cannot explain the discrepancy in the exposure. Both images were made with the same lighting and exposure settings.

    I can't overstate how pleased I am with the results from the new lens. I, of course, realize I'll now have to purchase additional lenses to achieve the results I've always wanted.

    -Pete
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Congrats on the new lens.

    To be fair, the 24-85 is a lower level lens, made to be cheaper and lighter. I would expect that your 17-40 would perform better, although perhaps not as well as the 100mm Macro (especially in a test like this). The 17-40 L is known for producing great colors.

    For the discerning eye, I do believe that prime lenses still do hold an advantage. I'm somewhat impressed by the results from my newer zoom lenses (Tamron 17-50 F2.8 & Canon 10-22) but I was blown away by the sharpness of my new Sigma 30mm F1.4.

    In real world shooting though, the higher quality zoom lenses do produce great results and are certainly better than consumer level zooms. And the convenience of using a zoom is often enough to justify their use over primes.
     
  3. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Oh... I didn't get the macro. It's the EF 100mm f/2 USM.

    I agree... the zoom is VERY convenient. Are the two lenses here not in the same playing field?

    Thanks!
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Silly me, I didn't even realize there was a 100mm F2.0 and a 100mm F2.8 macro.

    Come to think of it, I don't think I've heard very much about the 100mm F2.0. I would assume that it's in the same class as the 85mm F1.8. That would suggest that it's a lens with great performance, just not with the build quality (and or special glass) of an L lens...but fortunately it wouldn't have the price of an L lens either.

    Either way, I would certainly expect it to outperform most zoom lenses and surely the 24-85mm.

    Have you ever tried an L prime lens? There are people around here who rave about their 35mm F1.4 L lens. The 85mm F1.2 L is also supposed to be ultra fantastic...but my wallet hurt just thinking about that one.
     
  5. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No, I've not had a chance to use an "L" lens yet. I'm afraid to.... I can't quite justify the cost. I'm coming CLOSE though. If I keep shooting buildings, I see one of these in my future.
     
  6. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    And, oh.... I really couldn't tell you why, but I just can't bring myself to refer to fixed focal length lenses as "prime" lenses. Nor can I use the word "bokeh." I don't know why. Maybe I should seek help.
     
  7. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Christie Photo,

    I can well understand your confusion over the IQ of prime lenses and Zooms. Zoom lenses by their very nature have sacrifices across their focal length range due to their construction. It is designed to do a lot of things well. A prime lens is designed to do only one thing and do it very well.

    Big Mike is absolutely correct about the 24-85. It is a consumer level lens and the average consumer level prime will out preform it. I would venture to say that if you had the chance to shoot some of Canons L Zooms, such as the 24-70 f2.8L or the 70-200 f2.8L you would come away with a different opinion. You would also have a much lighter wallet as both sell for over $1,000. But then Canon's L primes will also out preform the L Zooms. The 50mm f1.2L, 85mm f1.2L and 35mm f1.4L are incredible. All at an Incredible price. In some cases as expensive as 24-70 f2.8L I mentioned. Really good glass is going to be expensive, however in the long term if properly cared for it will last a lifetime. If you spread the cost of the lens over that period it comes out pretty cheap in the long run. Especially if you start with low grade consumer stuff, and replace it with medium to high grade consumer stuff and then replace it with exceptionally good or L glass.
     

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