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Author Topic: 5DMII, Canon 135 f/2 and low light......  (Read 7804 times)

dmsp

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5DMII, Canon 135 f/2 and low light......
« on: May 14, 2009, 05:47:07 pm »

Yes, it sounds like a segue to something really special doesn't it?  Well actually I have a question.  I was curious to know if there are any 5DMII users out there who can share their low light experiences/impressions using the 135 f/2.  ISO, noise, resolution, print size achieved are some of the areas of interest.  

I have a couple of projects I am doing where I will only be using only ambient light....people (classroom type setting, dim light) and animals (barn, very dim light), mostly portrait style shots.  

I will be getting a 5D MII, but don't have it yet.  I own the 70-200 f/2.8 and am considering the 135 f/2 for the extra stop.  The 85 1.2 is out of the budget.  I'd consider the 85 1.8 for the additional stop, but after reading Nick Devlin's article and some other reviews, I don't know if this lens is up to the task of the 5D's sensor even though it has positive reviews given it's cost.  ReidReviews tested this on his 1DsMIII and seemed pleased.

I will probably rent both lenses once I have the body and try them out, but figured I would ask.....

Cheers!
Dave
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Jonathan Wienke

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5DMII, Canon 135 f/2 and low light......
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2009, 08:30:07 pm »

Noise depends on ISO and your camera, not the lens per se. The 5D-II is a good performer in that area.

The 135/2L is a great lens in every respect. Wide open, you can shoot in very dim conditions by ambient light. It's sharp, focuses quickly, and has very little distortion, CA or any other objectionable artifact even wide open. Except for the now-discontinued 200mm/1.8L, it's the sharpest lens Canon makes. The only drawback is that when shooting wide open, DOF is very narrow, as in fraction-of-an-inch narrow. In a typical headshot, if the subject isn't facing directly at the camera you won't be able to get both eyes in focus and if the eyes are in focus, the lips will be OOF. At longer distances, the DOF is more forgiving, but you'll always need to be very careful where you place focus.
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Guillermo Luijk

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5DMII, Canon 135 f/2 and low light......
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2009, 10:44:02 pm »

Quote from: dmsp
I own the 70-200 f/2.8 and am considering the 135 f/2 for the extra stop.  The 85 1.2 is out of the budget.  I'd consider the 85 1.8 for the additional stop
Just comment that f/2 is one extra stop with respect to f/2.8, but f/1.8 is just 1/3 of a stop with respect f/2.0, not one stop.

 

Anthony R

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5DMII, Canon 135 f/2 and low light......
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2009, 10:47:41 am »

The 135 is fantastic, but I would recommend shooting at a higher iso to get more depth of field because, as Jonathan stated, f2 is very shallow. No problem with the higher iso on the 5d II for most applications. The 135 is the lens I use 90% of the time since getting the 5D II and I've used it extensively in quite a bit of different situations including low light.
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Jim Pascoe

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5DMII, Canon 135 f/2 and low light......
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2009, 06:07:31 am »

Dave

I have the 135mm f2, and to agree with the others, the quality is excellent.  My camera is the 1DS mk3, so fairly similar to your 5D.  In addition to the other comments about the incredibly shallow depth of field wide open, and how this can be a problem if you do not get the focus bang on, I would also add the problem of camera shake.  My own preference is for low-light shooting of people.  If the subject is moving obviously any lens will struggle at slow shutter speeds.  But the 70-200mm IS lens allows you to shoot people at very slow shutter speeds if they stop moving!  The 135 lens is a problem to hand hold in low light.  Therefore I have found it is necessary to use a high ISO and keep the shutter speed up.  Although it is a lovely lens, I have found the 70-200 at 2.8 is a better compromise for me most of the time. I do a lot of work in schools, classroom shots, plays etc. But the quality of the 135 is wonderful at showing every pore in a face - if that is what you want!

Jim
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schrodingerscat

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5DMII, Canon 135 f/2 and low light......
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2009, 12:46:59 pm »

I've been using a 135/2 for about a year now, first with a 30D and now with a 5 II. Lovely lens. What little low light I've used it for so far has been wonderful.

If considering an 85, Zeiss has the 85/1.4 in the Canon ZE version. Manual focus, but otherwise fully coupled. I'm waiting for the 35/2 to be released sometime this year. Brass construction and hand built.  I've handled the 50 and 85, and would give either serious consideration if looking for something in those focal ranges.
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summitgreen

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5DMII, Canon 135 f/2 and low light......
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2009, 02:18:04 pm »

Can some of 135L owners post up some sample photos and EXIF info?  I'm sure it'll help me and many others who view this thread.

Thanks!
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dmsp

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5DMII, Canon 135 f/2 and low light......
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2009, 04:36:37 pm »

Thanks for the info.  Makes sense about the IS of the 70-200 2.8 and lack-there-of with the 135 f/2.  What higher ISO's have you found to deliver acceptable results........with the MII in general regardless of lens?  I realize this is subjective, so just curious.  

Canon seems to have some good glass w/o IS.  Kind of a shame.  I guess that's the value of having the camera equipped with on-board IS.....

Cheers!
dave
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Jim Pascoe

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5DMII, Canon 135 f/2 and low light......
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2009, 06:10:42 am »

Dave

Looking at your original post and the subjects you are looking to shoot, I would say that just use whatever ISO you need.  For my work I regularly use my 1DS mk3 at 1600, and coupled with the 70-200 IS lens can shoot in very dim conditions.  Although people and animals do move, there are moments when they are still, and this is when the image stabilisation really works well, because obviously it cannot do much about subject movement.  As I said in my earlier post, though the 135mm lens is a stop faster, when shooting handheld the shutter speed has to be really kept up to avoid blur.

I am sure that the 5D m2 is just as capable at high ISO settings, so as I said, just up the ISO to 1600, or possibly higher.  Personally I have always found that a minimal amount of noise to be preferable to an unsharp picture.

Jim
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