Canon 50 mm 1.4 and/or Canon 100 mm IS Hi everyone, I am new to photography and have myself a T2i. I want to get a lens for portrait work and for macro - so I was considering the 50 mm 1.4 Canon and the 100mm 2.8 IS Canon. Do I need both? I'm confused because a lot of people say the 50 mm is a must-have standard lens for Canon users, but the 100 mm is also used for portraits. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
It's not fair to make the comparison between these two kind of lenses in my opinion as each has its own forte and fulfills a different function.
If you want both portrait work and macro then you should get the 100mm macro. While you can use the 50mm for portrait work, it is more suited for full body portrait. For closeup, the 100mm is better (less distortion). Of course you can use just about any lens for any application...some just won't perform very well.
With the 100mm, it would be very tough to take landscape pictures (wide angle scenics shots). The 50mm would be better (though not ideal for your T2i which has a 1.6x crop factor). If you must have only one lens, I'd go for the 50mm.
Yeah, Diverhank nailed it - two very different lenses. Important to note that the 50mm 1.4 is NOT a macro lens and that was something you mentioned in your initial post. I used the 50mm on my T2i and absolutely loved it, though I eventually upgraded (and much preferred) the Sigma 30mm 1.4 for the "normal" focal length on the crop-sensor. I now shoot a full frame and primarily use the 50mm but will likely get the 100mm shortly. Be sure to take a look at the Sigma 30mm before buying the 50mm Canon but if Macro is what you're looking for, you can't go wrong with the 100mm L.
Now correct me if im wrong people, most of my "knowledge" comes from research rather than experience. the default portrait focal lengths are 50mm - 85mm - 135mm ( in full frame equivalents). So on our rebel t2i that would be approximately 30mm - 50mm - 85mm. So you see this 100mm macro is a bit long to be an INDOOR portrait lens, not to mention the f2.8 max is not all that fast for low-light handheld shots. with that said i plan to buy this lens asap for use with my T2i. i currently own the Tokina 11-16mm f2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4, and Canon 60 F2.8 macro. On "walkabouts" i'll just bring the Tokina and 100L and leave the 30mm and 60mm for portrait work. I think the 100L IS will make a great walkabout lens with its IS and close minimum focus distance of 1 foot. It can also be used for flattened perspective outdoor portraits and, of course, excellent MACRO work. The hybrid IS should help with video too. my next, next lens will probably be to replace my 60 macro with the 50 f1.4 for better portraits/ low light.
These are two completely different lenses, as others have noted. On a T2i, the 50mm crops down to the equivalent of 80mm on a full-frame camera, so it is great for portraits. The normal range zoom that came with your camera covers that focal length already. The advantage of the 50mm lens is that it will open up wider to blur the background and make the subject stand out more. As noted, it is not a macro lens.
The 100mm 2.8 IS would be the equivalent of a 162mm or so lens on a full-frame, so it is a good length for a macro in that it doesn't have to get as close to the subject at full magnification. It will give you more room to light the subject and might not scare away small critters as bad as if you had to get closer. You can get the version without IS for $599. You'll probably want to use a tripod for a lot of macro work and will be turning off the IS anyhow, so consider whether the IS is worth an extra $400 or so.
Another possibility to consider is the 60mm EF-S macro. It costs a bit less than the non-IS 100mm macro, works fine on a T2i, is reputed to be of high quality, and being a 90mm equivalent on your camera, can work rather well as a portrait lens. If you want one lens for both purposes, it is very likely your best choice.
Two totally different lenses. I wouldn't even try messing with the 100mm macro for portraits, but the 50mm 1.4 is one of the best portrait lenses you can get for a cropped camera like yours. Caveat - I haven't tried non-Canon branded lenses.