Advice for travel telephoto lens: 85 1.8 vs. 100 2.0 vs. 135 2.0 L

Started Oct 1, 2009 | Discussions thread
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jon01
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Advice for travel telephoto lens: 85 1.8 vs. 100 2.0 vs. 135 2.0 L
Oct 1, 2009

I'm wondering if anyone can provide recommendations for a good telephoto lens for foreign travel. I would use the lens on a crop body (30D) and for general-purpose photography, ranging from nature shots to street life. I have and love the 70-200 f/4 L IS, but am considering picking up a faster telephoto lens that is a bit smaller and more discrete for travel. I would pair the lens with a 17-55 f/2.8 IS. I'm currently looking at three lenses:

(1) 85 f/1.8 (136 mm on a 1.6x crop)
Length: 72 mm
Weight: 425 g
Price: US $440

(2) 100 f/2.0 (160 mm on a 1.6x crop)
Length: 74 mm
Weight: 460 g
Price: US $450

(3) 135 f/2.0 L (216 mm on a 1.6x crop)
Length: 172 mm
Weight: 750 g
Price: US $1070

I didn't include the 100 f/2.8 L IS macro in the list, since it sounds like this lens is primarily useful for macro work.

Based on reviews, it sounds like all three lenses have excellent image quality, especially the 135 f/2. I like the L build and image quality, but am wondering whether the 135 might be too long on a crop body (and hard to get sharp, hand-held images at smaller apertures). Both the 85 and 100 are significantly smaller and lighter.

I'd greatly appreciate advice on which of these lenses may work best as a telephoto lens for travel.

Thanks very much!

Jonathan

http://jonathanmyers.smugmug.com/

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