Help me choose: 135/2.0 L vs. 70-200/2.8 IS L

Started Mar 28, 2009 | Discussions thread
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David Gleason Regular Member • Posts: 135
Help me choose: 135/2.0 L vs. 70-200/2.8 IS L

I'm having a very tough time deciding between these lenses. I've taken my body to a local camera shop and shot with both of them, but I'm torn between which fits my needs best.

Current lenses:
25-105/4.0 L IS


I'm strictly a hobbyist, but I've been dedicating myself to learning and improving. I shoot a variety of styles, including some urban/street, architectural details, and portraits. I recently started the 100 Strangers project, so I'm doing frequent street/outdoor portraits.

I also travel frequently, so I enjoy the normal travel photography/PJ style stuff. I'm planning to be much more bold in terms of talking to people and photographing the in future travels, since I know that's what my previous trip photos have lacked. Finally, I have always enjoyed wildlife, but the truth is now that I live in a city, I'm not going to be doing a lot of wildlife shooting.

So, I want something with a longer reach than my current 105mm, but ideally something that I could also use for portraits. And of course, it has to travel with me.

Here are the pro's and con's as I see them.

+ terrific IQ, sharpness
+ great bokeh
+ lighter in weight
+ unobtrusive size/color
+ fast lens
+ nice price

  • no zooming

  • too long for some portraits?

  • no IS

70-200/2.8 IS L
+ IS is terrific on it, including panning mode
+ flexibility of zoom
+ loss of IQ due to zoom is very acceptable to me
+ easier to find a good impromptu portrait focal length

  • heavy

  • stands out in a crowd (may be intimidating to some subjects, may cause unwanted attention or not be allowed some places)

  • cost

  • I don't want to be one of those posers with great kit and no skills (in other words, is it ridiculous for a dedicated hobbyist?)

Right now, I'm leaning towards the 135mm. It will be easier to carry on trips, and will make a fine walkaround lens in the city. Plus with the extra resolution of my body, I can crop quite a bit and still have good IQ.

So, what are your thoughts? I can't buy both!!!!!

Thanks in advance,

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