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jgalfer's avatar

Photography Question - What Canon lens to purchase next?

Asked by jgalfer (91points) April 21st, 2011

I’m a growing photographer. I do photography mostly as a hobby, but have been making good money in the last few years doing product photography as a side job. Anyway, am going to be making a new lens purchase. I currently have:

50mm 1.4
85mm 1.8
28 – 135 3.5–5.6

I’m moving into the L series. I’m trying to decide between a 70–200 2.8 or a 24–70 2.8. I will still use the prime lenses no matter what because they are good for video.

Any photographers out there that have some advice on which lens to go for next? Body is Canon 5d Mark ii. I feel like I’m currently missing some range in my toolkit. Leaning towards the 70–200.


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6 Answers

Rarebear's avatar

For that chunk of change I wouldn’t poll Fluther—the only person I’d know to really trust on this isn’t on Fluther anymore anyway. Go to various photo review websites like (I’ll email him the question to see if I can lure him back).

But if you’re keeping your current lens set, the 24–70 2.8 will overlap with your 28–135. If I were you I’d get the 70–200 and then get a teleextender so you could do good nature work. If that’s what you’re interested in, of course.

jgalfer's avatar

I mean, I know the reviews and capabilities of the lenses. I spend way too much time on dpreview. I guess I’m just trying to come up with an excuse to go one way or another. :)

I do a bit of headshots and a lot of portrait work. I generally use the 85, but i think it would be nice to have the ability to change my range on those shots. I’m also a HUGE people watcher and I find that sometimes people catch me taking the photo with the 85 and the 135 with 5.6 aperture doesn’t cut it. the 200 would give me a chance to shoot without people noticing. That’s mainly my thing. Nature photography is not high high on my list. Candid street portraits are huge for me.

I know weight would be an issue with the big lens as well.

I like your advice though.

Rarebear's avatar

You might consider the F4 L 70–200. It’s lighter and way cheaper.

Rarebear's avatar

I asked my friend the professional photographer, and he agrees with me that you should consider the F4 L 70–200. He uses it for head and shoulders work and her really likes the sharpness of the lens.

Here is his comment cut and pasted from my email to him:

“I went through the Q and dont think my advice would be any better than yours. Perfect suggestion with the 70–200 f/4, for all the reasons you state. The OP stated that he does head shots, and thats one of my main lenses for doing them with. Although I’m a Sony shooter, I was with Canon for decades. Giving up on the larger f/2.8 zoom in favor of the smaller f/4 was a wise decision for me. It’s also sharper and focuses closer, and it’s sharper closer wide open.”

I’m not revealing who he is to protect his privacy, but he is an outstanding portrait photographer and does stunning work.

jgalfer's avatar

great. Thanks so much for digging into this. I really appreciate it!!

kingofgeeks's avatar

If you are making money and ready to spend, then you should definitely get the 70–200 F2.8L IS. The image stabilization is amazing and I can’t get enough of the bokeh on that lens.

The 70–200 is definitely my favorite lens, but the 24–70 is my work horse. Just keep building your arsenal!

I would only buy the F4 if that is the limit of your budget or you are a backpacker.

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