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Messages - jd7

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Lenses / Re: which telephoto for travel?
« on: Today at 05:27:43 AM »

I own both a 70-200/2.8 II and a 135/2 and both have a permanent place in my kit.  When I want to travel light, I often take my 24-70/2.8 II and 135/2 as a very effective two lens combo. 

For me the 135/2's advantages are size/weight, f/2 aperture and being pretty inconspicuous due to its size and color.  The extra stop of light gathering ability is huge.  The 135/2 is a terrific indoor sports lens that allows lower ISO's and cleaner, better quality pictures.  Sure, you give up the flexibility of the zoom, but when not reach limited it does a great job.[/left]

Agreed, the 1,490 gram (3.28 lb) 70-200 f/2.8isII it is big & heavy. And fabulous. It's my most used lens.

But for travel? This is where the extraordinary 760 gram (1.68 lb) 70-200 f/4is gets a big mention. It's one of the all-time-great travel lenses with two notable advantages over the almost identical weight 750 gram (1.65 lb) 135 f/2. For a start, the obvious flexibility of a zoom plus the incredible IS performance of this lens. Don't underestimate IS power in helping deliver keepers. I had a stellar 135f/2 and sold it within a year. Maybe I've got slightly shaky hands, but my keeper rate with the non-IS 135 f/2 was disturbingly low compared to my 70-200 f/2.8isII.

A revised 135 f/2 with IS will sell it's socks off. It'll come eventually.


And those posts pretty much summarise the arguments and differences right there :)  One lens shorter, less conspicuous and with the aperture advantage; the other with zoom flexibility, and IS which more than offsets the slower aperture if your subject is still.

I still feel tempted by the 135L because, when it's right, I think the f/2 gives something the 70-200/4 just can't match, but my head is saying the 70-200/4 is probably still the better choice as a travel lens because of its versatility.  It doesn't feel right having two 70-200s in my kit though.  If I get a chance to try out a 135L for a while at any point, I'll definitely give it a go.

Lenses / Re: which telephoto for travel?
« on: February 26, 2015, 04:19:49 AM »

You have a strong kit, which makes fine-tuning all the more difficult. One of the things that I consider when refining/downsizing my kit is: what can this lens accomplish photographically that THIS lens can't. The differentiating factor, as it were.

In your case, there is nothing the 4.0 version of the 70-200 can do that the 2.8 70-200 IS II can't do (except BE LIGHTER). I know how hard it is to lose  the 70-200 f/4 IS (I had to choose between it and the 70-300L). It took me about four months to finally let it go and keep the 70-300L. Why? Because it could do two things the 70-200 f/4 IS couldn't: shoot at 70mm @ MFD better and shoot at 300mm better w/o a teleconverter. Being smaller to pack was just a bonus.

Similarly, the 50mm f/1.4 can shoot at 1.4 which the 40mm pancake can't. The 135mm can shoot at f/2 which the 70-200 f/4 IS can't.

Conclusion: Lose the 40mm pancake AND the 70-200 f/4 IS and get 135/2.0 AND the 50mm 1.4. Fast glass rules!


You know, I'd just avoided picking up a second-hand Sigma 50 1.4 EX, and now you've got me thinking about a fast 50 again.  Sigh   :D  The problem with liking fast glass (and I do) is wanting primes in lots focal lengths!  Yes, losing the pancake might not be a bad idea - it isn't getting much use these days, and a 50 1.4 would offer something much more interesting.  Or I could lose the pancake and not replace it - I'd still have the 35 and 85 primes, and the zooms.  (Trying to convince myself about I don't "need" a fast 50!)

What I'm still trying to decide is whether I'd enjoy the f/2 of the 135L, and it's small / easy to carry size, enough to make it worth giving up the conventence of the zoom of the 70-200 4 IS as a travel telephoto when I don't want to carry the 70-200 2.8.  I hear what you say about it offering something "more" than anything else in my kit since it's a telephoto which goes to f/2.   

I know I'm lucky to have a pretty good kit (I'd say excellent but then I look at the gear lists of a few other CR members!!) and perhaps i already have the best kit for me. Not sure which way I want to jump with this one.  Equally, I'm not keen to add to the size of my kit.  Hhmmm.  I think I need to find a way to try out a 135L for a little while so I can experience it for myself.

Lenses / Re: which telephoto for travel?
« on: February 26, 2015, 03:59:11 AM »
Less is better, lighter is best.  I now travel with only a single body, a 35mm and a 75mm and rarely miss a shot.
 IF you "have" to buy something for travel, get a SL1, the 24mm pancake and take the 55-250 zoom - surprising image quality, next to nothing weight wise and the whole package is less that your 200L price wise.
Great advice...+1

After a couple of decades of lugging an insane weight of gear around the planet, I have reduced trip-by-trip down to a de-gripped 5D (Classic, II & III) and 24-105 f/4is. Then the last trip was with an SL1 and the brilliant EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8is. For travel...go as light as you possibly can. Next trip will see a change of direction..I'll take the MFT Panasonic GH4 with 12-35 f/2.8 and 35-70 f/2.8. 4k video and extremely respectable stills in an insanely small package.


I understand the thinking - and am generally trying to go with the lighter is better approach.  That said, I looked pretty closely at m4/3 a few years ago and thought about switching, but eventually ended up going the other way and moving from crop to full frame.  If I was still shooting crop I would defintely get the 55-250 STM (my Dad has one so I have used it), and I used to have a 17-55 2.8 IS and I agree it's excellent.  I am not very keen to get a crop body now though - partly because I'm trying to have a kit where everything gets a fair bit of use rather than having things gathering dust, and partly because when I travel is usually my best chance for photography so I like using my "good stuff" then.  Of course, I know I am the one looking for a light travel zoom so ...!!  :)

Lenses / Re: 16-35 f/4L IS with EF 35 f/2 IS
« on: February 26, 2015, 03:52:36 AM »
Thank you all for the response. :)

I guess I'll keep the 35 IS for now, and see how it is on the 6D.

Also, I find the 35 on my 70D a little bit tight. Its supposedly near 50mm equivalent FL on FF, but I might be one of those that doesn't dig the 50mm FL, all the more reason to keep the 35mm lens.

I don't have the 16-35 so I can't answer your questions directly, but as someone who moved from crop to FF not that long ago, I think you're making the right choice waiting to try out the lenses on your 6D before deciding what you want to sell and what you want to keep.  I was quite surprised by just how different my lenses feel on FF compared with crop.  Perhaps I shouldn't have been as surprised as I was, but I was!  Anyway, I'm sure your 35 IS will feel like a different lens on the 6D compared with how you are used to it feeling on your crop body - the situations in which you would want to use the lens will be noticeably different.

Once you've played around with your 6D, I'm sure it won't take you very long to work out whether you like 35mm enough to want to keep a (fairly) fast prime of that focal length desipte having the f/4 zoom, or whether you would rather rather sell the prime and put the money towards something else.

Lenses / Re: which telephoto for travel?
« on: February 24, 2015, 07:40:31 AM »
I was in very similar shoes not long back when I realized I was missing a tele lens simply because I couldn't carry my 70-200/2.8 everywhere. I decided to go for the 135L, not sure if it would be the right solution (I was also considering the 70-300L and 70-400L). However, I can happily say that I have not looked back.
It is one of my most often used lens nowadays (other than my 24-70) and I try to shoehorn it into every job- I like it so much! It is great for portraits, indoor sports, events, shows, zoos, just to name a few of my recent uses.
So yeah, I would wholeheartedly recommend it. Your only limitation will be sticking to speeds above 1/160, but if you are shooting anything moving you'd have to do that anyway. And the high ISO capabilities of the 6D will help you out here.
(BTW, I have access to only the 35L and the 135L at the moment, and I just love the combo on my 6D).


Interesting to hear how much you like your 135L, and the places you're using it.  Have you had many occasions when you had the 135L with you but wished you'd brought your 70-200?  Is it just the smaller size and lighter weight of the 135L which you are liking, or is it more than that?  The thing I'm trying to decide is how much I would miss the convenience of the zoom in travel situations.  I do spend a fair bit of time wandering around with my 35 and 85 though, so maybe I'd be fine with the 135 (and I'd enjoy the f/2 aperture).


Lenses / Re: which telephoto for travel?
« on: February 24, 2015, 12:28:49 AM »
No. Don´t switch.

24-70 /4 L IS and 70-200 /4 L IS is a perfect travel kit. Use more money on location to get more interesting shots instead.
This. With regards to traveling light you can pry the 70-200 f/4L IS from my cold, frost-bitten fingers. It is such a versatile lens for the size and weight, and the quality of the images it captures always surprises me when I get home. As an alternative to carrying a telephoto, perhaps you can switch to the 5D S and shoot 50 megapixel images with a normal focal length lens, then crop them to magnify. Just kidding... ;^)

I agree the 70-200 f/4L IS is very good, and versatile, for its size and weight.  And for some reason I often feel slightly surprised by the images when get home too.  I think it's so overshadowed by its bigger brother's reputation that you don't expect as much from it, but it really is excellent.  The only thing it doesn't do is open wider than f/4.

Lenses / Re: which telephoto for travel?
« on: February 23, 2015, 11:44:57 PM »

The fact gregorywood bought a 70-300L to replace his 70-200 4L but is having trouble parting with the 70-200 isn't encouraging me either.  Hhmmm.

I'd also thought about the option of a 70-300 non-L too.  I decided against though after reading reviews.  I don't think any are weather sealed and perhaps not even that robust, plus it seemed like they were all pretty ordinary optically ...?

My quandary with why I haven't given up the 70-200L yet is simply because I love it for shooting sports.  The 70-300L is great for more static applications where you aren't needing the fixed aperture and the "faster controls" and I find that it is great for nature/wildlife or anything needing more reach.  I'm thinking I may have to just keep both as much as they seem to overlap.  The 70-300L is f/4 only up to 100mm, f/5 at 150mm and f/5.6 from about 230-300mm.  The zoom "throw" is much longer from stop to stop, and the reversed controls, combined with the added girth and weight make it a clumsy lens for me to use in sporting applications.  Also when I zoom from 200-300mm the difference is not all that much, at least to my eye.  I hope those details help to clarify my reasons.  Your needs and application may be entirely different.  :-)

I had the non-L for a very short time and it is rubbish.  It's not true ring USM, it's slow and the IQ beyond 150mm is awful.  That was my experience on a Rebel T2i and a 7D.  I dumped it for the 70-200mm f/4L IS and was stunned at the difference.

Thanks for the further explanation.  I agree that the difference in magnification between 200mm and 300mm seems surprisingly little - I've thought exactly the same thing when comparing my 70-200 and the 70-300.

I would generally use my 70-200 2.8 for sports/action, so that does make my situation a bit different.  I guess another option I have is to sell the f/2.8, keep the f/4 (it's been good for outdoor sports when I've used it) and add the 135L (and keeping some change).  I thought about that possibility a while ago and decided I didn't want to part with the f/2.8, but I suppose 35, 85, 135, 24-70/4 and 70-200/4 has a certain symmetry  :)  Just not sure I could part with the f/2.8 seeing I already have it though.

Lenses / Re: which telephoto for travel?
« on: February 23, 2015, 11:27:41 PM »
I am a firm believer of the theory "The less you have, the more you do". Especially when you travel or hike you have to come down to compromises, having too much gear will only give you back stories like "I managed to transport this much of stuff from here to there".

A good rule is to have focal lenghts doubling themselves: 25-50-100-200-400. You don't need to have 45, 63, 72, 75mm and so on, use your feet and your mind.

Personally I favour primes over zooms especially for their small size and top quality. My usual gear is Zeiss 28, Zeiss 85, 135mm and 400mm 5.6. This will fit most of my needs when traveling or trekking.

I see you are covered quite well up to 200mm. You could consider selling both your 70-200s and buy the new 100-400 II. If I were you, with your gear, I would take the 24-70, the 100-400 and the 85 1.8

That's an interesting idea about the 100-400 II.  I haven't been considering that lens at this stage, but perhaps I should.  I'd be reluctant to part with both 70-200s though, I think, plus as a travel lens I'm really looking for something lighter.  It's not that the 100-400L II is necessarily prohibitively heavy or large for all travel, but I'm thinking about times when I'm doing multi-day hikes with all my gear (tent, food, etc) on my back, with people who aren't as interested in photography as I am.  Anyway, I will give it a bit more thought.

I agree with the idea of generally trying to limit the amount of kit I carry, and in fact I've been trying to streamline my kit overall, with some success even though I know my current kit is hardly minimalist.  In that vein, I at least managed to fight off the GAS attack which had me thinking about picking up a fast 50  :)  With a 35, 85 and 24-70, I really don't need it ... although I'm pretty sure it will be a continuing temptation!

Lenses / Re: which telephoto for travel?
« on: February 21, 2015, 11:10:20 PM »

I think I want a 135mmL also, but can't pull the trigger due to the fact I already have everything around it in focal length. 

GAS sucks. 

Ain't it the truth!?!   :D

Lenses / Re: which telephoto for travel?
« on: February 21, 2015, 08:53:00 PM »
No. Don´t switch.

24-70 /4 L IS and 70-200 /4 L IS is a perfect travel kit. Use more money on location to get more interesting shots instead.

If anything, sell your 40 /2.8 and don´t get a 50 mm. Your 85 /1.8 should handle low light or shallow DoF portraits fine.

For travel, less is more. You have great gear already. Get a great bag and good shoes.

I've been trying to resist, but the lure of a fast 50 is starting to get the better of me.  Having the 24-70 4L IS means I lack wide aperture in that range.  I thought the 35 2 IS might remedy that, and it does to a degree, but the idea of a fast 50 particularly for indoor people/events shots is tempting ... In fact, am looking at a second-hand Sigma 50 1.4 EX (ie the old Sigma, not the Art) at the moment, but maybe it's just GAS and I should resist.

As for selling the 40 2.8, I've thought about that but given I wouldn't expect to get much for it and the IQ is good, I feel like it's probably worth hanging on to it for the occasional use I make of it ... probably ... 

Got the bag and the shoes for travel, what I need is more time!  :)

Lenses / Re: which telephoto for travel?
« on: February 21, 2015, 08:40:29 PM »
I have similar choice to make in June I am taking a Alaskan cruse. so far I have narrowed it to the 10-22 18-135 stm 70-200 f4 is and the 400 5.6lusm. I also paired the two teles with the 1.4 extender mk3. will it be better to take my 50 1.8 mk1 and drop the stm? or just forgo the range from 22-70 as not needed? my wife will have her sl1 with the 40mm pancake.

Since it's a cruise and I assume your gear should be safe on the ship, maybe you can just take the 50 1.8 as well?

For what it's worth, if it was me and I wanted to leave a lens behind, I'd take only one of the 18-135 STM or the 70-200 f4, and in my case I think I'd take the 70-200 f4 - although I've never owned an 18-135 STM so I don't really know what it's like.  Still, assuming you're happy to be changing lenses a bit, I would have thought 10-22, 70-200, 50 plus 400 would give you plenty of options, and having the 50 in there gives you a low light / shallow depth of field option you wouldn't have otherwise.

Lenses / Re: which telephoto for travel?
« on: February 21, 2015, 08:33:09 PM »
Same sharpness as the 70-200f2.8, but black and much lighter.

BLACK!? How could I feel important and pro with a *black* lens?!?! :->

I guess this explains why some pros stay with Canon despite the poor DR ...

(Nnnooo!! I'll be kicking myself if this thread degenerates into another argument about DR!!)

Lenses / Re: which telephoto for travel?
« on: February 21, 2015, 08:29:36 PM »
Thanks all for your replies!  The only thing is now I feel like I need to keep the 70-200 4L IS and buy a 135L and a 70-300L ...  :o  :)   And that's leaving out the Tamron 70-300 and the 1200  ;D  Lots of good points have been made for and against the various options, so plenty for me to think about.

To respond to some of the ideas people have raised ...

As much as I'd like to shoot birds and other wildlife, for now I'm resigned to not having anything longer than 200 (or perhaps 300 I suppose) in my kit at the moment.  The 100-400 IS II sounds great, and obviously there are other options around, but for the time being I don't think a lens like that is what I'm looking for as a travel zoom for hiking/backpacking and I don't think I'd use it enough to justify spending the money.  Over the last year or two I've been generally trying to reduce the amount of gear I have and make more use of what I have, than add more gear.

Marsu - I certainly understand what you mean about having both the f/4 and f/2.8 70-200s being too much duplication.  It does feel a bit like that sometimes, but the difference in weight is significant enough it does make a real difference to me.  The f/4's biggest drawback as a travel lens is, in my opinion, the fact it is still quite long.

Regarding the 70-300L - nice photo Georgecpappas! - I am going on a four day photography course just after Easter and I know one of the other people who will be there has a 70-300L.  If I do nothing else, I'll try to spend a while playing with it then.  At this point  I'm still having trouble getting excited about the idea though.  Compared with the 70-200 4, I get 100mm extra range and a lens which is easier to pack (since it's shorter), but at the expense of almost 50% more weight and a variable aperture which gets progressively slower at longer focal lengths (OK, it's only 1 stop at most, but still).  The fact gregorywood bought a 70-300L to replace his 70-200 4L but is having trouble parting with the 70-200 isn't encouraging me either.  Hhmmm.

I did think about the 200 2.8L prime, but I'd been leaning towards the 135L because I thought it added more to my kit overall - faster aperture, and should be a little easier to hand-hold noting neither has IS.  I might give it a bit more thought.

I'd also thought about the option of a 70-300 non-L too.  I decided against though after reading reviews.  I don't think any are weather sealed and perhaps not even that robust, plus it seemed like they were all pretty ordinary optically ...?

Lenses / Re: which telephoto for travel?
« on: February 21, 2015, 04:27:25 AM »
;D ;D ;D    (for the 1200L advise)

I prefer zooms.

My standard lens on the 5D3 is the 24-105. I use the 100-400L for birding and the 100L for macro. I have hardly used my 70-200L and the 40mm pancake.

On the 300D I used the 18-55 a lot! zoomed in with my feet. Again, 100-400L for birding.

No doubt zooms have their advantages, and especially for travel when you don't know exactly what you're going to find and you often aren't going to get much chance to set up a shot.  I do like the wider apertures of primes though, and the fact they tend to be smaller ... Carrying a 24-70 4L IS and a 135L seems like a nice travel set, but then again so is the 24-70 plus 70-200 4L IS.

Maybe in the end it just doesn't matter that much. Both options are good, and both options have advantages and disadvantages. Still, I have to decide one way or the other ...

Did try out a 135L in a store today.  Liked it!  But perhaps that's just new toy enthusiasm talking.

Lenses / Re: which telephoto for travel?
« on: February 21, 2015, 04:21:38 AM »
The best travel lens is the Canon EF 1200mm f5.6 L USM!

Well I wouldn't be short of reach, and I'd get fit carrying it around!  Hhhmmm, think maybe I'll wait for the 1200 DO ...

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