« on: June 05, 2012, 07:37:39 AM »
For ambient light indoor portraits, faster lenses are really helpful -- f/2.8 is too slow when the light is dim. Take your pick amongst the 35L, 50L or 85L based on your preferred focal length. All three are great lenses.
Even if this might be contrary to some enthusiast's view "larger aperture is always better" ... is the 85L with a large open aperture really a fix for noisy sensors at bad lighting indoors?
This might be the case with the wider-angle 35L, but afaik the depth of field of the 85L is so thin (and f2.8 on my 100mm or f1.8 on 50mm is thin to begin with) that it's great for carefully composed artistic portraits, but it is a bit misleading to suggest for your average indoors (or portrait) shot "f2.8 with IS too slow? Just take f1.2!".
Sometimes you just don't have a choice because you can't control the lighting. Shot my kids preschool show last night using a 70-200 f/2.8 on a 5DII at ISO 3200 and was only getting shutter times of about 1/30-1/60s most of the time. I was in the second row, but the stage is large, so I couldn't use my fast 50mm prime, and my flash won't reach well. If I'm only concerned about one subject, I'd gladly trade thinner DOF for speed. Zooms give you composing options, primes give you DOF/shutter speed options. It is up to the user to make that trade to determine what setting combination will produce the desired effect.