I know this should be an easy decision, but my female, 51 yo, 5'3" frame is wanting the smaller, lighter, less expensive f4 to be an acceptable compromise. I am upgrading lenses this year and just ordered a 100mm macro f2.8l is. I also want a 135 f2. Any comments on the zooms? My bf is pushing me to get the best lenses, since we've already invested in multiple 5d bodies. Any suggestions and input appreciated. I do understand the 2.8 ii is great, just worried that it's too much for me to pack for a full day wedding.
I agree that it is not an easy decision. There is no definitive answer, I think. For the near future, I'm probably going to keep several lenses in this range and keep evaluating what I bring.
With the improved high ISO performance of the 5D3 and the improved high ISO performance of Lightroom 4, I have in the past year been able to substitute the f/4 for the f/2.8 version (both with IS). It does mean shooting at ISO 6400 and higher sometimes. Whether the lighter f/4 is an acceptable compromise depends on the lighting where you're shooting and on your own tolerance for high ISO noise. I think the f/2.8 version was more of a necessity for the 5D2 and earlier models, and with Lightroom 3 and earlier. It may
still be a necessity for some locations with less light.
The f/4 version is a much nicer size & weight. I was tempted to replace my version I of the 70-200/2.8 with version II, especially with the recent sale pricing, but I am using it less and less, and have always found version I to be very sharp.
The 100/2.8 IS macro and the 135/2 are certainly good alternatives, both much lighter than the big 70-200/2.8. The question is whether you want to give up the zoom flexibility for a tele prime. In theory, a 135/2 should be an ok substitute for the 100-200 range as it is already 70% of the way to 200mm. And the 70mm end of a 24-70 zoom on another camera should be an ok substitute for the 70-100 range. So with a 24-70 and a 135, you might skip the 70-200 altogether ... maybe.