Right – decision was made last night and order has been placed.
I ended up going with the 135 f2, rather than the 70-200 is II – even after I just got another portrait commission yesterday that would have paid for 50% of the big white. I understand a lot of people really love that 70-200 is II, and no doubt I will at some point (soonish no doubt…) purchase that lens, but realistically for my own shooting style and the paying commissions I get (like I said before, at least 75% of my paying work is shot in the studio, with a few weddings and events thrown in), I honestly think the 135L serves me better. I don't shoot sports, I don't shoot fast action – I do however on occasion need to shoot people stealthily (I shoot some publishing events and book people can be so shy! Even a 24-105 L makes a lot of them run…) and in low light indoor conditions. And I really like the fact that the 135L give me that extra stop, which is more useful to me than the IS.
Anyways, I'm very happy, can't wait for it to arrive now! It's been said before, and I can easily see myself investing in the 70-200 is II in the next 12 months, but for the purpose of this trip as well as for the fact that I love the pictures the 135L produces – I simply had to buy this lens first!
Also, I'm trying to take a fresh approach to my travel photography, and rather than using slow zoom lenses that mean I end up taking the same mundane and boring shots time and time again, I've set myself the mission of shooting the majority of our trip with either the 50 f/1.4 or the new 135 f/2 – I think it's cool little challenge and should produce some interesting photos, hopefully forcing me to think a little more about composition and subject placement and making me slow down a little more. I will still take the 24-104 L, which along with it's excellent IS, I know can always bail me out… but the idea is to use primes. IQ is top of the list of requirements.
So, final gear list for the road trip will be:
24-105mm f/4 L IS
135mm f/2 L
Tripod x 2 (one full size, one compact travel size)
Vivitar 285 flash (strobist)
430exII flash (strobist + the odd spot of ETTL)
Radio triggers + receivers
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (for CF card dump & basic RAW editing and processing while on the road)
Lowepro Event Messenger 250 to carry all of the above.
@scottkinfw: Yes please - would love photo op's and recommendations! Here's the route we currently have planned (not set in stone by any means – we've got the first 2 nights booked in NYC, after that we pick up the car and just start driving.) :https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?saddr=New+York,+NY,+USA&daddr=Boston,+MA,+USA+to:Bangor,+ME,+United+States+to:Halifax,+NS,+Canada+to:Toronto,+ON,+Canada+to:Niagara+Falls,+ON,+Canada+to:New+York,+NY,+USA&hl=en&ll=44.323848,-70.620117&spn=10.985452,26.191406&sll=44.264135,-71.560629&sspn=10.997155,26.191406&geocode=FXFAbQIdK8KW-yk7CD_TpU_CiTFi_nfhBo8LyA%3BFZ9WhgIdw7bD-ykbMT0NLWXjiTGg6GIBJL98eA%3BFZ6cqwIdqojm-ym9KREQRkuuTDF3dq-nsBgJTQ%3BFZ5JqQId6Oo1_CnB-tsHFCFaSzHcLYtDpuNrZg%3BFWoYmgIdcLVE-ymlO8bXkMvUiTF3xLQqUFU1Mg%3BFZZ-kQIdcEJJ-ym5TYLsXkTTiTGIor1WYcXSRg%3BFXFAbQIdK8KW-yk7CD_TpU_CiTFi_nfhBo8LyA&oq=New&mra=ls&t=m&z=6
PS: To all of those who've recently commented on the weight of the 70-200 really not being that big a deal on the bigger picture: I do agree - while I was trying to decide, I added up all my equipment weight, and indeed the 750g extra would not make as significant a difference as some make it out to be. It did not end up effecting my purchase decision.