Telephoto prime or zoom - value deal

e17paul

Keen amateur, film & digital. Mac addict too.
Oct 8, 2013
309
0
London, UK
I’m rationalising my modern kit to Voigt 20, Canon 24 IS & 50, and what?

I’m selling the great but heavy 70-300L, should I look for one of the newer plastic fantastic zooms, or maybe a 100 or 135 prime for a bit of speed.

I have 6D & 100D bodies giving me 20/24/50/??? on full frame and crop equivalent of 32/38/80/??? on the dinky little 100D
 

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Maximilian

The dark side - I've been there
Nov 7, 2013
2,650
462
Germany
Hi Paul!

Before we can give advice I suppose you should first tell us, what you mostly shoot.

But my first impression:
From your post I read that you don't need the reach of 300 mm FL.
If you still need or want up to about 300 mm, personally I'd just keep the 70-300L, because it's one of the best tele zooms Canon ever made.
If you for example change to the EF 70-300mm II USM you will not gain so much advantages in size, weight and return of money,
but you will lose a lot in built quality, color, contrast and so on.

For the lenses you mentioned:
The 135L is great portrait lens on FF, if you can get enough space between you and subject. On crop you'll get a decent tele.
Try that FL out with your zoom, if you like it or not.
The 100/2 or 85/1.8 are nice small and cheap lenses, but color and contrast don't pop IMO and they have some CA, that needs to be corrected.
I own the 85, but I would sell it in a heartbeat if Canon made a Mark II of it.

If you need more advice please tell us a bit more about your preferences.

Edit:
I really like the reviews from Dustin Abbott and I just read from him about the 70-300L:
Dustin Abbott said:
Although I no longer own it, I highly recommend the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens: You can read my review here: I really love this lens. It is fairly heavy, but is nicely compact and travels nicely. It is built like a tank, has great sharpness and color, and is very consistent throughout its focal length. This is one of Canon’s hidden gems, and rewards every one who owns it. I had a hard time parting with mine…
He replaced it with the 100-400LII.
 
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Del Paso

M3 Singlestroke
Aug 9, 2018
572
545
What about a 2,8/200 L?
Very good quality, inexpensive and lightweight.
But, in my opinion, NOTHING, absolutely nothing can beat the 70-200 IS II L zoom :love::love::love:.
It's a fantastic lens!
 

AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
5,802
3,283
I wonder if anyone ever sold their 100-400LII to replace it with some other lens in that focal range.
I sold one of my pair of 100-400mm IIs when I bought a Sigma 150-600mm C. 6 months later, I bought another one (but kept the Sigma as it was a very good copy) so my wife and I could both travel with one. Having nearly frozen to death on Mt Hermon last week, I wouldn't go naked to keep one.
 
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navastronia

EOS RP + 5D Classic
Aug 31, 2018
230
243
What about a 2,8/200 L?
Very good quality, inexpensive and lightweight.
But, in my opinion, NOTHING, absolutely nothing can beat the 70-200 IS II L zoom :love::love::love:.
It's a fantastic lens!
I think I'm the only man alive who hated that lens. Maybe I got a bad copy?
 

Sporgon

5% of gear used 95% of the time
Back in 2015 when the 5Ds was introduced I posted a thread titled "Dawn of a new era for primes" as this 50mp camera would allow much more cropping and increase the versatility of primes. Nobody seemed interested at the time but I think I was proved right; there has been an explosion of new prime lenses since then.


I took my own advice and moved to the 5Ds, now I only own one zoom.

If you want to stay light and cheap I'd say go for the venerable EF 100/2. Fast focusing and excellent quality as good as the 135L. (I apologise for the blasphemy. No warning please mods). If you want prime but heavier I'd recommend the Tamron 85/1.8 VS. Very good portrait lens with IS but AF not as snappy as the 100.

I'd think long and hard before losing the EF 70-300L though. I did.
 

Dantana

EOS RP
Jan 29, 2013
245
89
Los Angeles, CA
www.flickr.com
I have the 200/2.8 L and it's sharp, compact and was relatively cheap for a used copy. I find that I don't use it all that much though. I picked up the 70-300L for a trip last year and was super happy with it (even had some good luck with a Kenko 1.4x on it).

Part of my brain loves the idea of primes, of zooming with my feet, or forcing myself to think a bit more. But, and this may just be for me, it seems to work out better on the wide/normal end.
 

CanonFanBoy

EOS 5D SR
Jan 28, 2015
4,150
1,710
Irving, Texas
Back in 2015 when the 5Ds was introduced I posted a thread titled "Dawn of a new era for primes" as this 50mp camera would allow much more cropping and increase the versatility of primes. Nobody seemed interested at the time but I think I was proved right; there has been an explosion of new prime lenses since then.


I took my own advice and moved to the 5Ds, now I only own one zoom.

If you want to stay light and cheap I'd say go for the venerable EF 100/2. Fast focusing and excellent quality as good as the 135L. (I apologise for the blasphemy. No warning please mods). If you want prime but heavier I'd recommend the Tamron 85/1.8 VS. Very good portrait lens with IS but AF not as snappy as the 100.

I'd think long and hard before losing the EF 70-300L though. I did.
The jump in mega pixels from my 5D Mark III to the 30mp of the R has made primes more appealing to me than they were for exactly the same reason; more latitude for crops. The 5Ds must be a dream for that. A high resolution R is on my wish list for the future for precisely that reason. I wouldn't care if it only shot 2 fps for what I do.
 
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