Zoom Lens for a Foreign User


Feb 6, 2015
First of all thank you for time.

Ill try to be as short as possible. I moved from APS-C to FF (Canon 6D). I managed in a short time to move from a 28-135mm to a 24-105mm, and i also got a 50mm f/1.8. Although i love the 50mm, i just cant get used to the "real 50mm" and i need a portait lens.

Since im foreign i can't get such good prices from the market, so i got some limited choices to pick from:
Canon 70-200 f/4 ($10000 used) (something around u$s670)
Canon 70-200 f/4 IS ($15500 used) (u$s1033)
Canon 200mm f/2.8L USM II ($10000 used) (u$s670)
Canon 70-200 f/2.8 NON IS ($17000 used) (u$s1150)

I was trying to aim for the F4 IS, but this 200mm came across me just a few hours ago and it seemed like a good deal, lens seems like new and its price is GOOD...

Thing is... i think i won't be able to stand the fixed focal... ¿what do you think?

Again, thank you so much for your time.


I'm New Here
Nov 23, 2014
Boa Vista, Roraima
My thoughts:
IMHO you already have a good focal length range for portraits (85-105mm) at f/4 because you have 24-105. You wouldn't have real gain on portraits of you buy a 70-200 f/4. I'd choose a 85mm f/1.8 or a 100mm f/2 (~ USD 450). You would get very shallow DoF that clients do love. But if you plan multipurpose, 70-200 2.8 are a good choice most part of the time.

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Mar 25, 2011
I'd consider a 85mm f/1.8, a 100mm f/2, or 135mm f/2. Those are the standard portrait focal lengths.

After going to FF, if you had a favorite focal length on crop, multiply it by 1.6 to get the equivalent.

50mm X 1.6 = 80mm, so the 85mm will give a similar look for your portraits as your 50mm.

I would not go beyond 135mm for now.

The 24-105 is a good lens, but if you want to isolate the subject, get as wide of a aperture as possible.
Feb 22, 2016
I have the same camera and lens, and for waist up portraits the 50 is very good, the 24-105 can give nice results as a portrait lens. But to really see a difference you need at least a 2 stop difference between your lenses. The 85mm f1.8 or 100mm f2 are very nice not too expensive portrait lenses. I went for the 135f2 even though I already have the 70-200f4. Non IS. I will can upload some sample if you think that would help.


How you relate to the issue, is the issue.
Jul 13, 2012
too bad you can not get 70-300 L?


Not sure why you think the 50mm is not a portrait lens? It works beautifully in that regard. The trinity of Canon portrait lenses are the 35mm or 50mm, 85mm and 135mm.

For client work I use 6 lenses mainly. 50mm, 85mm, and 135mm in primes and 16-35 f/4 IS, 24-70II, and 70-200II for zooms. Occasionally I'll use my 200f/2 or a 35L but for the most part it's the 6 mentioned.


Oct 26, 2013
I would try the 24-105mm. The usual recommended length for portraits was always around 70mm to 100mm, and the zoom is always helpful for exact framing. If you need a wider lens than I would look into something around that 85mm focal length.


It's not the gear. But it helps.
CR Pro
Apr 18, 2013
Colorado, USA
What doesn't the 24-105 (my first lens on a 6D as well) or 50 give you? You might share a bit more about your specific portrait needs. Background blur/separation? DOF? Head and shoulders only? Shooting distances? I use different lenses for different types of portraits depending on these parameters, including 35, 50, 85, and 135 primes as well as 24-105, 24-70, and 70-200 zooms.

I'm currently shooting a group of about 2 dozen folks, head and shoulders only, with the 135L. Framing with the 135 requires more distance than the 85, but I've got the room and enough background separation to provide a nice blur. Have to shoot at least F4 (indoors with flash/softbox) to get sufficient DOF for the face to be in focus.

My daughter uses my old 70-200 F4 IS for outdoor portraits where she has plenty of room to work. Shes like the F4 version for its size and weight since she will be carrying it around on a BR strap for an hour on a shoot. To her my 2.8 is massive.
Feb 22, 2016
Out of the lenses you mention I would go for the 70-200 f2.8. It is an excellent lens, will provide you with a great range, and it is a staple for portraits shooters. I did have your exact setup, but I upgraded, and now have the 50L, 85L and 135L I still have a 70-200 f4 non-IS. And even though it was my first L lens, I just don't like lugging it around unless I really need it, since I don't do much event photography and have my portrait needs covered, I rarely use it. I actually just got the 85L instead of upgrading it to the 70-200L II. But I do have friend that swear by their 70-200's, they are very, very versatile, and until you find the focal length that you love, it is a great starting point. Good luck!