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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Chico, California most of the time
    Posts
    180

    EF 135 f/2L or EF 200 f/2.8L

    I will be traveling in eastern Chiapas and western Guatemala visiting some Indian villages and doing some jungle treks. Around people, I want to leave the white lenses in my bag. However, I want the ability to get some candid shots. I now have the 30D, but may move toward a FF or 1.3 before my trip. I would like a prime of either 135 (f/2L) or 200 (f/2.8). In the reviews I have read, owners of either of these lenses seem to love them. Not considering the factor or reach, are these lenses of equal quality? Which would you select, and why?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    6,590
    Zoom lenses are better for candid/unnoticed shots, sinc ethey allow for framing without you needing to get closer for instance.
    With that in mind, I would go for the Canon EF 70-300 f4-5.6 IS USM. It makes for a very nice travel telezoom, and since the revision after the problems the 1st versions had, it is very sharp (and has good colour and contrast).

    If you want a prime I probaly would go for the 135mm one, since the 200mm lens will flatten depth and perspective too much to use all the time.
    I'd love to have that 200mm f2.8 L, but not for portraits.

    In overal optics the 200mm f2.8 may have the edge, since it is an exceptional lens (across all makes and platforms). But the 135mm f2 is great too... I would not choose on which lens according to "opinions" would be technically superior, but what focal length(s) is the most versatile.

    I would go for the 70-300 IS and not care about the loss of max. aperture, for traveling (when it has to be black apparently). Otherwise I would get a 70-200 f4 L IS USM...
    Canon EOS 350D, Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 macro, Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC EX, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM, Tokina AT-X124 Pro 12-24mm F4, Soligor 1.7x C/D4 DG Teleconvertor, Manfrotto 724B tripod, Canon Powershot S30

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Crapville, Australia
    Posts
    5,148
    Cold raises some valid points, although I see the attraction in the L non-zooms.

    How about a 135/2 + 1.4x II as a compromise?
    Christian Wright; Dip Phot
    EOS 5D Mark III | EOS 600D | EOS-1V HS
    L: 14/2.8 II | 24/1.4 II | 35/1.4 | 50/1.2 | 85/1.2 II | 135/2 | 180/3.5 Macro | 200/2.8 II | 400/2.8 IS | 16-35/2.8 II | 24-105/4 IS | 70-200/2.8 IS II | 100-400/4.5-5.6 IS
    580EX II | EF 12 II | EF 25 II

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Chico, California most of the time
    Posts
    180
    Thanks for the suggestions. I had not considered the flattening with the 200mm. I had not considered the 70-300 IS because, I'm embarrassed to say, I forgot that this lens is EF, not EF-S. Therefore it will work on any Canon SLR. The last time used this lens for a shoot was almost two years ago, which happened to be in Mexico. It worked OK.

    Rebel XT
    #1 190mm; ISO 400; 1/200 at f/14
    #2 210mm; ISO 1600; 1/320 at f/8
    Attached Images Attached Images   

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