View Full Version : Canon 135mm f2.0 or Canon 70-200mm f2.8

30th of November 2008 (Sun), 20:28
I'm leaning towards getting the 135mm, trying to build up a list of pros/cons for both options

135mm f2.0 - razor sharp, great colours, easy to manage (size) & amazing BOKEH
cons: not long enough for soundboard/outdoor events

70-200mm f2.8 - pros: versatile, add an extender for long range event coverage, sharp for a zoom
cons: size, being a little guy...my shakey hands may drop the sharpness level at times

30th of November 2008 (Sun), 21:08
Are you talking the non-IS version of the 70-200 2.8? Also, what other gear do you have?

Based on the images on your website, it looks like you could get by with f/2.8, so I would probably give the edge to the 70-200 for versatility and ease of use in time critical or dynamic situations. I think you would get used to the size easily enough. If you're thinking about getting the IS version, I would go with the 70-200 no question.

The 135 is a great lens when you either want to look less intimidating or when you can take a more methodical approach to getting your image.

Either way, you'll be happy.

Btw, I use a 135L. I am kind of a prime shooter I guess, and I rarely work under a 3 song time limit.

30th of November 2008 (Sun), 21:54
Non IS version - can't afford the extra $700-800 as I just spent $2k on a new laptop....so I shouldn't really be thinking about a new lens at the moment (but a competition/new assignment win has helped me gather some funds quickly)

70-200 - basically just it's versatility is grabbing my attention....I don't think I'd go all the way to 200 (except for drummer shots)

If I did manage to get access to a restrictive show I could probably borrow/hire a 200 or 300 lens for the night

1st of December 2008 (Mon), 21:05
I'm facing a similar decision. Increasing concert gigs, and my 24-105L isn't cutting it at f/4. I've rented all Canon 2.8 zooms, plus several primes. I can afford to purchase two lenses at the moment and I will be opting for the 24-70L, plus the 135L. Most of my gigs are in medium size venues, shooting from the pit, so I feel the f/2, smaller size, and cheaper price outweight the extra reach and flexibility of the 70-200. Not sure if I will trade the 135L for the 70-200 in the future or not, but from what I hear the 135L is love at first click. Next on my list is the 16-35L, very expensive, but perfect in the pit.

3rd of December 2008 (Wed), 20:38
If you can't afford the 70-200 f2.8L IS I'd hold off on getting a 70-200 until you can for concert photography. I had the non IS version for a couple of years and while it was a great lens the lack of IS limited its usefulness in a concert environment - since upgrading to the IS version my keeper rates have gone up dramatically. At 200mm it can be really useful to get close ups of individual musicians faces - basically head shot portraits of performers.

From all accounts the 135 f2.0L is an outstanding lens and I'd love to have one (I will one day) but if you are shooting from the confines of a photo pit it will lack the versatility of a zoom.

If it came down to a 135 or 70-200 non IS I'd err on the side of the 135.