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FORUMS Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon Lenses 
Thread started 13 May 2006 (Saturday) 11:09
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Canon 70-200 f/2.8L For Studio/Home Portraits

Don't get pissy with me
34,107 posts
Likes: 50
Joined Dec 2005
May 14, 2006 00:18 as a reply to  @ post 1507074 |  #16

liza wrote:
Excellent portrait shots, Grego! Now I'll have to put that lens on my short list. Makes sense, since I'm starting to do weddings.

Don't even bother listing it. Just buy it. You aren't dirt poor are ya? :p

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Cream of the Crop
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Joined May 2005
Location: UCLA
May 14, 2006 00:19 as a reply to  @ post 1507074 |  #17

liza wrote:
Excellent portrait shots, Grego! Now I'll have to put that lens on my short list. Makes sense, since I'm starting to do weddings.

Yeah, its defintely one to have. Indoors, the 70-90mm range can be limiting. I'm even finding my 50 to be limiting sometimes. But then I don't have anything really small and i sold my crappy wide angle(although i have Tokina's 12-24 in the mail-although it ain't the fastest). I'm considering the Canon 35 2 just because its affordable and a solution to more cramped situations.

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Big ­ Hands
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Joined Mar 2005
Location: Southern California
May 14, 2006 03:07 |  #18

Having had both the f/4 and f/2.8 versions of the Canon 70-200L, here are my thoughts:

In order to get decent bokeh with the f/4L, you have to really be concious of being close to your subject while getting quite a distance between your subject and the background (that is much easier said than done).

The color, contrast and sharpness is excellent on both and each delivers excellence wide open.

If shooting in low light at the end of the day is something you want to do, the f/4 version being a full stop slower will be more of a challenge.

And the OOF background is much easier to achieve with the f/2.8.

The other major difference was the AF capability of the f/2.8 version is considerably better resulting in a higher keeper rate under challenging AF conditions like panning sports shots.

The size and weight of the f/4 version is considerably less than the f/2.8, but personally, this is not something that bothers me. YMMV.

I had to sell my f/4L and another beloved lens and add $200 to get the f/2.8L non-IS version and FOR ME, it was worth every nickel. Get the one that fits you best.


Canon 20D w/grip, 300D, Powershot SX100 w/HF-DC1 flash, Canon 70-200 f/2.8L, 85 f/1.8, 17-55 f/2.8 IS, 50 f/1.8, 580EX and some other stuff...

Cream of the Crop
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Location: Southeastern WI, USA
May 14, 2006 06:05 as a reply to  @ post 1506464 |  #19

Mark_48 wrote:
I tend to agree with all the comments about 70-200 being a bit long with the 1.6 crop factor which is what I presently have with the 20D. Thinking back on the magazine portraits I saw I believe they were shot with a Canon FF camera.
Disregarding the 1.6 crop factor, and working on the assumption that someday we all may have a FF sensor DSLR's and this lens would be used on a film camera as well, would the 4.0L version serve me well for portraiture vs. the 2.8L.

My basic quest is for an "all purpose" tele-zoom of good quality. The portrait use was just something else I wanted to consider in whole mix.

Mark, I don't think you would ever want to use the 70-200 f/2.8 (either version) for indoor portrait work - even with a "full frame" body. The reason for my statement is that the lens would be an intimidating monster in front of your subject(s).

Consider that with a 35mm (or "full-frame" digital) camera, the classic recommendation for indoor portrait focal lengths center on about 80mm to maybe 105mm, sometimes shortening to 50mm or stretching to 135mm. What this means is that the 50mm f/1.4 is an ideal portrait lens on the 20D.

I've used my 24-70 f/2.8L in the studio, but it too is huge and becomes a visual "focal point" for the subject(s). If I ever get into doing portraits more than a very rare once-in-a-while, I will probably invest in a 50mm f/1.4 or possibly an adapter to use my old Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 on my 20D.

All that said, the only way anybody is going to get my 70-200 f/2.8L IS away from me is by prying my cold dead fingers from around it. It is one fantastic piece of glass, and is on my camera only a little less than the 24-70 is on it.

Skip Douglas
A few cameras and over 50 years behind them .....
..... but still learning all the time.

200 posts
Joined Jul 2005
Location: Montréal, Québec, Canada
May 14, 2006 11:53 as a reply to  @ Big Hands's post |  #20

If you listen to the Playboy Channel (i know nobody here does that kind of pervert thing...), they often show shootout of girls in indoor studios AND outdoor scenes (girl next door contest or playmate of the month) and you often see the camera professionnal guy and he always uses the 70-200L (as it is easy to recognize because of its color and shape) but i don't know if they use the IS version. Anyways, if playboy channel used the 70-200L for its shootout indoors and outdoors for critical use (these pictures are published), therefore i can imagine that the 700-200 is a good lens for portaits, even indoors. I don't know however if they use a full frame or aps-c Canon digital camera.

Canon Digital Rebel T6S with Kit 18-135 IS STM Lens
Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4.5, Canon EF-S 10-22 f3.5-4.5 USM
Canon EF 70-300 f4-5.6 IS USM, Canon EF 50 f1.8 mkII
Canon EF-S 55-250 f4-5.6 IS & Canon 430EX flash

2,068 posts
Joined Nov 2004
Location: Brookfield, MA
May 14, 2006 13:32 as a reply to  @ Petelebon's post |  #21

This is an example of the 70-200 f/4.0L for portraiture and as well the 50 f/1.8...​ad.php?t=169532

I do have the 50 f/1.4 and 85 f/1.8, both excellently sharp lenses. If I'm doing a head/face shot with the 85 I have to be at about 4 feet from the subject with a 1.6 crop factor sensor. I just don't feel at ease this close in and possibly the subject won't as well. I do have a Canon 75-300 that I wouldn't use for portraits, but at roughly 200mm I can frame a headshot at about 10-12 feet from the subject which is more comfortable for me. Yes, the 50 and 85 do have their rightful place for full length and head and chest shots and do the job very well.

Megapixels and high ISO are a digital photographers heroin. Once you have a little, you just want more and more. It doesn't stop until your bank account is run dry.

Senior Member
738 posts
Likes: 1
Joined May 2005
May 14, 2006 14:23 as a reply to  @ Mark_48's post |  #22

Right when I had the 20d I used the 50 1.4 for indoor portraits, it was such a brilliant lens it never left the camera but I did find that people found it too intimidating because if you wanted to get close they didn’t like it. Now I got the FF 1ds MKII I use the 70-200 L IS for indoor portraits, it is not intimidating, not heavy, I use this setup for 5-6 hours daily and Im not a weightlifter, you can get far away from your subject and if anything they don’t even realise your there, I found I was getting some really lovely natural shots with the 70-200 but only because I wasn’t in my subjects face.


Senior Member
479 posts
Joined Apr 2006
May 14, 2006 14:34 |  #23

I use the 70-200 2.8 and the 135 f2 on my 5D and love both lenses. When using a 1.6 X camera (10 D), I didn't really care for the longer focal length of the 135 f2 (didn't have the 70-200 2.8 yet.) because focusing was very difficult.
Now, on the 5 D, these lenses operate as intended and are a pleasure to use. I don't suscribe to the notion that the 70-200 f4 would be a better travel lens, I think the extra f stop of speed is worth the extra weight. Just my own preference though. :)


Pete Parker from a three stoplight town in Texas

http://pparker.zenfoli​ (external link)

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Canon 70-200 f/2.8L For Studio/Home Portraits
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