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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 05 Nov 2014 (Wednesday) 15:08
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70-200 II - one of the best ever portrait lenses?

 
light_pilgrim
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Nov 05, 2014 15:08 |  #1

I had to spend some time going through my LR catalog of pictures.....and one thing I wanted to say that 70-200 II is one of the very best portrait lenses....truly. I purchased it 3 years ago and It truly helped me to crack so many memorable shots. Nope, f/4 IS is not the same - I used to own it:-)

One of the best investments I have ever made!

All portraits but one are taking with 70-200 II: http://www.dylikowski.​com/people/ (external link)
Only one is taken with 85L.


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BG ­ Ed
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Nov 05, 2014 15:14 |  #2

Agreeeeeeeeed 100%. A great tool indeed. Many times the weapon of choice for portrait, and so much more as well.




  
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MalVeauX
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Nov 05, 2014 15:28 |  #3

Heya,

It's a great lens, no doubt.

But I wouldn't say it's specifically one of the best portrait lenses. A good portrait photographer can do a good portrait with virtually any lens short of super long telephotos (only because it becomes impractical). It comes down to what kind of portraiture and the setting/environment, to make it one of the best for one person. For example, if you're in a studio, does the MKII really do anything the F4L IS isn't already doing, with less weight and cost? If out in the environment and low light, sure the MKII will pull ahead. I don't think it's really an ideal portrait lens. I think it's good for someone that needs that focal length and F2.8 with good IS, and is ok with hand holding it for longer sessions or only does short sessions, or someone who is always on a tripod.

Anyhow, just devil's advocate. Superb lens. I shoot a 200 F2.8 prime a lot for environment portrait, but I do it because it's way cheaper than the MKII, lighter weight by a long shot, and does virtually the same thing (I'm not splitting hairs on measurement charts, the prime is sharp and fast). I absolutely think focal ranges are very useful. But I guess I subscribe to 2+ cameras, one with 35mm prime, one with 85mm prime, or 200mm prime for my portrait work. Just personal preference.

If someone gave me a 70-200 MKII, I'd enjoy it. But I'd ultimately probably sell it and go with an 85L II and a 35 ART perhaps.

Very best,


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XxDJCyberLoverxX
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Nov 05, 2014 16:11 |  #4

While I do agree that the 70-200 mk2 is an excellent lens, "best is still subjective." My F4 IS has given me superb portrait pictures in the past.

The only major benefit between the F4 IS and the F2.8 IS II is the one stop difference. Depending on what you shoot, it might not make a difference at all.

Sharpness is moot point, since the difference can always me easily made up during post.

If someone let me borrow one, I'd definitely be out on the field shooting all sorts of things. But for portraits, sometimes other lenses can be just as good.

Different shooting styles. Different lenses.


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Brian_R
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Nov 05, 2014 17:33 |  #5

excellent lens but there is no one lens that is the best ever portrait lens, that depends on style and what you or your client needs as far as the way the image looks and is rendered. i got rid of mine and replaced it with the f4 IS because 1 stop of light doesnt make a difference for what i shoot and the lighter weight is much nicer for traveling




  
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Xyclopx
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Nov 05, 2014 17:56 |  #6

light_pilgrim wrote in post #17254251 (external link)
I had to spend some time going through my LR catalog of pictures.....and one thing I wanted to say that 70-200 II is one of the very best portrait lenses....truly. I purchased it 3 years ago and It truly helped me to crack so many memorable shots. Nope, f/4 IS is not the same - I used to own it:-)

One of the best investments I have ever made!

All portraits but one are taking with 70-200 II: http://www.dylikowski.​com/people/ (external link)
Only one is taken with 85L.

very nice shots (and beautiful people). whatever the opinion, those certainly are great results.


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Myboostedgst
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Nov 05, 2014 18:21 as a reply to  @ Xyclopx's post |  #7

Great versatile lens, but it would be hard to choose just one between the 200/2, 85L, 135L, and the 70-200 II.


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Reservoir ­ Dog
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Nov 05, 2014 18:36 |  #8

light_pilgrim wrote in post #17254251 (external link)
One of the best investments I have ever made!

I do agree 100 % !! :)


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iamnevada
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Nov 06, 2014 00:54 |  #9

Those are truly some awesome shots. In addition to your subject capture, you have captured just the right angle of background to reinforce the subject. I have struggled over the money, size and weight of the 2.8 ii versus a couple of fast primes for portrait work. However, you have demonstrated the ability to properly capture your main image along with controlling the field of view that can best be accomplished with a fast zoom. This is something I had not considered.




  
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light_pilgrim
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Nov 06, 2014 04:52 |  #10

Thank you very much. The biggest argument for me is always the end result - a photograph. I had similar concerns and questions in my mind, but it was easier to make a decision as I have a professional photographer as a friends with 20+ years of experience, a very-very talented and successful guy. He always had the latest and greatest gear, but with 70-200 available, he got read of 85L and 135L.

I switched from 70-200 F/4 IS and the first reaction was......wow, this is so big and so heavy! You have to believe me, I am not even paying attention to the weight...I am holding it with one hand and do not notice the weight.

The ability to quickly move from 70 to 200 mm is a big deal because it helps you with the composition and framing. It helps you to control the comfort zone between you and your subject. It gives you the opportunity to react instantly.

When it comes to sharpness - it is super sharp. The bokeh is also very-very nice.
IS is super effective and I saw the difference myself (with and without). Thanks to such an effective IS system I was able to use better ISO settings.

In my case, it is just one tool that does all the portrait work for me. I also have Sigma 35 Art and I used to have Zeiss 35 F/1.4 ZE before. Honestly....I still do not have a cracking shop.....not that they are not capable, but it is a lot more difficult to do it @35 mm.

iamnevada wrote in post #17255195 (external link)
Those are truly some awesome shots. In addition to your subject capture, you have captured just the right angle of background to reinforce the subject. I have struggled over the money, size and weight of the 2.8 ii versus a couple of fast primes for portrait work. However, you have demonstrated the ability to properly capture your main image along with controlling the field of view that can best be accomplished with a fast zoom. This is something I had not considered.


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Paulstw
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Nov 06, 2014 05:01 |  #11

The lens is secondary to what you are producing. Great shots that are only helped by a great lens. Put that lens in the hands of someone less imaginative and it's not longer the best.




  
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a911s
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Nov 06, 2014 05:04 |  #12

I agree. The 70-200 f2.8 II is a great portrait lens. Perfect if you can't feet zoom. Mine's sharper than the 85 1.8 I had, and has no visible CA or green fringing.




  
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Invertalon
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Nov 06, 2014 06:26 |  #13

I also think the 70-200 II is one of the most consistent, wonderful lenses Canon makes. Colors, sharpness, contrast, etc...

I can't really find any flaw in the lens.


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ptogel
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Nov 06, 2014 07:16 |  #14

I only wish that the price would be a little bit lower. But I guess that is what you pay for a great lens.


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umphotography
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Nov 06, 2014 07:42 |  #15

Myboostedgst wrote in post #17254571 (external link)
Great versatile lens, but it would be hard to choose just one between the 200/2, 85L, 135L, and the 70-200 II.

^^^^ This^^^^

Ill take the 135L and 200L look over a 70-200 any day of the week and three times on Sundays


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70-200 II - one of the best ever portrait lenses?
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