idkdc wrote in post #17908395
Yeah, that makes total sense. Looks like I'll go ahead with my 1DXII plans. I think the 200mm f/2 would be great for engagement shoots, but it might be a PITA to work with for even portraits on the wedding day...I'm thinking something like the Zeiss Otus 55 f/1.4 might be more versatile and smaller to pack. What would you choose between those two lenses (as options to get after the 1DXII)?
As much as I adore the look of the 200/2, I try to be practical, and I realize the difficulty of working space and that seriously limits certain shoots. Especially timed shoots (like weddings). For general portraits, it's a golden lens, but again, only if you have the space. That 200/2 can't really be useful in a studio setting, or indoors, etc practically. Personally I shoot with a 200/F2.8 all the time for portrait and love the look. I'd love the 200/2 just for the extra isolation it makes. I've never moved to the 135L because I don't see a big enough difference between it and the 200/2.8 for it to matter. So in your case, the 70-200 II does that for you too, and stabilized to boot.
It also depends on what you favor for portrait. I used to crave the isolation of 85 F1.4 (blurring more than the 135L). But more and more I find lighting to be the better tool for my uses, than simply having depth of field for that pop look. I like having the isolation and lighting, so I'm more often shooting at F2.8 anyways outdoors. So I actually more often now shoot with a 90 F2.8 with stabilization (that is also macro, so it pulls multiple duties) and the 200 F2.8. I can swap between the two, at F2.8, without changing lighting outdoors. And I prefer to work with F2.8 outdoors with lighting because I don't need ND filters that way, with HSS (Rovelight). At F1.4 and F1.8, in bright sun, realistically I'd want ND filters and I just don't like using them if I can help it. So F2.8 for me with lighting is the way I go now. I do mostly full body too, I rarely do busts/head shots. So for me, working distance matters. I love the look of 200mm, but I more often use my 90 F2.8 because of the working distance, while still getting plenty of isolation and creamy backgrounds, but I combine lighting with that now too of course.
Carrying a 200/2 is a different beast from the 70-200 II. That 200/2 isn't going in the bag, so to speak, like the others. It's a super tele and it's lens hood alone is bigger than your other lenses. It basically needs it's own box/bag. As much as I would love one, I know that would be an issue over time for me, to have that extra weight, extra bag/box, and basically having to swap lenses a lot to use it. I know I'd probably end up getting a camera to use just on that lens, just so I'd never have to take it off and can just pick it up and use it. I also know, just from that, I'd rarely be able to use it, because unless you're in a wide open outdoor location with a lot of space, you'll be pretty far away to use this.
I would love to have the 200/2. But I know just from shooting portrait at 200/2.8 all the time, the past years, I just favor shorter lenses for it. I like being closer, less working room requirement, lenses can pull more roles and duties without needing to take 6+ lenses (I shoot nearly all primes as it is, so this matters to me to have less). Just from shooting 85mm more and more for portrait, I've never gone to the 135L because again for me the 200/2.8 does the same thing basically with very minor differences other than working room. I still favor the shorter lens, so 85 is still my go-to over time. I think because of that, my "waiting for it" lens is an 85mm F1.4 with stabilization. That would be my 200/2 basically that I would take every where and use for most everything as it does it all. Personally I like to talk to the subjects, issue commands, etc, without shouting over the wind, etc. Or having to place a hand, move something, etc, then run 40 feet to take the shot again with the 200mm...
Just my experience though.
I still of course drool over a 200/2, like Lisa's images. But I also realize most of the pop in her images are the post processing and not the depth of field difference.
A quick look (because wishful magic always gets me, I try to sometimes reassure myself I'm not completely crazy and it helps me not spend thousands to learn the lesson...): LINK (How much blur)
At 10 meters (30 feet), the 50 F1.4 comes in with the least blur, but the 50 will be used closer than 10 meters, more like 3~4 meters or 5 meters. And at that distance, they're all actually quite negligible. So that Zeiss 55/1.4 would actually do the same thing frankly. The difference is the behavior of the background, as more telephoto focal length sucks the background forward, which helps with that "look" we all like. The 55/1.4 however will work in tighter space and actually look better with closer backgrounds due to aperture and proximity to subject. Mean while, at 10 meters, 85 1.4 and 200 2 actually behave so similar that it's only after 10 meters that the 200 will pull ahead and suck the background forward and making things past 20~30 meters blur a lot more if they're distance past the target. At 30 feet though, the 85 and 200 are just so close that it's actually weird. The difference being how the focal length treats the background and how distant subjects blur differently on each one. So the environment with these two focal lengths and apertures matters more than the lens differences themselves.
The 55/1.4 will be better in close proximity and close backgrounds. The 85 F1.4 will do what the 200's will do, with less working distance, nearly the same blur, and only super distant backgrounds will look inherently different (other than telephoto background sucking forward). Blur wise and isolation wise, the big difference is that while they blur the same, depth of field is different. The 200/2 and 200/2.8 will have more depth of field on the same frame up as an 85 1.2 and 85 1.4, so you have more subject in focus, while the background is a creamy blur. And that's why I like the 200/2.8 that I use, to keep depth of field, while killing backgrounds. But, I still favor that working distance of the 85/90.
If you have the 1DX2 and no longer fear the darkness with that amazing low light AF, FPS and high ISO performance, the lenses really just are a means of changing your distance to subject proximity and the ability to blur a background based on it's distance behind the subject. So that's totally based on your shooting locations & habits.
Since you already have an 85 F1.2, it makes me think the 55 F1.4 may not be that important to have, since you have the 35 L II that balances out that 85L. Your 70-200 II does the rest.
Less is more, so do you want to take the 35L, 55 F1.4, 85L, 70-200 II, 200/2 all together for a gig? I'd almost want 4 cameras. Personally I would not want to be swapping lenses on any of them. I'd want a lens per camera, and just put one down and pick one up at the gig and not fool with changing things or changing settings, etc. And that just adds to the gear/weight too. I love primes. But the more primes you use, the more cameras it seems you want to use too. If I were going all prime, I'd take that 35L & 85L, each on one camera and be done, then add lighting. Or, I'd take the 24-70 & 70-200 in the same concept, one per camera. Then maybe with that 3rd camera, you bring one super fast prime (like the 85L).
Frankly it's just too personal to answer sufficiently!