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| p.1 #2 · Lens buying decision help |
When I went digital I spared no expense and started out FF Canon 1Ds, with the 24-70 2.8L and the 70-200 2.8L. Figured that covered the entire range I'd shoot. But when traveling with this rig, the bulk and weight started getting to me. And many, many times I found I wanted something between 70mm and 100mm (portraits) yet didn't want to swap lenses for one shot. And with the 70-200 mounted for portraits, I couldn't make a quick full body shot because I couldn't drop below 70mm.
Couple years ago I bought the 5D2 which cut body the size and weight in half and increased battery life 500%. But the lens were still a lot to fly with. So I bought the 24-105L. I haven't used the 24-70 since. I just don't need f2.8. The times I wish I had that speed are so few, it's just not worth it. Especially since high ISO quality keeps getting better. And the times I wish I had that low DOF are almost never, cause I can emulate it in Photoshop easily. Now I shoot 90% with the 24-105.
To see the difference in image quality between the 24-70 and the 24-105 you have to really, really pixel peep. And even then, it's not much. Both have some softness in the edges at 24mm. I don't see any significant difference in CA or distortion.
As for the 70-200, I wish I had bought the lesser version, F4 without IS. Partly because it's much cheaper, but mostly because it's much lighter. The DOF at f2.8/200mm is so small it's ridiculous, and the IS is nothing to brag about. Sometimes it works, sometimes not so well. Better to crank up the ISO to get the speed you need and use more noise reduction. With that lens, given a choice between 1/125 shutter speed + IS at ISO 400 or 1/250 shutter speed with no IS and ISO 800, I'd always take the latter.
So think hard about your shooting style. Do you really need the max speed of f2.8 and do you really need the DOF that f2.8 gives. Review your old images and see how often you used f2.8. Remember that the DOF of f2.8 varies a lot by focal length. If you have fallen in love with the DOF of f2.8 on a nifty 50mm lens, you can get the same DOF from a 200mm lens at a much smaller fstop.
When I shoot head shots with the 70-200 at 200mm, it takes f11 to keep the whole face in focus (both eyes), and even then ears are quite soft.