70-200 f/2.8 good for travel?

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Hello,

I'm planning on buying a Canon 5DII with a wide zoom and a tele zoom for some free-lance photography next to my full-time job (not as a photographer). I will be basically doing some journalistic work, indoor portraits and events.

Once I have premium equipment, why not make full use of it and take it on holiday.

My question is, will a 70-200 f/2.8 not be too cumbersome for holiday? With 1.4 extender I can even shoot wildlife with it.

If it is, I will consider 70-200 f/4 for work but will miss out on reach as I don't look forward extending the lens to 100-300 f/5.6. I will then have to resort to the plastic 70-300 with variable aperture, which forgoes the whole point of a full frame body. 100-400 is not really an option either since it's even more cumbersome than 70-200 f/2.8, isn't it.

The other option is to forget about it and buy a crop camera with cheap lenses for travel. But that will not save me any money and in fact I'm spending more to end up with worse gear. The only thing which keeps me from hauling the 70-200 f/2.8 with TC1.4 is weight. So, is it an issue or not?

PS: the tele zoom will be paired with a wide zoom, either 16-35 f/2.8 or 17-40 f/4 (I'm leaning towards the latter).

Advice welcome.
 
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I don't own a 70-200/2.8 yet because its damn expensive but I have used one on several occasions and have not found it to cumbersome. I'm not sure to what extent or in what conditions you'd be traveling but I haven't had any trouble in my experiences with it.

On another note, are you leaning towards the 17-40/4 for financial reasons or something else?
 
On another note, are you leaning towards the 17-40/4 for financial reasons or something else?

Usually wide angles are used with small apertures for maximum DoF, so I don't see the reason to pay double for an extra stop I will not be using.

Another reason is that 17-40/4 has the same filter size as 70-200 f/2.8, whereas 16-35 f/2.8 and 70-200 f/4 fit different sizes. Although that might not be an issue if forgoe filters and use Phtoshop instead.

I might be wrong on both accounts. Enlighten me.
 
Oh no I was not implying you're making the wrong choice. I will be purchase a wide angle in the next few months and all my research has led me to the 16-35/2.8.

One of my reasons would be that shooting @f/4 on the 17-40, being wide open, isn't the sharpest the lens can hit. generally a few stops under wide open is where the lens becomes sharp, so shooting with the 16-35/2.8 @f/4 would be my preference over the 17-40 @f/4.

Another reason I'm going for the 16-35 is the image quality which, as I've read, is better than the 17-40.

Lastly, I plan on experimenting a lot with it so I may encounter situations I want to drop down to f/3.5 or f/2.8; I guess this point is why not when you can.

As I said I've only begun to do research on the two over the last 4-5weeks and there's plenty of time until I can afford either, so I'll be making a lot more considerations along the way.

btw, the observation about the 70-200/2.8 and 17-40/4 using the same filter diameter is great, I had not noticed! I will certainly consider that as I move forward in my decision making, thanks :)

edit: not that its relevant, but I looked them up and the EF-S 10-22mm, 24-70/2.8L and 70-200/2.8L all use the 77mm filter! i feel better about spending 100$ on the B+W CPL for my 10-22mm now ^_^
 
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Hauling around a $2500 camera and $2400 lens + other lenses is not always a good idea. **** happens you know.
1. drop and break it
2. someone can rip it off your hand and steal it

I came from a 3rd world country so I am always worried with that kind of stuff. But his can happen anywhere.. not only in 3rd world countries.
 
Hi

i have just got the canon 70-200mm f/2.8 and love it, at first the weightiness of the lens takes you by surprise. But i was out at a race track all this saturday gone, and within 5 minutes the weight of the lens left my mind. When your using the lens you soon forget the hefty weight on it and enjoy the pictures it is producing. I think this lens combined with a 5D mark 2 would create an awesome travel camera :) i use mine with a 7D and i love it.

hope that helps you with ya choice
 
edit: not that its relevant, but I looked them up and the EF-S 10-22mm, 24-70/2.8L and 70-200/2.8L all use the 77mm filter! i feel better about spending 100$ on the B+W CPL for my 10-22mm now ^_^
The 17-55 f/2.8 IS also has a 77mm filter size ;)

To OP: If I were traveling with Canon gear, I would probably pick up an older 40D or something and an 18-135 or 18-200. Small, light, flexible, no lens switching, and not tooo pricy. It's not going to have fantastic IQ, but unless you're shooting for big prints or something, does it really make that much of a difference? I really don't like taking my 70-200 2.8 IS out and about. It's big, heavy, and draws a lot of unwanted attention. It's an amazing lens, but it's the last one I want to touch if I'm trying to travel light or discrete.

To be honest, last time I was abroad in Japan, my pocket point and shoot saw significantly more use than the DSLR I brought with me. Perhaps something like a nice P&S (PowerShot G11 or S90) would be a good choice.
 
have you consider the 24-105 f/4 for travel?

I don't see a reason to do that. It's not wide enough for landscape, nor long enough for wildlife.

I understand a white camera is drawing attention but that can be solved by covering it with one of those black sleeves they sell, doesn't it.

I also understand that cameras can be stolen but exotic travel locations (last month I was in Costa Rica, best wildlife ever!) usually offer the best pictures, so why not use the best gear!

I want to point out that I will have to buy a 5D anway with a wide zoom and tele zoom and external flash. I'll be using the tele most of the time. I can choose between f4 and f2.8 for both lenses. If I go for the former, I'll need a fast prime as well (50mm).

So if I already have this gear, why not use it outside work as well? I mean: I don't intend to buy a second camera for travel only. Instead, if weight is an issue, I would choose the f4 lenses but will miss out on range. Do you think I can crop the images enough on PC (200mm where I'd otherwise need 300 or 400mm)?

If I go for the 2.8 variants, I will consider Nikon D700. They have the same zooms and the wide angle even comes with VR. Actually that's another topic: 5D vs D700.

Thanks for the replies.
 
Take a look at a Sigma 17-70 f2.8/4.5 DC macro. It would fill the range up to your 70-200 and you'd have macro. It is a very sharp lens, and reasonably priced.
 
My question to you is... are you buying you gear for your indoor portraits, events and other side job work you want to do? Or are you buying your gear for travel?
If you are buying your gear for indoor portraits and events, then you should consider fast glass... f/2.8... on your zooms. Which means the 70-200 f/2.8 and the 16-35 f/2.8. You will need that extra stop when shooting in lower light, even when coupled with a 5D MkII. It makes a considerable difference. Yes, it is heavier than the f/4 glass, but this is what you need to deliver consistent pro results.

If you are considering the 70-200 f/4, 70-300 4-5.6 and 17-40 f/4, then you are seriously limiting yourself for you future part time job.

You have to decide what is your top priority...travel or events. If you chose travel, then its a whole different discussion if you dont want to lug around gear and you think the 70-200 f/2.8 is too cumbersome. Yes it is heavy, but this is what you need for events and indoor work. It is not the best wildlife lens. It is good, but limited in reach. Get a 2x extender and have a 140-400 f/5.6.

So not to be too repetitive, you need to decide what you want to shoot for and go with that. Photography is demanding on gear, which is demanding on your pocket book. If you want to achieve consistent pro results, you need the gear to do so, and that gear changes depending on what you are shooting.
Shoot birds? Get ready to haul around an 800mm lens, big a$$ tripods, monopods
Shoot sports? Two cameras are a must, which can shoot fast and handle low light. Depending on the sport... 24-70 2.8 + 70-200 2.8 or 70-200 2.8 + 400 2.8.
Shoot landscapes? One camera would be enough. Tilt shift lenses are great tools for architectural work. Filters galore, ND for long exposure in the day. Wide lenses are preferred.
Shootin weddings? Well, all of the above x2, plus speedlights, stands and all that lighting stuff.

Hauling around a $2500 camera and $2400 lens + other lenses is not always a good idea. **** happens you know.

While I can appreciate the sentiment behind this, I did not heavily invest in equipment to leave it at home because its expensive. Why buy a nice car to only take it out 2-3 times a year? That is what insurance is for. If **** happens, you are covered.
 
While I can appreciate the sentiment behind this, I did not heavily invest in equipment to leave it at home because its expensive.
Exactly! My problem isn't the price, the company is paying for the gear. My problem is comfort. I don't mind the extra weight for work, but for travel it might get tedious.

I think I'll go with the F2.8 lenses after all. At F2.8 the wide zoom is excellent for indoor shots (museums and such) and the tele zoom at F2.8 allows me to extend it and still stay fast. With two F2.8 lenses and a body with little noise at high ISO values, I can leave the flash home when travelling. I'll still need the flash for work. That's my thinking.
 
That is my thinking as well.

If you want to travel lighter, I'd seriously consider a crop body. The crop factor with a 70-200 lens will get you an effective 320mm with that 70-200. Plus, when doing events, having a second body is a must...for backup and for shooting without changing lenses. A Canon 7D would be idea, but a 40D would do just as well.
 
I don't think it's logical to invest in premium equipment and resort to budget cameras when visiting the visually most interesting locations around the globe.

The only way to reduce encumberance - should that pose a problem - is to use slower lenses (hance f/4) and higher ISO. Hauling a tripod all day is a bigger nuisance than the heavier lens.

Also, don't you think cropping a picture in Photoshop that was taken with full frame at 200mm results in better quality than having a non-cropped picture on crop camera taken at 200mm (taking into account the full frame's larger pixel size and higher resolution)?
 
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Also, don't you think cropping a picture in Photoshop that was taken with full frame at 200mm results in better quality than having a non-cropped picture on crop camera taken at 200mm (taking into account the full frame's larger pixel size and higher resolution)?

Too many variables... depends on how much you crop, the cameras you are shooting with, the glass, the lighting.... or maybe just too many variables for my simple mind :)

I don't think it's logical to invest in premium equipment and resort to budget cameras when visiting the visually most interesting locations around the globe.

Not really. I guess it depends on your definition of budget camera. The 7D is MORE than capable of producing top notch images. Actually, if shooting sports or some wildlife, people prefer the 7D over the 5D2 as it has the extra reach of a crop, it has a faster burst (8fps vs 3.5fps) it has a faster AF as well. Things that aren't a must for portraits and events, but musts for wildlife and sports. Although if you are a serious sport shooting, you have a 1D series.

I would much prefer having top glass with a 7D then lower glass with a 5D2. But again, we are talking vacation shooting. For events, a 5D2 would be great. Why not shoot events with a 7D and a 70-200 2.8 and a 5D2 with a 24-70 2.8? I'm not sure how many low light situations you will shoot when on vacation. The times that I do, I have my tripod and thus, high ISO is not an issue as I'm at ISO 100.

Not many people have the budget to get a 70-200 2.8 and 70-200 4. If you do, great! Bringing the f/4 for when you are shooting in the day, 2.8 when at night or indoors.
 

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