Lens: Canon 70-200 f/2.8
Nickname: The Big Guy
Started using it: Summer of 2014
On my camera: 10-15% of the time
Bought it: used
This is one of those lenses that gets talked about a LOT. For a wedding photographer it really is a must have lens. You just need to be able to zoom into that 200mm in order to get some quality emotional shots where you are not all up in someones personal space. So much of wedding photography is about capturing moments and not directing the shot and the only way to successfully do that is with a long lens that will get you near the action without running the moment.
The main reason I bought this lens was because I booked my first wedding. I knew that I would need one eventually as I transitioned more and more toward wedding photography and I found a really great deal for one on eBay that saved me about $1000 from buying a brand new one. Score!
There is no denying it, shooting at 200mm at f/2.8 is just a dream. The compression that you get from that combination…wow. I know there are quite a few photographers who have pretty much made that combination their go too style and produce pretty much all of their images at those exact settings. Thats how visually pleasing it can be. However, the drawback, is that this guy is HEAVY. Its difficult to keep the camera still when you hold it up. Shooting with it for a few hours will give you some back, shoulder and arm soreness. It does have image stabilization which certainly helps, but you have to be very conscious of your shutter speed when shooting so you don’t go below about 220. Sometimes that can limit you in lower light situations.
I wanted to use this lens more during portrait sessions, but I have found it's just not that practical. In order to shoot at 200, you have to be pretty far away from your client which is not always ideal if you are giving directions. I find that the 85mm does what I need it to do without me having to be so far away and it is just so much lighter to carry around.
I see myself reserving this lens only for weddings. It is a perfect wedding lens. You can zoom in to get moments and then zoom right on out to 70mm to get a much wider shot, all without moving an inch. If you are a wedding photographer this is a must have, if you just shoot families or something else, this is probably one you can skip for something more functional. It's fun to play with though, so if you don't own one, at least try to use someone else's at least once!
Other lenses in the Lens Love series: