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EF 70-200 f/2.8 or RF 50MM 1.2 for portraits?

deanaxgreenway
Contributor

So I'm looking to make my first really big purchase on a lens. I'm looking to be doing portraits and I have the Canon EOS R. What do you think would be a better invesment first? I will eventually want both of them, but which do you think is better to have first? 

 

The EF 70-200 f/2.8 or the RF 50mm f/1.2 

 

I would greatly appreciate any suggestions thrown my way. 

13 REPLIES 13

ebiggs1
Legend

"The EF 70-200 f/2.8 or the RF 50mm f/1.2 "

 

I have both for DSLR cameras.  So, this is based on that fact.  The choice isn't even a debatable, the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM Lens as a first lens.  It is by far more friendly and will be tons more useful.  Not simply portraits.

 

However, in my case the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Lens is an outstandingly fantastic until now unique lens.  I love it.  There is nothing like f1.2 and very few lenses in the world have it. Bottom line though is get the 70-200mm zoom first.

 

Keep in mind, f1.2 is challenging so use it a lot and learn it.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Isn't there now (or soon to be) a 70-200mm f/2.8 specifically for the R? If so, I don't think I'd buy the EF 70-200.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

It's just exceedingly more expensive for the RF version. I have the mount for the EF versions to work with my EOS R, I just don't know if it would be worth the extra...what, $1000? 

"Isn't there now (or soon to be) a 70-200mm f/2.8 specifically for the R?"

 

My advice is not for the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM Lens specifically. It was qualified by the fact I stated my experience was with the DSLR version. The point was to make a 70-200mm f2.8 the obvious first choice.

 

And absolutely get the model designed for the "R" series cameras.  There isn't much good to say for adapters if you don't have to use them.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

I think I'm going more so off the fact it's almost $1000 more than the EF and I do have an adapter mount. Is the RF really worth the $1000 more? I'm still kind of fresh and not rolling in the dough exactly.

"...not rolling in the dough exactly."

 

An affliction that most of us suffer from! Here is my take on that, that I have always followed. If you have no camera any camera is better. If you have no lens any lens is better.  In your case if you follow that philosophy you should buy the EF lens and adapt it. However, sometimes 'cheaping' out actually winds up costing you more later. The industry seems like it wants to go mirrorless. But you seem to think buying old tech and adapting it to the new is the least expensive way to go.  Perhaps it is for you but really think it over before you end up buying something twice. Your decision, my friend!

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Waddizzle
Legend

@deanaxgreenway wrote:

So I'm looking to make my first really big purchase on a lens. I'm looking to be doing portraits and I have the Canon EOS R. What do you think would be a better invesment first? I will eventually want both of them, but which do you think is better to have first? 

 

The EF 70-200 f/2.8 or the RF 50mm f/1.2 

 

I would greatly appreciate any suggestions thrown my way. 


Portraits?  If you are serious about it, the range of lens selection can be pretty broad.  The obvious questions are head shots, full body shots, or somewhere in between?  Are you shooting indoors, outdoors, or a mix of both?  You tend to have more room outdoors, and more distant backgrounds, which is a recipe for great bokeh.  

 

I do not shoot portraits for a living.  I do not make my living through photography,  However, often times I do shoot candid portraits of people in the moment.  I have shot "portraits" from 35mm on my 16-35, to 200mm on my 70-200. 

 

Both of those lenses are f/2.8, and I can isolate the subject from the background.  If I need more background blur, I can always add just a touch in Photoshop.  My point is that post processing has advanced to the point that you do not always need a very wide aperture for background blur.  However, software is no substitute for what lenses can do with points of light.

 

Your two choices are very different lenses, for very different shooting scenarios.  I cannot really advise you on which one to choose, and I do not think anyone else can, either.  I do not know what you have in my mind when it comes portraits.  I think the best advice just might be, "Buy both!"

 

However, if you do not have a fast 70-200mm lens, then go for that one over the 50mm f/1.2.  The longer focal lengths will allow you to blow out backgrounds almost as well, and the DOF of your focusing will not be as critical with an f/2.8.

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"The right mouse button is your friend."

I mean, I don't think there is a problem in asking what people prefer or what they would suggest? So Yeah, I do think people could give me advice. I also mentioned earlier, these are expensive lenses and I'm not made of money, so at the moment I was asking which would be a better lens for a "first time big purchase" ... Yes, they are used for different things, but a lot of the studying I've done... these are the two lenses that have been brought to my attention the most. So I was wondering what someone thought would better for a 'first big purchase' ... but thank you for your input. 


@deanaxgreenway wrote:

I mean, I don't think there is a problem in asking what people prefer or what they would suggest? So Yeah, I do think people could give me advice. I also mentioned earlier, these are expensive lenses and I'm not made of money, so at the moment I was asking which would be a better lens for a "first time big purchase" ... Yes, they are used for different things, but a lot of the studying I've done... these are the two lenses that have been brought to my attention the most. So I was wondering what someone thought would better for a 'first big purchase' ... but thank you for your input. 


Like I said, if you do not have a 70-200mm, then go for that.  It may be a little long indoors, though.  No one has asked what lenses you already have.  So, what lenses do you already have?  Going through life with only 70-200mm f/2.8 is not the worst of things, but it is not the best, either.

 

If these are your first two lens purchases of any kind, I would want something shorter than 70mm.

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"The right mouse button is your friend."
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