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Photography Tips with Jess, Caon RF 70-200 F/2.8 L IS vs. Canon EF 70-200 F/2.8 II USM L


Canon RF 70-200 2.8

Today, I’m specifically comparing the Canon rf 70-200 2.8 zoom lens with the original ef 70-200 version. The 70-200 is still a must-have in my book and remains my favorite portrait lens. Canon 70-200 has really always had my heart. If you watched my last video, I talked about the rf 28-70 2.0, and I said it was my favorite. To be fair, it isn’t my original favorite, because the 70-200 came first. Together, however, they make up my photographer’s arsenal, and I’m going to share more about why today.

As soon as the r6 came out, I bought it. First of all, if you are used to the weight of the ef 70-200, this is going to feel like a dream comparatively! It’s also much smaller in length than the original, including the size of front-facing lens. However, don’t let size fool you- it is just as beautiful, creamy and tack sharp! It’s even a little bit faster than the ef 70-200. Most importantly, because its a zoom lens it provides on-the-go shooting flexibility when you’re in a time crunch. Additionally, if you’re like me and wear a spider belt system, it sticks out way less, which makes carrying it around on wedding days a much better overall experience. And because it’s lighter, it’s much easier on the wrists. For all of these reasons and more, it’s a much more convenient lens. I really can’t say enough good things about it.

I know prime lenses are amazing, and many photographers use them religiously. However, I had an 85 1.2 that I actually sold after I purchased the rf 70-200, because I never used it. The compression that the rf 70-200 lens produces when it’s extended all the way to 200 is simply incredible. It’s so good, it makes the couple pop and the background almost looks fake. You can get that with the 85, but not having to switch lenses when you’re on a wedding timeline is a huge bonus (because we all know things rarely go perfectly as scheduled!) I love getting really far back so that I get all of the compression to get that beautiful background, but know that I am still able to take a full-body, three-quarter body, and an upper-body close-up without ever moving my feet! Trust me when I say that this zoom lens can save you when the wedding timeline goes awry, and you end up with only 10 minutes to shoot bride & groom portraits (yes, speaking from experience here!)

If you’re a wedding photographer, I dare say this lens is necessary. Of course there are lots of opinions out there, but 8/10 wedding photographers will tell you you need an 70-200 2.8. Why, you ask? There are a few important reasons involving first looks and the ceremony itself.

During a first look, for example, I always tell my couples that that special time is actually likely to be the only time during their entire wedding that they will be alone together (without family members and friends hugging on them and celebrating with them.) But in reality, they’re not alone, because the photographers and videographers are present during their first look. For this reason, I definitely don’t want them to notice that I’m there during their private moment. In fact, I don’t want them to even feel like I’m in the space with them. I found that in order to get the incredible shots I needed, including close-ups of their faces to capture their emotions, I was ruining the moment with prime lenses because I had to get too close. So, I don’t do that anymore- I just use the rf 70-200!

Additionally, during the ceremony, if you have an associate photographer in the back shooting the groom, and you’re in the front shooting the bride walking down the aisle, you will be able to get all of the angles of her, while keeping her perfectly in focus, and still zoom out enough to get the groom’s face too. It’s extremely versatile during a time where switching lenses isn’t an option.  Additionally, for some religious ceremony spaces, you may not allowed to be at the front of the aisle, anywhere in the aisle, or could even be limited to a balcony. So, that makes having the 70-200 zoom lens essential. Another great time to use this lens might be during introductions in the reception space. Or you can get beautiful zoomed out first dance shots framed by floral centerpieces or even Mom and Dad watching the first dance with the 70-200. Don’t worry, if you don’t own one, you can always rent one!

If you’re interested in purchasing the new rf 70-200, but don’t have the budget, do not buy the ef 70-200 full price! You can buy the ef 70-200 2.8 II version used on ebay or from a photographer off-loading their older lens. I hope I’ve helped illuminate the many benefits and versatility of the rf 70-200 over the ef 70-200 for you today. Please be sure to check out my blogs that highlight other lenses as well as my free posing guide if you’re interested.

My 10 Favorite Poses+Prompts For The Bride+Groom!




Five Fourteen Photography

atlanta + North Georgia