I would describe myself as a serious, but still amateur photographer. I bought my first full frame camera, a Canon 6D, about a year ago. Along with the camera body, I bought a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens, which I love and use most of the time. Later I bought a Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens, which has been fun, but has not overly impressed me. Using these two lenses, I've dabbled with everything; landscapes, architecture, portraits, wildlife, etc., and while I do love wildlife photography, what I enjoy most, is just walking around the city, snapping pictures of interesting things, people, and places, and this is the sort of photography I want to pursue right now. I guess I'd call it urban photography. . . I've also been enlisting friends to use as portrait models, and have really enjoying that.
So recently, through my job, I've had the opportunity to take home and use a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II USM lens, which is everything Tony and Chelsea said it was, and more. I love the quality of the photos I get from this lens. It's a fast lens, the sharpness is amazing, the colors are incredible, and of course the bokeh is beautiful. I've been so impressed with the quality of this lens, that I've decided I want to add a lens of comparable quality to my kit.
I have some budget set aside for new equipment, and I could spend as much as $2000, but I'd rather spend around $1000. Also even though I could afford to buy a 70-200 for myself, it's too heavy, and bulky for what I like to do. When I go out for a day of shooting I pack light, and take just my camera, an extra battery maybe, and a cleaning cloth. Also I find I feel a little too intrusive snapping pictures of people on the street with this large white lens out in front of me. So, as I said, I am looking for some alternative, that has the same, or similar quality, but is lighter and smaller.
I am almost sure I will go with a prime, but have not yet decided on a focal length. I've researched lenses on DxOmark, and looked at reviews by other photographers. I've been considering 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, or (maybe)135mm, primes. I thought at first I'd want a 35mm, for it's versatility, but am not sure I want the distortion from an angle that wide. I enjoy shooting my 50mm, and am comfortable with it. Though, at the moment I am leaning towards an 85mm, because It's close to that 50mm I am used to, but could be a little better for portraits. Of course sharpness, color, and bokeh, are what I am really looking for, so if there is a particular lens, weather it be zoom or prime, or in any of these focal lengths, that has those qualities, and fits my budget, I would choose it.
I've researched pretty heavily the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 II USM which seems promising, but I did notice that the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 USM, even though it's older, has better DXO scores.
I've also researched the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens, which also looks promising.
Anyhow, to wrap up, it's been easy enough to compare stats on dxomark, but I know the stats don't tell the whole story, so I am eager for any advice anyone is willing to give.
I've attached a few photo's I took with the 70-200, to show the kind of quality I am looking for. I know I said urban photography, and two of these are of birds, but I just like the photos and I did take them in a city park.