Have you ever asked yourself which lens you would choose if you could only have one lens in your bag for the rest of your life? Well, I did many times and in my case it always comes down to the Canon 24-70mm f2.8 II. To me, this is the definitely the ONE lens to rule them all for so many reasons and I’m going to tell you why in this post, hang on!
Why the 24-70 actually called “standard”?
The 24-70mm focal range is always called „standard zoom“ which gives it kind of a boring affiliation. Not a single photographer I know of wants to take „standard“ pictures with a „standard“ lens. Instead everybody wants their shots to stand out and maybe that’s the reason why this lens is mostly overlooked. That is at least what I see a lot on facebook when people ask „what lens should I buy“. They mostly get recommended either a ultrawide-angle or a 70-200mm telephoto lens but the 24-70 gets very few mentions in comparison. I don’t know why that is but what I know for fact: there is nothing boring or standard about this focal range at all.
The most versatile focal range ever?
The 24-70mm sits right in the middle between a wide-angle and telephoto lens covering some of the most important focal lengths we typically use as photographers. This makes it a very versatile piece of glass for everyday use that can handle pretty much everything you throw at it. Let’s take a closer look: At the lower end of it’s range – at 24mm – it works great for architecture or landscape photography. Zoom in to 35mm and you’ve got any kind of travel or street photography covered and further up at 50 to 70mm it gives you a really nice depth of field making it a great choice for portraits or any other subjects you want to isolate.
Quick return on investment
This is an F2.8 lens which means it’s very fast, the aperture opens up nice and wide letting lots of light in throughout its entire focal range. At F2.8 it gives you an incredible bokeh and its low-light performance is superb which is especially important to me because of the concert photography I do. I’ve literally covered entire corporate event shootings using only this lens and that also made it my number one lens in terms of return on investment pretty fast.
A beast for videographers
Unfortunately f2.8 lenses are always bigger, they are heavier and they cost more money. This lens comes at about 1500$. If that’s out of your budget but you still want to get that versatile focal range you should check out the F4 version retailing for approximately half that price. All these advantages you just read about not only apply to still image photography but also videography. Some weeks ago I took it with me on a day trip to Vienna and I entirely used the 24-70 back then to shoot some timelapses and B-Roll. Click on the video above to check it out!