sunnuntai 17. joulukuuta 2017

Why Every Photographer Needs a 24-70mm Lens

Fondly known as the “walk around lens” by professionals and hobbyists alike, the 24-70mm lens is the staple of any photography kit! A lens that offers diversity and functionality, its range makes the 24-70mm lens a remarkable companion for a vast array of photo shoots. From wide captures to close-up portraits, and everything in between, this lens is one that many photographers jump for immediately.

Camera brands such as Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony, Sigma, and Tamron understand this and have offered a rather wonderful selection of 24-70mm lenses from which to choose. Several professionals actually own more than one 24-70mm, as this lens has the potential of becoming the most used glass in your photographic arsenal.

Why Every Photographer Needs a 24-70mm Lens

Why? Well, it’s awesome of course! The benefits of the 24-70mm lens are as priceless as our love for it. Here are some of the reasons why you want to have this lens in your bag.

No Learning Curve

The focal range of the 24-70mm lens is greatly inspired by the human eye. As such, this lens allows brand new photographers to learn with more ease than some other types of lenses due to its lack of distortion.

It is much easier to study composition when you can photograph similarly to how your eye sees naturally. Some wide angle lenses have a curve to the glass, which causes the subjects to warp when improperly photographed. The 24mm aspect of this lens offers no ultra-wide angle distortion while still offering a rather wide capture, perfect for simply concentrating on the best arrangement of elements.

There is equally little trouble with the rest of the focal range. The range passes through 50mm, a commonly used focal length for portraiture. The 70mm offers a very nice zoomed close-up. This lens is a great stepping stone to a variety of focal lengths, such as the 70-200mm lens.

Why Every Photographer Needs a 24-70mm Lens

Close Focusing Abilities

This lens is absolutely excellent for a subject that happens to be in close proximity to the glass. The minimum focusing distance does vary depending on models, but it averages 38 centimeters (15 inches) from the glass. To give perspective on how close this is, the average focusing distance for most lenses is 48 centimeters (19 inches), although this is affected by whether your camera is full frame or not, the type of lens, etc.

Although the 24-70mm is not a macro lens (whose minimum focusing distances are around 20 centimeters), it can still take beautiful close-up photographs of flowers and other favorite macro subjects.

Why Every Photographer Needs a 24-70mm Lens

Versatile Range

Arguably the most important benefit of the 24-70mm lens is its versatility. The range offers limitless possibilities, with an added boost of immense adaptability in the face of various photo shoots.

You can easily go from a wide angle to a zoom with this beauty, acclimating as quickly as your subjects change. This lens also allows you to capture a large variety of shots per session without the need to consistently change your lens. Considering our photography game with clients is primarily speed and efficiency, the 24-70mm will quickly become your best friend for this reason alone.

The versatility allows you to pack just this one lens when you go gallivanting across the world on vacations or destination shoots, an ideal prospect in and of itself. The 24-70mm lens is also a favorite of wedding photographers, as it allows them to capture precious moments without lapsing to change out gear. As previously touched upon, the focal range also covers the significant focal lengths in the photography world, such as the 50mm and the 70mm.

Why Every Photographer Needs a 24-70mm Lens

Robust and Comfortable Build

Most 24-70mm lenses are rather robust little creations, with a comfortable build to last. Knowing that this lens is referred to as the walk around lens, most brands have ensured that your faithful companion is able to outlast most of your adventures.

From weather protection offered by some manufacturers, to solid and sturdy bodies, the 24-70mm is ready for most anything you can throw at it. This lens is also rather comfortable to hold, considering it isn’t very long nor terribly short.

Why Every Photographer Needs a 24-70mm Lens


Of course, we cannot discuss build without talking about size. At an average size of 3.28 x 3.28 x 4.86 inches and weight of approximately 2 pounds (900g), the 24-70mm is neither the largest nor the heaviest lens on the market. Quite the contrary, this lens happens to fit into most cases and isn’t the world’s worst hassle to carry.

In comparison to the rest of my kit, my 50mm (f/1.2) lens weighs more despite being shorter. To add even more praise, I have been easily able to put this lens with a camera body into a regular old purse. The amount of use and adaptability you can accomplish with this lens greatly outweighs any physical burdens of transporting it and many would argue that this lens is the same size as the average, most common lenses.

Why Every Photographer Needs a 24-70mm Lens

Now that the 24-70mm has (hopefully) won you over, there comes the burden of choosing which one to get. There are a variety of different 24-70mm lenses, ranging not just by brand, but also by aperture and weight. Here are some, just to name a few:


Canon’s collection of lenses is home to the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L, Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM, and Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM Lens. The f/2.8 aperture version is the most commonly seen 24-70mm lens, due to its beautiful depth of field and low light capabilities (remember, the wider the aperture, the more light the lens lets in!).

The EF 24-70mm f/2.8L (above left) is the predecessor of the newer EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM (above middle), and those on a budget may do well looking into the original lens which landed an iconic spot in Canon’s lineup. The updated version features improvements to image sharpness, vignetting, and AF speed. That being said, these improvements come at a rather substantial price tag. When pairing with a camera body that features advanced auto-focus systems, the version II is significantly faster than its predecessor. However, if you own one of the older bodies, you won’t see a significant difference. Like version I, version II features weather sealing with a front filter in place, which separates this lens from its competitors.

Canon’s EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM Lens (above right) is another option. Although it does not feature a 2.8 aperture, the addition of image stabilization may sway some to purchase this version. Some of the benefits of this lens over its f/2.8 companion are reduced size/weight, image stabilization, and much lower cost. Another huge benefit is maximum magnification (MM). The 24-70 f/4L IS features an impressive 0.70x magnification (compared to 0.21x for the 24-70L II) which means it can double as a macro lens in a pinch.



Nikon has the AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR ($2396 USD) and AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm F2.8G ED ($1796 USD), with a $600 difference between them (at the time of writing this article). The 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR is on the larger size of the 24-70mm array of lenses, being an inch longer than its predecessor and a bit wider. However, both of these lenses are extremely sharp in practical use, a wonderful testament to the models. Unfortunately, there is quite a bit of vignetting at the wider apertures. The f/2.8E ED VR version features image stabilization and vibration reduction, unlike the 24-70mm F2.8G ED.


Tamron is home to their 24-70mm f/2.8 DI VC USD Lens, which is still one of the only f/2.8 24-70mm lenses with image stabilization. Tamron’s vibration control system allows this lens up to 4-stops of camera shake compensation. The ability of this lens to capture sharp images of static subjects in low light is extremely beneficial, given its low light capability. This lens is also significantly more cost-effective than the Canon lenses. Sadly, you can expect anywhere from 2-3 stops vignetting on a full-frame camera, wide open, depending on the focal length. However, this lens is quite sharp and was noted to out-perform Nikon’s 24-70mm not too long ago. Unfortunately, the AF has been said to not always be consistent.

Note: Read reviews for lenses before you make any decisions.


Sigma has the Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM ART. This lens is significantly heavier than some of the other 24-70mm lenses mentioned, primarily the Canon 2.8 version II. The build quality is excellent given the comparatively affordable price tag. This lens features built-in vibration reduction just like the Tamron equivalent, and a minimum focusing distance of 37 centimeters.

For more on other 24-70mm lenses see these dPS reviews and comparisons:

Your turn

Now that you’ve learned of the wonders of this charming lens, what are you waiting for?!

Have you used a 24-70mm lens before? What are your favorite things about it? Please share in the comments below.

The post Why Every Photographer Needs a 24-70mm Lens by Anabel DFlux appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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Transform Your Images with a Click – 62% off these Lightroom Presets Today

We’re at day 5 of our dPS 12 Days of Christmas and today we have one that we know many of you who use Lightroom will LOVE. It’s 62% off any of our Lightroom Presets bundles!

If you have ever looked at other people’s beautiful images and have wondered, “Why don’t mine look like that?” Then you’ll find todays deals perfect for you.

These beautiful presets have been created by some of our favourite photographers to save you a whole lot of processing time.

They will help you convert your photos from average to amazing with just one click.

Here’s the deal – 101 Lightroom Presets for just $19 USD:

Normally $49 – today you can pick up any one of these 101 presets packs for just $19 USD (62% off).

These collections have been created exclusively for dPS by professional photographers to make your photos “pop” and save you time getting the look you want.

With these collections and a few clicks in Lightroom, people will be wondering why their images are not as stunning as yours!

Each one contains 101 presets – at just $19 USD that’s around 18 cents per preset. Whether you just grab the one pack or all three you’ll love todays deal.

Bonus Parter Offers

Anyone who picks up any of the offers during these 12 days of offers gets to take advantage of your exclusive DPS Christmas Deals Bonus Offers, like todays featured bonus where you can pick up Perfectly Clear Complete for just $89 USD.

Brought to you by

Athentec Perfectly Clear
New York Institute of Photography

The post Transform Your Images with a Click – 62% off these Lightroom Presets Today by Darren Rowse appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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lauantai 16. joulukuuta 2017

What to do When it Starts to Rain – Are you Prepared to Keep Shooting?

I live in a country where the climate is described as temperate. This is just another euphemism for not so great weather! Typically, the seasons sort of merge together and the annual rainfall can dampen anyone’s spirits, pun intended.

It was when living in Paris, France for a couple of years that I truly understood the real meaning of the four seasons. Spring in Paris is actually spring – chilly but with clear blue skies and sunshine. And in summer, my favorite season, it is gloriously hot.

Rain and water, in general, are not a good mix when it comes to camera equipment, especially when it comes to your camera bodies and lenses. But there are times when you can get caught literally out in the rain. So what do you do? Panicking is an option, albeit not a practical solution.

What to do When it Starts to Rain - Are you Prepared to Keep Shooting?

In this article, I aim to provide some useful tips to keep you and your gear protected from the elements. The following tips are for when you find yourself caught out in a light rain shower that doesn’t last long, but want to stay on location to continue shooting.

The first thing to do before stepping outside your door is to check the weather forecast. If you have to travel to your chosen destination, the weather may change when you arrive, so be prepared for that. Most smartphones have a weather app built-in. I recently downloaded the rain radar app. It’s free too (for Android herefor iOS as well, just search for the right one for your area).

5 Useful items to have in case it rains

  1. Rain pack and a towel
  2. Lens hood
  3. Camera rainsleeve or a Ziplock bag
  4. Silica gel packs
  5. Umbrella
What to do When it Starts to Rain - Are you Prepared to Keep Shooting?

Hiking boots plus my stuff bag which has my waterproofs and a towel.

Preparation is key here. Inevitably, when shooting outdoors, you are at the mercy of the weather. I have a designated rain pack that I can throw into the boot (trunk) of my car along with my hiking boots. I use this type of bag so as I can stuff my waterproofs and towel inside at short notice. Plus, the bag itself takes up so little space for storing away afterward.

What to do When it Starts to Rain - Are you Prepared to Keep Shooting?

My waterproofs & hiking boots ready to go in the boot of my car

What to do When it Starts to Rain - Are you Prepared to Keep Shooting?

My handy stuff bag, otherwise known as a dry bag for storing scuba fins!

The towel is for wiping surface water off your gear, especially your tripod legs, before collapsing the legs down. Or indeed yourself!

What to do When it Starts to Rain - Are you Prepared to Keep Shooting?

Handy anti-rain items for cameras

The humble lens hood can sometimes get overlooked for its usefulness. This small lightweight bit of plastic is key in not only preventing unwanted strong light hitting the lens at an angle, which produces lens flaring and ghosting. It can also help stop the rain from hitting the front of the lens element. Another bonus for the lens hood is protecting your expensive glass against a fall or knock.

Another permanent fixture in my camera bag is the camera rainsleeve by OP/TECH USA. However, I haven’t yet had to use it but knowing that it’s there is reassuring. It is probably the cheapest camera gear item you will ever buy. I think it’s worth paying $6.95 USD. It is inexpensive and takes up so little room in your camera bag. Of course, you can always improvise and use a ziplock bag instead.

What to do When it Starts to Rain - Are you Prepared to Keep Shooting?

Camera Rainsleeve by OP/TECH USA – a great inexpensive solution to protect your camera in the rain.

Moisture absorbent silica gel packets, the little 5g packets that are used for storage or dispatch of electronic products. I tend to keep them when I get a parcel delivered, so I have a couple in my camera bag at all times. You can also buy these silica gel packs online quite cheaply too.

What to do When it Starts to Rain - Are you Prepared to Keep Shooting?

Silica Gel Sachets – a handy item in your camera bag for keeping moisture away from your camera. Just make sure to check them from time to time for wear and tear. Inside the sachets are very small hard translucent gel balls, which can get lodged in unusual places.

Tip: Do check these little sachets from time to time for wear and tear. Recently, I had one split open not in my camera bag but in my laptop case. I tried to insert a flash drive into the USB Port. The USB key wouldn’t insert completely. Thankfully, I didn’t try to force it. I couldn’t see anything obvious when I checked the USB Port. However, when I got a flashlight to have a better look. I could see this very small translucent ball stuck in the corner. Luckily, I was able to get it out without damaging the USB Port.

Cover yourself too

Last but not least on my list is the ubiquitous umbrella. If you are by yourself, you might be able to hold a small umbrella to protect your camera while shooting. A little awkward at best but it could work in a pinch. On the other hand, if you are with someone else. It’s ideal, as he/she can hold the umbrella over you and your camera.

Umbrellas also act to protect your subjects from getting wet. On one occasion, I used my shoot-through-white umbrella to protect my model from getting wet. It also acted as a great backdrop for the shot.

What to do When it Starts to Rain - Are you Prepared to Keep Shooting?

Girl holding a white see thru umbrella that I used to keep my model dry and it provided a great backdrop too.

Tip: An umbrella can be used as a great prop for an image. For example, a red umbrella or a differently shaped umbrella can really add an interesting dimension to your image.


Shooting outdoors does indeed bring its own challenges but with a bit of planning and having a few essential items to hand, all may not be lost. We can’t control the weather, so at best all we can do is prepare for it.

For example, for the shot of the Sony camera inside the waterproof case (see top photo). The camera is sitting on the bonnet (hood) of my car and I was nice and dry underneath the front porch of my house four feet away. If the rain persists or is simply too heavy to venture out, use this time to take actual shots of the rain against the window of your house or car.





What makes these shots more interesting is the type of background and the light reflecting off the rain droplets. For example, in the following image. I was in my own car and shot the car in front of me with my iPhone. I switched the wipers off to let the rain build up on the windscreen. The lights from the oncoming traffic gave it this Blade Runner abstract type shot.



Disclaimer: I wasn’t driving the car when I took these shots. The traffic was at a standstill.

I hope you found this article useful. I’d love to hear your tips and advice on how you battle the elements when out shooting in the rain or other inclement weather. Please leave your comments below.

The post What to do When it Starts to Rain – Are you Prepared to Keep Shooting? by Sarah Hipwell appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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