2 minute read

Lens Testing

Deciding between these two popular lenses? Let’s compare them to help you choose.

WRITTEN BY NATALIE EDWARDS

Let’s start with the 24-70mm lens by Canon. This is a great and very versatile option, I’ve seen this lens recommended by photographers who shoot portrait and fashion pictures to weddings and landscapes. It’s great to start with if this is your first upgrade and it’s definitely one of the most popular lenses in the community.

This lens has a great depth of field at focal length range, great quality and it’s not too heavy to carry for long periods of time. When taking outdoor portrait shots, using a wide angle lens like this can give you so much creative freedom. You can try out new perspectives and angles so easily, if you go in closer to your subject you can also achieve an interesting distortion. In saying all this, the 24-70mm can be tricky being used for portraits. The distortion you can get from the lens is great for creative shoots but maybe not so much for everyday work as it could be unflattering.

Both of these lenses are quite pricey so they’re definitely an investment in your career. Generally the 24-70mm can be found slightly cheaper than the 70-200mm but I wouldn’t say it’s nearly enough difference to decide solely based on that.

Now, the 70-200mm is an amazing lens but it does have its drawbacks. The compression is a really positive aspect of this lens. Lens compression is when the background elements appear larger than they actually are. Even though this is identified as a type of distortion, it’s more than that. Lenses with good compression can create a lot of new possibilities for your compositions.

The main drawback of this lens and what puts off a lot of buyers is the weight. I can vouch from personal experience that this lens is exceptionally heavy compared to most. Yes, it’s clear that the size would mean this is going to happen but is it worth it? When holding this lens in your hands or around your neck for extended periods of time it can really be difficult and could end up taking your focus from your subjects.

In my opinion, yes it’s worth the trouble. Just be prepared for how heavy it can get and take short breaks from holding it. The quality is incredible and it really does live up to the price tag. You can crop so close into your pictures and lose no detail, this gives you so much more opportunity to get the shot.

If you’re doing family photography or a lot of group shots go for the 24-70. Fitting everyone in is a breeze and that leaves more room for you to be creative. The 70-200 has a minimum focusing distance so you need to be a certain distance away and fitting a group in is very difficult. Obviously a wide angle would win in this category but it’s still so important to remember.

Now if you’re planning on shooting at a time where the light is low keep reading. When you don’t have much light to work with you need slower shutter speed to let as much of it in as possible. Longer lenses like the 70-200mm need that fast shutter speed to keep their sharpness. This would be something to consider if you like to shoot in lower light situations.

Take your style of photography into account and tailor your lenses to your needs and your clients needs. Use sites like Flickr to see photos people have taken with the lenses, this can be really helpful in seeing if a lens will suit you. I know when you’re investing in something as pricey as these that research is key so don’t make a decision until you’re sure. Seeking professional advice can be a huge help, online or in stores. Lastly, don’t shy away from online photography communities to get peoples personal opinions on these lenses. This is especially good for you if you’d rather hear people’s personal experiences.

24-70mm lens
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