The SUV of lenses

I like to shoot with many lenses. Wide (16-35 on full frame), long (70-200 on crop), and fast primes.

But the one “general purpose” lens I keep going back to is the 24-70 f/2.8L. First of all, this lens is sharp:

Michael Willems - self portrait, detail

Self portrait, detail (view at full size)

You like crazy sharp? This lens is crazy sharp.

The main thing about this lens, however, is that it can be used for almost any shoot. For instance, for music school portraits like today’s:

Michael Willems - demo portrait

Michael Willems - demo portrait

But also for headshots, environmental portraits, events, travel, low-ish light shots, and much more. Its fast speed (i.e. the low f-number, a constant 2.8 throughout its zoom range) allows you to blur backgrounds well, and allows its use in low light. This is why photojournalists keep that lens in the bag and on the camera.

Today’s shoot was a music school and tomorrow’s is the same – all day. If you wonder how the shots above were lit: three Bowens studio lights; an umbrella, a softbox and a snoot. Here’s the softbox:

Softbox during music school shoot

Softbox during music school shoot

A softbox gives you a large area and hence soft light. For studio I use a large softbox; for on-the go shoots I use the Honl Traveller 8 softbox on a speedlight. (As you know, Dave Honl will be helping me teach a course in Toronto on March 19; he is in London today, where yesterday he taught a course to Matteo, a young friend and student who has taken a number of my courses. Small world!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *