A visual tour of Canon's 24-70mm f/2.8

A visual tour of Canon’s 24-70mm f/2.8

A Guest Post by Dave Powell from www.shoottokyo.com.

Useful technical information on the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8

filter diameter: 77mm
minimum focusing distance: .38m/1.25 ft.
minimum aperture: f/22
Cost: ~$1,100USD

I use this lens for about 50% of my shooting.   I have 8 Canon L series lenses and I reach for this one out of two times.

It tells me I need to spend more time with my other lenses but it also tells me how great this lens really is.
I love the look and feel of this lens but most of all I love it’s versatility and range of photos I can take with it.   I also love the weight of it as it gives a good strong feel to the camera.

Often I don’t want to carry a camera bag with me.  This is especially true for me when I am out with my family or just running an errand.    Sometimes I just want to throw a camera strap over my shoulder on my way out the door.   I do however want to be able to capture all of the subjects I will be encountering or moments we will be having.

Often my son Kai will be across the table from me and I will just want to snap a quick photo without having to move to setup the shot.   My ultra wide angle might capture too much of the scene.   One of my prime lenses like my 85mm might crop too tightly or be too close to focus.    My 24-70mm is perfect for zooming to the right focal length and capturing the moment in front of me.   It is wide enough to capture more of the scene but is also able to zoom in for a tight crop when I want it.    A minimum focusing distance of .38m or 1.25 feet makes it perfect for shooting across the table or even someone sitting next to you.

Kai_across_the_table.jpg

Dave.jpg

It is also a great lens for family photos as it is wide enough to get the whole family in but without some of the feature distortion you can get with an ultra wide angle lens.

Family_Photo.jpg

Living in a city I tend to be at train stations a lot which are full of action and require a versatile lens to capture all that is going on.  I couldn’t have captured this photo of Shibuya Station’s Toyoko Line and the highway under it if I wasn’t able to zoom out to 24mm.    I also needed to zoom out so I can capture this on coming train (just before it hit me) as well as the platforms on each side.   On my way out of Shinjuku Station I wanted to capture this business man as he passed the Shinjuku Eye and needed to zoom in isolating just him and ‘the eye’ and leaving out the rest of the madness of Shinjuku Station.

Shibuya_Train.jpg

Shinjuku_Eye.jpg

One of the things I love about my 16-35mm is the landscapes that I can capture.  When I am without it, my 24-70mm allows me to get wide enough to capture the landscape as you can see in these photos; monks at a temple on the edge of Ankor Wat in Cambodia, guards surrounding Changdeok-kung Temple in Seoul South Korea, Tokyo Tower at dusk and the International Forum in Tokyo.

Cambodia_Temple.jpg

South_Korea_Temple.jpg

Tokyo.jpg

Tokyo_International_Forum.jpg

With a maximum aperture of f/2.8 it also allows for great night photography without needing to raise your ISO too high that you introduce a lot of noise into the photographs as you can see in these pictures of the Cherry Blossoms along Meguro River in Nakameguro.   This was the reason I choose this lens over the 24-105 f/4.0.   The lost of focal length was easily made up for with a stop of light.

Sakura.jpg

Sakura_2.jpg

Sometimes portrait opportunities present themselves and it’s nice to be able to react quickly.

Mayumi_and_Kai_on_bench.jpg

Last_ride.jpg

Sometimes you want the ability to get more creative with the depth of field and the f/2.8 aperture allows for that nicely.

Bee_in_Flower.jpg

Korean_Writing.jpg

…and sometimes you are just out for a walk and want to capture whatever it is you come across such as; this leaf a found at a temple near my house after a rain, Domo-kun protecting the NHK building in Seiiku, or this attack dog in Dalat Vietnam.

Attack_Dog.jpg

As you can see, the 24-70mm f/2.8 allows you to capture a wide range of subjects.   It’s a great walk around and travel lens.  I often get asked “I want to get one nice lens, what do you recommend?”.   My answer is this one every time.

Dave Powell is a photographer based in Tokyo, Japan.   He writes Shoot Tokyo photography blog.   You can see more of his work at www.shoottokyo.com or follow him on Twitter.

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