Photo by Markus Lompa on Unsplash
If you’re still rocking the 18-55mm lens that came with your camera, it’s time for an upgrade.
There’s nothing wrong with the old standard kit zoom lens when you’re just starting out. But eventually you’ll long for something more capable, and I have just the right fit: a 24-70mm lens.
Now, there are tons of reasons why your first lens purchase should be a wide-aperture prime lens. However, there’s also a strong argument for a 24-70mm as being a top candidate for your camera bag.
Learn the value of buying and selling used gear in this MPB Review.
Best Replacement for a Kit Zoom Lens: 24-70mm
Photo by Rodrigo Soares on Unsplash
One of the primary reasons why a 24-70mm is the ideal lens to replace your kit lens is that it offers similar versatility.
Sure, it isn’t as wide, but the difference between 18mm and 24mm isn’t terribly huge. Besides, the added length on the telephoto end can be hugely advantageous for all types of photography.
Think about it...you can photograph landscapes at 24mm (as shown above), portraits at 35mm, street scenes at 50mm, and wildlife at 70mm (provided you aren’t that far away), all with a single lens.
photo by PeopleImages via iStock
I love primes, don’t get me wrong. But the prospect of covering all manner of subjects with a single zoom lens sure is tempting.
Additionally, shooting with a single zoom lens instead of two or three prime lenses means you spend more time actually taking photos and less time swapping lenses.
What’s not to like about that?
photo by twinsterphoto via iStock
Some will argue that using a zoom instead of primes will lead to lazy photography practices. And while there is a level of truth to that, I would argue that you can consciously work against zoom-induced laziness.
Just keep your feet moving, interact with the subject, and get in close instead of zooming, and you’ll be okay!
24-70mm Lenses are Durable
By and large, many 24-70mm lenses are built with durability in mind.
This is the case because camera manufacturers understand the value of these lenses as the perfect kit lens upgrade.
As a result, Nikon, Canon, Sony, and other major brands offer 24-70mm lenses with fantastic build quality and extensive features that make using them a joy.
The Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR shown above, for example, is fully weather sealed so it resists moisture and dust. It also has vibration reduction so you can more effectively handhold it without inducing camera shake.
Granted, this lens is pricey - over $1,700 for a used one in like-new condition - but a good lens like this will last you forever, so the price is well worth it considering it’ll be a durable addition to your lens collection.
Don’t have the funds for a 24-70mm lens? Sell your old lenses and use that money to finance your new purchase.
24-70mm Lens Prices
Of course, not every 24-70mm lens is affordable for everyone, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t quality choices out there that don’t break the bank.
If you’re a Nikon shooter, the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 D EX shown above is an excellent choice.
Not only does Sigma make lenses with excellent optics, but this one offers a wide f/2.8 aperture to assist with low-light shooting and for blurring the background of portraits with greater ease.
Best of all, you can get a pre-owned version of this lens in excellent condition for less than $250.
Canon 24-70 mm
Canon shooters will need to dole out a bit more money for a 24-70mm lens.
The Canon EF 24-70 f/4L IS USM is a fantastic lens with image stabilization, improved L-series optics, weather sealing, and a host of other features.
The point here is that if you know where to look, you can find a top-quality 24-70mm lens discount that makes it an even more worthwhile investment.
Remember, your lenses will long outlast your camera (if you take care of them), so it makes sense to put your money towards better lenses.
Think about it - Nikon’s new Z-series mirrorless cameras are compatible with Nikon’s old lenses (with an adapter), so you can use a 10-year-old FX lens with a brand-new Nikon Z7. If that doesn’t speak to the long-term value of good lenses, I don’t know what does.
Wondering what other lenses might be a good fit for you when upgrading from a kit lens?
Give my video above a look and learn about a few other choices - both zooms and primes - that might come in handy.