5 Wedding Photos You Can’t Take With A 24-70 (Also, Why the 24-70 is a Crap Lens Choice)

Mar 12, 2015

JP Danko

JP Danko is a commercial photographer based in Toronto, Canada. JP can change a lens mid-rappel, swap a memory card while treading water, or use a camel as a light stand.

5 Wedding Photos You Can’t Take With A 24-70 (Also, Why the 24-70 is a Crap Lens Choice)

Mar 12, 2015

JP Danko

JP Danko is a commercial photographer based in Toronto, Canada. JP can change a lens mid-rappel, swap a memory card while treading water, or use a camel as a light stand.

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bridal fashion, blurmedia, toronto wedding photographer, jp danko Last week, Scott Kelby unleashed the wrath of the interwebs by daring to suggest that beginner lenses take beginner photos. A lot of the vitriol seemed to be coming from photographers who were married to their $2000 24-70 f/2.8 lenses.  (I guess its like telling someone they have an ugly spouse). While Scott was very diplomatic about it, I am going to go out on a limb here and say it straight out: the 24-70 is a crap lens choice. And here’s why…


First of all, I don’t own a 24-70 f/2.8.  That’s right – I don’t own one because they’re $2000 and almost always a crap lens choice! But, I do rent a 24-70 f/2.8 on a regular basis – for pretty much the only thing that a 24-70 f/2.8 is good for – wedding photography (in fact, here is an entire article on photographing a wedding with just one photographer, one camera, one lens and one flash). I used to own a 24-70 f/2.8 (or more accurately its little sister, the DX format 17-55 f/2.8) and guess what – it was the first lens I purchased when I decided that a bigger lens on the front of my camera would help me look more pro. The reason I got rid of it?  Because it was almost always a crap lens choice!

When a 24-70 f/2.8 Is a Good Lens Choice

Technically speaking, the 24-70 f/2.8 is an excellent quality lens. Once you step up your game to shooting manual, having a lens with a consistent f/2.8 aperture through the entire focal range is indispensable (compared to this f/3.5-5.6 kit lens garbage). Artistically speaking, the 24-70 f/2.8 is perfect for photographing fast changing, dynamic events with a mix of indoor and outdoor photos at relatively close range. In other words, weddings – or any other event where the ability to quickly compose shots on the fly is more important than artistic vision.

When a 24-70 f/2.8 Is A Crap Lens Choice

For pretty much everything else. Think about it this way.  Tradesmen/women have a mantra: “Use the right tool for the job”. You’ll never ever see an auto-mechanic trying to change a tire using a pair of vice grips to take out the lug nuts. Could the vise grips do the job?  Yes, probably. Would an impact gun and the proper socket do a better job?  Of course – that’s what they were made for.

Five Wedding Photos You Can’t Take With A 24-70 f/2.8

Even with it’s pièce de résistance – wedding photography, a 24-70 f/2.8 is often not the best tool for the job.  To better explain what I mean, here are five wedding photos you can’t take with a 24-70 f/2.8.

Wedding Photo 1: Nikon 50mm f/1.4

bridal fashion, blurmedia, toronto wedding photographer, jp danko This is a 50mm at f/1.4 on a full frame camera.  I still remember the first time I upgraded from a cropped sensor (DX format) 17-55 f/2.8 (the DX equivalent to a 24-70 f/2.8) to a full frame 50mm f/1.4.  Going from a cropped sensor to full frame is a big enough improvement – but going from a cropped sensor with a 17-55 f/2.8 to a full frame 50mm f/1.4 was a revelation.  It was like a light suddenly turned on – ah ha!!!!! that’s how they do it!  (The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 is even that much better too!)

Wedding Photo 2: Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8

bridal fashion, blurmedia, toronto wedding photographer, jp danko This photo is taken at 14mm with a 14-24 f/2.8.  The 14-24 costs almost as much as a 24-70 – and guess what?  I don’t own a 14-24 either!  However, after scouting out this venue, I rented a 14-24 specifically so I could take this exact photo at this specific location.

Wedding Photo 3: Canon 20mm f/2.8

bridal fashion, blurmedia, toronto wedding photographer, jp danko 24mm is wide, but I am always amazed how often its just not quite wide enough!  This was taken with a 20mm f/2.8.  My reason for choosing to use a 20mm?  Because even with a 20mm, to fit the context of the room in the frame, I was literally holding the camera flat against the wall behind me.

Wedding Photo 4: Nikon 85mm f/1.4

emerald engagement ring in snow, blurmedia, toronto wedding photographer, jp danko Everyone has tried to take this photo with a 24-70.  Except that the bokeh of a 24-70 at 70mm f/2.8 looks nothing like the bokeh of an 85mm at f/1.4 (or a 70-200 f/2.8 either for that matter).  For the record, I don’t actually own an 85mm f/1.4 either.  Most of my work is at the mid to wide end of the spectrum, so when I know I’m going to need an 85mm, I rent one.

Wedding Photo 5: Canon G9 Point-And-Shoot

emerald engagement ring in snow, blurmedia, toronto wedding photographer, jp danko A bride’s really cool (ha – get it ;) ) emerald engagement ring.  OK, so maybe this isn’t really fair, the 24-70 isn’t a macro lens…which is why you can’t take this photo with it. In fact, this photo was taken with my seven year old Canon Powershot G9 point-and-shoot in macro mode (the little flower).

But I Love My 24-70!

If you’re married to your 24-70, the point of this article wasn’t to tell you that you have an ugly spouse. The point I was trying to make is that its OK to explore a little, see what else is out there, see what you like and what you don’t – you might get a surprise and find something better. The best part is, you don’t even have to be in a long term relationship – it is perfectly acceptable to rent (we’re still talking about lenses).

What Do You Think

Is your 24-70 f/2.8 still your perfect lens? Do beginner lenses take beginner photos? Is it always the skill of the photographer, or does gear have a roll to play? Leave a comment and let us know what you think!

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JP Danko

JP Danko is a commercial photographer based in Toronto, Canada. JP can change a lens mid-rappel, swap a memory card while treading water, or use a camel as a light stand.

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137 responses to “5 Wedding Photos You Can’t Take With A 24-70 (Also, Why the 24-70 is a Crap Lens Choice)”

  1. stewart norton Avatar
    stewart norton

    I shoot mostly weddings and when I started I bought the 24-70 f2.8, 70-200 f2.8, 50mm 1.4 and later added the 12-24. The 24-70 is great for shooting in small rooms as you have the range between 24-50 that are not covered by my
    theother lenses, apart from that much prefer to use the other lenses. It’s not crap it’s just that it’s focal lengths are not great enough to give any images a wow factor, they are not wide enough to get dramatic shots and they don’t go long enough to get a tasty bokeh, I feel they are a great tool for wedding photogs other wise you need to have another couple of wider primes which can get costly and lens changing all the time brings it’s own issues.

    So verdict is not crap, just reliable, dependable and unremarkable.

  2. willdmo Avatar

    I shot events like weddings an other indoor/outdoor stuff with my Wheather-Sealed 16-50 2.8 on a crop cam (which is wheather sealed too). It is the perfect lens to get the shots for an album. My bag is loaded too with a Fisheyezoom and with a 100mm 2.8 for other shots, not doable with the 16-50 accompanied with an old prime.

    There is nothing against renting a lens, but I prefer to own some glass. The artistic an outstanding shots are performed with special lenses. For this reasons I Prefer old manual primes such as Takumar 1.4/50, Helios 40 1.5/85, CZJ Biotar, Meyers Trioplan and some more. They have a special rendering not even achievable with the famous Canon 1.2/85. For some shots would a TS lens be nice too.

    I dont think the gear makes the photo, it still is the photographer. But with the wrong gear not every shot is possible because the lens lacks wideness, tele abilities, is not sharp enough, has a too broad dof or simply gets no pleasing bokeh by any means. If your customers want an album of pictures, it is not copnvenient to change the lens every minute and to use manual focus lenses where nailing the focus is PITA. But If you know the nex shot can be special and is arrangeable, I use one of the specials.

  3. elohiym Avatar

    It’s amazing what people will say to remain relevant. The 24-70 isn’t crap. Your choice to use it outside of its purpose could be crap and how you compose with it could be crap. Lastly, having the best gear guarantees one thing….you can never blame the gear for a crappy photo.

  4. Mauricio Avatar

    So… the 24-70 is crap because it’s not a 14-24? With that logic the 14-24 is crap because you can’t take a photo at 70mm. LAWYERED!

  5. Gvido Mūrnieks Avatar
    Gvido Mūrnieks

    That headline!
    I know a shameless clickbait, when I see it.

    Also, article itself is written with journalistic integrity of buzzfeed: “here is a photo I shot with 50mm f/1.4 – therefore 24-70mm f/2.8 is crap!”

  6. Matt Avatar

    Nothing like saying something ridiculous about gear to drive photography blog traffic. It’s a lot easier than delving into more complicated subjects, and much more rewarding if web hits is the goal. It makes me think that DIY Photography is as shallow and boring as Scott Kelby and Petapixel. I guess that’s where the action is.

  7. Joseph Lynn Avatar
    Joseph Lynn

    I enjoyed the article but I don’t know of any wedding photographers who use a 24-70 absolutely exclusively. They might use it for nearly everything but likely have other lenses. On a similar note, none of the lenses in those 5 shots would be as versatile as the 24-70. So you couldn’t use any of them exclusively either. Lastly, many of those could be taken with other lenses to produce similar shots.
    I think most wedding photographers take the holy trinity approach. Mine are a 70-200 2.8 ii, 24-70 2.8 ii, and rounded out at the bottom with a Tokina 16-28 2.8. Add a sprinkle of ocf and you’re pretty well covered.

    1. JP Danko Avatar
      JP Danko

      Thanks for the comment Joseph – I’m glad you understood the point of what I was trying to say!

  8. csmif Avatar

    Literally hundreds of wedding photogs disagree with you. And you contradict yourself so many times in this article, i suspect that you may be mentally ill.

  9. Wes Dickinson Avatar
    Wes Dickinson

    Scott Kelby is rather snooty. I pretty much disregard his opinion on everything.

    1. Scott Kelby Avatar
      Scott Kelby

      Me, too!

  10. David Misita Avatar
    David Misita

    This article is pure crap. The 24-70 is a great lens for when you need a 24-70. It is tack sharp (especially the Canon 24-70 f2.8 II) and encompasses most of the shooting you will need to do. But, strangely, the lens isn’t glued onto your camera. When you need a wide angle lens, you put on a wide angle. When you need a telephoto you put on a telephoto. What seems to be the confusion????

    1. JP Danko Avatar
      JP Danko

      Hey David thanks for the comment. I haven’t used the Canon 24-70 – but on a D800/D810 the Nikon 24-70 looks like its covered in vaseline compared to the image quality you get from a Sigma 50mm or 35mm ART. Wait until Canon releases the 5Ds – you’ll see.

      1. thebeline Avatar


        What is the price on those two lenses? Does the 35mm also do 24mm (I must have missed that part)? Or the 50 cover 70mm (also must have slipped by). Likely not, so that would make 4 lenses to spot the coverage. Or you will be doing a lot of jogging to the right position/ taking photos too close/too far away.

        Also, I have a collection of primes (8mm, 50mm, 58mm {don’t ask}, 135mm {yeah, I skipped the 85, my B} to name a few), and a selection of zooms (24-70, 28-75 {yeah yeah}, 70-200, 2x for the 70-200), and while yes there are quality differences between the lenses, I would not say any are “coated in Vaseline.” I actually don’t take any primes but my 8mm to events, because I can make the images look about the same on any. Yes, some have mild vingeiting, maybe bigger DOF, and some sharpness loss at the edges compared to the primes, but if you REALLY want to start this battle, why not just throw it all out there and start spouting “a DSLR is a crap choice for a Wedding, look how good I am with this Mamiya! Worship!”

  11. Henry Rodgers Avatar
    Henry Rodgers

    This is ridiculous. Everything at HLR Photography has been shot with a Sigma 24-70 and I’ll tell you, a lot of those shots can be had.

  12. Tony Avatar

    I love clickbait.. I visit this site with ad blocking enabled. Keep ranting for free :)

  13. Sean Thurston Avatar
    Sean Thurston

    Well I agree that the title is pure click bait, and I can also agree with the fact that you should explore different focal lengths to find what work for you. I’m perfectly happy with my 24-70. I’ve used the quite a number of lenses from all different makers and today I own 3 lenses and have no complaints. It took me a while to settle on which three but the Rokinon 14mm 2.8, Tamron 24-70 2.8 and Tamron 70-200 are my three of choice. The only other thing that I would even consider is either a Tamron 150-600 or the new Canon 100-400 II.

  14. Stereo Reverb Avatar
    Stereo Reverb

    Wow. This article was a crap lens choice. If i were your boss, i’d tell you to take the rest of the day, go home, and think about what you’ve done.

  15. Tony Northrup Avatar
    Tony Northrup

    The 24-70 is a versatile, fast zoom, great for quickly framing and snapping a candid shot in dim churches and after-dark receptions. It’s an event lens. All these examples are posed.

    Of course, no wedding photographer shoots the wedding with only a 24-70. It’s good to have wider, faster, and more telephoto lenses, and of course a macro or extension tubes. But you grab the 24-70 for the table shots at the reception, for the low-light dancing shots, and you or the assistant probably has it out for the ceremony.

    1. JP Danko Avatar
      JP Danko

      Thanks for the comment Tony. I think that’s exactly the discussion I was trying to start. I shoot weddings all the time with a 24-70 – I wouldn’t be able to do my job without it. But if we are talking about pure artistic vision – the 24-70 is almost always a compromise in some way.

      1. hussey Avatar

        Exactly. Doesn’t the phrase “event lens” just offend your artistic sensibilities whenever you hear it?

        Event lens: what to put on your camera when you need to take fast documentary photos of boring subjects in the least offensive but most efficient way possible.

  16. thebeline Avatar

    Really, what this article is saying is: The 24-70 2.8 is crap because you can’t shoot wider than 24, longer than 70, more open than 2.8, or closer than it’s minimum focal distance. Which is a CRAP article.

    You suggest the lens is crap, then go on to display examples taken with FIVE other lenses… One of which falls within the 24-70 range, and one other is with a bloody POINT AND SHOOT. Yeah, no crap you can’t take those with this lens…

    The truth here is “use the best tool” or, if you do not want to rent “use the tools you have.”

    You can take almost all of those shots with a 3 lens kit: wide-zoom, normal-zoom and tele-zoom, one bag, three lenses, owned, done. If you want to do macro, get a macro lens. If you want super low DOF, get a fast lens. But in the end, the 24-70 is not crap, it is a tool, and if you use it to pound a nail, you will be sorely disappointed.

    Also, vise-grips to remove lugs??? Have you EVER changed a tire? No, that will not work, and if you think it will, I HIGHLY suggest you try to screw a bolt by pinching it with two screwdrivers. A more apt analogy would be to try to remove lugs with a Wal-Mart home socket set, compared to an impact gun with hardened sockets.

    Seriously, what is happening to this blog??

    1. JP Danko Avatar
      JP Danko

      Thanks for the comment – I didn’t say that the 24-70 is a crap lens – it is a crap lens choice. Its a Swiss army knife – which means it is OK at a whole lot of things – but not great at anything. If you were in your kitchen and you had the little scissors in a Swiss army knife and you had an actual pair of scissors – if you chose the Swiss army knife to cut a piece of paper – that would be a crap choice.

      1. thebeline Avatar

        No it wouldn’t, not if you needed to cut small shapes, plus you are suggesting that you already own both and have both short at hand. Also, lets say you get into your car and suddenly realize you need scissors, hmmm, you have a swiss army knife in your pocket, nice, all set. Oh shoot, now you need a toothpick, oh wait, still good. Now what? A beer?! Well, you really shouldn’t do that, but guess what? You can, because you have a swiss army knife. Golly wiz…

        Now, what you are suggesting is that you are heading across town, and, while you have a swiss army knife at home, you don’t take it, because instead you are going to stop by the neighbors house on the way and borrow his scissors… Well that seems unnecessary…

        Or, you are suggesting that you stock up on: Scissors, two kinds of knives, a file, toothpick, tweezers, can and bottle opener. Then, keep track of them, maintain them, and pick when you need each. All for 3-4 times the cost of the SA knife.

        Or you are saying that you just get the scissors and a knife, for the price of the SA knife… Hmmm, that seems cost effective.

        It is NOT a crap lens choice, because, you have your option: Bag of gear to handle any situation. Or the other option: 2 lenses that cover 95% of what you may (ever) encounter.

        You are being condescending to new photogs, or photogs on a budget, and you are insulting a strategic choice of photographers who know what they are doing.

        It is a versatile lens, much more so than the 14-24 f/2.8 you boast, which made a niche photo, but I’ll bet you shot the majority of the event inside of the 24-70 range.

        Tools are nice, and having a calligraphy pen is great when you want to do calligraphy, but sucks when you just need to do a lot of signing.

        The only thing crap in this article is the premise that the 24-70 lens is a “crap” choice, because “look at the nice photos other lenses can take.”

        Seriously, this is stupid.

        1. JP Danko Avatar
          JP Danko

          The point would be to plan ahead and choose the best tool for the job. If I know I will need a bottle opener, I will choose to bring a bottle opener. If I need a saw, I will choose to bring a saw. If I don’t have the right kind of saw, I will rent the one I need. I’m not sure what the controversy is.

          1. thebeline Avatar

            Absolutely, but say as such. I choose to bring this lens with me everywhere (I own mine, btw), and it is not a crap choice, it allows me versatility in unpredictable circumstances. It does’t hold me back, it allows me to focus on what I am doing, rather than running to get lenses (or strapping them to my body), and I am not stopping to change lenses.

            As I said, the shots you show are specialty shots, they are shots you take when you have the tools, and yes, if you plan for them. That does not make them any better than a shot with a 24-70, it makes them unique, but non-essential, and indeed, very much up to artistic perception. That said, I can take (and have) very artistic shots shot with a 24-70 (28-75 in my case).

            Certainly it improves one’s photography to actively seek out utilizing different glass. Be it to differentiate, artistic reasons, or what have you. But to call the 24-70 class lens “a crap lens choice” is arrogant and ignorant.

            I am sure you are a great photographer, I believe it, but try a bit harder with the writing thing, and try not to sound like a pompous jerk. ;-)

            Cheers. (nice edits by the way)

          2. Roberto Avatar

            Could not agree more

        2. jw maine Avatar
          jw maine

          With some respect maybe, what does plan ahead mean? I have it now. What I could do is respectfully ask the people at an event to stop and give me time to catch up. I could also bring a nice desk and install it at the event. While the people stop (speeches or sports or whatever it is) I can set out my gear and books or whatever makes me feel good. I can bring lenses and food. I’ll even bring a cot and maybe a rice maker. The people can wait. I’ll bring minimum ten lenses and set them out…

        3. Frank Castle Avatar
          Frank Castle

          you do not bother to scout the venue BEFORE you go to shoot it?? To see WHAT you are getting into, and might need to do?? Well then, I guess you wouldn’t have any idea what “plan ahead” means!!

  17. thebeline Avatar

    And another thing, did you REALLY (and I really wish I could adjust font-size) compare the qualities of a 2.8 ZOOM on a CROP sensor to those of a 50 f1.4 PRIME on a FULL FRAME sensor? Are you bloody mad? Really?

    Prime vs Zoom lens quality is a HUGE difference in and of it’s self, then add in the DOF differences of just a 2.8 from Crop to FF (at identical composition), and THEN add in the DOF difference of 2.8 to 1.4 even on the SAME sensor.. I mean… WHAT IS GOING THROUGH YOUR HEAD right now??

    1. JP Danko Avatar
      JP Danko

      Thank you for exactly proving the point I was trying to make!

      1. thebeline Avatar

        WHAT? NO. You can not use the two in the same sentence. They are DIFFERENT LENSES from each other ENTIRELY, and neither even compare to a 24-70 2.8 on FF…

      2. JP Danko Avatar
        JP Danko

        Again, exactly the point of the article.

      3. thebeline Avatar

        Um… Then you need to become a better writer….

      4. Frank Castle Avatar
        Frank Castle

        or you need comprehension lessons..

      5. alex Avatar

        yeah.. dude needs comprehension lessons…

    2. Powerbill Avatar

      Dude, quit crying about this dude’s excellent article. You are looking quite inept at understanding what this article and the writer’s intent are. He is saying exactly what you are about choosing lenses. The 24-70 is a great workhorse lens, but there are better and more specific lenses to get high-quality results than the all-around workhorse. Don’t let your irritation about being told that maybe there are better choices cloud your understanding. The 24-70 is a lazy lens in my opinion. Very comfortable and easy, but sort of boring in my opinion.

    3. Courtland Dastyck Avatar
      Courtland Dastyck

      It’s not about being easy Mr High Horse, is about convenience. If you are solo shooting an event you don’t want to swap between lenses and risk missing a shot. Everything is situational, you are an elitist, now step off…

  18. Spehmaster G. Avatar
    Spehmaster G.

    That poor fellow might be certifiable! He’s actually having an argument with himself. Fascinating :)

  • Courtland Dastyck Avatar
    Courtland Dastyck

    I agree with them, you had great points on your first rant but this one is just excessive.

  • hussey Avatar

    I’d say the opposite maybe. It’s not a crap lens choice (because sometimes you need the versatility over the quality), but it is a crap lens compared to the prime options at the given focal lengths.
    People should know that they’re paying $2000 for versatility and not image quality.

    1. tom rose Avatar
      tom rose

      ?? What are you talking about. The image quality of Canon’s 24-70 zooms is superb.

  • jw maine Avatar
    jw maine

    I am reborn. I plan to bring huge amounts of gear to every event from now on. I plan to back a truck up and have steamer trunks. The event can wait on me from now on. / I just making fun a little bit. Sorry. I totally enjoyed the article. I did. I apologize. I am bored and it seemed funny to poke fun.

  • alex Avatar

    great article… the dude doesn’t know he’s living inside a box…

  • Zak Neumann Avatar
    Zak Neumann

    When do you not use a 24-70? When shooting wider than 24 or tighter than 70… Duh.

  • Petar Maksimovic Avatar
    Petar Maksimovic

    2000$ lens is a begginer lens? Interesting…

    1. hussey Avatar

      That’s part of the point. You’re paying $2000 for a lens that isn’t as good as a cheaper prime.

      1. Me, Myself and I Avatar
        Me, Myself and I

        But instead you are buying MULTIPLE lenses that individually are less versatile.
        during the ceremony, if I see something awesome in the crowd (like a child reading a comic book or a child leaning down to record the ceremony with their gameboy … both examples of actual shots I’ve taken) I want to be able to grab one of my two cameras and get the shot … not worry about which lens I have on and if I’ll need to move from my position to get the shot or swap the lens.

        I need to be able to react quickly to un-expected events and now have to worry about the gear.

        Finally … let’s add up those lenses that the author has described above.

        50 f1.4 | 580$Can
        14-24 f2.8 | 2100$Can
        20 f2.8 | 650$Can
        85 f1.4 | 1900$Can
        Article Total (minus the G9): 5230$

        Canon 24-70 f2.8 II | 2500$
        Canon 70-200 f2.8 | 2700$
        My kit: 5200$

    2. Me, Myself and I Avatar
      Me, Myself and I

      I also like how he replaces a 2500$ lens with 5200$ worth of lenses.
      Just that 14-24 f2.8 is 2100$ on it’s own.

  • thebeline Avatar

    Actually, you know what? I just had a moment to go back to some of your earliest articles, way back, when I found you. It was nostalgic. Every page was filled with DIY projects, things the every-man could do at home to step up their game. Tips, tricks, and useful pointers. All accessible to most any photographer of any level.

    This? Pompous crap. Instead of telling us that the lens is no good, why don’t you help new photographers learn how to use (one of the arguably most versatile event lenses) in the most effective manner? Why not highlight it’s strengths? Instead, you are telling me that a lens I love is worthless, and you are so much better, because you RENT all of your lenses. So what? That is great, but how is that DIY?

    And this isn’t the only time this has happen either, you do this a lot. This blog has shifted to click-bait, news, and the largely unobtainable and decidedly NOT DIY.

    I love photo news sites, but that is not why I came here. I didn’t become a fan of this blog for smug hubris and mediocre journalism. I came here for knowledge and DIY.

    You lost me. Cheers. I won’t be back.

    1. Cbenci Avatar

      I completely agree thebeline.

      I own the Canon 24-70 and it is not a crap lens. I also own a number of primes, wide angles and telephoto zooms. They are not crap either. They are all L glass with the utmost image quality and most importantly reliability.

      Another stupid article that comes across as pretentious.

      This site isn’t what it used to be.

      1. MrWar Avatar

        Yeah I am done reading these articles. And he rents them meaning he hasn’t spent actual time using this lens.

    2. Simon Goyette Avatar
      Simon Goyette

      I have never seen someone so sensitive. All that about your love toward an object… Human beings and fanatism. The article was simply about opening minds to other possibility. Why have you felt like the task to protect the image of this 24-70 lens to everyones eyes was your burden? LOL just to had some lame sensitive CAPSLOCKS moment. Every one is allowed to have an opinion even though it differ from yours, no? I’m I allowed saying this mister universal photographer and blog lover?…………. And you know I totally get it, photography is an art, so photographers are artist, and a lot of artists have shitty behaviors so I get where you’re coming from.

      Learn to understand people or to simply allow them to their opinion.
      I’d love to finish by saying that ALL YOU’RE LENSES ARE….. EXPENSIVE!


      1. thebeline Avatar

        I hear you.

        Yes, everyone is allowed their own opinions. However, as a public blog, catering to a large audience, it seems a bit reckless to tell a vast quantity of their readers that a particular choice they have made is in-fact a “crap choice.” The fact remains that tools are tools, but to lay a blanket statement that a tool is a crap too, without context, is asinine.

        It has been some time, and I am not going to go pack over what I have already mentioned, but here is the gist. Valid facts that may or may not be edge-cases, and at the very least could have been framed better to actually “educate” readers:

        1. A 2.8 is not as fast as a 1.7
        2. 28mm is not as wide as 16mm
        3. 70mm is not as log as 200mm

        In the end: the article was click-bait, and really not in the scope of “D.I.Y.” The author could have made better use of their reader’s time, and could have done “good” instead of (essentially) raping them for add hits and “controversy.” I just said what was on other people’s minds.

        I am not sensitive, I had just had enough.

        As for “all my lenses are expensive,” heh, yeah no… My lens line-up:
        * 8mm
        * 16mm – apsc
        * 28mm
        * 50mm
        * 58mm (? Arguably, I do not use it much, but I am pretty sure it is 58mm)
        * 135mm
        * 16 – 55mm – apsc
        * 18 – ??mm – apsc (again, don’t use it, so, not sure)
        * 24 – 70mm
        * 28 – 75mm
        * 70 – 200mm
        * a few others

        But on the “expensive” note, no. I took a note from back when DIYP was actually about DIYP, 3 lenses are kit [and 2 of the “a few others”, but I don’t use them, and can’t remember their focal lengths]), and 3 I bought new (so, a few hundred each), the rest are all m42 or other mounts.

        I have plenty of primes and zooms, plenty of fast and enough “alright,” However, despite the list, I maybe have $1.2k invested in bought lenses… Maybe… And the lenses I use the most? The 24-70 and the 8. I use the 70-200 at events. The others? As tools, I use them when their traits (namely bokeh or speed) are necessitated. Why? Because I know how to make the tool do what I want, and I know what my tools can do.

        That is what DIYP is suppose to be about. Empowering, enriching, and teaching. Not berating.

        It is all about framing and attitude, and I believe you will see my sentiments shared with those in many of the comments here, as well as the long list of votes my comments have.

        1. Simon Goyette Avatar
          Simon Goyette

          Wait a second 1.2 k in lenses including a 70-200, a 24-70 and all the other lenses that you named?…

          There’s probably something that I didn’t understand as this is non-sens (to me)… Please tell me where you got these as it sounds the lenses where gifted to you. Maybe it was those readers who voted for your comments? ;-)

          Never forget that a lot of writers write stuff to make people participate, react and mostly be seen and on that you can pick up any newspaper’s article and you’ll probably find stuff to disagree with. Now the way you react is totally yours. Drama is never the key. My 2 cents.

          And by the way you seem to be a good writer yourself why don’t you start a positive conversation. ;-)

          1. thebeline Avatar

            As I said, there are kit lenses that came with a camera:

            * NEX-5n: 16mm, 18-55mm (both apsc)
            * Maxxum 5D (first): 2 Sigmas, unused now, but I’ll mention them.
            * Maxxum 5D (backup): 18-??mm (apsc)
            * A900: 24-70mm (FF)

            The 5Ds were retired long ago, but I still used the 18-??mm for photo-booth stuff at parties/events. Not sure how you would calculate the cost of those lenses, I would call them a wash.

            New purchases:

            * 28-75mm
            * 70-200mm
            * 8mm

            Probably about $1k in there, maybe a bit over, was many moons ago.

            Other purchases are all M42/Adaptal/MC/MD what-have you. Mostly M42. I also have a handful of micro bellows, tubes, adapters, etc. Nothing above cost over $50 (this was before M42 took off, I started collecting them back before Sony bought Minolta).

            So, yeah, it may seem crazy now, but bare in mind I got nearly all of those primes for ~$20 each. It would be fair to say that that can’t be done now, and that this may not be reproducible anymore, but that’s where the math came from. On second-blush, the 3 new purchases may be around $1.2k, but total isn’t a whole lot more than that.

            I also have 6 speed-lights, and have maybe $500 invested there.

            Another contributing factor is that, beyond the kit lenses and new purchases, most all of my lenses are manual, and my speed-lights too. Again, tools, and knowing how to use them.

          2. Dave_D69 Avatar

            Fist of if you own something it’s your. You’re is you are. Where is indicates a place. Were is a past tense. Nonsense isn’t hyphenated.

          3. Simon Goyette Avatar
            Simon Goyette

            Thanks a lot for everything you brought to the table mister english teacher. Conversation here is about lenses and btw first is spelled with an R. Before correcting others texts take a quick look at your own. And just to not completely ignore your presence and to stay in the interesting subject you brought up I would simply finish this lovely conversation by : Up yours.

  • Helmet Avatar

    I never listen to anything Scott Kelby has to say… unfortunately these days, so many, once upon a time ‘working photographers’ are now, nothing more than ‘internet marketing’ personalities making a living by drive ‘clicks’…

    1. tom rose Avatar
      tom rose

      I have nothing against Scott Kelby. In fact I have one of his books and it is a workmanlike job. But your general point is right on the ball.

  • Christopher Wheeling Avatar
    Christopher Wheeling

    You lost me at the third “crap lens choice.”

  • Morgan Glassco Avatar
    Morgan Glassco

    Agree with everyone else. Article is pretty stupid. The 50 1.4 shot would look similar to 70mm at 2.8, and that 20mm 2.8, ooohhh, I had to step back a foot. Come on man. You comparing shots a 24-70 lens can do to something without a detachable lens. Silly article

    1. AVB Avatar

      My thoughts exactly. The article comes off as an inexperienced photographers attempt to show what he has learned. You can do more with the 24-70 than any other lens. The only thing that makes a lens unremarkable is the photographer.

  • KP Avatar

    Just my 2 cents. ..Good article to a point…. I think the 24-70 is a good safe lens…Meaning. .. It allows you to get all the required shots..You will definitely need to add different focal lengths to your arsenal to become better in your craft…On that there is no doubt….In a few years time weddings will be shot on nothing more than point and shoot / cell phones…Then there will be no need for the Beloved 24-70…

  • Angie Dutton Avatar
    Angie Dutton

    I can’t think of any photographers that consider the 24-70 a “beginner” lens. Much less a “crap” lens. No, you can’t use it for everything. Is there a lens out there that can be?

    1. JP Danko Avatar
      JP Danko

      Hi Angie thanks for the comment! I didn’t say that it was a beginner lens or a crap lens. Scott Kelby said that it is a beginner focal range – and I said that it is a crap lens choice.

      1. thebeline Avatar

        Scott Kelby can afford whatever he wants, of COURSE he is going to say that. Also, it can be both a beginner focal range AND a professional, high-quality lens, as it has a very useful range, and is priced very accessibly (but can also be quite expensive if you get a higher quality one).

        And yes, you said crap choice, which means, comparatively in a set, it would be a crap lens.

  • Unabashed Progessive Avatar
    Unabashed Progessive

    Terrible article – there is no such thing as a beginner lens – you work with what you have or what you can afford. I recently had to shoot an event where I knew I’d be shooting small groups and some solo portraits – I wasn’t concerned about bokeh as this was a corporate event and these were mainly used for PR and marketing – and I have amazing lenses including the 85 1.4, the 105 1.4 – etc – but I wanted an AF mid-range zoom which shot sharp images for this particular event – I got a 24-85 3.5-4.5 G lens (Nikon) which came highly rated for super sharp images at almost any F-stop – and I ended up catching great photos with little worry.

  • Nikos Chantzis Avatar
    Nikos Chantzis

    Stupid article…. I don’t have the 24-70 and I sure miss it almost all the time I have the 70-200 a 16-35 and a nifty fifty but boy I sure wish I had a 24-70….

  • Christopher Lim Avatar
    Christopher Lim

    poor article, just compiled for click baiting. do not bother reading.

  • JOhn C Avatar
    JOhn C

    I’m beginning to think you are trying to see how annoying you have to get before I completely give up on this site

  • Michael Avatar

    suprisingly as i read this article i was beginning to believe what the author was saying. then after reading the comments i went back and reread the article and realized that it is pretty negative. As a new photographer it is easy to get dicouraged by articles like this. I would love it if we could focus on positive aspects of lenses like thebeline said. it makes newbies like myself more open and willing to learn by hearing positive articles rather then just slander and ranting. just a personal thought.

    1. JP Danko Avatar
      JP Danko

      The statement you are making when you choose to use a 24-70 is “I need speed and versatility more than image quality or artistic vision”. That is a perfectly valid decision and shouldn’t be seen negatively at all. The capabilities of a 24-70 are a box – a big box, but still a box. I personally choose to work within that box all the time – but the key is to realize that it is a conscious choice.

      1. AVB Avatar

        What 24-70 lens from Canon or Nikon is of lesser quality than any of their primes? They are at least equal. What does a lens even begin to have anything to do with artistic vision? I read this as meaning artistic vision begins at F2 and wider and from 14-24mm and then again from 70-to-whatever. Tools do not dictate the vision or supply the imagination.

  • Rob Reeves Avatar
    Rob Reeves

    I have a 24-70 and a 70-200 as a basic kit to do almost anything. Now I can start eyeballing the fun stuff. It seems sort of silly to point out that a 4-door sedan isn’t good for off road usage or drag racing.

  • aaronbrethorst Avatar

    The groom’s head intersects with the window frame in picture #2, and renting a 24-70L II from lensrentals.com will cost you about $100 per rental. I’d rather amortize that cost over shooting 18 weddings, and have the lens available to me every other day of the year so that I could get more comfortable with it. And photo #5: check your white balance and exposure.

    1. JP Danko Avatar
      JP Danko

      I was wondering how long it would take for someone to go there. While we’re at it: the bride’s toes aren’t pointed enough in Photo 1, the composition of Photo 2 isn’t quite centered and the reflections of the ceiling lights in the windows bug me, the wide angle lens distortion of the lampshades in Photo 3 bug me too, the brides’s forehead is a little wrinkly in Photo 4 and there is a big blob of ice on the bottom middle of the camera lens in Photo 5.

    2. jw maine Avatar
      jw maine

      Picture 3: too wide, distorted; lamps not evenly paced and adding little. A 24mm would have been a better photo.

    3. jw maine Avatar
      jw maine

      The ring photo is kind of silly. The author must have felt proud but to me it seems to have no connection at all to the thesis, or is he saying that he is proud to use more than one lens when he covers events? Yes that’s it. He wants us to use more than one lens when we head out to an event. Why did I never think of that? I could have a camera bag with some specialty lenses. What a revelation this is. I feel like this is a new day! I am going out and buying a camera bag right now.

  • thebeline Avatar

    I was going to put this as a reply, but it deserves it’s own thread, so people can see it:

    The author of this article wasted a perfectly fine opportunity to showcase the merits of having access to a diverse collection of lenses with varying minimum focal distances (macros), maximum apertures (speed and DOF), and specialized glass quality (wide-angle and primes) to instead insult the first lens that most photographers purchase, and is most often relied upon in dynamic situations and events. At the same time insulting new and money-strapped photographers by saying “what you have is not good enough, it is a crap choice,” as well as seasoned professionals by saying “that strategic choice you made was a crap choice.”

    There is nothing DIY, or empowering about this article, and what educational opportunity could have been had was overshadowed by the authors hubris and smug satisfaction with his toys (many he doesn’t even own, so… I am confused).

    The author also fails to illustrate or expound upon what the differences in these lenses are and why they are strong at what they do, and instead make a tart out of himself by wildly comparing a standard-speed crop-sensor zoom lens to a super-fast prime full-frame lens, without any context or explanation, using the comparison to somehow illustrate why the 24-70 is a bad lens choice… Does any of that make sense? No, it only served to inform me that I should take this author’s knowledge with about as much salt as I take Soccer-mom’s…

    If you are reading this, and you are new, do yourself a favor and start at the first articles (page 300-something) from back in 2006. You should have enough (good, educational and inspiring) content to keep you busy until you tire of the site. You owe it to yourself to form a good opinion of this site before you tire and move on, because recently, it has not been like it once was (and that’s the truth).

    If you are not new, you owe it to yourself as well to go back and read the good stuff…

    Honestly, they should just re-post the old articles for a while, that would be an awesome idea…

    1. Me, Myself and I Avatar
      Me, Myself and I

      “The author of this article wasted a perfectly fine opportunity to showcase the merits of having access to a diverse collection of lenses with varying minimum focal distances (macros), maximum apertures (speed and DOF), and specialized glass quality (wide-angle and primes) to instead insult the first lens that most photographers purchase, and is most often relied upon in dynamic situations and events.”


      When I shoot a wedding I have 4 lenses with me.

      24-70 f2.8
      70-200 f2.8
      50 f1.4
      24-105 f4 (emergency backup lens)

      And in the car I have a couple of kit lenses (18-55 and 70-300 variable aperture crap) for emergencies (like dropping one of my good lenses into a pool … never happened btw but better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it).

      I’d live to add a proper wide angle for some artsy shots but my budget goes mostly into marketing. The 24-70 and 70-200 are my work horses. I have them on me strapped to my primary and secondary cameras at all times at a wedding.

      1. hussey Avatar

        “My budget goes mostly into marketing” tells us everything. It’s the business before art attitude that makes wedding photography bland these days. I’m guessing you’re also the type that only stays for the first half hour of the reception?

        1. Me, Myself and I Avatar
          Me, Myself and I

          ” It’s the business before art attitude that makes wedding photography bland these days.”

          The business aspect of wedding photography is JUST as important as the art aspect. Unless you are staging weddings with models you need clients … you get those client by running a business, you stay in business by running a proper profitable business. There is no getting around that fact.

          “I’m guessing you’re also the type that only stays for the first half hour of the reception?”

          I stay for as long as the client wants me to stay. I’ve left weddings right after the formals and others I’ve stayed until midnight. It’s not what I want it;s what my CLIENT wants that is important.

          1. hussey Avatar

            And what client WOULDN’T want you to stay? That doesn’t make sense.

          2. Me, Myself and I Avatar
            Me, Myself and I

            I just had a call yesterday. The client want’s coverage only for the ceremony and a handful of formal shots afterwards.

            We are looking at about 3 hours in total.

            About 80% (+/-) of my wedding clients take my full day package but that means that 20% don’t. For some, it is a financial consideration but for others, photography jut isn’t THAT important … as long as they have great images of the major moments of the wedding and a few excellent formal shots, they are happy.

          3. Me, Myself and I Avatar
            Me, Myself and I

            Wait … I just reread this statement …

            You do understand that I (like most wedding photographers) offer various packages based around hours of coverage and that those packages vary in price right?

            I charge more for a 10 hour wedding than I do for a 4 hour wedding … cause I work more.

            The client then chooses the package that fits his requirements in terms of what he wants covered and his budget.

            If you don;t understand that this is how business works then perhaps you need to remove yourself form this conversation.

          4. hussey Avatar

            I’m well aware of the industry. And I think it’s idiotic how some packages are priced. So much goes into wedding photography that a difference of an hour or two during the actual event shouldn’t make for such a huge disparity. I think it actually devalues the photography and makes it hard to justify one’s prices.

            I understand that it’s usually just a gimmick to get clients to go with a higher package, while still being able to say “prices start at $xxx,” but that certainly doesn’t make me feel better about it!

            What would I prefer? I’d prefer that a client states their needs, their event, and you quote a price.

        2. tom rose Avatar
          tom rose

          Plenty of clients want the professional photographer for the ceremony and formalities and don’t want them around for the partying that follows

  • Spehmaster G. Avatar
    Spehmaster G.

    The 24-70mm certainly wasn’t my first Lens and I doubt it would be many photographers first Lens purchase either… Unless they have entirely more money than sense of course.

  • Paul van den Hurk Avatar
    Paul van den Hurk

    Rearly used, you can have mine Nikos. Just come over

    1. Nikos Chantzis Avatar
      Nikos Chantzis

      Some of these days I might collect on that invite …..

    2. JP Danko Avatar
      JP Danko

      Care to share why its rarely used?

  • Enright Avatar

    This is a silly article. Ultimately it’s the right tool for the job, all lenses have their place. I’m 25 years into my career as a full time professional photographer, 17 years self employed. The work I do (corporate, pr and event) not often allow me to “zoom with my feet” nor do I have time to fiddle with lens changes. My clients don’t give a crap about what lens I use, as long as I get the shot. I ride my 16-35 24-70 70-200 2.8s like rental cars, knock my clients socks off and make a grown up living wage. Right now Im in a backcountry lodge snowboarding because being your own boss is the best!

    1. jw maine Avatar
      jw maine

      I have to join the crowd of naysayers and feel that the article was a bit silly. I would only agree with this author if I could slow down time literally. In other words, I have seconds to react to a scene with people. It would be crazy for me to switch lenses and so on. There is even risk to these expensive tools to rush and grab other lenses as ideas chance. He must have meant that a photographer has maybe an hour to contemplate a capture. Yeah, that is what he meant. No hurry and ten or more expensive lenses all right there in a quiet clean environment. Yeah, that’s what he was thinking. I think I understand now much better.

  • Trino Pam Avatar
    Trino Pam

    I ended the article with a laugh attack thinking I just read a parody on photographers with too much gear and lost in lenses panoplia!

  • Tien Tran Avatar
    Tien Tran

    Trolling at its best

  • Kuster Fernando Avatar
    Kuster Fernando

    When everyone disagree with your article, you should at least consider that you might be wrong. Anyway, just because something can’t be used for everything it doesn’t mean it’s a crappy choice. Crappy article indeed.

  • Lyle Avatar

    Kelby made a splash and got some attention. This is a lame attempt to do the same. Another poor article at DIYP.

  • Nik Avatar

    What an idiotic crap..

  • Jon Peckham Avatar
    Jon Peckham

    I’ve been saying this for years. . . Good article.

  • Jim the Photographer Avatar
    Jim the Photographer

    It’s nice to read articles by equipment snobs. I have a 28-75 Tamron f/2.8. I use it for portraits and landscapes. It didn’t cost me $2000, more in the neighborhood of $700. It nicely complements my Tamron 70-300 zoom. But, hey, I’m not a camera snob; I’m not a pro; I’m not rich; but I take great photos — even with my “crap lens”.

  • Me, Myself and I Avatar
    Me, Myself and I

    I find myself coming to this site less and less … it used to be a great source for interesting articles and DiY projects but now most of them time it just rehashes what other people are saying … I follow those other people already, I don’t need to read it a second time …

  • Furlongs Avatar

    Can’t believe everyone’s so mean. Isn’t he just making the point that a 24-70 is a bit dull and if you want to take photos that have a bit of a wow factor then other lenses will be better? The 24-70 is a bit of a jack-of-all-trades but master of none. And don’t be rude about Scott Kelby. The guy’s amazing and a real success story.

  • Felipe_Paredes Avatar

    I think “crap” IS A CRAP word CHOICE.

  • D Avatar

    To summarize: “The 24-70 is crap because it’s not very good at doing things it wasn’t designed to do”

    Your argument (such as it is) applies to basically every tool ever created, photographic or otherwise.

  • Itsme Avatar

    I think he tried to tell us, that u can make better immages by switching lenses instead of keeping always the same on the camera…i felt the same in the past…nowadays i dont do anymore wedding photography…but thats an other point…

  • Tinker's Realm! Avatar
    Tinker’s Realm!

    I agree w/you-the 24-70mm lens always leaves me uninterested/unmotivated & with images I think look uninspired there is nothing like shooting w/prime lenses & knowing in advance exactly the look I am going for versus letting the atmosphere/event dictate it to me.