For the longest time, my favorite lens on any camera system was a 35mm wide-aperture prime. The focal length forced me to get "in the action" for impactful portraits, yet it was wide enough to capture wide angle scenes. But a new lens has recently won my heart and assumed the top spot in my kit. In this video and article, I'll be walking through a photoshoot while demonstrating why the Canon RF 28-70mm f/2 lens is my favorite lens of all time.
Point #1: The Range of Focal Lengths
The 28-70mm focal range is popular in that most photography can be done within it. For portraits, 50-70mm is the way to go. For wide angles, 28-35mm is pretty ideal for most situations and can exaggerate depth and perspective. Having all those styles accessible through a single lens means less gear to carry around. Check out this scene I captured with Kiara using three different focal lengths: 70mm, 35mm, and 28mm.
Here are the final images edited with Visual Flow's Pastel Preset Pack.
Point #2: Capturing the Depth for Portraits
Most zoom lenses aren't able to produce bokeh and depth the way prime lenses do due to the f-stop usually capping out at f/2.8. However, with this lens going up to f/2, we get incredible bokeh that is comparable to some of my favorite prime lenses. Let's put it to the test at 70mm. I placed Kiara underneath a tree, where soft, shaded light was coming in from the side.
I varied the distance to Kiara and used the tree as a foreground element. Notice the incredible softness in the bokeh as we shoot wide open at f/2.
We checked out another location where I wanted to demonstrate the portrait capabilities but at 50mm this time. I used the brick pillars as a repeating pattern in the foreground and background. I was able to get tack-sharp focus on Kiara and let everything else fall into a nice, clean blur.
Point #3: Exaggerating Length at Wide Angles
Wide angles are great for exaggerating length, distance, or height. By placing the camera low and angling up, you can emphasize the height of objects such as trees. By leaning into the camera with a wide angle lens, you can exaggerate the distance between the camera and the subject.
At 28mm, I was able to get a great angle of view to capture the palm trees in this scene. With Kiara posing in the foreground, we got these great images that capture the Southern California vibe.
I hope you enjoyed this article and video. With so many photographers working on the go, versatility becomes a bigger factor in the gear that we choose. We no longer need five different lenses when one can do the job. Pair it with today's incredible camera bodies, and we have a workhorse for any gig or project. Of course, that lens will vary depending on the kind of work that you do. I'm excited to see what lens will come out in the future that may top the Canon RF 28-70mm f/2 as my favorite lens. What's your favorite lens?
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