Jason Talks Gear: RIP, Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM | Jason Scott Photography
Jason Scott Photography
Sarasota Wedding Photographer - Siesta Key Beach Portraits

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Jason Talks Gear: RIP, Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

This is part of a series of blog entries written by Jason about the more technical side of Jason Scott Photography. 

I have shot about 50,000 photos on my Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens. It was my first L-series professional lens purchase, so it has some sentimental value. From 2004 until 2013, this lens was the workhorse of our photography business, but now, I don’t use it at all.

The 24-70 died a slow death.  First, I purchased the EF 35m f/1.4L; the 35mm quickly replaced the 24-70 for wide indoor shots.  In my opinion, the 35mm produces MUCH nicer photos.  At f/1.4 the 35mm lets in four times more light than the 24-70; it works much better in low light (such as churches and wedding receptions). The 35mm also has better background blur, and I like the color and contrast better.

Another major blow to the 24-70 came when we purchased the EF 16-35mm f/2.8L. It turns out 16-35mm is a much more interesting focal length than 24-70mm, and the 16-35 is also much lighter.  We began using the 16-35 to create dramatic wide angle photos at weddings.  My experience with the 16-35 has been so outstanding, it is typically the only lens that Allyson and I bring on vacation.  As my use of the 16-35 increased, I found myself reaching for the 24-70 less and less.

The final blow to the 24-70 came when I started using the EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L USM for family beach portraits in late 2013.  Even though the 24-70 was my default beach portrait lens for over a decade, I longed for photos with more dramatic lighting and softer backgrounds. The 70-200mm, in my opinion, creates a sharper image, give the subjects more “pop,” and gives a softer background.  This, combined with off camera flash, creates much, much better photos than the 24-70 ever did.

Here are some comparison photos of some repeat beach portrait customers. The photos on the left were taken on the 24-70 between 2012 and 2013 and the photos on the right were taken on the 70-200 in 2014. (Granted, we've changed more than just the lens, but the difference in the quality of the photos is quite clear!)





At this point, the 24-70 has been out of service for over a year. I'm not sure if I'll ever use it again, but I can't bring myself to sell it just yet.

To find out more about the professional gear we use when we photograph Sarasota Weddings and Siesta Key Beach Portraits, click here.

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