Not long after I started writing for Digital Photography School I was asked to write a short article on what my favourite lens was. Back then, it was the Nikon 24-70mm 2.8 lens. However, this year that changed.
Gear Talk – My New Favourite Lens
Last year Canon Australia let me try the Canon 5D Mark IV DSLR, one of their top full frame cameras. Along with the camera I was loaned a 16-35mm F4 lens. I had heard many people talking about the lens, but it was the first time I really got to try one.
Trying the Canon 16-35mm Lens
The first clue I had that I would love the lens was when I didn’t want to take it off the camera. I was given other lenses as well, but it became the one I wanted to use all the time. The focal length was fantastic for nearly all the photography I wanted to do.
I was able to borrow the camera a second time and was then given the 16-35mm F2.8 lens. It was nice to try the faster version of the lens, but at the end of the day, it didn’t really matter to the type of photography I was doing.
Addicted to the 16-35mm
From that moment, the second time using the lens, I knew it was one I wanted. I asked Nikon Australia if I would be able to borrow the Nikon equivalent, Nikon AF-S 16-35mm F4 G ED VR Lens.
The same thing happened. Once it was on my camera, I didn’t want to take it off. I used it for most of my photos, especially around the city.
Why was good about it?
Good question. The 24-70mm is a good lens and I’ve always enjoyed having it, but there were times it just wasn’t wide enough. I had the Nikon 14-24mm F2.8 lens, but to take it out with me meant I had to take a second set of filters with me. More weight, plus they were big and harder to use. You had to be careful where the sun was, or you got some unwanted lens flare in your images.
The 16-35mm takes the 100mm filter system, so if I had it I would only need to take one system with me. That was so appealing. Going out with just the 24-70mm and the 16-35mm was a way of working that I really liked. I love doing long exposures and about just use the normal ND filters on both lenses sounded perfect to me.
Being able to go 16mm was good too. I loved the 14mm, but I had to decide if I really needed the extra 2mm, so to speak. Since getting into long exposure photography I wasn’t using that lens as much.
How to get it
I don’t have a lot of money and getting new gear is something I do struggle with. I had to find the money to buy what I need, which isn’t easy when you earn very little.
A plan was hatched, if I could sell my14-24mm and the filters with it, that would give me enough money to pay for new lens. Though, I was sad to lose the 2.8 lens, but this made more sense. I realised the only thing I would miss with the lens would be the 2.8 aperture for astrophotography.
Thankfully, there when the lens sold there was also enough money for a 2.8 fisheye. That’s another story.
Buying the Lens
The lens was purchased from Nikon Australia. I had to wait a couple of weeks, but it was worth the wait.
I’ve had it for a few months now and it has rarely been off my camera. You have to love it when you get some new gear and it is absolutely what you want. I really love the lens.
It is the lens I use the most. I do nearly all my long exposures images with it. It is good to know I can use my Formatt Hitech ND filters with it and I only have to take one system with me. My 100mm filters are really good.
While I have loved the 24-70mm lens for many years, I think my favourite lens is my new one now. It was worth selling the other lens. Since selling it I haven’t once regretted the decision. Owning the 16-35mm has been good. The decision to buy it was a very good one.