If you were going to spend the day out and could only take one lens with you, what lens would it be?
That’s the question we asked the Click Pros on the photography forum and they chimed in with their favorite lenses. As a bonus, they also threw in a favorite photo taken with that lens.
If you’ve been on the hunt for a new camera lens, this is what you’ve been looking for!
Hands down, I am obsessed with my Sigma 15mm f/2.8 fisheye. Not only does it allow me to have a unique perspective that gets everything in the frame, but it is incredibly lightweight. My least expensive lens turned out to be my best photography purchase!
My answer to this question actually surprises me! I really love my primes but if I had to choose just one lens for a day I would choose my Canon 16-35 f/2.8 L. While I love primes for wide open apertures I generally have 3 in my bag. For a single lens day I’d choose a zoom for versatility. It was hard to decide between the Canon 24-70mm and the 16-35mm but lately I’m really loving the beauty of ultra-wide angle images!
Right now, my walk around lens is the Nikon 24mm f/1.8. For wide angle shots and landscapes, this lens is a dream. Indoors, it will really take in the whole scene and you can then play with the crop as you process the image on your computer.
24-70 zoom lens
The lens that I reach for the most is my Nikon 24-70. Yes, it’s heavy, but the versatility is hands-down the best. I love having the flexibility for wide, environmental shots, or having more reach and beautiful bokeh at the long end. I take it with me everywhere. To the beach, on class field-trips, and I love it for vacation and travel.
I was faced with this question recently, but it wasn’t choosing a lens for just one day, it was for two weeks! I opted for my Canon 24-70mm 2.8L and can’t imagine a lens I would have been happier with. The zoom was so versatile- I could navigate tight spaces inside centuries-old castles as well as chase kids with the longer lengths!
24-105 f/4 zoom
Without a doubt my walk-around travel lens is my Canon 24-105L. I have mad love for this work horse of a lens! It is the only zoom lens I own. It is relatively light, sharp as a tack and the range makes it incredibly versatile. I have heard people say that perhaps the aperture of f/4 would be troublesome but I have not found it limiting in the slightest. With most camera bodies having the ISO ranges that they do now… I find no issues with it at all!
28mm wide angle lens
If I could only choose one lens to take with me, I would have to take my Canon 28mm. I’m slightly obsessed with having a variety of lenses on me at all times. I’m fairly certain part of my back problems are because I carry a body and 3 lenses with me at all times, but for documenting my day, my go to is usually my 28mm. While I love long lenses, they’re limiting when activities take me indoors and even outdoors, there’s not always enough room to back up to frame the scene as I want it.
…but there’s also a good chance my answer would be different tomorrow.
35mm prime lens
My Canon 35 f/1.4 lives on my camera. I love to include scenery in my portraits, and I feel like this lens gives the perfect balance of subject and environment! It’s also super reliable and quick to focus, so I never have to worry about missing a shot.
My go to lens for my Canon 5D Mark III is definitely the Sigma 35mm f/1.4. I love switching lenses and having a few of them while I am out, but if I could bring only one lens, it would be the 35mm 1.4. It’s not heavy and it is versatile and so sharp. I just love this lens when it’s time to capture moments of our everyday life.
Without a shadow of a doubt my go to lens is definitely the Canon 35L 1.4. I use it for landscape as well as portraits and it is tack sharp for capturing the little details too. It is the most versatile focal length for me whether I’m capturing candid lifestyle moments or creating dramatic portraiture. Oh and the bokeh is fantastic too.
My Tamron 35mm for sure. I have hardly taken it off my camera since I got it. Love love love that lens. It’s so versatile and the vibration reduction is magnificent. Tack sharp. So much love.
If I only have one lens with me, it is my Sigma Art 35mm 100% of the time. I love the focal length for storytelling, inside and outside. It’s tack sharp and super fast. By far my favorite lens.
My favorite walk around lens is the Nikon 35mm 1.8G ED. It is very small and lightweight, focuses quickly and accurately, and is sharp even shooting at 1.8. For me, 35mm is a very versatile focal length- it is wide enough to shoot indoors at dinner or around the table, but also great for group shots and for chasing kids outdoors. The relatively large aperture gives you the ability to isolate your subject if you come across a shooting opportunity where you want to do that. This is the only lens I used when we went on our annual camping trip this year, and I was thrilled with the results!
My walk around lens is the Sigma Art 35 1.4. I don’t really feel like I need anything wider (at the moment at least) because I can use it for all the landscape shots I desire and it is an amazing portrait lens as well. It’s light, so I can easily chase around my two crazy kids, and it’s wide enough to where I can get pretty close up to them which I love for capturing details. I usually always start my family sessions with my 35. It’s just an amazing all around lens! It’s completely replaced my 50 mm.
Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Pancake. The 40mm focal length works for just about anything – portraits, street, landscape, architecture, documentary, video, you name it. It only weighs 4.6 oz. (4.6 oz.!) and isn’t even an inch in length, so it’s super easy to carry (it literally fits in your pocket,) it stays low key out among crowds (bonus) and it’s priced well under $200 new. I actually think the low price keeps some photographers from considering this lens, I think some assume it can’t be all that great because it’s so inexpensive! But it is a fabulous little lens, definitely one of my faves.
If I plan to be out and about all day there is no question the Canon 40mm f/2.8 pancake will be on my camera. That tiny little lens, which I fondly refer to as my shorty-forty, is incredibly fast and sharp. It’s small profile allows me to shoot with my Canon 5D Mark III on the streets or while traveling without drawing attention. This is incredibly important since candid moments are what I’m after. The 40mm focal length allows me to fit a whole lot of story into the frame. For the occasional street portrait or detail shot this lens performs beautifully as well. This pancake packs a huge punch.
50mm (aka The Nifty Fifty)
My go to lens is my Canon 50mm 1.2L. I know many photographers say this is a starter lens, but the lens is so versatile for me. I love how the focal length captures what the human eye sees. It allows me to capture the environment, yet still gives me a nice amount of separation from my subject when I shoot wide (which I typically do). The lens is fairly light weight too so I feel comfortable taking it almost everywhere.
Lensbaby Edge 50
My go to walk around lens has become my Lensbaby Edge 50 mounted on my Sony a7II. The combination is lightweight and versatile, the Edge is able to handled complicated scenes and challenging lighting situations, while the ability to handhold the Sony at slow shutter speeds allows my ISO to stay low and my aperture to stay where I’d like. I love the creative compositions I can create with the Edge, rather than relying on the standard post card shots when I’m hitting tourist spots on my trips. And, when needed, I can center the optic and use the Edge as a standard 50 mm lens.
Lensbaby Twist 60
It would definitely be the new Lensbaby Twist. I really love this little lens. Ever since i’ve got it, it hasn’t been of my camera. Attached to the Fujifilm X-Pro2, I have a perfect and small set to walk around with. Love how sharp it is and it really adds something magical to my everyday moments.
Honestly, the lens I like to walk around with most is my 100mm! I know, I know… it’s totally counter-intuitive to the usual wide-angle options!
This lens really pushes your creativity when you’re out and about. It is versatile in it’s own way because it’s perfect for macro and street portraits (which may challenge you to ask strangers for their photograph)!
Now if you could only walk around with one lens, which would it be?