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Which Canon 24-70mm Lens
Canon 24-70mm Lens
For Landscape Photography
"I shoot primarily landscape photos. I am by no means an expert but a novice who's learning as I go along. After much online research, I've decided to open my pocketbook and purchase a Canon 24-70mm lens. Most likely the lens that will be on my camera 90% of the time. I like the IS feature on the Canon lens. So.... for me, a novice, which lens would be suitable for me and why. The Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM or the Canon 24-70mm f/4L IS USM. Thank you."
Thanks for your question on which is the best version of the Canon 24-70mm zoom lens to choose for landscape photography. It's an interesting question and I'll do my best to help you choose.
First, I'll assume that you'll be shooting with a full frame camera and that you aren't dealing with a crop factor. That would make the 24-70mm have too narrow of an angle of view-an equivalent view as a 38-112. If not, and you're shooting with one of the APS-C "crop" Canon DSLR cameras, the 24-70mm lens would be a bad choice. Then, you'd be better using the wider angle 17-40mm or 16-35mm f/2.8 for shooting landscapes.
Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 vs. 24-70mm f/4.0In my opinion, you should be using a tripod for just about every landscape photo you take. I realize that there will be some situations where bringing along a tripod on your travels is not feasible, but there are several advantages to do so. We won't dive deep into all of the reason, but #1 is for sharpness. With landscape photography the image stabilization feature isn't needed, but you'll likely enjoy having it in many other situations.
With that out of the way, with the exception of nighttime and star photography, you don't need the extra f/stop of light that the Canon 24-70 f/2.8 gives you over the Canon 24-70mm f/4.0 with landscape photography. You'll be using the smaller apertures on your 24-70 lens to get better depth of field and the best image quality for your landscape photos anyway.
The price difference between the f/2.8 and f/4.0 versions of the 24-70 is huge. The cost savings of choosing the 24-70mm f/4.0 over the f/2.8 could easily pay for a fast ultra wide prime lens if you wanted to shoot the stars or other low light subjects.
As you've described yourself as a novice, I'd recommend you go with the more affordable Canon EF-S 24-70mm f/4.0.
Coincidentally, I have a 24-70 F/2.8 (NON-IS) that I'm about to sell. I already have two 24-105mm f/4.0 lenses that I use for shooting landscapes and portraits. I purchased the 24-70 f/2.8 for event photography (weddings, anniversary, etc.), but the Coronavirus has pushed me into an early retirement-LOL and I really love my 24-105mm lenses anyway.
Charles, please get back to me and tell me if my thoughts helped you and let me know what direction you decide to go.
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Bruce Lovelace is the publisher of Canon Camera Geek. Read more about him on the About Page. He also publishes how to articles and camera gear reviews at the Photography Tips website.
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