Nikon 24-70mm ƒ2.8

Taughannock Falls in late fall - Taughannock Falls State Park, Trumansburg, New York

This lens is my standard lens when I am just doing some walking around photography.  The focal range is great and it makes for a great all around lens.  However, it isn’t small, weighing in at a couple pounds, but the quality is superb.  I purchased this lens, along with the Nikon D3, when I knew I was going to be working in the lowlight environment of the Costa Rican cloud forests in Monteverde.  The extra few stops and incredible quality was several steps above the 24-120mm lens that I also own.

On the wide end, especially on a full frame camera, the 24mm is wide and very versatile.  It isn’t an ultra wide but it does provide enough coverage that I can get in close and still show a lot of the environment behind the subject.  There are definitely times that I wish for a little bit longer lens but when that happens, I switch to the 70-200mm.

Ultimately, it comes down to this.  If you want a fast and sharp lens but can sacrifice some weight than this is the lens for you.  If you want a one lens setup and you can sacrifice a tiny bit of quality but gain a lot of versatility, then go for the 24-120mm.  I use them both and the situation dictates which lens is mounted on the camera.

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