Photography expert: 5 reasons why you need a 70-200mm lens for your camera

Of the lenses photographers carry around in their camera bag, one gets used more than any other: the 70–200mm f/2.8. That’s certainly true for this writer.

This, of course, varies from person to person and changes depending on what’s being photographed, but it’s hard to argue with the versatility and performance of any 70–200mm lens on the market. Especially when you’re a sports photographer, as I am.

To show off just how capable and quintessential this lens is, Kai Wong of DigitalRev has created a video explaining “five reasons why you need a 70–200mm lens.” You can watch the video accompanying this story, but we’ve condensed the five reasons into a list:

  1. It’s a workhorse of a lens: Whether you go with an f/4 or an f/2.8 version for your camera’s lens mount, every 70–200mm lens on the market is built to take a beating while still shooting.
  2. Useful range of focal lengths: Be it portraits, photojournalism, or sports photography, you can find almost any focal range you need within the 70–200mm range the lens provides. At 70mm, you get just a little more than a standard focal length, while 200mm expands into the telephoto range.
  3. Performance: You’ll be hard-pressed to find a lens that’s capable of consistently focusing as fast and as smoothly as a 70–200mm. Of course, this depends on the camera you’re using, but so long as your camera has a solid focusing system, the 70–200mm will never have a problem keeping up, even at 14 frames per second.
  4. Perfect size: As Kai explains, the 70–200mm lens is at a “sweet spot.” Even the larger f/2.8 versions are small enough to hold with your hand, even for extended periods of time. Sure, after an eight-hour wedding shoot or four-hour football game, your wrist might be sore, but it’s nothing compared to lugging around a 300mm lens.
  5. Image quality: Regardless of what manufacturer you go with for your 70–200mm lens, you shouldn’t have much of a problem with image quality. Across the board, they’re sharp as can be and are capable of producing incredible bokeh, especially at f/2.8.

The best part of all is that you have a lot of options to choose from, meaning you should be able to pick up a 70–200mm lens that fits your budget. A brand new Canon 70–200mm f/4 costs only $600. If you don’t mind spending a fair bit more and want the best of the best, Canon’s latest 70–200mm f/2.8 IS II costs $2,000.

If you want to save a little more, you can always buy secondhand. Just make sure to do your research and check on the lens before making the transaction.

If you’re in the market for a new lens and want versatility merged with performance, you won’t find a better option out there than a 70–200mm lens, regardless of what model you go with.

Buy on Amazon now:

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4   Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8

Emerging Tech

Buying on a budget? Here’s all the best tech you can snag for $25 or less

We live in a world where you can get a cheeseburger for $1, a functioning computer for $5, and thousands of HD movies for $10 -- so it stands to reason that you should be able to pick up some pretty sweet gear for $25.
Deals

Today’s best Amazon deals: Fitbit, Ring, and Blink

Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be over, but for retail giants like Amazon, the savings are only getting started. We've scoured the depths of Amazon to find you the very best deals going on right now.
Deals

18 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up and plugged in while on the go (or for some great stocking stuffer ideas), we've rounded up 18 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding…
Social Media

Instagram’s new Close Friends List lets you decide who should see your Story

Have a story to share, but don't want to send it to everyone? Instagram now offers a close friends list that will allow users to share stories with only the users included on that list.
Photography

Photography News: Tiffen launches portable LED, COOPH designs heated photo vest

In this week's photography news, Tiffen launches its first LED in the portable, robust Lowel light line. And this odd photo vest by COOPH has a built-in heater controlled via smartphone.
Emerging Tech

Keep your holiday gift list high-tech and low-budget with these gadgets

Modern technology doesn't always come cheap, but there plenty of premium devices that don't carry a premium price. Whether you're looking for a streaming device or a means of capturing photos from above, our list of the best tech under $50…
Social Media

Hotel chain offers an Instagram ‘sitter’ who will post photos for you

If the pressure to post stunning Instagram photos is ruining your vacations, then how about hiring a local Instagram influencer to do the job for you while you go off and enjoy yourself? Well, such a service now exists.
Social Media

Ride the rails and share your stories with Amtrak’s new social media residency

Amtrak is looking for travel fans with a knack for telling stories on social media. The new Amtrak social media residency program wants amateur travelers to share photos, video, and written content from aboard long-distance trips.
Photography

Full-frame mirrorless cameras just made their Hollywood debut with this thriller

The Possession of Hannah Grace isn't just a thriller -- it's also the first Hollywood feature film to be shot completely with a full-frame mirrorless camera. The film was shot with several Sony a7S II bodies and anamorphic lenses.
Photography

Lens Rentals zooms in on the most popular cameras of the year

As 2018 comes to a close, Lens Rentals is taking a look at most popular cameras of the year, based on rental data. While Sony and Panasonic saw more rentals than the previous year, Canon is still the most-rented brand on the platform.
Photography

Luminar’s new libraries don’t even need you to manually import images

Luminar 3's new libraries feature doesn't require importing -- images are automatically added after clicking on a folder. The long-promised libraries feature gives editors a Lightroom alternative with organization tools as well as syncing…
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Photography

The best mirrorless cameras pack all the power of a DSLR, minus the bulk

Mirrorless cameras offer a lot of photography firepower, inside a compact body. Explore the best mirrorless cameras, from the pro-level to the beginner-friendly shooters, in this guide.
Photography

Photography News: Startup redesigns tripod heads ‘inside out’ for more flexibility

Well, this doesn't look like the ball heads that we've seen before. Instead of designing a tripod ball head with a small cutout, the Colorado Tripod Company created one with most of the ball exposed, allowing for more possible angles.