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.

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

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Deals

Need a new tablet? Here are the best iPad deals for February 2019

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for December 2018.
Deals

Amazon cuts prices on the Apple Watch Series 3 for Presidents’ Day

The Apple Watch Series 3 is seeing the same price cut we saw during the Amazon sale just last week. So if you're hoping to pick up an Apple Watch for less than $250, this $50 discount from Amazon can make that happen for you.
Deals

This discounted smartwatch is a cheap Apple Watch or Fitbit Versa alternative

The Amazfit Bip isn't an Apple Watch or Fitbit Versa, but at the discounted price of $67, it's a very affordable alternative packed with useful features. With built-in GPS and 30-day battery life, this cheap smartwatch is a great option to…
Deals

Amazon slashes prices on Fitbit Versa smartwatches for Presidents’ Day

Amazon is offering a solid $30 discount on this great fitness tracking smartwatch right now. So if you're looking for a wearable that can help you track steps, sleep, and activity, now is a great time to pick one up for less.
Photography

Photography news: Wacom’s slimmer pen, Leica’s cinema special edition

In this week's photography news, Wacom launches a new slimmer pen for pro users. Leica's upcoming M10-P is designed for cinema, inside and out, with built-in cinema modes in the updated software.
Photography

Mirrorless cameras were built to be compact, so why have they gotten so heavy?

Mirrorless cameras launched as portable alternatives to bulky and complex DSLRs -- so why are they getting bigger and heavier? Cameras are trending towards heavier models, but that change comes with more advanced features.
Mobile

Be careful who you bokeh, jokes Apple’s latest iPhone ad

With iPhone sales under pressure, you'd think there wouldn't be much to laugh about at Apple HQ. But the company has seen fit to inject some humor into its latest handset ad, which highlights the camera's Depth Control feature.
Photography

What’s the difference between Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic?

Lightroom CC has evolved into a capable photo editor, but is it enough to supplant Lightroom Classic? We took each program for a test drive to compare the two versions and see which is faster, more powerful, and better organized.
Photography

Luminar’s libraries gain speed, drop need for you to manually import images

Luminar 3 just got a performance boost. Skylum Luminar 3.0.2 has improved speed over December's update, which added the long-promised libraries feature giving editors a Lightroom alternative.
Photography

When you're ready to shoot seriously, these are the best DSLRs you can buy

For many photographers the DSLR is the go-to camera. With large selection of lenses, great low-light performance, and battery endurance, these DSLRs deliver terrific image quality for stills and videos.
Photography

The best place to print photos online in 2019

Have you been looking around for the best place to print out your favorite photos online or in store? Don't fret, we've pored through dozens of options and narrowed it down to the seven best.
Photography

The Panasonic FZ1000 gets a much-needed update alongside the smaller ZS80 zoom

Panasonic's 2014 superzoom camera with a larger sensor has finally seen an update. The new Panasonic FZ1000 II has a sensor that's better for low light, more physical controls, and new 4K Photo Mode features.
Photography

Watch the construction of a 270-degree fisheye lens, the widest ever

Think you've seen wide fisheye lenses? Think again. A team from Lensrentals recently shared a behind-the-scenes look at a custom prototype 4.5mm fisheye lens, which captures a whopping 270-degree view.