Canon 11-24mm f/4L
The first on my list of top three favorite lenses is the Canon 11-24mm f/4L. This is the lens that I use for 90% of all my photography. The incredibly large field of view allows me to exaggerate leading lines and take advantage of dramatic skies and interesting foregrounds. Because of the extremely close minimum focusing distance with this lens, I’m able to get up close and low to create artistic shots with lots of depth and interest. Because of the extreme angle of view, I need to be careful not to include too much in the frame.
Canon 24-70mm f/4L IS
For situations when my wide angle lens takes in too much of the scene, I turn to my Canon 24-70mm f/4L IS. This is an excellent lightweight lens for carrying and shooting with or without a tripod. As a landscape photographer, I initially didn’t think that the IS, or image stabilization, was an important feature. I’ve since found that I often use this lens hand-held, so this feature has come in handy many times. The thing I love about this lens is its versatility. At 24mm I can shoot scenes that are fairly wide angle and at 70mm I can shoot scenes that are starting to enter the telephoto range. 50mm gets me just about what the eye sees. I think, if I were only able to carry one lens, this would be the one.
Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS
Last on my list of favorite lenses is my Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS telephoto zoom lens. I love the ability of this lens to change the perspective and compress scenes, making distant elements appear closer together. It’s lightweight and I’ve found the image stabilization useful in quite a few situations where hand-holding has been necessary. This lens was particularly useful in the Palouse with its endless rolling hills. A perk with this lens is the ability to pair it with a 1.4x tele-extender, giving me 280mm on the long end. As with the previous two lenses, this lens has f/4 as its widest aperture. This cuts down the cost and weight of these lenses considerably. I rarely shoot below f/5.6, so I just don’t find it necessary to carry around the heavy and expensive f/2.8 alternatives.
What lenses do you use? Feel free to share your thought in the comments below.