(All of the images in this article were taken with the Canon 24-105L lens at 24mm)
The first of the month marked my birthday. Typically I like to ring in a new year with a nice present to myself – a lens is often one of my first choices (admittedly on a very longgggg list of wants). I fully admit to being a wee bit of a lens junkie, which isn’t a budget friendly outlook. This year my general life motto has been to put our financial resources towards experiences, rather than things. This outlook has paid off and afforded us so many family memories and experiences, so I knew that this summer a new lens would not be arriving on my doorstep.
In particular I have been obsessing over a shiny new 24mm prime lens. I ADORE my Sigma 35 1.4 ART and wide open + wide angle is right in my wheelhouse. But instead of hitting “purchase” on a new 24mm, I decided to use what I already have. My very first “big” lens purchase was a 24-105 Canon f/4 L lens. Overall it’s a great travel and multi-purpose lens, but as I have grown in my photography style the f4 just wasn’t versatile enough. I also tend to prefer primes. The lens grew a thick layer of dust…… until just recently.
Sure, I have stalked that 24mm lens online more times than I care to admit. But the reality is that I already owned that focal length – it just wasn’t at the aperture that I really love. But sometimes you just make do with what you have.
The reality is that since I have purposefully starting using my 24-105 again, I have sort of fallen in love with it all over again. I doubt it will ever be my all time favorite lens, but it’s stayed on my camera for most of my family outings this summer. In the following examples I explain just how the 24-105 trumped all the other lenses in my bag.
I would have NEVER been able to get this image composed with the lion statues with my Sigma 35, which is typically my “story telling” and day-to-day lens. Here, the 24-105 saved the day.
The F4 aperture was what had really moved me away from using this lens. I regularly shoot at 1.4 with my 35mm, so loosing all of those stops of light and increasing my noise seemed like a ridiculous idea to me. But when I tested it out, I realized that my 5D Mark iii mitigated my noise concerns and I actually like gaining more focus from the F4 aperture.
The 24-105L is now my go-to water lens. I own a Dicapac bag (kinda like trusting your camera to a ziplock baggie) for water shots. Even though I have a back up camera body, I still don’t trust the waterproof bag to completely go underwater with my camera. Regardless, I do want to attach a “lesser loved” lens to my backup when I am in and around water. The 24-105 fits the bill and has garnered me some of my favorite shots this summer.
Do you have a lens that is collecting dust? Before you are tempted to sell it, I encourage you to give it a whirl for a day or two. Keep it on your camera and play until you get an image or two that you really enjoy. Sometimes having a little something “new again” is all you need to push your photography forward and save yourself a little pocket money.