Photography jobs

Why is this my favorite photography purchase?

Equipment isn’t always about megapixels, dynamic range, or pixel readout. This piece of gear didn’t change the quality of my photos, but it might be my favorite purchase.

The obsession with gear or the next best thing is somewhat exhausting in the photographic space. I totally understand how sometimes getting something new can reinvigorate your urge to get out there and create new images. I was particularly guilty of this earlier in my hobby and I freely admit that I probably cared or focused too much on the technical details of equipment. That eventually changed over the years, leading me to where I am now, where all I care about is the equipment or tools that make my life as a photographer easier.

Sure, I need them to match or maintain a level of quality I’ve grown accustomed to, but there are so many great options for almost every piece of gear. Lenses, tripods, filter systems, storage, etc., and there are probably several interesting options. So when equipment comes along that can change the way I work and make my life easier, that’s what excites me the most. That’s why the Canon RF 70-200mm f/4L has changed my enjoyment of shooting landscapes at telephoto.

This is not a review

This is not a review of this particular lens, nor an endorsement that you need this lens. There will be no comparisons on image quality or barrel distortion or image stabilization testing here. If that’s what you’re looking for, there are plenty of resources out there that are absolutely wonderful and do a much better job than I ever could. At this point, technology and competition in space means that if you spend a substantial portion of your salary on a lens, camera, or accessory, you’ll get exceptional image quality.

I bought the Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II almost 10 years ago, and it’s been my go-to lens for quite some time. The idea of ​​replacing him was actually difficult, like I was betraying everything he’s done for me over the years. I’m not sentimental about the gear at all, but this lens has a lot of history, so much so that I couldn’t bring myself to sell it to help buy its replacement. That being said, replacing it was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my photography career, but it has nothing to do with improving the quality of my images.

Size Matters

Deciding between the f/4 or f/2.8 version of the new lens was pretty easy. When I bought the Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L, I was shooting and filming a lot of live musicians where that extra light really mattered. I’ve gone through several of my catalogs and looked at the metadata for times when I’ve ever shot wide open after changing my lens to landscape photography. Not only was this rare, more often than not it was to keep my shutter speed high enough to prevent camera shake during low-light moments in the field. If I’ve ever artistically used a large aperture for a blurred background, the difference between f/2.8 and f/4 is surprisingly minimal at longer focal lengths.

I ended up buying the Canon RF 70-200 f/4L which meant I was naturally going to lose a bit of weight losing that light stop via the aperture difference, but it also meant that a hot shoe tripod was no longer needed either, which makes it even smaller. Look at the size difference between these two lenses. If you include the EF to RF adapter in the footprint of the older lens, it’s almost double the size of the new Canon RF 70-200 f/4L. The difference in weight is huge, with the old lens weighing 1490g plus 110g with the adapter (total 3.53lbs) compared to the new RF lens’ 695g (1.53lbs). Losing two pounds of weight is every backpacker’s dream and puts a lot less strain on my wrists when I’m hiking without any support system.

Above is a comparison of my Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L in terms of size, and the fact that these lenses are almost exactly the same size blows my mind, and that’s without the EF to RF adapter! This meant that I didn’t need to have a bigger place in my bag specifically for the longer lens. My camera can have either lens attached and fit in the same place in my bag, which saves a lot of time and headaches. Previously, if I wanted to put my camera back in my bag, it had to be attached to the EF 70-200mm, and that was the only way it would fit. Now I can have any lens I own, and it all fits in a much smaller space.

My images are not improving

All of these traits make me appreciate photography more. This means I can take my telephoto lens on a longer hike without a second thought. This means I can walk around holding my camera in my hand for longer periods of time without straining my wrists. It connects me more to photography because I don’t feel like it gets in the way, and that’s what’s more important to me than anything else.

The lens did absolutely nothing to improve my image quality or take better pictures. Is it sharper from corner to corner? Technically, yes, but it’s not something I will really notice. What I continuously notice is how much I love shooting with this lens. Gear isn’t always the best thing, and I’m much more excited about something that makes photography easier for me than something that might add a few extra pixels to my images.

Have you made any purchases that completely changed the way you take pictures – something that didn’t necessarily change the quality of your pictures but just the quality of your enjoyment of shooting?