The Best Lens Post In The World, Revisited • Rhode Island Family Photographer

Just about a year ago I wrote what has become one of the most popular blog posts I've ever written.  The Best Lens Post In The World, Ever has photo examples from all the lenses I own, and also has info on what I use each lens for.  The post is treasure trove of Canon lens goodness. 

Since that original blog was posted, I've received quite a few requests for more or updated photo examples from each lens.  Because of these requests, and because I've also gotten two new lenses since that post, I decided to make an updated post.  Shooting photos every day in 2015, both for business and myself, produced plenty of new example photos (in fact, this post ended up with more photos than the original post).  Detailed descriptions of what I use all but the new lenses for can be found in the original post, but there are still little snippets of information in this post as well.

Do you have a cup of coffee ready and a bit of time on your hands?  If so, sit back and get ready for lots of photos!


Canon 16-35 f4L

This was my newest lens at the time of the original blog post.  I love it for wide shots of awesome skies.  (And occasionally other stuff).

Canon 24-70 f2.8L ii

Still my least favorite lens just because I don't love the range, but still a jack of all trades.  It's a great travel lens and I used it at a few photo sessions last year. 

Canon 70-200 f2.8L ii

This year I sold the teleconverter that I used with this lens to shoot surfing.  While it's still sometimes used to shoot surfing, I'm just starting to learn to love it as something other than a sports lens.  I've begun taking more portraits with it (human and cat!) and am also loving it for backyard bird photos.  It's also been used more in my studio shoots.

Canon 100-400 f4.5-5.6 ii

This is one of the two new lenses I got this year.  I now use this lens for most of my surfing shooting, instead of using a teleconverter with the 70-200.  It's fast focusing and sharp.   It's also been used for some moon shooting and I'm starting to use it for my budding career (ha ha) as a bird/wildlife shooter.  It's nearly always on the 7D Mark II.

Now onto the primes.

Sigma 24mm f1.4 ART

This is the only non-Canon lens I own (well, with the exception of my Lensbaby).  I have had non-Canon lenses before and they didn't work out, but this one has.  It's one of the two new lenses I've gotten this year.  I wanted a prime wider than my 35 for documentary type stuff.  And that's exactly what I use this for:  day-to-day documentary stuff.  Cat stalking stuff.  Life stuff.  I've used it for a few photo sessions too, though it isn't a frequent flyer at those since I'm a chronic long lens lover.  At first it was a little odd to get used to how much warmer Sigma images are than the ones from Canon lenses but I've gotten to like that little feature.

Canon 35mm f1.4L

This lens remains a mostly personal-only documentary lens, although I did use it in a couple of sessions in 2015.  It's probably my favorite documentary lens out of the 24/35/50 trio.  Apparently it is the lens I use the most to take photos of hands and feet--mostly my own but sometimes other peoples'. 

Canon 50mm f1.2L

The third in my documentary trifecta.  It's my travel buddy and rarely used at photo sessions but it is one of my more favorite cat stalking lenses.

Canon 85mm f1.2L

Still use this in the studio for nearly every photo, and occasionally use it for outdoor sessions.  Also a good cat stalking lens.  Shooting it at 1.2 is a sublime experience.

Canon 100mm 2.8 macro

Still the only non-L Canon lens I own, still don't need the L version.  Use this mostly for macro for fun, though I occasionally take it out for little people details.

Canon 135mm f2L

I love this lens.  It's one of my two favorite outdoor portrait lenses.  If you're looking for a well-priced, sharp portrait prime, especially if you shoot full frame, this is it.  It's the closest look to the 200 without being the 200.

Canon 200mm f2L

My precious.  I shoot with this whenever I can.   It's amazing.  Yes, there is a definite difference between it and the 70-200 at 200mm and 2.8.


I didn't get to use my Lensbaby nearly as much as I wanted in 2015.  (On the plus side, I've used it almost every day so far in 2016 and it's factoring heavily into this year's personal project).  I got the Lensbaby Sweet 35 optic in 2015, which is fun but is reaaaaaalllllly hard to manually focus!

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