Wedding photographers can be passionately defensive about their choice of equipment, perhaps more so than in most other genres. There’s a sense, at times, especially in the current environment, that the gear one chooses is not solely a representation of one’s preferences and how one operates, but a reflection of values. After all, this is the modern understanding of branding…
But in most wedding kits, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that a 24-70 2.8 will be found. It is, perhaps, that most familiar thread in the wide tapestry of wedding photographers. However, Taylor Jackson, a YouTuber and photographer from Canada, challenges the sensibility of this lens choice, and has published a 1-minute self-proclaimed ‘rant’ on why.
Sure it’s clickbait, and it’s sure to get some people’s Irish up, but there’s nothing wrong with challenging the status quo and re-evaluating that which we may have taken as gospel, even if not necessarily written in stone.
And it’s easy to see some of his points, such as the fact 24-70 2.8 lenses from the primary brands like Canon, Sony, Nikon, are very expensive, and can be very heavy. And that using primes in place of a zoom inspires creativity by forcing practical parameters. But some of his other points are harder to see, even if you squint, or even empirically incorrect.
Taylor argues that in a gallery shot on a prime lens, every image has a purpose, which implies he believes those shot on a 24-70 don’t? He also goes on to say said gallery on a 24-70 feels dull because there is so much minor variance in focal range, where as there’s more impact to be had from switching up between an 85 and 24mm prime, and back again.
Furthermore, Taylor suggests there’s a sense of crispness to an entire gallery of primes that can’t be had with a 24-70, and he prefers primes due to the shallower depth of field they can provide as he prefers shooting at 1.4 and 1.8 over 2.8 for that level of subject isolation from a background which he says you can’t get from a 24-70 2.8.
There’s a lot to digest here. Granted, the whole video is meant to be idiosyncratic by nature, but while some words are subjective, other things can be objectively challenged. Such as the subject separation that can be had with a 24-70 compared to some of the primes mentioned. And sharpness too.
But it would be interesting to hear your thoughts on the matter. I will, however, leave you with one of my own:
If we’re speaking about being creative, you know what’s creative? Not relying on a defocused background to make an image compelling.