Some deny it, but at the core of just about every photographer is a mega geek. Stick them in a room together and the inner geek goes on the rampage and just before the benefits of hyperfocal distance are debated it’s all about the gear. Then someone asks “What’s your favourite lens?” Are you sure you wouldn’t just like to ask me which is my favourite child?! On the face of it this seems like an impossible question leading to all sorts of other questions on the context like, what am I photographing? Do I need wide or telephoto or macro etc. How much light could I expect? Do I have to carry it? And with this last question, I realise that actually when shooting in a wilderness expedition scenario there is actually a lens that remains my go-to.
There are a lot of situations where weight and/or space is at a premium. In these cases, I need something versatile that can go wide for landscapes, get in close for portraits and wildlife and could even cope with a bit of macro and astrophotography. For me, that lens is the Canon 24-105mm L series. Despite the red ring of confidence that this a professional grade L lens it is quite often marketed as a ‘kit lens’ with Canon 5Ds. I have found it to be burly to point that you can try and forget the price tag and treat as a tool. The weather sealing is amazing so you can carry on shooting even when the rain is coming in hard. The optics are very good for a zoom lens and the built-in stabilisation gives a couple of stops redundancy if you haven’t got a tripod. Light, it is not, but its all-round competence means you can get away with this being your only lens and that of course also saves trying to swap out lenses in terrible conditions.
It’s a personal preference of course but for me the 24-105 has it. What are your go-tos?