One lens to rule the world

One lens to rule the world

One lens to rule the world. Sending to the ring of omnipotence

What is the only lens to take for permanent use? The one and only for all occasions. The lens to which I would like to strive. That one high-quality lens, by buying which, you could solve all your photo tasks and not torment the camera with a constant change of lenses, but your thoughts by choosing something new. Nowadays it is extremely difficult to manage with one lens, but nevertheless, what to choose in this case?

Personally, I would look at:

The question of whether it is rational to use only one lens lies in a completely different plane. The same goes for system selection. In the comments, I ask you to concentrate and write about which single lens you would personally choose for everyday amateur or professional use. I suspect that it will be interesting to many.

For more information, see the section 'Autofocus fixes with the highest aperture", "Especially fast lenses from the Middle Kingdom'and'Fastest zoom lenses ''.

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Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Please, if this material was useful to you, help my project. And don't forget that everyone can write your review for one or another photographic equipment.

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Comments: 234, on the topic: One lens to rule the world

  • Alexx

    On the D300s there is a Sigma 30mm f1,4. Turns up a good Sigma 18-35 change for him and truncated.

  • Anatoly

    Photography for me is not a living. For travel photography, at events, holidays, etc. bought Tamron 18-400 for Nikon D500. I like. I shoot more people, situations, moments. I would like, of course, something the same but high-aperture ... Alas, not yet. But it may appear.))

  • coroner

    For me, the ideal solution would be boring and lying on the surface - Nikon 24-120 / 4.
    I don't quite understand how you can get along now, let's say in one half - I remember my youth with Zenit, I hated that Helios at times)))

    • koba

      by the way, this 24-120 / 4 gives high quality images in the 28-105mm range! The rest - in case there is no way to move a little, but that's great! You can actually get by with one lens. If that Tamronovsky 35-150 was a little wider - 28-150 or even 28-135 / 2,8-4 - he would not have had a price! The optics are so high on the Zeiss Batis!

  • Serhiy Todoriuk

    I tried a lot of optics, for myself I left Nikkor 35-70 2.8D, although it has many drawbacks, but the price / quality ++. In general, this is an individual question, someone takes off the 35th, someone takes a half-shift, someone needs 28-105, and does not need aperture .. Everything tastes and color ..

  • Oleg

    Kenon has the following patents for lenses under RF: 24-100 \ 2.8; 24-85 \ 2.8; 28-135 \ 4; 24-170 \ 4 and under EF-S 17-170 \ 3.5. So Arkady if marketing allows you to wait for the lens of your dreams

  • Borman

    For mikra4 / 3 I successfully use the set) Lumix DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mmf / 2.8-4 + Lumix25mm f / 1.7

  • Rashid

    MFT: Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f1.4 Aspherical Lens (H-X025E)

  • Alexey

    Pff 320K on glass and rule the world .. ok

  • Kostya

    I use the old man D90. Since I love shyriki and body, it remains only to choose a zoom or fix. If it’s fixed, then something like Carl Zeiss Distagon T 25mm f / 2 is better, but if you choose a zoom, then probably Nikon AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 17-55mm f / 2.8G IF-ED.

  • Mozes

    How can you bring all photographers to a common denominator? After all, everyone has their own favorite shooting style! And zoom lenses, as a rule, lose quality with increasing magnification ...
    Therefore, EGF 28-105mm suggests itself, IMHO.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Then let's not for everyone, but try to answer specifically for yourself, what would you choose? Specific model

  • Dmitriy

    strange formulation of the question: give me a lens with a "masterpiece" button and I will rule the world! Cartier Bresson shot all his life with a fifty-kopeck piece, which is not particularly high-aperture at the present time, and he had enough. Robert Capa did not suffer from techno-fetishism, and Joseph Sudek generally used formatted dinosaurs with primitive "glass". they did not need pretentious glasses to “rule the world”.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      No, nobody is talking about a masterpiece here, I don’t understand where you saw it.
      Here we dream, reflect on which one lens it would be worth striving for. By the way, in 2020, wonderfully, I shoot on old people d40 and d70, as well as on many other cameras, and I don’t really worry about that. But you can always dream :)

      • Dmitriy

        if the definition is “The lens to which one would like to strive. That one high-quality lens, having bought which, you could solve all your photographic tasks and not torment the camera by constantly changing lenses, and your thoughts by choosing something new ”has some other meaning, meaning, except for the“ masterpiece ”button, then I don’t caught. but if there is one, then I vote for manual nikkor 50 / 1,4 in a gilded case. the thing is delightfully expensive, one might say almost universal and, moreover, rare.

        • Arkady Shapoval

          Apparently did not catch

    • US6IBD

      But Bresson did not need high-aperture optics to blur the background. Photography of everyday life on the street and architecture does not pose such problems. And if someone is talented in painting with coal, everyone does not need to give up paints.
      Most photographers remain amateurs, and even for decades have not decided on the preferred genre. They try themselves both in macro, and in landscape, and in portrait, and in reporting. They do not claim the laurels of Henri Cartier-Bresson, but for their tasks they want to have a certain set of glasses, as we have different shoes for seasons and weather.
      Initially, this is the stock zoom. Then a high-aperture 50 or 35. Appetite grows and I already want 24-70 / 2.8, at least from a third-party manufacturer ... But my friend shoots stunning portraits on the manual Helios-81N ... I'll take him too. :-)
      There is no limit to the beauty of the pattern !!!
      And although I would vote for a set of high-aperture fixes - 28, 50, 85 (for FF), but most of the time I have a Tokina AT-X PRO AF 28-70 / 2,6-2,8 charged (second version of the lens) , on which he chose thanks to the information gleaned from the materials on this site, which Arkady shares with millions of photography fans.

  • Jea reth

    I have the most popular lens - the epic Canon EF 28-135 IS USM. I am engaged in amateur photography, there is no way to spend much money on this business. Therefore, it is beyond competition.
    Regarding a single lens, I would vote for something hypothetical like 40mm f / 2. I own Canon 40 / 2.8 - it is extremely convenient when there is no desire to pull the zoom.

  • Andrei

    I have two hobbies, macro and birds. Here you can’t choose one lens.

    • Max


    • US6IBD

      Why? Tamron SP 90 / 2.8 AF Macro. Macro 1: 1. And if you want with a focal 200 or 300, then it will be difficult to shoot without a stub even on FF, and with stabilization, it will outweigh the price of the camera.

  • Sergei

    I really like the 17-50 / 2.8 Sigma on the same Sigma SD1Merrill IMHO, this is the perfect match. It is a pity, the camera itself is not universal. And for Canon, while the most running 24-105 / 4L (he would / 2,8 and the price he would not have!).

    • Pokemon

      Ohh how rare you can see the mention of cameras on the foveone :)
      I have a Sigma 1-24 / 70 EX DG Macro on my Merrill SD-2.8. I like the picture, but I want a wider angle. I wanted to buy Sigma 18-35 / 1.8 for this mount, but I got it from under my nose)) on Avito, did not have time)
      That year, I watched Sigma 15-30 / 3.5-4.5 EX DG, but the lens block was shifted there due to an impact or a fall.

  • Alexey

    I think that when choosing a lens, you must first proceed from the tasks for which it is supposed to be used.
    I will answer only for myself.
    I shoot in the reporting genre, and for me there is no such single lens. I use the following lenses: 24-70 2,8; 70-200 2,8; 100-400 4,5-6,3 on a full frame, and 18-200 3,5-6,3 and 17-55 2,8 on crop. Now the acquisition of 16-35 2,8 has also become urgent, since shooting in a ballet studio often requires a wider angle than 24-70. I use all these lenses depending on the situation. And often I use them in pairs, for example, on one camera 24-70 (or 17-55), on another 70-200, to simultaneously shoot close-up and general plan.
    Therefore, it is very difficult for me to name one.
    Still, I would choose 24-70 2,8 as such, I shoot them more often than others.
    And I agree with Arkady, if fixed, then 35 mm.
    In general, if aperture is not required, then I often like to shoot Sigma 18-200 C, so for non-specific shooting conditions and for most amateurs, it is just what you need, an excellent universal zoom.

    • Sergei

      I completely agree about 18-200), I think the most universal for everyday life without presenting to technology, physics, etc.

  • Michael

    my ideal for a full frame is 24-135 2,8 BUT there isn’t such a thing and the price tag + size would still scare anyone

  • Vlad S.

    Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4R

  • Andrii

    I have 35 1.2 does not get off with the M9. I drag another 75 + 21mm but it’s already for tasks, 35 portraits are even more interesting than 75 often.

  • Iskander

    For the Canon crop, my choice is 18-200 3,5-5,6. I haven't bought it yet, but I looked at examples of photos at different focal points - a beast! Much clearer than 18-135, oddly enough. And if for FF - a banal fifty kopeck 1,8 STM.

  • Iskander

    Arkady, did you buy a Canon RP?

  • Sergei

    In amateur photography I use a Canon70D with a Sigma 30mm f / 1.4 EX DC HSM Art lens. I have never seen a better lens for myself. Pleased with him like a child.

  • Igor


    • Arkady Shapoval

      At the same time, many do not even think about it and live wonderfully, for example, a telephoto meringue. Because it is only part of the truth

  • Igor


    • Michael

      That's about the same problem)
      In my case, there is no way to create a universal lens 14-85mm 1.8)
      Have to take at least 2 lenses 14mm and 85mm)

      • BB

        then let’s 14-500 / 1,8, which is nothing to do, and so that without soap on any RF, and weighing no more than 800 grams))

    • Fedor

      And attached to this capsular "truth" are two absolutely crooked pictures.
      Cropping? Horizon? No, I haven't heard :D

  • Vladimir

    Ideally, there would be a full frame and 35 1,4, in reality not idealizing anything on the Canon 50d with the same glass that is always with you in fact is 24 2,8 stm, or when on the film it is respectively 40 2,8 stm)

  • Dim

    I am at home: on the crop I like the focal length and aperture Sigma 30 / 1.4 and on the full Nikon 50 / 1.8, I do not really like the autofocus of the camera with the first one; on trips: on the crop I like the Nikon 55-300, on the full Nikon 70-200 / 2.8.

    • Dim

      Now I’ll go pick up the Nikon 35-70mm 1: 2.8D from the post office, maybe it will replace me with 50 / 1.8.

      • Vitaly U.

        That's unlikely.

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