Which is the best lens for photowalking?

Best Lens For Photowalking Is?

Best Lens For Photowalking Is?

I get asked this question all the time. Which lens to buy for photowalking? Now, I don't normally give away trade secrets, but here it is.. It's model number 56-67850..Wait.. I'm of course kidding.  :-) The correct answer of course, is it depends on the type of photowalk your embarking on. If your photowalk is taking you through lots of beautiful vistas and landscapes, a nice wide angle lens would be ideal. On the other hand,  If your photowalk is taking place in more of a urban setting,  then, maybe a longer tele-zoom would suit you better. Or if street photography is your thing, then maybe a nice 35mm prime would be just what the doctor ordered.

For me, I've gotten in the habit of carrying  2 main lens with me on all photowalks. I carry a 16-35mm f/2.8, and a 70-200mm f/2.8. I find that these two lens are usually more than ample to cover most shooting situations. For that missing gap in-between 35 and 70, I zoom with my feet!

Even if you don't own a DSLR, most of today's point and shoot cameras are outfitted with great general purpose lens. My trusty 8 year old Canon G9 is outfitted with a 35-210mm lens, which is perfect for photowalking.  Remember, photowalking is about the experience, not how expensive you gear is.

So get out and photowalk this weekend!

If you have a question on photowalking or photography in general, or would just like to suggest a topic for us to cover, be sure and drop us a line in the comments below.

Do you shoot in RAW? If not, you should...


Photography has always been one of my passions, It gives me a chance to get out from behind my computer, and commune with nature. In fact, my wife and I, try and go on photowalks at least once a week. But as much as I enjoy the photowalking, I think the geek in me, really enjoys the post-processing of the images the most. Post-processing is where the magic happens. Here’s where my creative and technical side converge. Of course to make the most of your creative juices, you need to be shooting in RAW format.

So let’s start off with a basic explanation, and some of the differences between RAW and JPEG formats. 

JPEG is the most widely used image format utilized today. Almost every digital cameras has the ability to shoot directly to JPEG. When you shoot in JPEG format, the camera’s on-board software carries out all the image processing in the camera, then compresses it using JPEG compression. JPEG is actually a compressed image format, which means that some visual quality is lost in the process. With this compression, you give up image details that you will never get back in post-processing.

RAW is a true digital negative. RAW is the actual raw data coming from your cameras sensor.It’s every bit of detail directly from the sensor, it's totally unprocessed, no sharpening, no white balance adjustments, etc, basically it the “raw” image with all the pictures data intact. RAW images have a much greater dynamic range than JPEG processed images. There is more color information in a RAW image because it is typically a 12, 14, or 16-bit image which means it contains more color information than a JPEG which is almost always 8-bits. More color information means more to work with and smoother changes. This means that you can recover image detail in the highlights and shadows. With JPEG these details are clipped or baked in and just aren't available within a JPEG processed images.

Why shoot raw?

The answer is simple, shooting RAW allows you to maximize the potential for any image. and provides maximum control over the post processing of the image. RAW gives you the highest quality files. And when it comes to your photos, don't you want the highest quality you can get. When you shoot JPEG, the camera’s on-board software carries out all the image processing to produce a color image, then compresses it using JPEG compression. And while JPEG does a pretty good job of preserving luminescence data, it really reduces the color depth, leading to problems with skin tones and gentle gradations. When you shoot raw, however, you get to control the scene interpretation through all the aspects of the conversion. With raw, the only on-camera settings that have an effect on the captured pixels are the ISO speed, shutter speed, and aperture. Everything else is under your control when you convert the raw file. You can reinterpret the white balance, the colorimetric rendering, the tonal response, and the detail rendition (sharpening and noise reduction) with a great deal of freedom, and you can even reinterpret the basic exposure itself. RAW sounds great doesn't it.

So if you're serious about your photography, and your camera supports RAW, you owe it to yourself to turn it on now. Why not get the most your camera can offer. A RAW file isn't called a digital negative for nothing.