Best Walk Around Lens [2021 Review]

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Changing lenses can be simple. You begin with a starter lens, and you eventually move on to a more specialized lens based on your developed skills and experience. 

The best walk around lenses are standard zoom lenses that are useful in terms of range and ideal for travel, food, landscape, and portraits. 

Our Top Walk Around Lens Reviews

The best walk around lens allows you to capture everything without changing lenses based on the subject you want to take pictures of. 

Walk around lenses go from 24mm to 70mm and can cover most genres of photography. 

Brand
Best Overall
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens
Best for the Money
NIKON NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 Lens
Best Cheap Pick
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
Product
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Standard Zoom Lens
NIKON NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 S Wide Angle Fast Prime...
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
Lens Type
Wide Angle
Standard
Standard
Maximum Focal Length
70 Millimeters
35 Millimeters
50 Millimeters
Rating
-
-
Best Overall
Brand
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens
Product
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Standard Zoom Lens
Lens Type
Wide Angle
Maximum Focal Length
70 Millimeters
Rating
-
Price
Best for the Money
Brand
NIKON NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 Lens
Product
NIKON NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 S Wide Angle Fast Prime...
Lens Type
Standard
Maximum Focal Length
35 Millimeters
Rating
Price
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
Product
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
Lens Type
Standard
Maximum Focal Length
50 Millimeters
Rating
-
Price

Best Overall Walk Around Lens: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens  

The EF 24-70mm f/2.8L has amazing optics and sturdy construction. It has a wide focal length range, so you can easily zoom in and out of subjects that are a few feet away. 

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Standard Zoom Lens

The lens has special elements such as Ultra Low Dispersion and Super Ultra Low Dispersion that minimizes chromatic aberration, flares, and ghosting. It is a feature that the NIKON NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 Lens does not have. 

You can easily wipe off fingerprints, dirt, dust, and smudges on the barrel as it is coated with fluorine. This could help keep your lens looking clean at all times.

However, the lens weighs 1.77 pounds heavier than Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens, which only weighs 5.6 ounces. It could be tiring to carry around all day. Also, it is not weather-sealed; exposing it to harsh weather conditions could affect the quality. 

Pros:

  • It has special elements that minimize flares, ghosting, chromatic aberration and other effects
  • The autofocus system is silent and fast, ideal for taking pictures of live subjects

Cons:

  • The lens is a bit heavy; it can be challenging to use for hours
  • It is not weather-sealed; it should be appropriately covered for protection
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Standard Zoom Lens
  • 24 70 millimetre focal length, 38.4 112 millimetre equivalent focal length on Canon APS C cameras
  • F2.8 constant maximum aperture; F22 minimum, ring type ultrasonic type AF motor with full time...
  • 82 millimetre filters, closest focusing distance: 0.38 meter/1.25 feet

Best Walk Around Lens for the Money: NIKON NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 Lens

The NIKON NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 lens has a wide-angle view, and it can create a shallow field of depth to draw out subjects.

NIKON NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 S Wide Angle Fast Prime...

The lens is extensively sealed against moisture, dust, and dirt. You can confidently use it outdoors, and it can withstand harsh weather conditions. 

Also, the lens is light as it only weighs 13 ounces. It is lighter than the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L which weighs 1.77 pounds. 

However, it does not have fluorine coating, unlike the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L and EF 50mm f/1.8, which means you will need to clean it frequently, or it will have a hazy viewfinder. 

Also, it does not have special elements, which means if you don’t have the right angle and proper lighting, flares, ghosting and chromatic aberration will be visible on your photos. 

Pros:

  • It has quiet and fast autofocus, so you can take pictures of live subjects without disturbing them
  • It is weather-sealed, it is ideal for outdoor photoshoots

Cons:

  • It has no fluorine coating; it needs to be cleaned as frequently as possible.
  • It has no special elements, so the images may have chromatic aberration, ghosting, and flares if there is no proper lighting. 
NIKON NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 S Wide Angle Fast Prime...
  • Fast 35mm prime Lens for Z Mirrorless cameras
  • Uncanny f/1.8 performance-extreme sharpness from the center of the frame to the edges
  • New ultra-quiet stepping motor for silent focusing

Best Cheap Walk Around Lens: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens 

The EF 50mm f/1.8 has standard focal length that allows you to fit the subject in the frame from a distance. 

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens

The focal length is similar to the human eye, so what comes out in images is the same as what you see in real life. It is light and compact, as it weighs only 5.6 ounces, unlike the EF 24-70mm f/2.8 that weighs 1.77 pounds. 

The near-silent autofocus feature can focus on subjects fast; it can do continuous focusing so you can capture every fleeting moment. 

The lens has special elements that protect your images from chromatic aberration, ghosting, and flares. It filters strong light that comes through the sensor to ensure that the colors are sharp. 

With fluorine coating, you can easily clean the lens and remove fingerprints and smudges that can affect the quality of the photos. 

However, the lens does not have an image stabilization system, which means distortion may show on your images if the camera shakes too much.

Also, it is not waterproof and dust-proof, a feature that the NIKON 35mm f/1.8 has. If you need to use it outdoors, it is best to cover it up with a cloth to keep it protected. 

Pros:

  • The lens is very light, it can be used for hours, and it is great for travelling
  • The autofocus feature is silent and fast. It can continuously focus on the subject so you can capture every moment.

Cons:

  • It is not equipped with an image stabilization system. To make sure that the images don’t get distorted, you can use a tripod or a gimbal. 
  • It is not weather-sealed. Exposing it to elements may affect its performance. 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
  • 50 millimeter focal length and maximum aperture of f/1.8
  • Great for portraits, action, and nighttime photography; Angle of view (horizontal, vertical,...
  • Minimum focusing distance of 1.15 feet (0.35 meter) and a maximum magnification of 0.21x

Features to Consider in Walk Around Lenses

Walk around lenses can be used for almost any type of photography. It is created for photographers who do not wish to keep on changing lenses whenever they take pictures. 

The best walk around lens has features that ensure high-quality images, and it is easy to bring wherever you go. 

Product Special Elements Fluorine Coating Weather-Sealed
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens    YesYesNo
NIKON NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 Lens NoNoYes
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens YesYesNo

Special Elements

Special elements are glasses that are built into the lens to help filter out strong light. The elements can improve the images as it fixes effects such as distortions, flares, chromatic aberrations, and ghosting that are caused by poor lighting. 

The EF 24-70mm f/2.8L and the EF 50mm f/1.8 are both equipped with special elements. 

Woman carrying a camera while walking towards her location

Fluorine Coating

Lenses often get filled with fingerprints and smudges especially when it is used frequently. Even though it can be cleaned using a cloth or other materials, chances are there will be spots left. 

Lenses with fluorine coatings ensure an easy clean because it removes fingerprints and smudges effectively. The  EF 24-70mm f/2.8L and the EF 50mm f/1.8 are lenses with fluorine coating. 

Weather-Sealed

Since walk around lenses are used outdoors, it is best to get a weather-sealed lens. In this way, it is protected against snow, rain, dust, dirt, and moisture that could ruin its performance. 

Out of the three lenses on the list, the NIKON NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 Lens is weather-sealed. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Different Types of Special Elements?

The special elements on lenses are Aspherical, Extra-Low Dispersion, and Nano Crystals. Aspherical elements are known to reduce distortions on images. 

Woman adjusting her camera lens while trying to take a photo

Extra-Low Dispersion elements can minimize the appearance of chromatic aberrations that are often caused by harsh lighting hitting the lens. 

Nano Crystals remove the reflections in different wavelengths. It minimizes the appearance of ghosts, chromatic aberration and flares. 

Can You Use Canon Walk Around Lenses on Nikon Cameras?

Yes, Canon walk around lenses are compatible with Nikon cameras and vice versa. 

The lenses would fit in the mount, but some features won’t work since they are from different manufacturers, such as autofocus and image stabilization. 

Conclusion

The best walk around lens is an all-purpose lens that allows you to focus on learning about focal lengths and compositions, and it can be used for different genres of photography. 

Whatever type of camera you’re using, there is a walk around lens that will suit your needs. 

Jared Bauman has spent more than twenty years in the professional photography profession. He founded Bauman Photographers in 2001, which is a wedding and commercial photography studio in San Diego, California. The company has been in business for 20 years, and has a stellar reputation in the community. In 2007, Jared co-founded ShootDotEdit, the premium post production company for professional wedding photographers worldwide. The company has edited millions of images for photographers around the world. Jared has spoken and presented at the Wedding and Portrait Photographers International Conference 9 years in a row. He has also given several multi-day courses on Creative Live, in addition to two national speaking tours.