Can we work and succeed with just one lens, just one? I don’t think so but you sure can accomplish a helluva alot with just the one, right lens. I’ve talked about the Z24-120 already, that’s not the point of this post. It’s about helping you find that “one lens” that when you wonder which to grab, it’s the first that comes to mind and solves so many problems, but not all, in your photography. Is the answer a zoom? It might not be for your photography, it just happens to be for mine. The key in finding that one lens is looking inward, at your own strengths that you can apply to your photography. One example is simply your feet, zooming with your feet works with a prime just it does with a zoom lens. Zooming to 120mm and getting physically closer by “zooming with my feet” to the Kodiak Brown and then folding out the monitor on the Z 9 for a lower angle for the click made the photograph happen. Could another lens have accomplished the same thing? Why of course but this is just one example of how I make the Z24-120 that one lens for my visual storytelling.
NAF N3N-3 project captured by Z 9 / Z24-120
I’ve been depending on the Z24-120 now for a number of months. I’ve used it for macro, portraits, landscapes, critters, air-to-air photo missions, projects and family events, being the primary lens on the Z 9 either on the primary body or second body on a strap on my shoulder the majority of the time. The focal length range of 24mm to 120mm in part makes the Z24-120 that one lens for me. It’s f4 helps a lot with that as well and that’s because I rarely close the lens down shooting the majority of the time wide open. The one exception is when doing an air-to-air and I’m working with really slow shutter speeds so the aperture is closed down. What focals lengths do you find yourself shooting at most of the time? What’s your preference for DoF and does it require a fast lens? Asking these questions can help in the search for the one lens. The really small size and light weight of the Z24-120 is another attribute I depend on. When working on a project like the NAF N3N-3, being able to get in a corner of the hangar, out of the way yet able to shoot is critical. There is one last attribute that you need to add into the equation in finding that one lens for yourself. Sharpness! Nikon has created some truly brilliant glass for the Z family and the Z24-120 is one of those. Throughout its entire range, the Z24-120 has delivered my story I’m telling convincingly sharp. It’s so sharp that I have to think about the portraits I take as some folks well, shouldn’t be captured with that much detail while others require it. And that kinda sums up that one lens you pick and use over and over again. It has those attributes you need to tell your story with as much depth as your photography covers. I wrote about how much I loved the 24-120 and couldn’t wait until it was in the Z line. Well, the Z24-120 is a lens delivering on a promise.