Standard zooms are incredibly versatile and lend themselves well to multiple photography genres; this quality makes them perfect for everyday photography.
What is everyday photography, you ask? Everyday photography is a non-genre because when you practice everyday photography, you can take images of whatever you like. See a scene in the streets? Snap it. Did you go out for food and were blown away by the presentation? Capture it. Did your dog look cute? Maybe your child played sports, or perhaps you saw some beautiful light hitting a scene. Everyday photography is for those who want to capture random moments from everyday life. To do this successfully, you need a pretty versatile lens. This is where standard zooms come into play.
The standard zooms we have listed below are fantastic for street photography, landscape photography, candid portraits, travel photography, and so much more. All of the versatile zooms listed below are rock solid regarding their build quality. They all have rapid autofocus speeds and sharp optics. These lenses are also wallet-friendly.
The real beauty of these standard zooms is that they will enable you to shoot wide one second and then zoom in to capture something happening in the distance instantly. Their versatility is unmatched. So, if you want a lens that will have your back no matter your situation, check out the lenses below.
Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD G2 — A must have for Sony users
Tamron had a winner on their hands with the original 28-75mm f/2.8 for Sony E mount cameras; now, they have improved upon it with the G2 version. This versatile standard zoom features an updated optical design and an advanced autofocus system. This means you can expect sharper images, more contrast, better colors and more accurate autofocus performance.
The new 28-75mm G2 from Tamron has a minimum focusing distance of just 7.1 inches, making close-up work easy. The lens is fully weather-sealed, takes 67mm filters, and weighs less than the original version. It’s a stunner. Because of its size and ease of use, this lens is perfect for Sony photographers who partake in everyday photography. If you want to find out more and see many image samples, check out our full review.
Olympus 12-45mm f/4 PRO — An everyday photography gem
The Olympus 12-45mm f/4 is a tiny versatile standard zoom with a big heart. It also has a big set of skills in its bag. Thanks to the 2x crop factor of Micro Four Thirds sensors, this lens will give users a full-frame equivalent focal range of 24-90mm. The range makes it perfect for everyday photography. Its minimum focusing distances of 4.7 inches at the wide end and 9.1 inches at the long end make it suitable for close-ups.
Being a Pro series lens, the Olympus 12-45mm f/4 is dust, freeze and drip-proof. Throw in rapid autofocus speeds, seven rounded aperture blades for nice smooth bokeh, and sharp optics, and you have a small lens that delivers big results. It’s a must-have in the world of versatile zooms for Micro Four Thirds shooters. Check out our full review here.
eNikon Z 24-70mm f/4 S — A hardworking standard zoom
The Nikon Z 24-70mm f/4 comes packaged with the Z6 II, but it’s far better than a run-of-the-mill kit lens. This lens absolutely sings! When I had this lens in for review (see our full review here), I raved about the build quality, optics and overall image quality. Nikon knocked this lens out of the park. This would be my everyday carry lens if I owned a Z series camera.
The Z 24-70 f/4 has seven rounded aperture blades that help create nice bokeh. There’s a customizable control ring that comes in handy too. The lens zooms smoothly, and the manual focus/control ring is a joy to use. This Z series lens is a hard worker that’s always up to the task, which makes it ideal for everyday photography. This versatile zoom should be on your radar if you shoot with Nikon Z mount cameras and need a do-it-all lens.
Fujifilm XF16-80mm f/4 OIS WR — As solid as versatile zooms come
It took what seemed like forever for Fujifilm to release a versatile standard zoom with a constant f/4 aperture. Still, when it arrived, the lens checked all the boxes it needed to. With an APS-C equivalent focal range of 24-120mm, this lens is well suited to various photography genres, from street photography to landscapes and event photography to portraits.
The lens is blessed with fast autofocus motors, six stops of optical image stabilization, coatings to reduce ghosting and flaring, and tons of weather sealing. This lens will help you get the shot no matter what. At under $800, this is one of the best bang for your buck standard zooms on the market. Fujifilm shooters are blessed!
Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary — One of Sigma’s best versatile zooms
Sigma has been releasing some fantastic and affordable contemporary lenses of late. The Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN for Sony E mount and L mount cameras is one of the best of them. This full-fat f/2.8 versatile zoom is well made, has some weather sealing at the mount, and features razor-sharp optics.
This lens uses stepping motors that provide fast and quiet autofocus performance. You’ll find nine aperture blades that help create nice bokeh; there are even three aspherical elements inside this small beauty. Did I mention that this lens weighs only 1.03lbs (470g)? It’s unheard of to have an f/2.8 zoom like this weigh so little. So when it comes to standard zooms for everyday photography that won’t break the bank (it’s under $800), this one is hard to beat!