Shooting portraits with a 24-70mm f2.8 lens is a blast and makes for a great variety of content. The zoom functionality gives you maximum flexibility while on location.
Table of Contents Hide
- 24-70mm F2.8 Portraits
- Concept and Mood boards
- Portrait Shoot Location
- Sony 24-70mm f2.8 G Master Lens w/ Gobe Variable ND filter
- Sony a7riii Mirrorless Camera
- Profoto B2 Strobe w/ 2×3 OCF Softbox (single diffusion)
- Sony 24-70mm f2.8 GM Lens Quality
- Sony 24-70mm f2.8 GM Lens Performance
- Shooting wide open with Sony 24-70mm f2.8 GM Lens
- Sony 24-70mm f2.8 Lens Price
- Sony 24-70mm f2.8 Weight
- Sony 24-70mm f2.8 Portrait Gallery
- Would I recommend the Sony 24-70mm f2.8 G Master Lens for Portraits?
- What about prime lenses for portraits?
- Alternatives to the Sony 24-70mm f2.8
- What I learned from this Portrait shoot
24-70mm F2.8 Portraits
For this model test shoot with Iana, we visited an empty parking garage during sunset to capture some shots. We waited for the sun to start setting and then we got some amazing and unique shots.
Let’s review my model test shoot with Iana and I’ll explain why shooting portraits with the Sony 24-70mm f2.8 lens was super easy.
Concept and Mood boards
The concept for this portrait shoot with street style fashion. I worked to put together a few small mood boards for Iana and she got inspired from the images.
I requested she bring at least 3 outfits that we could shoot and she definitely delivered.
I’ve been lucky that I have been able to repeatedly work with Iana over the years on portrait shoots. Especially when I’m wanting to try out new equipment.
With the concepts in place, we agreed on a time and then met up for the shoot.
Portrait Shoot Location
We met at the top of a parking lot at a local shopping center. It was a Tuesday evening and I knew they would not be too busy and it worked out perfect.
I got on location and got my equipment ready to go pretty quick. Setup was really easy.
We used my Mercedes GLC300 for a few of the shots. We wanted to get different environments without having to move around too much so I used my SUV as one of the locations.
Sony 24-70mm f2.8 G Master Lens w/ Gobe Variable ND filter
My main lens for this portrait shoot was the Sony 24-70mm f2.8 G Master lens.
I also used a Gobe variable ND filter on the front to help cut out even more light because I knew I wanted to shoot wide open.
The variable ND filter cut out a few stops of light for me and worked perfect for this shoot.
Sony a7riii Mirrorless Camera
My main camera body was my Sony a7riii mirrorless camera. This is my go-to camera for all my portrait shoots. It’s a small light weight camera that produces stunning quality images.
The eye auto-focus feature adds another level of ease when shooting and this pretty much ensures I nail focus on the eyes of my subject.
Now it does miss focus sometimes in the failing light, but overall, it does a pretty awesome job.
Profoto B2 Strobe w/ 2×3 OCF Softbox (single diffusion)
The final piece to my gear for this portrait shoot was a single Profoto B2 strobe with a 2×3 OCF rectangular softbox.
Having the softbox on the front of the strobe allowed for softer light on my subject.
I had all this mounted on a small light stand that was easy to move around the shoot.
The Profoto B2 is a 250ws strobe that was more than enough to give me a good balance with the sun.
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Sony 24-70mm f2.8 GM Lens Quality
The 24-70mm lives up to the quality of the G Master series. The lens was a great tool for this particular shoot especially because it allowed me to get wide shots of Iana in her environment and also close up portraits.
The images came out tac sharp with plenty of details in the images.
The 42mp sensor of the Sony a7riii also allowed for me to crop in to my images without losing too much resolution.
The smaller cropped images were still large in size and more than enough for posting to social media and my website portfolio.
Sony 24-70mm f2.8 GM Lens Performance
One of the things I love most about the Sony 24-70mm for portraits is the many focal lengths I can get with just one lens.
The zoom ring on the lens is nice and tight and gives me very accurate zoom when going from wide to telephoto.
The lens does feature a lens lock so the zoom ring will not turn when the lens is being stored in my camera bag.
Shooting wide open with Sony 24-70mm f2.8 GM Lens
I was able to take the majority of my shots at f2.8 which is wide open for this lens. Because I had the Gobe variable ND filter on front, this helped me cut out a few stops of light from the background ambient.
If you haven’t tried shooting portraits with a variable ND filter, I would recommend giving it a try.
Having extra light cut out from the sensor allowed me to shoot within the camera flash sync speed of 1/250sec and keep my ISO at 100.
Sony 24-70mm f2.8 Lens Price
One thing you can’t get around with this lens is the price. I purchased my copy of this Sony 24-70mm used from a company called MPB.com.
I was able to save around $500 versus buying a brand-new version. The lens came in all original packaging and was dust and scratch free.
The previous owner really took care of this lens and it shows in the quality of the resale item.
If you can find a good quality used lens then I say save the money and go for it.
Sony 24-70mm f2.8 Weight
The Sony 24-70mm f2.8 GM lens weights 31.3 oz or 887g. This is 1.95 lbs. Combine that with the Sony a7riii and you’re looking at a hefty camera setup if you include the grip as well.
This is another common question that I get from other photographers asking about the Sony 24-70mm lens. The lens is large and by no means light.
It’s still lighter than a full-size DSLR with similar sized lens, but something to keep in mind when shooting for a long period of time.
My portrait shoots usually last around 1 hour or a little more.
Holding this camera combo was easy for this shoot but I know it would be a strain if I needed to do a half day or full-day shoot.
Sony 24-70mm f2.8 Portrait Gallery
Would I recommend the Sony 24-70mm f2.8 G Master Lens for Portraits?
If your budget allows for it, I would highly recommend having this lens in your camera bag. It’s a great all in one solution for shooting portraits.
It can give you wide shots at 24mm and telephoto portraits at 70mm all without having to switch lenses.
You will only have to carry a single lens when shooting with this zoom lens.
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What about prime lenses for portraits?
I started with prime lenses for my portrait shoots and I eventually moved to zoom lenses.
Shooting with both lens types is still an option for me. There are some times that having a single lens with multiple focal lengths is a big advantage over a single focal length.
I know many photographers who will shoot with 2 cameras just so they can have 2 prime lenses on a portrait shoot.
At the end of the day it is up to you to decide what works best for you and your portrait sessions.
Both prime lenses and zoom lenses have technology that allows for great quality. Zoom lenses tend to stop around f2.8 while prime lenses can open wider to f1.8 or even f1.4.
Alternatives to the Sony 24-70mm f2.8
I do keep in mind everyone has a different budget. If you find that the Sony 24-70mm f2.8 is out of your price range for now, consider the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8.
It has great reviews for design and performance and I know you will not be disappointed.
You can check the most current price of the lens on Amazon.com. I highly recommend checking it out.
What I learned from this Portrait shoot
It was super-hot outside and I wished we started the portrait shoot later in the evening.
I wanted to get more sunset shots but we finished before the sun really started to go down.
I look back and think I should have brought a second strobe for the car portraits.
This would help light up more of the interior. Also it would have given more separation between the model and the environment due to all the dark colors.
Shooting portraits with Iana is always a blast. These TFP portrait shoots allow me to test my equipment and work to build my online portfolio.
When I shoot portraits with the Sony 24-70mm f2.8, I know I will be getting top quality optical results.
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