The Trinity of Lenses

Telephoto, standard, and wide-angle lenses

For those photographers that want a minimal kit with maximum flexibility, these three types of lenses are the way to go. Covering everything from ultrawide to normal to telephoto, three lenses might be all you need to be prepared for anything thrown your way. 

Most of our top picks have a constant aperture of f/2.8, which means they’re fast enough for excellent performance in low-light situations, and offer good subject-to-background separation, especially when it comes to the telephoto range. 

With this lens trifecta, a wedding photographer can go from shooting close-up details of the rings to covering the ceremony, to family portraits, and the reception with ease. Similarly, a landscape photographer can hike with just this trio of lenses and be sure that they’ll be covered, no matter the circumstance. 

Plus, since manufacturers know the importance of these three lens types, they often pack great features like stabilization, special anti-flare lens coatings, and weather resistance to make these zooms top performers. 

Check out a few of our favorites from the lens trifecta below!


Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM | Top choice for taking in the entire scene

Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM | Lovely for landscapes and more

Nikon AF-S 16-35mm f/4 G ED VR | Ideal for architecture, travel, and street


Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L II USM | The ultimate in versatility

Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM | Perfect for wedding shoots

Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED IF | Sharp, durable, and dependable


Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II USM | The top zoom for portraits

Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS | Excels at nature and event photography

Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED IF VR | Quick-focusing and reliable

What did you think about our top picks for wide-angle lenses, standard zoom lenses, and telephoto lenses? Since virtually every manufacturer understands the importance of the lens trinity, they all have one of their own — so don’t feel bad if you don’t see your preferred brand here!

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