My Holy Grail Of All Lenses

I’ve said it many times over the years and I’ll say it again… “My Holy Grail of All Lenses”, which will possibly remain my top lens choice always is the 70-200mm f/2.8 or equivalent. Currently I shoot the OMD system (micro four thirds system and so therefore you multiply your focal length by two) and so the equivalent lens will be the Olympus M.ZUIKO DIDGITAL 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO Lens.

My Holy Grail Of All Lenses - Michael Laubscher - Wild Eye

Amongst a few points I'll share soon, the main reason as to why this is my holy grail of all lenses is simple.

It offers the perfect amount of diversity.

Great enough zoom to get close up detailed shots and/or portraits if your subject is not too far off. But the real value when it comes to this les is,  it is wide enough to place your subject in its environment which in turn will add value to the image as well as diversify your portfolio.

My Holy Grail Of All Lenses - Michael Laubscher - Wild Eye
My Holy Grail Of All Lenses - Michael Laubscher - Wild Eye

There are so many lenses available out there today and what you pack into your bag can be very destination speciffic.

For example, I will not be packing my 600mm for a trip to Iceland but will definitely be packing my 14mm.

As much as I love shooting wide I probably will not pack that very 14mm when I travel to the Great Migration with Hides & Helicopters in Kenya’s South Rift Valley but the 600mm will then go into the bag.

That said, my 40-150mm (70-200mm) will be packed every single time regardless of the tour and/or destination as it is perfect all rounder and will forever be my holy grail of all lenses.

Let me share a few more reasons as to why I say this.


As perviously mentioned, the 70-200mm offers a focal length range that covers a wide spectrum of photographic needs. At the 70mm end, it provides a moderately wide angle of view, suitable for capturing animals in their environments, expansive landscapes, sweeping vistas, and establishing shots that set the scene for your safari adventure. As you zoom in towards 200mm, you can easily isolate subjects from their surroundings, focusing on specific details such as animal behavior, intricate patterns, or captivating expressions. This versatility eliminates the need to switch between multiple lenses, allowing you to react quickly to changing situations and compose your shots with precision as well as get creative with slow shutter techniques such as radial blur.

My Holy Grail Of All Lenses - Michael Laubscher - Wild Eye
My Holy Grail Of All Lenses - Michael Laubscher - Wild Eye

Fast Performance

For the most part, wildlife photography demands speed and agility to capture fleeting moments and dynamic scenes. This lens excels in delivering fast and reliable performance, enabling you to react quickly to sudden movements or behaviors exhibited by the animals. Its advanced autofocus system swiftly locks onto subjects, ensuring sharp focus even when shooting fast-moving or erratic subjects such as birds in flight or predators on the hunt. Additionally, the lens's wide maximum aperture, typically around f/2.8, allows for faster shutter speeds, which are crucial for freezing motion and capturing crisp, blur-free images, especially in low-light conditions during dawn or dusk.

Image Quality

Before I elaborate on this point, I'd like to say that you should never let a missed and/blurry photograph dictate whether your trip was a success or not. Rather prioritise enjoying the many special moments and capture them as best you can. That said, ultimately, the quality of your safari photographs depends on the clarity, detail, and visual impact they convey. This lens is renowned for its exceptional optical performance, producing images that are tack-sharp, rich in detail, and bursting with vibrant colours. Its advanced lens elements, coatings, and optical design minimize aberrations, distortions, and chromatic aberrations, ensuring that your images remain sharp and true to life throughout the entire focal range. Additionally, the lens's wide aperture enables you to achieve shallow depth of field and creamy bokeh, allowing you to isolate subjects against soft, dreamy backgrounds and create visually stunning portraits of wildlife in their natural environment.

My Holy Grail Of All Lenses - Michael Laubscher - Wild Eye


In the vast expanses of all wilderness areas, wildlife roam freely and so keeping a safe distance is very important not only your safety but for the well being of the animal and its environment as well.  The telephoto capabilities of my holy grail of all lenses bridge this gap very well without intruding on your subject all too much. Whether you're observing a pride of lions resting under a distant tree or tracking the graceful movements of a herd of elephant across the plains, this lens ensures that you can capture compelling images from afar, preserving the animals privacy and minimising disturbance.

My Holy Grail Of All Lenses - Michael Laubscher - Wild Eye


Time out on safari can involve traversing rugged terrain, navigating through dense vegetation, and embarking on extended drives and/or hikes in search of wildlife or perfect landscape angle. Carrying heavy, cumbersome equipment can quickly become impractical and exhausting and with this, my holy grail of all lenses, is relatively compact and its lightweight design makes it an ideal companion for such expeditions. Its manageable size allows you to manoeuvre easily, whether you're shooting from the confines of a safari vehicle, trekking through the bush on foot, or even on a boat/helicopter/hot air balloon. Additionally, its reduced bulk means you can pack other essentials such as water, snacks, and protective gear without exceeding weight restrictions or overburdening yourself.

I hope you can see why this is my holy grail of all lenses as well as what makes it such an indispensable tool for capturing the magic and wonder of any wilderness area. Whether you're a seasoned wildlife photographer or a passionate amateur, investing in this essential piece of gear will elevate your safari/photographic experience and enable you to create breath taking images that tell the story of natures's untamed beauty.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out and I will happily assist.

Michael Laubscher

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Understanding camera sensor technology is very important as this is the backbone of any digital photography system. When you have a few extra minutes, feel free to read more about this here.

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