Welcome to my guide to choosing your next camera lens! If you're looking for recommendations for specific brands,
feel free to jump straight to my guides on buying the best Canon lenses, best Nikon lenses, best Sony lenses and best Micro Four Thirds lenses.
If you'd like to understand more about different types of lenses and how they're described, you're already on the right page.
The delight of possession a DSLR or mirror-less system camera is the ability to change lenses. You could go for a wide angle to pinch more in, a telephoto to magnify a distant subject, or a macro lens for taking great quality close-ups. There’s almost no limit to what you can do, with lenses to suit all occasions – and budgets – but so where do you start?
In this guide I’ll explain everything you need to recognize about buying lenses
and understanding their descriptions to assists you in making the right decision for your style of photography.
But first a question for you. If you'd like a new lens, first ask yourself what kind of pictures you'd like to take, or as revealingly, how your current lens or lenses aren't delivering the effect you're after. Maybe you’re struggling to fit everything in, whether it's a large building, cramped interior or big group shot. Perhaps you'd like to make distant sports players or wildlife look bigger. Alternatively it could be small things that interest you, but you just can't focus close enough to render them into a decent size on the photo.
Or you might be perfectly happy with the view from your current lens,
but you fancy something which delivers better quality, focuses quicker,
has anti-shake facilities or maybe works better in low light.
There is always one than one lens that does what you are looking for in a lens
so the next step is what kind of photographer are you? Do you want to work in the field of
STREET PHOTOGRAPHY, DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHY, FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY,
WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY, WAR PHOTOGRAPHY, PHOTOJOURNALISM, AVIATION PHOTOGRAPHY, COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHY
and I can go on with descriptions by giving you a choice of lenses that can offer you great imagery and bewildering array of letter and numbers
HERE ARE THE KEY SPECIFICATIONS TO LOOK OUT FOR. Rokinon / Samyang offers many choices from 8mm to 14mm and 135mm
to make a good point. For video guys, I've always have chosen the fix 35mm or a Sigma 18-35 F/1.8 Art lens for all my video work.
I'd have Marco lenses for my Portraits and headshots, I have zoom lenses when I am doing Sport, wildlife,
landscape photography or portraits with a 70-200mm.
Now, any photographer will always tell you that you should have a 24mm, 35mm, 50mm in your camera bag and why that is?
35mm and 50mm lenses are great for starting to learn your composition.
You should build one those two lenses alone and then work your way up to prime lenses and zooms.
For low light I would always select a lens with a wide open aperture like a F/2.8 and wider at F/1.4 to help reduce (ISO) noise and lets in more light.
Build quality can be a touching topic because we all have unique styles and sometimes we like simple things in life.
But build quality is important for the lens then is come to reliability.
Optics are always important for tons of people like myself but for me I know that I am able to get the photo the client wants with using my creatively and yes,
I can get it complete with any lens that is selected for photoshoot.
There are many time while learning that you will have to just work with what you got for the meantime until you earn and save for your next lens.
Be grateful and always make the person you are photographing happy.
THERE ARE HOWEVER SOME EXCEPTIONS. THIRD PARTY COMPANIES LIKE SIGMA AND TAMRON PRODUCE MULTIPLE VERSIONS OF THEIR LENSES FOR EACH OF THE MOST POPULAR CAMERA MANUFACTURERS, SO YOU'LL TYPICALLY BE ABLE TO CHOOSE VERSIONS DESIGNED TO WORK WITH CANON, NIKON, SONY AND PENTAX CAMERAS.
DESPITE BUYING CAMERAS WHICH HAVE BEEN SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED TO TAKE AND MAKE USE OF DIFFERENT LENSES, A LARGE NUMBER OF PHOTOGRAPHERS ONLY EVER USE THE KIT LENS THAT
THEIR DSLR OR INTERCHANGEABLE LENS CAMERA CAME WITH.
BUT IT'S REALLY NOT THAT SURPRISING, PICKING THE RIGHT NEXT LENS CAN BE DAUNTING,
WHICH IS WHY WE'RE GOING TO TRY TO HELP WITH OUR GUIDE TO LIFE AFTER THE KIT LENS.
THE ALMOST SENTENCE-LONG COLLECTION OF LETTERS AND NUMBERS ON THE SIDE OF A LENS BARREL CAN TELL YOU ALL SORTS OF THINGS ABOUT A LENS.
BUT THE DETAILS WHICH YOU SHOULD PROBABLY PAY THE MOST ATTENTION TO ARE THOSE WHICH DETAIL
THE FOCAL LENGTH, MAXIMUM APERTURE, LENS MOUNT AND FORMAT TYPE.
FOCAL LENGTH IS EXPRESSED IN MM AND A HIGHER NUMBER MEANS A BIGGER ZOOM, WHILE A LOWER NUMBER MEAN THE LENS CAN BE USED FOR WIDER SHOTS.
AS A ROUGH REFERENCE, THE HUMAN EYE IS SAID TO SEE ABOUT THE EQUIVALENT OF 30-50 MM ON A FULL FRAME CAMERA (MORE ON THAT LATER).
A NUMBER LOWER THAN 30-50 MM WILL TAKE IN A BIGGER VIEW THAN YOU NATURALLY SEE,
WHILE HIGHER NUMBERS MEAN FOCUS WILL BE ON A SMALLER ASPECT OF YOUR VIEW.