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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 difficult, which is why I’m going to try to help with a guide to life after the kit lens.....
Lenses are arguably the most important part of your camera set-up, they make or break your pictures. They control the image that's projected onto your imaging sensor, and ultimately what photos you are taking home. As such, many photographers would prefer to shoot with an okay camera and a great lens, than a great camera with ho-hum glass attached. But knowing the importance of good glass is one thing, it's another to know what lens will give you the creative freedom to capture the photos you want to get.
To the uninitiated, lenses are baffling tubes of glass with numbers and confusing acronyms printed on the side. Hopefully, this guide will help you understand which lenses can be used to achieve what, why others can cost more than a family car … and how there are some sub $150 bargains which could change your photography forever.
If you currently only have the kit lens your camera came with, the short answer to this question is that as soon as you have the cash available, you should go out and get a fast normal prime lens or a telephoto zoom. The longer and more considered answer is that you need to think about the type of photographs you currently take. You need to understand how different lenses could improve your current photos and allow you to take ones that you currently can't. If that all sounds a bit confusing, read on.
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.
50mm and up are great focal lengths for taking portraits, while anything wider than that is great for landscape photography. Prime lenses are easier to find at a lower price range, and have a great quality to the images.
Have a great week Lakeview, and I’ll see you back here next week.