Now that you have learnt to use a digital camera to the best of its abilities, you face the daunting but very exciting prospect of buying your first camera lenses! But with the market overflowed with lenses of all sizes and brand, it can be difficult to make an advised choice and very easy to …
Now that you have learnt to use a digital camera to the best of its abilities, you face the daunting but very exciting prospect of buying your first camera lenses!
But with the market overflowed with lenses of all sizes and brand, it can be difficult to make an advised choice and very easy to buy the wrong one.
So, to help you think clearer before heading to the shops, the redaction puts this buying guide together in order to help you choose the right camera lenses for your camera.
Usually, when you buy a DSL-R or interchangeable lenses camera, it comes bundled with a kit of lenses and uses restrain themselves to only use those ones.
But, with all the lenses available today, it would be a shame to limit yourselves.
Once you’ve plunged into the wonderful world of interchangeable lenses cameras or DSL-R ones, you will quickly realise that using the right lens will make your shots better.
Different lenses answer different shooting modes: some are wide-angle for amazing panoramic shots; others are called “telephoto lenses” to take very detailed shots from a distance without the blur and a further lens called “macro lens” allows for those amazing close-ups of subjects as your cat yawning or a flower blossoming.
So, before heading to the shop and buying lenses at random, hoping that one of them will do the trick, you have to ask yourself a few questions; amongst them, the most important two ones, what will you use your lens for?
Or said differently, what kind of pictures do you really want to shoot?
Will it be beautiful scenery of the countryside? Close-ups of families and friends? Long-range shots at concerts?
And once you have decided on which kind of shots you want to take, you also have to think about the budget.
Lenses can be very daunting, especially when you spot all the letters and numbers on the side of it; but luckily, you won’t have to think about this too much unless you are a professional photographer.
Therefore, instead of trying to understand a lens’s operating from A to Z, you can focus on a few points: the focal length; the aperture; the Image Stabilization; the Format Coverage and last but not least, the Lens mount.
Focal length is defined by the field of view that your camera will be able to cover: either panoramic or close-ups are part of the “focal length”.
Expressed in millimetres, the focal length is used in combination with the camera’s sensor size and designates the angle of view covered.
The aperture is the second most important thing to consider when buying a new lens: the aperture is defined by how much light your lens will be able to gather.
The more light an aperture can gather means that you can shoot in low light or indoors without getting the flash out.
Usually, apertures numbers are described as F1, for example, or F/1 or 1:4, numbers which all say the same thing so do not worry if you find different aperture scriptures by different brands.
Moreover, we ought to look at the Image Stabilization, which is another essential point to check when buying a new lens.
The Image Stabilization is what helps render the image you shoot crisp and clear rather than blurry.
This is still a new feature that cropped up in the last few years with manufacturers all taking on the challenge and implementing it in their own, personal way.
Whilst some brands will include it in the camera body (Pentax, Olympus), others will prefer to include it in the lens itself (Canon, Samsung…): so before buying a lens with an Image Stabilization feature, check your camera!
You will use the most of the Image Stabilization when you use telephoto lenses – telephoto, we’ll remind you, is when you take photos from afar.
We finally are getting near the end of all the specifics you should check before buying a new lens but, we still have two more features to talk about: Format Coverage and Lens Mount.
Format coverage is a very particular feature that is linked to the image size: as manufacturers produce lenses distinctively for the cameras they produce, you have to make sure the lenses produce an image big enough to cover the image sensor.
Some lenses are designed to only fit certain types of cameras, thus not being adaptable to DSL-R’ ones.
And last but not least, the lens mount, which boils down to how manufacturers build the locks of the lenses: as every manufacturer has its own way on locks, it is very difficult to swap lenses across brands.
The “Fujifilm XF 50-140 mm F2.8 LM OIS WR” is a very good lens, highly rated by photographers from beginners to intermediate photographers.
It is especially revered for his constant aperture of F2.8 “throughout the zoom range”, according to Fujifilm.
Unfortunately, this new telephoto lens won’t be for every budget as on pre-order through Amazon, it costs a mere £1,249.99.
On the market since 2012, photographers still have a high opinion of its capacities, the “Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 75mm f1/8 Lens”.
According to Olympus, it is “a very compact but very performing” lens and users’ reviews celebrate its versatile and very easy use.
Priced at £699, this is a good investment for the ones that start taking their photography seriously.
If you would like to improve your photography, a good lens is the “Sony E 50 mm F1/8 OSS”, which will allow you to play with depth of field and shooting in poor lighting conditions without requiring a flash”.
This lens was released in 2011 and was built to fit the APS-C sensor in the NEX cameras and is sold at £240, at the moment, which makes it an interesting purchase.
We couldn’t end this article without talking about the lens from Sigma, the “Sigma35 mm F1.4 DG HSM”, who offers both quality, low price and is compatible with most reflex cameras (APS-C).
Priced around £620, this is a lens for serious photographer with its impressive resolution and sharp focus.