What are You looking for in your next camera lens?

By: David

It is true that all lenses basically have but one function - to let light into your camera and focus it to make a sharp image on the sensor (or film) - but do not overlook the importance of choosing the right lens for the photography that YOU are interested in.

Are you into landscape photography? If so, the wide-angle lens - typically 18mm-35mm - may be what you need. The 20mm is also quite popular for shooting landscapes (as well as working in tight quarters indoors, whether shooting architecture or groups of people. A 20mm f/2.8, for example, is great for shooting in low light and is quite a fast lens.

If you enjoy wildlife photography you will, no doubt, want a telephoto lens. 70mm-300mm, 100mm-400mm and others, are available. There are also 1.4x and 2x tele-extenders you can attach to the end of your telephoto lens that will turn your 400mm lens into a 560mm or 800mm lens. If you are shooting digital, it gets even better! If your telephoto extends to 400mm and your camera ratio is 1.6+- you are actually at c.640mm - and adding a 1.4x tele-extender takes this to a whopping c.896mm! Now if you have this same lens and screw a 2x tele-extender on the end you are at c.1280mm!
That is reaching WAY out - allowing for some awesome opportunities - however you MUST have a steady tripod for sharp images. You will NOT be handholding this setup! And you will be focusing manually.

You may be more interested in portrait photography. If so - and you are shooting digital - you may select a prime lens- perhaps an 85mm - for your shooting. Perhaps a medium telephoto, such as a 24mm-70mm, would allow you the flexibility you need for a little variety.

Do you like getting 'up close and personal' with macro photography? Then a macro lens may be right up your alley. Many of the standard lens - like Canon's 100mm macro or Nikon's 105mm f/2.8d are excellent for focusing within inches of your tiny little subject. There are also economical ways to get even closer - perhaps with a 58mm close-up lens 500D - that screws right onto the end of your macro lens. Of course, if you have the time and resources you can get into serious macro shooting with the stands, bellows, ring-lites, etc. More time - more money - but awesome images!

Is event photography your passion? Now you have to consider both focal length and speed. You need enough focal length to pull in the action and a large enough aperture to stop it in its tracks! Many pros have an extremely large prime lens - i.e. 600mm f/4. This allows pulling in the action from a considerable distance AND the ability to shoot with a fast shutter speed - without which you are not going to end up with the sharpest images. These lenses do awesome things - and at the price they cost - they should. However you CAN do great event photography, without breaking the bank!

So many lenses - so little time
Yes, whatever field of photography you enjoy, there is a lens waiting for you. Select the lens that YOU are going to use. Select the best quality that you can afford - and get out there and get shooting!

For more information on this and other related subjects you may want to read the article:

This article authored by: You-Can-Do-Great-Photography.com

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