DSLR cameras are the weapons of choice for the professional photographer. They are versatile, durable, pack dozens of features and most of all they support a wide set of lens. Most professionals spend more money on their lenses than they do on their cameras. Think about it, a solid lens can last you a lifetime while a DSLR will be outdated in ten years or less. If you have a DSLR and you need to find a good lens, let us give you some tips.
Lens are not cheap and whether you have a Canon EF or EFS mount, Nikon, Sony or Panasonic mount, the majority of your top of the line lens will be more expensive than your cameras body. Now not everyone has an unlimited budget and the type of lens you purchase is dependent on the how much money you’re willing to splurge.
As a rule of thumb, you don’t want to spend more than a couple hundred on some lens if this is your first DSLR. Get to know your camera first, figure out how to use it and once you become a pro then you can upgrade to some more expensive lens. Most DSLR manufacturers have the vast majority of their lens within a relatively common range. For instance, you have the 50mm f/1.8 from Canon, Nikon and Sony or you have the 85mm, 14mm, 24mm or the fisheye 16mm.
Once you have a budget in mind you are ready to begin shopping. What type of photography are you interested in. For instance, if your fascination is photographing birds, the EF 75-250mm f/4.5 from Canon is a great starter lens, assuming you have a Canon mount. That lens is only $300. The more features stuffed into the package, the more expensive. For instance, if you want image stabilization you can add a couple hundreds to the lens price. If you need lens that perform well under low light or that are fast enough for action sports, your cost will increase significantly.
A great beginner’s portrait lens is the 50mm f/1.8. Every major DSLR manufacturer offers a lens with this focal point and most of them are under $150. The f/1.8 refers to the aperture. The lower that number is, the better photos the camera will take under low light conditions.
If you’re serious about photography and have the cash to invest in a good all-purpose lens, we recommend the 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. If your DSLR manufacturer does not have a lens with this specific focal length and aperture, anything within this range will do. Most of these lens generally run between $1500 and $2500. It’s a steep price but it’s a lens that can last a lifetime once you take care of it and they are very durable.
With many lens being very expensive, you have rental companies that will rent DSLR lenses which is a good option if you would like to try before you buy.