Tuesday’s Tip – Choosing a lens for your DSLR

Before I get to the tip, you’ve got to take a second and check out some of the images we received for our contest. There are some “interesting” images. “Like” your favourite images and help one of those families win over $2000 in prizes.

Now to the tip. In the past week alone I’ve been asked this question at least four times. “What lens should I buy?” I know that not everyone has gotten into Digital SLR photography, but it’s the fastest growing segment of the digital camera market. People are replacing their point and shoots cameras only when they break, and purchasing a DSLR cameras so that they can take better photographs.

So let’s get onto answering the question. The simplified answer is you can have lots of one or a little of two of the following… Convenience, Quality and Price.

Here’s the breakdown:

Lots of Convenience… The 18-200 lens has lots of zoom. Enough for a wildlife trip to Africa, but the quality isn’t totally amazing and the price is quite steep.

Lots of Quality… A personal favourite lens is the 85mm f1.2 This lens is amazingly sharp, but it’s a fixed focal length (no zoom) and it’s over $2000.

Lots of money left in your pocket… The kit lenses that come with the entry level cameras are really inexpensive, but they have plastic mounts and the lens quality isn’t very good. Their zoom isn’t great either.

So onto the two out of three category.

Convenience and Quality. My favourite lens in this category is Katrina’s workhorse. It’s the 28-70 f2.8. It’s an amazing lens for quality and the zoom is pretty good for what we do. The price… Well, lets just say I don’t ever want to drop it.

Quality and Price. If you want a great quality lens, but you don’t want to spend much money, the 50mm f1.8 lens is under $200 and the quality is a million times better than any kit lens.

Price and Convenience. This is where those slightly more expensive kit lenses come in. (17-85 for example) They are inexpensive, but do have quality issues.

That’s a lot of technical stuff… What’s the “I just want a good lens” answer.

Buy a convenient cheap lens for everyday stuff, and then buy a 50mm 1.8 lens for the images that you want to make large prints of. Don’t forget that used lenses are a great way to save money. Craigslist, used camera stores and a few local shops sell all types of lenses for a lot less than new.

I know that was a bit technical, and probably a bit light on information if you are planning on making a lens purchase. Everyone has different needs, that’s why there are so many choices out there. If you have a specific question, please feel free to leave a comment below or send me an e-mail. We can help you figure out which lens is right for you. eric@kalemphoto.com or katrina@kalemphoto.com

Have a great Tuesday and don’t forget to vote in our contest!

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One Response to Tuesday’s Tip – Choosing a lens for your DSLR

  1. Pingback: Tuesday's Tip - Which Lens and Why? | Kalem Photography

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