What Lens should I buy for my Camera?

You spent hours upon hours studying which camera you should buy, you spoke to people got feedback you went online and searched reviews and finally made your decision.  Then the next question you ask is what lens should I buy for my camera?  The answer to this question is as important as which camera to buy, has as much or more importance on the quality of your photos and will likely cost more than your camera, and is even a more important question for sports photographers.

One of the benefits of a Digital SLR is that you can exchange the lens.  So to buy just one lens makes no sense you really need more than one.  The right answer is is not which one lens but which lenses should I buy?  Have you noticed how prices on cameras and camera bodies continues to decline but the cost of lenses remains the same.  This tells you something about the importance of a good lens.  I’m amazed at all the discussions about cameras when in reality there should just as much discussion on which lens or lenses to buy.  Even if you’re not an expert photographer you can dramatically improve the quality of your photos by using high quality lenses. 

Low End
At the low end of the lens market are lenses made with plastic mounts, slow aperture and low quality.  These are lenses that you will often find at low-end retail outlets and are often the lenses offered as part of a camera package deal.

Prime Lenses
These are lenses that have no zoom capability.  You must zoom by moving your feet which is to reposition yourself.  Zooming that way will certainly save you money but is not as convenient.  Many purists will say that the sharpest photos for the money will be achieved with a prime lens.

Zoom Lenses
These are lenses that let you zoom closer and further away by simply turning the zoom ring.  This is by far more convenient, but here is where you will pay for that convenience.  If you don’t buy a high quality zoom lens then you most likely will be disappointed in the sharpness of your photos.  So, for convenience there are two lenses that make the most sense for the family photographer or sports photographer and that is a small lens something like 24mm – 70mm and then a larger lens 70mm-200mm.  The 70-200mm is my favorite and the lens I shoot almost all my sports with.  In addition to sports it is the lens for school programs, piano recitals, and performances.  It does well in low light and in many ways it makes an average photographer a great photographer.  The small lens you will find perfect for team photos and close-ups. 

Costs
OK, I admit it these lenses can be very expensive.  The Cannon and Nikon versions which I prefer are spectacular and I believe worth every penny.  There are other brands that will save you $100s and will still give you a good photo especially as you become a better photographer yourself. 

Scott

ProPix Photography

The Sports Photography Professionals
The Practical Photographer

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