Choosing a new lens

Very often, in the forums, you can read a beginner's question: "What lens should I buy next? I already have a kit lens"

Well, the answer is one - if you don't know what to buy, don't buy anything. When you start to shoot more, when you are a more experienced photographer, your needs will be crystalized and you will know what to buy, More, you will even know what you don't need :)

During my vacation in Norway it turned out I tend to use either ultra wide angle or long lens, almost without middle ranges. After returning home I decided to sell my 80-210 and buy Tamron 18-250 (new lens which has good opinions and tests). In this way I will have just two lenses covering almost the whole range I need:

Sigma 10-20 (love it!) nad Tamron 18-250.

This will make the necessity to change lenses less frequent.

And there's just one lens I need: light portrait one.

Photo credits: , Werner Stoffberg.

Your comment must be written in English

September 18, 2007


Hey, a beer would be nice:) I even now agree with you more:) I was just referring to the fact that very often a beginner doesn't even know what he will be shooting, thus buying anything more that the kit is too soon. Let him shoot, he will be more specific. Even when he shoots a 'shitty' image, he (as a beginner) will not know whether it is because of aberrations or just the settings he wrongly used.
A good advice from a more pro photog is always a nice thing, though. Suppose a person who has lots of money wants to buy some lenses even if he can't shoot - ok, let him buy, that's his money. He might be buyin even two of each kind ;)

OK, so when's the beer? :)

September 18, 2007


Nope I said: "....who makes about the same shots" not exact.
If you then advise a good range in which these kind of photo's can be made then that's a good start. If he of she after evolving feels more comfortable in other situations then originally thought of then a second lens might be needed. Every photographer builds up his/her own range of lenses. Either primes or zoomlenses. For instance, someone wants to start of with studio modelphotography and makes shitty photo's with his/her kit lens. Then it is good advise to inform him/her that 100 mm has almost no deformation on modelsfaces but a range between 50 and 120 is great for model photography. When this person owns a DSLR with a crop factor of 1.6 then a 28-70 2.8 Lens is good advise. Or if not so fortunate to buy own starting of with a 50 mm 1.8 prime. Even if this person, later on decides on making landscapes outside these lenses ar not a lost cause but remain good avise. Next advise in that matter would be to advise a 70-200 2,8 (or cheaper 4.5) to broaden the range from 28-70 up to 200 mm. This person will also be able to use the 28-70 or even the 50 mm which are almost never bad advise unless the user wants to start making ONLY macro's.

So why let this person produce bad works with the kit lens and tell him/her that he/she first needs to become more experienced?
But hey let's not create a fight only because we don't agree ;-)
I guess if we would ever meet with a nice beer we would have very ineteresting talks about photography and would agree more then it seems here. ;-)

September 17, 2007


But how can one assume that the other person will be producing exactly the same photos, plus, the person will, in time, evolve and feel more comfortable in other situations than he originally thought of.
Experience (your own) is the best advice. But I am not saying you must be deaf to what others are sayin'

September 17, 2007


I don't agree.
Ofcourse you can give good advise about what lens to buy. Throw away that kit lens for starters and ask someone who makes about the same shots as you want to make what lens he uses. For every aspect there is a good lens. For every aspect of photography there is good advise to be given. If you don't know what to buy, ask someone who knows should be the correct answer to this.

September 09, 2007


good point..the more pictures you take the more you realize where your kit lens limits it macro, telephoto, wide angle, etc...i'm in a tough spot..i'm an industrial design student where a good macro lens is crucial..but most of my recreational photography is of nature and wildlife...decisions decisions...

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