I Want A New Lens - Which One Do I Think I Want?

on May 19, 2015

Well, that's quite a question - but you can bet every photographer who ever snapped a shutter has asked it of themselves. Sometimes it was a good question and sometimes it wasn't...

We all had a first camera - in many cases the lens on it could not be changed. Our choice of which lens to use was that one or nothing. So we learned to use that one -when we wanted a wider view we stepped back - when we wanted to see a close up we stepped forward. In many cases we kept the sun to our backs and the squinting eyes of or subjects in front of us. At night we used a flash, or held the shutter open for a long time. There was Elvis, dinosaurs, and 50¢ hot dogs - it was a good time...

Then we ran into the limitations of the gear - the closeup went blurry when we moved under 3 feet. The landscape picture was nowhere near as wide as our own vision. Sports pictures had tiny little figures in the middle of a vast playing space - we could see them better with the naked eye.

We bought supplementary lenses to clip onto the lens - we could go a little closer with one, or get a little wider view or a little more enlarged view with another...and had all the perils of Pythagoras trying to figure out how to aim the cameras effectively once the new lenses were on. There was a lot of trial and error and language.

Now we have interchangeable lenses - we can start our career with a moderate zoom lens that sees a multitude of angle of view. It can focus far closer than the older film lens. It can see under vastly poorer light conditions. And we needn't make two trips to he chemist and a week's time to discover whether we got the shot. We can see it in a second - repeat the trial if necessary. But we still want a new lens...

Two recommendations: if you want the landscape buy a prime lens for your camera that is the widest one they make. If you want sports results get a medium telephoto lens for your camera. Take off your first lens, put on the new one, and go shoot for a solid month.

You'll see the world anew - you can go back to the old lens afterwards and see the world anew again.

Do this as many times as you feel the need - you'll gradually add to your own visual acumen and the armamentarium of glass. We'll be happy too - we're a camera shop!