Which Lens to use?

Lots of people have been asking me what lens they should buy to get the best pictures out of their photography. The answer is that there is no best lens for everything.

An 85mm f1.4 may be great for portraits but may not be long enough for wildlife where you need to shoot the animals from a distance without disturbing them. You wouldn't use an 85mm 1.4 for macro use either because of the low magnification ratio.

Often as photographers, we start of with shooting everything around us. But we'll often find a specific genre that we particularly enjoy, and from then on, we'll invest in the gear specific to that photography type.

Let me give you some lens recommendations according to budget:

50mm f1.8 (cheap)
85mm f1.8 (moderate)
85mm f1.4/1.2 (expensive)

Events (i.e. birthday, social parties)
18-55mm f3.5-5.6 (cheap)
17-50mm f2.8 (moderate)
24-70 (expensive)

18-55mm f3.5-5.6 + 55-200mm f4-5.6 (cheap)
24-70mm f2.8 + 70-200mm f2.8 (expensive)

Tamron 60mm f2 Macro (cheap)
105mm f2.8 (expensive)

18-55mm f3.5-5.6 (cheap)
tokina 11-16mm f2.8 (moderate)
nikon 14-24mm f2.8 (expensive)
canon 16-35mm f2.8 (expensive)

wildlife (depends on how far your subject will be)
55-200mm f4-5.6 (cheap)
600mm f4 (insanely expensive $10,000+)

The optically best lenses usually also means that they are the heaviest, I strongly advise against getting huge lenses at the start because it will deter you from bringing your camera around and taking photos, especially when that is most important in helping you improve your skills.

Attached below is a video by Mark Wallace from Adorama, who is an excellent teacher. He talks about camera lens choices and is a very useful video that shows that perspective and compression differences between wide and tele lenses. Enjoy!

Warm Regards,

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