Most of the people have an unclear idea about DSLR photography. However, they can take photos with their phone camera or any point and shoot camera brilliantly. DSLR means Digital Single Lens Reflex. This is a special type of camera which can take photos of an object with all types of details. So, the photos become very eye-soothing and attractive. If you have decided to buy a DSLR Camera, then the first thing which will come in your mind is, which lens should I buy? You will search and find that there are hundreds of DSLR lenses and you be like being in an ocean finding a gem! To solve your confusion, sujonhera.com is providing you the solution in the form of this post. This DSLR Lens Buying Guide will help you before buying your desired lens. So, let’s start the discussion.
DSLR LENS BUYING GUIDE:
Most of the people think that the KIT LENS (the one which remain in the box with the DSLR Camera) is enough for normal photography. Well, they are partially right. Most of the kit lenses are the 18-55mm zoom lens. So, you can only take a photo of this range. You can’t take a zoomed photo of a flying bird or a mosquito with it. Now, you must be thinking, what is a zoom lens? Well, I will discuss it later. Just keep reading and you will find your answer. So, you should not be contained with the kit lens. You need at least 3 lenses to cover all the ranges of objects for your photography. They include a prime lens, a telephoto zoom lens and a zoom lens of 18-135mm for normal use. Now, you must be thinking, what is a prime lens and what does it mean by these mm things, right? OK, I am answering the basic information now.
With a zoom lens, you can take a photo by zooming. You must know what is zoom. You have taken photos with your phone camera or any digital point and shoot camera by using the zoom in button. In a DSLR camera, you don’t have a zoom button. Rather, your lens can be rotated to zoom in and zoom out the object. The zoom lenses are designed with the capacity of zooming. So, it is called zoom lens. It can change the focal length within a given range. And that range is named with the lens name. For an example, 18-55mm lens means, it can take a photo of an object from focal length 18mm up to 55mm. Zoom lenses usually have a smaller aperture than the prime lenses. So, they can’t take a detailed photograph like a prime lens. Let’s look at the below photo. The 18mm box is showing the area which will be captured if the lens is kept as 18mm focal length. And if it is zoomed to 55mm, the area of the photo will be reduced to that of the innermost box.
Prime lenses don’t have zoom capacity. That means you can’t zoom in an object which is far from you. If you want to take a zoomed photo of that object with your prime lens, you have to move with your camera and reach that object to get a closer view. Prime lenses are used for portrait photography. In other words, it can be expressed as closer photography. These lenses have a larger aperture than the zoom lenses. So, it allows more light to enter the camera and results in a good photograph with maximum details. For an example, Canon f1.8 50mm lens is a prime lens. You will see one number before mm in a prime lens. There will be no range like 18-55mm in its name. So, you can identify the prime lens and zoom lens by this easy method.
WIDE ANGLE & NARROW ANGLE DSLR LENS:
You will find some lenses called Wide Angle lenses. Usually, those with a focal length below 30mm are called Wide Angle Lenses. With these lenses, you can capture a large area. So, it is named as wide angle. On the other hand, some prime lenses are named as Narrow Angle Lenses. Usually, lenses of more than 30mm focal length are called Narrow Angle Lenses. With these lenses, you can only capture a small area. Note that Wide & Narrow Angle Lenses may be both prime lenses or zoom lenses. Some examples:
10-24mm lens is a wide angle zoom lens.
20mm lens is a wide angle prime lens.
75-300mm lens is a narrow angle zoom lens.
50mm lens is a narrow angle prime lens.
DSLR LENS STABILIZATION:
You will see some abbreviations like IS and VR in the lens names. In fact, IS=VR. IS=Image Stabilization, VR=Vibration Reduction. Canon lenses are named as IS and in Nikon lenses, it is called VR. Some of the zoom lenses are named in this fashion. In fact, when a photo is taken by zooming, a slight shaking of your hand may cause a more blurred image than the prime lenses. If the lenses have IS or VR, then the shaking is minimized and the photos don’t become blurred. So, Always prefer IS or VR lenses.
DSLR LENS APERTURE:
Aperture is the pore through which light enters into the lens. So, larger aperture will allow more light to enter and result in brighter and detailed image. On the other hand, smaller aperture will allow less light and result in darker images. Aperture is mentioned as f-stop number in lens names. The more f-stop number means smaller aperture. The less f-stop number means larger aperture. So, it is the totally opposite. Just remember it. For an example: Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens has a larger aperture than Canon 40mm f/2.8 lens.
In some lenses, you will find a range in the f-stop number. Such as 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 lens. Here, the aperture is also changeable. When you keep the lens in 18mm position, it will have the largest aperture of f3.5 and when you keep the lens in 200mm position, it will have the smallest aperture of f6.3.
In some other zoom lenses, the aperture is not changeable. Such as Nikon 12-24mm f/4.0 lens. You can change the focal length from 12 to 24 mm. But, you can’t change the aperture. These lenses are usually costly.
Larger aperture lenses require less amount of time to capture a good image. Because, light enters faster into those than the smaller aperture lenses.
USM AND STM:
In Canon lenses, you will find these 2 terms. USM=Ultra Sonic Motor and STM = Stepper Motor. Both of these are autofocus motors which allow you to focus an object automatically during a photo or a video. USM is recommended for professionals and STM is recommended for beginners.
SO, WHICH DSLR LENS SHOULD I BUY?
After all these discussions on sujonhera.com, I hope you have got a general idea about the type of lens you should buy for your photography purpose. But, for those who have not understood these clearly, I am recommending some lenses here for different purposes to help you.
1. 18-135mm [Above photo is taken with this lens]
2. 50mm f/1.8
PORTRAIT/EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY/LOW LIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY:
1. 50mm f/1.4 [Above photo is taken with this lens]
2. 35mm f/2
3. 85mm f/1.8
4. 24-70mm f/2.8
2. 8-15 mm f/4L [Above photo is taken with this lens]
MACRO PHOTOGRAPHY/INSECT PHOTOGRAPHY:
1. 100mm f/2.8 [Above photo is taken with this lens]
2. 85mm f/1.8
JOURNALISM/WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY/SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY:
2. 70-200mm f/2.8L [Above photo is taken with this lens]
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