Photography 101: Tips On Choosing Your First Lens

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Most people think that the bigger the lens, the better the shots. That is not the case. All lenses are different and each has a particular task. It all depends on your purpose.

The lens is one of the most important parts of your camera. One of the best things about DSLR cameras is the fact that the lenses are interchangeable. That brings in a whole dynamic regarding which lens you should buy, how and when to use it. Selecting the right one is imperative to getting the best shots. There are so many options to choose from and it can be quite confusing. Let’s dive a little deeper and understand lenses.

Lenses explained.

Basically, A camera lens is an optical lens used with a camera body to make images on photographic film. Each photographer has his/her own unique needs. Lenses are defined by their focal length, aperture, zoom capabilities and prize. These are the factors one needs to consider when buying their first lens.

Focal Length

The numbers written on your lens almost always reflect the focal length. This is the distance in millimetres from the centre of the lens to the sensor. The lower the number, the wider the shot will be. For example in the standard 18-55 mm lens, at 1omm, the shot is wide and at 55mm the shot gets narrower and closer to a specific subject.

Focal Length

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They range from as low as 14mm to as high as 800mm. So when choosing, figure out why you want it. For wide-angle shots, (landscape, building, event photography), pick a lens with a low focal length. For close-ups, photoshoots and narrow pictures, look for a larger focal length, between 100mm and 300mm.


This is defined as the measure of how much light can enter your camera. It’s represented by the letter f and corresponding numbers, collectively known as f-stop. The lower the f-stop, like f1.4, the wider the opening. This means that more light enters the camera. The lower the f-stop, the blurrier the backgrounds you will get when taking portrait shots.


Image Courtesy Canon

Price Of The Lens

The price is always a determining factor as to which lens you should buy. In the next article, we will focus on budget-friendly, quality lenses. As a beginner, you should invest more in learning than on equipment. Buying budget-friendly tech will help you learn about your craft. From that, you will earn more and be able to go all out on equipment.



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