Let’s talk lenses, This is one of my favourite topic in photography. I hope you had a chance to read my beginners guide to buying a DSLR camera, if you haven’t click HERE. Reading the post about my guide to DSLR camera could potentially help to understand this post especially if you’re a beginner to photography.This post is going to cover camera systems and lenses that I will recommend based on what I have used and reviews I have seen. Writing a post about lenses could get quite technical but I am going to try and break it down so everyone will understand and for those who will like to find out more, I will insert links to a much detailed website post or YouTube videos.
For reference – I use the 50mm f1.8 and 24mm f2.8 lenses to shoot my images.
Firstly, to understand lenses you will need to briefly understand what crop sensor and full frame sensor on a camera means.
A crop sensor camera or APS C as stated on descriptions in camera websites just simply means; with any lens that is mounted on the camera the image taken will be cropped and as a result tend to looked zoomed in and please do not panic about this. As you might have guessed a full frame camera does not crop the image and as a result images will not looked zoomed in when any lens is mounted on the camera.
As a beginner you’re likely to buy a crop sensor camera unless you are aiming to get a professional camera like the Canon 5D Mark iv.
For detailed explanation of sensors here is a link to a blog post;
In my opinion, when getting any lens I tend to think about how it will look like on a full frame camera because the image will not be the same on a crop sensor. For example let’s look at the 50mm lens, if you paired it with a full frame camera the image will always be a 50mm image.
On the flip side, if you paired it with a crop sensor the image will look like it was taken with a 80mm lens meaning the image will be zoomed in. To put simply, it will do a similar job of a 85mm lens on a full frame camera.
Here are pictures on a website that explains this idea;
Secondly, let’s talk about focal length which is stated in millimetres. Focal length means the distance between the lens and the image sensor when the subject is in focus.
When getting a lens you might be looking to get one that will fit everything into frame meaning you also want some background in the frame for example street photography; 24mm, 28mm and 35mm is a really good choice especially on a crop sensor. As explained above; as a beginner you will probably be buying a crop sensor camera which means if you get any of these lenses the images will appear to be cropped.
However, if you want a closer focus on your subject then lenses from 50mm to 100mm is good. I do portrait fashion photography and 50mm is perfect for this. 50mm is also perfect for beauty shots as well. On a crop sensor 50mm will give an image of a 80mm lens.
A 28mm on a crop sensor will give an image of a 50mm.
24mm gives an image of roughly 38mm on a crop sensor.
35mm gives an image of 56mm on a crop sensor.
Here is a YouTube Video that explains focal length in 60 seconds;
Secondly let’s discuss the main types of lenses, which are prime lenses and zoom lenses.
Prime lenses means a lens that has a fixed focal length, this simply means if you want to capture an image that’s far, you would have to move to capture the image. Overall, you have to physically move to capture images. An example of a prime lens is a 50mm lens.
Zoom lenses allows you to change from a long shot to a closer shot or vice versa. To put simply, you do not have to physically move to zoom in and out to get a shot.
An example of a zoom lens is 18-55mm, so you can go from the distance of 18 to a close up of 55mm.
The main advantages of prime lenses are they tend to be lighter and cheaper. In addition to this, images tends to be sharp.
However a con is you would need to move to capture images because of its fixed focal length.
Advantages of zoom lenses is the ability to shoot at variable focal length and the ability to have carry one lens.
However, zooms are large and bulky and they tend to be expensive.
To find out more about pros and cons of the main types of lenses here is a website link;
Lastly before we get into the lenses I recommend let’s briefly touch on apperture. Apperture just means the amount of light that enters your camera and it is represented with the letter f and numbers which are called f stops.
You might be wondering what in the world is that? well you know when you go on a camera website and are looking at lenses and it says 50mm which is the focal length as I have explained, the next thing you see is f1.4.
The meaning of this number is just how much light enters the lens. So the lower the f stop is, the more light enters the camera, this can be helpful when shooting in low light situation. f1.4 lets in more light than f1.8 and f1.2 lets in more light than both f1.4 and f1.8.
An image of this is as shown below;
The first lens I will be recommending to a beginner will be the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
This is a great beginner lens and it retails for £120. This lens is really good for fashion photography and you can get a lovely portrait with this. The lens allows you to have a blurry background whilst you’re in main focus.
If you have more money to spend then the f1.4 is a really good option and retails for £385. If you own a Nikon DSLR, check out the 50mm, you can also purchase the Nikon version.
The biggest con of this lens is it doesn’t let you shoot in tight spaces, meaning if you want to do home photography so a full length picture at home; you’re restrained. However, this is a perfect lens for shooting outside.
This is the picture I took with this lens
Here are links for the lenses;
Next lens I will recommend is the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens
This lens is called the pancake lens and it retails for £154.99. This lens is really good for crops sensor camera because it comes up to 38mm.
It’s a very good lens to shoot with in tight spaces, I use it to get my full body shot when doing indoor photography.
Here’s a picture shot with the 24mm
Link for 24mm;
Lastly, is the Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM Lens
This is a good beginner lens it retails forore £520 which is more expensive.
Nikon DSLR users can get this lens quite cheap because it retails for £140 on Amazon. This means Nikon beginners can get this opposed to the Nikon 50mm which can be expensive.
Here is a YouTube video for more review;
Here is the link for the 35mm;
Overall, i hope you have found this posts useful and hopefully are confident about getting both camera and lenses. Remember to follow me on instagram for more daily posts.