The lenses you need

If you’ve seen my previous blog post, you already know what I think about the camera equipment – you don’t need to invest lots of money if you’re just starting. You can invest if you want to be able to get the best picture quality from the beginning, but no camera will be able to teach you how to see the light, pose your models or find some new ideas for your creative projects. Today I want to discuss another technical topic that is more important since, in most cases, the lens choise affect the look of the photo. You need to understand what each kind of lens can do for you to get the results you want and to buy what you will use avoiding lenses that will stay forever on your shelf.

Lenses can be divided into several groups:

  • zoom
  • prime (fixed focal length)

Zoom lenses are more versatile, instead of changing the distance to the subject of your photo you can just zoom in or zoom out. Seems to be convenient, but there are several points that you need to consider:

  • zoom lenses are usually more expensive than primes
  • zoom lenses give you less light than primes
  • zoom lenses make you lazy – instead of looking for new angles we tend to zoom in and out randomly
  • zoom lenses are useful if you can’t or don’t want to move during your shoot

Prime lenses are a better choice if:

  • you want to get the best picture quality
  • you want to get better bokeh
  • you want to get better low light performance
  • you want to learn composition since prime fixed lenses force you to move your camera more in search of angles

As you see, both of these lenses have their own benefits and disadvantages. I personally prefer to shoot my wedding photography with primes since I like to get a creamy bokeh, the best overall picture rendering for my photos and need my lenses to deliver as much light as possible to be able to shoot under any light conditions.

In the next post, I will explain the difference between wide, medium and telephoto lenses and show some examples shot on these different lenses so you can understand better what you like more and what lenses you need to get to be able to shoot what you want.