What is the best lens for photography?
With so many options available, choosing a lens can be a daunting task. Learn how to pick the best lens for your photography style.
The most important lens options.
When it comes to choosing a lens, there are three important elements you need to consider:
- Focal length — The lens’s angle of view. Basically, focal length is how zoomed-in the lens is. If you need to shoot faraway subjects, a lens with a long focal length — above 100mm — will work the best. If your subject is close, find a lens between 24-70mm.
- Aperture — How wide the lens opens. Wide-aperture lenses (f/2.8 or wider) are better for low light and can give your shots a cool bokeh effect, while narrow apertures (f/11 and narrower) are best for wide-angle shots.
- Zoom vs. prime — Zoom lenses are more versatile because you can adjust the focal length (zoom in and out) to capture your subject. Prime lenses can’t zoom, but they take sharper pictures and typically have wider apertures.
The key to choosing the best lens for photography is to think about what you want to shoot. A landscape photographer needs a shorter focal length than a portrait photographer. Pick a lens to best fit your subjects and photography style.
Versatile lenses for multiple photography styles.
Lenses can be expensive, which is why many photographers choose one lens to fit several photography styles. Here are some of the most versatile lenses to choose from:
- 24-70mm f/2.8 — This zoom lens offers a range of focal lengths for both close and faraway shots, and the f/2.8 aperture is wide enough for most low-light environments.
- 50mm f/1.8 — The 50mm prime lens is nicknamed the “nifty fifty” because of its incredible versatility. The focal length matches the human eye, and the extremely wide aperture makes it great for either bright or dark light conditions.
With these two lenses in your camera bag, you’re ready for just about any photography style.
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