What Camera Lenses Should I Have?

Picking the best camera lens for you can be daunting. The type of lens you buy depends on the sort of photos you want to take.

Different lenses will give you different results. Portraits, landscapes, action photography or macro photography, all need different equipment.

Kit lenses are a good starting point, but choosing a dedicated lens will really up your photography game and help you get better results.

Black and white portrait of a girl

Standard Lenses

If you plan on experimenting with portrait photography, a standard lens will be right for you. These lenses don’t zoom and called “standard” because they are the oldest and most common lenses.

When choosing a standard lens you want something fast, with a fixed focal length lens (f/2 or f/2.8). Thanks to its wide aperture, these lenses are great for shooting in low light conditions.

Standard lenses will help you capture what your own eye can see. Parts of your subjects face will appear sharp and other parts will be softly blurred.

A lens that has a lot of aperture blades  will give you a good bokeh. A pleasant bokeh will make the background disappear, so that the viewer’s eye will be drawn to your subject’s face.

The sunrise over mountains

Wide Angle Lenses

An ultra wide-angle lens cannot be beaten when shooting landscapes. A wide angle perspective adds depth and gives a real three dimensional feel to your images.

If you want to shoot majestic landscapes you need to opt for a 14-24mm lens for full frame sensors. This will mean that your camera will capture a wider scene than with a standard lens.

Wide angle lenses are particularly useful when shooting landscapes with a strong foreground subject.

An 18-55mm (cropped frame) or a 28-70mm (full frame) will also work well when you want to achieve a more natural looking landscape.

Use a wide angle lens when you want to capture natural landscapes, or city architecture. They are also good for interior photography. You can even get creative with distortion by using fisheye lenses.

A cheetah chasing gazelles

Telephoto or Superzoom Lenses

A telephoto lens or superzoom lens is perfect for the photographer who is interested in action photography. Great for capturing athletes in action or wildlife that might be spooked if you get too close.

Often when shooting action shots, the subject can be quite a distance away. That’s why you will need a lens that can zoom in on the action without sacrificing the detail of your subject.

It also needs to be highly responsive and able to freeze the action, since athletes and wildlife can move very quickly.

A good choice would be a fast aperture lens (f/2 or f/2.8) with a motor drive to allow for fast focus.

Generally, you should aim for a 300-400mm lens if you plan on shooting sports like football, baseball or rugby. If you need greater distance, you can always use a teleconverter.

A superzoom lens combines a wide angle lens and a telephoto lens. A superzoom lens is suitable if you can’t carry both lenses or switching between lenses isn’t an option.

These lens are usually bigger and heavier than your average lens. Invest in a tripod to help you bear the weight of your camera and keep it still.

Close up of a fly on a yellow flower

Macro Lenses

If you love nature a macro lens will be perfect for your kit. Whether your subject is a flower or an insect a macro lens will allow you capture the beautiful detail of the tiniest of subjects.

To shoot macro photography without scaring that ladybird away, you want a 100-110mm lens. These lenses will mean you won’t need to get quite so close to your subject.

Macro lenses offer superb sharpness and they aren’t limited to nature photography. Macro lenses can work well for portrait photography.

And you can use them for capturing the detail of everyday objects, like the wood grain of your coffee table, or the sparkle of your wedding ring.

For a huge range of camera lenses, be sure to check out our online store or head into your local Camera House shop to get more handy tips from our staff.

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