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Digital Photo Manual – Choosing and Buying lenses

As a beginner, most of the time when we bought our first DSLR camera, we will always choose the stock lens which comes together with the body. Take note, even the kit lens comes with a price. It is separately charged. Initially, I thought the kit lens is good enough to shoot a beautiful and decent photo just like what you see on social media platforms. (especially those professional photographers). So I am here to let you know that lenses do play a part in your photos.

Types of lenses
  • Standard Zoom (18mm – 55mm)
  • Wide angle lenses (my favourite)
  • Telephoto lenses (it can go up to 200mm or 300mm)
  • Macro lenses (to shoot insects and focus really close to small subjects)

Standard zoom lenses are the most commonly used by beginners like us, because it is cheap and has a range of 18mm-55mm, giving you a range of focal lengths.

Wide angle lenses are considered a prime lens, which has only 1 focal length. Prime lenses are usually better from what I feel. Mostly photographers use prime lens to shoot portrait photos.

So as a beginner, it is good to have a standard zoom lens, and a prime lens to start with. This is what I recommend as I am doing this as well. I have a prime lens with 45mm focal length. At the later part or the next post, aperture comes into play. It is also an important factor to taking good photographs.

What to look for when buying lenses?
  • Manual focus ring
  • Focal length (recommend to be prime lens)
  • Zoom ring
  • Image stabilisation
  • Maximum aperture (the lower the aperture it can go, it is better for portrait photos)
  • Metal lens mount
  • Of course the price (it is never cheap)

If you want to take photographs of small subjects such as insects and flowers at life-size magnifications. For fish-eye effects, go for wide angle lenses or specifically Fish-eye lenses. You will love the effect, but if the costing is too high, just go for GoPro. It can shoot wonderful HD videos and photos, but battery life is the main concern, and every accessories is charged separately at an expensive price.

First, plan out your budget to get a decent DSLR camera. Remember Body and lenses come separately. So choose wisely.

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