Choosing the First Lenses for your DSLR


If you have a DSLR, you may be wanting to take the next step and start learning about lenses.

Although the lens that came with your camera may be all you need, a prime lens with a wide aperture would be a great next step.

Ok, back up.  Some of you are nodding, and some of you are audibly saying, "what the heck does she mean by that?  Prime lens?  Wide aperture?"

Simply put, a prime lens is a lens with a fixed focal length, so it will not zoom. You zoom with your feet!  Prime lenses tend to be sharper than zoom lenses.  And a wide aperture lens (or "fast" lens)  will let in more light than a narrow aperture.  So if a lens has a maximum aperture of 1.4 or 1.8, for example, it is considered a "wide aperture lens."  Better depth of field and the ability to shoot in lower light are the main reasons I love a wide aperture lens.

Beside the kit lens that came with my first DSLR, my 50mm 1.8 is my go-to lens for most photography. It's a fast (wide aperture), prime lens, and it's relatively cheap.  It was the first additional lens I purchased.

Several of these photos were taken in 2008, with the 50mm  1.8 lens when I had only had my first DSLR for a few months.


Lenses for Your New DSLR

Nikon D80 DSLR with 50mm 1.8 lens (2008)

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Nikon D80 DSLR with 50mm 1.8 lens  (2008)




Nikon D80 DSLR, 50 mm 1.8 lens (2008)




Lenses for your new dslr ~ anartfulmom.com
Nikon D200 DSLR, 50mm 1.8 lens




Nikon D200 DSLR, 18-135mm  (kit)lens


The kit lens (zoom) that came with my first DSLR has served me well also, especially when shooting outdoors or from a distance.

If I were to keep only 2 of the lenses I own, I would choose my kit lens that zooms and my 50mm 1.8. (The 50mm also comes in a 1.4, but it's much more expensive, and I have not had the need for the upgrade.  It's awesome though!)

Another lens I use often is the Nikon 40mm 2.8.  This one is great for macro (close-up photography of small subjects) and also for general all around use. Although it's not intended as a dedicated macro lens, it does a surprisingly good job with macro photography for a good price and is a great all around lens too.  It is extremely sharp and extremely versatile.


Choosing the First Lenses for Your DSLR ~ anartfulmom.com
                                                Nikon D5100 DSLR, 40mm 2.8 lens          
                           

Tips:                  



  • Make sure you are getting the right lens for the make of your camera. There are specific ones for Nikon, Canon, etc.



  • Determine if your camera has a focus motor so you will know which version of the lens to buy.



  • Be aware that, although lenses can definitely make a difference in your photography, you don't need a lot of them!  Even if you just have a kit lens, you can get great photos by simply working on your composition, using the light well, and learning some basic photography techniques.


I've gotten most of my lenses at Adorama.com.   They have a wonderful return policy, and the items ship fast and are always packaged well.  I recommend them!





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ArtsyFartsy Mama
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Wednesday Linkup at Claire Justine
Home Matters at Life with Lorelai
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Merry Monday at Our Crafty Mom
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5 comments

  1. I've never tried the 50 1.8 but I have the 50 1.4 and it's magic! I've rented much more pricey lenses and still think it's best!
    I have a 100mm macro, my 50, a 35mm, a zoom, and a 24-70.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've heard that about the 1.4! My daughter keeps telling me that! I'd love to have a dedicated macro lens too. That's more my daughter's specialty, but she's getting me hooked on it!

      Delete
  2. Great photos! The camera tips are appreciated my friend. xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Katherine!

      Delete
  3. You take beautiful pictures. I have a Cannon and I do have one fixed lens. But I have so much to learn before I take the next step.

    ReplyDelete

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