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How to choose which camera lens to buy?

Whether you are an amateur or a professional photographer, you have certainly faced the question of how to choose which camera lens to buy ? When choosing your photo lens you need to consider four important things: focal length, maximal opening of the diaphragm, and stabilizationand the speed of focusing


How to choose which camera lens to buy according to the focal length 


Here are two categories of focal length: 

  • variable focal lengths through which you can zoom in and out
  • fixed focal lengths with which it is not possible to zoom in and out.

Focal length is the distance between the optical center of the lens and the focal spot of the image. It is always expressed in millimeters.


To know the focal length look at the figures marked in millimeters on

Tutorial How to choose which camera lens to buy ?

the lens you want to buy. So find out if the focal length is fixed or variable. On a variable focal length you will have to look at the first and last digits, for example 24-105mm. 


You can opt for a fixed lens that offers better quality and is lighter. It will not let you zoom in or out, but will allow you to take beautiful portraits. 




How to choose which camera lens to buy according to the opening 


As with focal lengths, the opening can be variable or fixed. The opening is the maximal brightness of the lens when the diaphragm is fully open. 


The opening figures are also marked on the lens or at the ring. Generally on entry-level lenses the opening figure is written in two digits, e.g. 1:3.5-5.6. This means that the lens has a maximal opening of 3.5 when the zoom is in and a maximal opening of 5.6 when the zoom is out. 


The lower the number, the brighter the lens. A light lens serves two purposes: in a first time it allows much more light to enter the lens, which is a big advantage for photography indoors, then in a second time it makes background blurring easier. The lower the number, the more easily you will get a background blur


High-end variable focal length lenses offer constant opening regardless of the focal length used. It is a complex and expensive technology, but it gives the photographer a great deal of flexibility. If you have sufficient financial means, it is preferable to acquire this type of lens. 



Choose your lens based on the image stabilizer 


Which camera lens to buy: The stabilizer of a lens allows to stabilize micromovements during capturing. With this indication you can determine which lens to choose to gain stability, especially if you don’t have a tripod.  


You can tell if a stabilizer is present on your lens through the abbreviation VR (Vibration Reduction) on Nikon, IS (Image Stabilizer) on Canon, VC (Vibration Compensation) on Tamron, and OS (Optical Stabilizer) on Sigma lenses.



Choose your lens based on focus “which camera lens to buy


The lens is equipped with a minimal focal distance. Therefore It is not possible to focus below this distance.  

It is the autofocus (AF) system that allows this focus. When deciding which lens to choose, you should first acquire a lens with an ultrasonic motor autofocus. They offer fast and quiet focus. 


How to choose your lens according to the intended use 


Which lens to choose between a wide angle, a 50mm, and a telephoto lens? It depends on the use you intend to make of it. In general:  

  • The wide angle is suitable for photojournalism, photos of nature, landscape photography, concerts etc.
  • 85mm is suitable for portraits, closeups, etc.
  • A zoom telephoto lens is versatile for sports, animals, shows, etc. "which camera lens to buy"
  • A fixed telephoto lens has a higher quality than zoom, but is less flexible in use.
  • A Fish eye lens is for creativity.
  • The 50mm lens is suitable for portraits, photography in the studio, etc.
  • A standard zoom is a versatile all-purpose lens.
  • An off-center lens is for architectural photography.
  • A macro lens is suitable for photography close to the subject.

Now you know which camera lens to buy. 

Give us your opinion, and share your experience in the comments. 

And if you think that this article helped you, share it! 

Have a nice photoshoot! 


Lightroom and Photoshop Tutorials.  

February 17, 2020

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