How to Buy A Lens (or How Best to Shoot Up Marilyn Monroe’s Skirt)
This year I’ve added two new lenses to my repertoire. One I had been pining after for a long time – a super fast, super crisp 50mm lens from Canon. The other was more difficult to decide on. Did I want a macro lens? A telephoto? What about an ultra-wide angle lens? After a ton of research, I decided on an ultra-wide angle lens – a 10-24mm zoom lens from Tamaron. Ultra wide angle lenses are AWESOME for travel photography as they allow you to capture more of the story. The following is a sampling of images I made with the 10-24mm lens of the Marilyn Monroe statue in Chicago Illinois:
[Marilyn Monroe Statue – Shooting at 24mm]
[Marilyn Monroe Statue – Shooting at apx. 17mm]
[Marilyn Monroe Statue – 10 mm]
Melinda’s Checklist on How To Decide on Which Lens To Purchase:
- Invest in lenses (camera bodies come and go but lenses are forever).
- Buy the best you can afford. That said…
- Decide on a budget and stick to it.
- Buy the fastest lens possible. This will give you more low-light options and may eliminate the need for a flash.
- Consider that prime lenses (lenses with only one focal length) give you astounding clarity but zoom lenses give you variety.
- Don’t close your mind to possibilities. Consider all types of lenses and give yourself time to make a decision. I would never had considered an ultra-wide angle lens until I used a friend’s lens in Italy last year and fell in love.
- Lean towards purchasing lenses made by your camera manufacturer but read the reviews for off brands too. [I love my Tamaron lens!]
- Talk to your locally-owned photo shop people. They’ve been to all the conferences, regularly speak to the manufacturers, and read all the reviews - they will have some great advice for you.
- Talk to pro photographers and advanced amateurs who you admire. The next time you have the kids in for a sitting, be sure to talk a shop with the photographer as she too may have some great advice on which lenses she prefers.
- See if you can rent the lens you want to purchase. Lens rentals are growing more and more common place and offer you the opportunity to test-drive a lens before investing in it.
- Even if you can’t rent a lens – see if your local camera shop people will let you shoot in and around the store with it.
- Always purchase a UV filter for your lens as it is cheap protection for your investment.