Camera Lenses

My current camera is the Nikon D5300. (Not that I am biased towards Nikon. It was the first brand of camera I used and I’ve grown accustomed to it.) I would like to know if you have a preference?

I have 3 lenses at the moment. The lens I’ve used the most is the standard 18-55mm kit lens. It has served me very well and still continues to do so. Especially because it’s so versatile. You can take anything from landscape, macro, portrait, animals, cars, near and far.

I also have a Sigma 70-300mm. It’s great for wildlife photography. I’ve used a few times in Namibia. Other than that, it rarely sees any action.

Like many others, I’m a huge fan of a shallow depth of field. (That’s the strong blur in photos). Two years ago I bought a Nikkor 35mm f/1.8. It was one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. It drastically changed how I take photos. I can now take pictures with a much shallower depth of field which means I can emphasise where I want you to focus when you look at the picture.

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Because it’s a prime lens, (which means it can’t zoom in. If you want to zoom in you have to use your feet), it challenges you to think differently.

A question that eventually comes up for new photographers is – a new camera or a new lens?

For me, a new lens. Having an excellent camera with a terrible lens is absolutely pointless, but having an okay camera with a good lens can change everything.

It’s better to have a $1000 lens on a $100 camera, than a $100 lens on a $1000 camera.

Why?

Because it’s pointless to have a good camera/sensor shooting through a low-quality lens. The good camera becomes redundant. On the other hand, having an okay camera shooting through a high-quality lens can drastically improve your photos.

Don’t buy expensive gear thinking it will automatically improve everything. Make sure there’s a reason why you buy your gear. The reason not being, “because I want to take better pictures or videos”.

Maybe you want to take pictures of wildlife, then buying a telephoto lens is a good choice. What if you want to up your portrait game? Buying a 35mm(if you have a crop sensor) or a 50mm(if you have a full-frame) can be a good buy.

But never allow the reason to be, “I want to improve my photos, this means I need to buy the most expensive gear I can find.”

Every piece of your gear is a tool, and it’s how you use it that makes all the difference.

37 thoughts on “Camera Lenses

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  1. I agree with your post gear does not make you a better photographer. I started photography a few years ago with a D3200 after health issues forced me to retire. Like you suggest I first invested in glass and slowly into new bodiesI because of added flexibility. I would probably still be using my D7200 if I had not gotten a great deal on a D700. Now I have a Z6 and a 1.8 50 and 85 with a 24-70 f4 and 4 f mount lens as well.

    I had to get rid of my Motorcycle so it funded some camera gear… I love landscape and portrait photography mostly but I will shoot anything if it suits me. I am just an amateur so the pace is my own. .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m very interested to experience a full-frame camera. You have great gear! It’s good that you shoot anything that interests you. It’s good to ‘specialise’ in something, but to also be interested in shooting other things. For example, if you’re used to shooting only nature, go and take pictures of cares. Or if you only take portraits, go and take pictures of flowers or household object.
      In my experience, that’s how you develop having the ‘eye’ for things.

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    1. How long have you been taking photos?

      I also started out with the Nikon D3100. It served me very well. I took thousands of pictures with it and learned so much. It is a wonderful camera. Don’t ever think it’s not good enough. Besides taking pictures of nature, I’ve also done a few commercial shoots with it. Including taking pictures for Mercedes-Benz and made a film with Adidas and Redbull. I say again. Don’t ever underestimate your camera, it can blow your mind. Your only limit is your own creativity.

      What do you like to take pictures of?

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      1. I’ve been using it since my 21st birthday, so 7 years now. I’m very pleased with it. I have an awesome camera on my phone, but they can’t compete, lense camera photos will always be better. I like macro photography, bees, nature. I rarely take photos of the cities and people.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I agree. Although it all depends on what you photograph and how you use it. I took this and this with my iPhone 6 a few years ago.
        This I took with my standard 18-55 kit lens.
        I have a Sigma 70-300mm which is great for macro photography but I rarely use it.
        Once again, it’s just all up to you and how you use the gear you already have.

        Like

      3. That’s an incredible lens for macros! If you want more detail and a higher resolution image, then I’d recommend upgrading your camera, if you want to 🙂 Seeing as you already have a high-quality lens.

        Liked by 1 person

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