This episode is dedicated to “frequently asked questions”, or rather my intent is to give a simple answer to the main doubts that people who approach photography have. Here we talk about “how to choose the lens” photographic.
It may seem a matter of course, but it’s not and in fact I do not want, with this episode, to tell you a series of tips “for the landscape take this”, “for portraits this” etc. …
If you want this kind of advice just do a quick search on google and you will find dozens of blogs with their posts (including mine) where I go to give certain tips of this type.
The message I want to try to convey with this episode is rather another: to make you understand “why” a certain desire of yours is technically impossible to satisfy, with the hope that this awareness leads you later to identify in a better way what is the most suitable goal for you (or your main needs).
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Choose objective photographic
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Often, closely related to the question of the council, follows the consideration that does more or less so:
“I look for a lens to do a bit of everything, from landscapes to portraits and even, if possible, take some photos at sporting events. Yes… I have a limited budget, I can spend a maximum of 2-300 euros”.
Okay, guys. Let’s make it clear without dragging our feet:
The goal that allows you to “do everything” does not exist. But not because there are no “all-rounder” objectives on the market.
But how much for the simple fact, but concrete, that the objective increases its quality as it becomes specialized (and vice-versa!).
If an engineer, for example, has to develop a lens to make macros, he will adopt some technical devices, and in the optical scheme, that make this lens STREPITOSE for macro photography but at the expense of the autofocus speed and other aspects that are preferable in landscape photography.
And this is true in every field of development and construction of the lens.
Everything is then linked to the “economic” aspect, which is no less in the quality of the lens.
You have to put your heart at rest and the sooner you resign yourself and the better you live the photography, however, it is less serious than you think.
Follow me in my speech: the concept is that in photography generally for more money you can access better quality photographic equipment.
Being able to get a 900-1000 euro lens means being able to have a higher quality lens of the same that costs 100 or 200 euro. It is a fact and it is useless to try to contradict it.
Of course, now someone could tell me:
“It’s not the equipment that counts but the photographer.
But here we are not talking about “doing the best you can with the means you have”, mantra that I always preach with everyone is that it should be in the head of every person.
But here we have to think about the quality of the equipment from a technical point of view, not from an artistic one.
So, to close the circle of the speech, my advice is this:
Identify your favourite photographic style
Invest, as far as possible, in one or two quality optics.
As you know, however, I don’t like to give such indications… spans in the air. I like to give practical advice, and even in this case I do not want to contradict myself:
HOW TO IDENTIFY YOUR PHOTOGRAPHIC STYLE
I’ve talked about this before and it’s all quite simple.
First of all you have to look inside. Basically you already know if you prefer to photograph landscapes or people.
If you don’t know, well… then you just have to give yourself time, take pictures and photograph with the lens they gave you with the camera: the classic 18-55.
Many people “denigrate” and “criticize” it but in reality it is the gym par excellence, especially for those who are at the beginning.
Gradually you will discover what you “like to do” and consequently you will try to improve the experience in this sense.
Once you understand that you may like the portrait (but it could also be the landscape, etc. …) you can begin to understand which is the focal point that is most appropriate for you.
If you already know that you like to “work” with a certain focal ok, it’s done! But if you still don’t know it or you’re not convinced about it, I suggest you make this game: with the 18-55 you have supplied set the lens to 18mm and lock it to that focal with a piece of insulating tape.
You’ll have to photograph for a while with this focal without the possibility of changing the potion.
It obviously depends on you and how much you photograph. If you photograph a lot then you can stop after 2 weeks. If you photograph little then you have to keep this setup for 1 or 2 months.
Once this is done set the lens to 55mm (but you can also take intermediate steps) and start the procedure again.
After this purgatory period I guarantee you two results:
You’ve taken some great pictures. It’s amazing how “the limits” bring out the creativity of a photographer.
You will have a clear idea of the (focal) situation in which you find yourself best (and like to) photograph.
At this point it’s done. You know what you need to do what.
Oh, I forgot… during this “rehearsal” period you start to put away a “monthly” fee for the purchase of a future lens.
All you have to do is go to step 2.
INVEST IN ONE OR TWO QUALITY OBJECTIVES
It makes no sense to spend 250 euros on a wide angle lens, 150 for the macro lens, 350 for the medium-telephoto lens, 250 for the intermediate lens.
Spend 1000 euros on a single objective. But quality. Can’t you just say that? Postpone the purchase later, in the meantime work with what you have provided and put away the money.
Also in this case, if you accept my advice, once you’ve done your shopping you won’t have to spend any more money.
And if you have the doubt of the camera body, well… Give a beating to the monkey that you will periodically find on you. The image quality is more given by the lens, not by the camera body. Obviously taking into account the cameras of the last 5-6 years, not those of 10 years ago.
That’s why I said at the beginning of this episode that photography is an expensive hobby. Because in fact, moving in a reasoned way, you can really have a cutting-edge equipment. Without having to spend constantly and over time.