Monday, August 2, 2010

Beginner Lenses for Photography

Ready to branch out from your kit lens?  Here's a little look into beginner lenses and man oh man, the choices you have!

If you're standing at Best Buy staring into that little display case, the options are pretty limited. But start digging online at or BH Photo Video and suddenly the options become overwhelming. When it comes to photography, the better the glass (aka the lens) the better the picture.  But not everyone has a ton of money to spend on super expensive glass. Not to mention, not everyone needs super expensive glass. 90% of the lenses I use are L glass lenses (top of the line) but there are several more affordable options for beginners.

Here are my recommended lenses for beginner and hobbyist photographers. Note: these are all Canon compatible lenses. If you shoot Nikon or another camera body you'll need to do a google search for Sigma lenses for your camera, etc.

1.  The Sigma 24-70mm 2.8 opens wide to 2.8 for low light situations.  Meaning, you'll be able to capture lots of ambient light with this lens.  The zoom is great for practicing portraits as well as capturing mountain vistas, a super excited labrador and just everyday life.  It's a great all purpose lens for aspiring pros, beginners and hobbyists.

2.  The Sigma 10-22mm 4-5.6 is a great ultra wide lens that captures fun landscape, scenery and wildlife photos.  The only downside is this lens is only compatible with crop-sensor camera bodies. Which means:  it is made to work with crop-sensor cameras like the EOS Rebel but not a full-frame camera like EOS 5D Mark II.

3.  The Canon 50mm 1.8 is a great starter lens for beginners or aspiring pros on a super budget.  This prime lens (meaning, it does not zoom) is great for learning low light photography, night photography and portraits.

4.  The Sigma 50mm 2.8 macro lens... we love it so much.  This is THE lens we use for our ring shots at weddings.  It's perfect for capturing ring shots, flowers and other itty bitty things up close.  Best of all, it won't break the bank.