Deciding on which camera lens you are going to buy first is a personal preference, but a lot of factors should go into your decision. Depending on what you are shooting will determine which lenses to have in your bag. Are you a nature photographer? Sports photographer? Portrait photographer? Just a Mom photographer (which is awesome!)?
First point: there is not a one size fits all lens for anyone. What you shoot the majority of the time will help you pick a lens that will showcase your vision. Here are a few pointers:
1. Focal Length
The focal length of your lens really just determines how ‘zoomed in’ your photos are; the higher the number, the more zoomed your lens will be. For example, a 200mm lens will zoom in closer than a 50mm lens.
2. Do you want a PRIME or ZOOM Lens?
The next thing to consider would be do you want a prime lens or a zoom lens? A Prime lens, is a lens where the focal length is fixed. The best quality and sharpness will be found in a prime lens. Most people start with a 50mm fixed, prime lens (the f/1.8 costs under $150). YOU are the zoom with prime lenses! You get closer and farther away from your subject by moving your body closer to further away from the subject.
A zoom lens is a lens that the focal length can be varied. You may sacrifice some sharpness, but the versatility is amazing. Zoom lenses usually have a focal length range and can go from wide angle to telephoto in one lens (see descriptions above). Some popular zooms lenses are the 24-70mm lens, and the 70-200mm.
This is VERY important when you go to upgrade your camera lens. You can spend anywhere from $120-$1000+ for lenses. Start slow and add the items that make the most sense for you! The more you spend the better the “glass” inside, but sometimes just because the “glass” is better or more expensive doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to give you better quality (see this great article from SLR-lounge). However, you may not be shooting for billboards, or magazines, so choose the lens that is right for you and your budget. Add on more lenses as you and your business or hobby grows.
Which lenses do you have?
Which one is your GO-TO lens?
Which one are you saving for?