If you think that finding a good SLR camera is tough, try to find the best digital SLR lens to go with it. If you felt there were plenty of cameras to choose from, the number of available lenses is going to be overwhelming. Digital SLR lenses come in all manner of shapes and sizes, and vary massively in price.By simply changing a lens, the scope of a potential image changes, too. Understanding the difference between lenses will help you get the best shot. Some are built for the demanding needs of professionals and others are just right for the everyday snapshot photographer. Faced with all these alternatives, what’s a newcomer to the world of SLR photography to do?
Just follow the 6 steps that I outline below and you’ll find your way to the best digital SLR lens for your camera.
1. Find Your Focal Length
Before I get too far into my discussion of focal length, I’d like to provide you with a definition of the term. Focal length is measured in millimeters (mm) and it represents the distance from the optical center of a lens to the digital camera sensor when the subject of the photo is in focus. That’s the textbook definition, but it really doesn’t explain too much about why focal length is useful.
Here’s the plain-English translation:
* With a short focal length you have to be close to your subject for a close-up
* With a long focal length you can be far away and still get a close-up
* A zoom lens has a variable focal length
* A prime lens has a fixed focal length.
How do you decide which focal length lens you need? It all comes down to what you want to photograph.
2. Prime and Zoom Lenses
Step two on your path toward finding the best DSLR lens requires a decision between prime and zoom lenses. Since you’ve already made up your mind about what focal length you’d like, choosing between prime and zoom is further narrowing the field of digital SLR lens options. Each lens type has advantages. The decisions that you make about which kind to get will depend a lot on what sorts of pictures you want to take with the lens: clearly, a gigantic heavy zoom lens is not going to be your best option if you’d like to travel with your camera.
3. The Importance of Maximum Aperture
The maximum aperture of the lens you choose can have a significant impact on the types of photos you can take with your digital SLR camera. However, you have to make sure that you don’t get carried away and get a lens with a wider maximum aperture than you need.
Because the wider the lens gets, the more it costs — and I’m not talking about pocket change here. Since maximum aperture is directly related to aperture, let’s talk about that one first.
4.First vs Third Party Lenses
When it comes to first vs third party lenses for digital SLR cameras, there’s usually a tradeoff: price vs. quality. Many of the third party lenses are not as expensive as those made by camera manufacturers and when it comes to lenses you do get what you pay for. However, many of the third party lens companies have recently produced exceptional lenses that aren’t matched by any similar first party companies.
This makes them a tempting alternative for those who don’t want to spend a week’s salary on a camera lens.
5.Digital SLR Lens Features
Before you make a final decision about a lens, it helps to be familiar with all of the extra digital SLR lens features. Think of it like this: when you buy a new car, you can just get something that will let you drive from point A to point B. That’s the basic approach…but you can also deck out your new ride with a sunroof, power windows, heated seats, alloy rims and a grab-bag of other enhancements. While these extra features aren’t really essential, they certainly add to your enjoyment every time you get behind the wheel.
These “extra” digital SLR lens features aren’t all that different.
6.Digital SLR Lens Reviews
You’ve done your homework, and now you’re ready to pick a digital SLR lens. If you’re just landing on this page for the first time, I encourage you to start at the beginning of my 6-step process that helps you find the best digital SLR lens. If you’ve been following along through all 6 steps, by now you should have a fully developed digital SLR lens wishlist. We’re going to leverage the information in your wishlist to pick a digital SLR lens that is ideal for your photography style. We just have to find the one lens that is the closest match to your dream lens.