© Ashley Beolens http://www.fatphotographer.net
Once you have chosen to go down the SLR/DSLR/EVIL route and chosen the camera you are going to use, comes the hard part, choosing which Camera Lens (or Lenses) you want to use.
The first thing you should decide on is what you want the lens to achieve, a landscape photographer is unlikely to require a huge telephoto lens (although you could end up with some very different and interesting work if you did), likewise a wildlife photographer is not usually going to need a super wide angled lens (but again, using one would give a different take on wildlife). Selecting the right tools for the job here will save you time and money in the long run.
Once you have a rough idea on what you wish the lens to be used for, you next have to decide which type of lens you want; there are three basic types; Standard fixed focal distant lenses (primes), Wide angle lenses or zoom lenses. There are distinct advantages and disadvantages to each. A zoom will allow much more play (and save you having to move around as much) but the quality of a prime lens will usually shine through (you will often hear it said that a prime lens is tack or pin sharp), while wide angle lenses will offer a huge field of view, and in some cases fisheye lens technology.
You are then left with the dilemma of price. Cheaper lenses will not be built to the same quality as the expensive pro lenses, often you will see differences in build quality, sharpness of the lens and even chromatic abrasion. The best advice anyone can give is to buy the best lens you can afford, you will change your camera more often than you will change a good lens, and to research the lens in question as thoroughly as possible.
An important point to remember though is that it is often assumed by people that the only lenses they can use on their camera are the brands own, but this is often not the case, there are a number of third party manufacturers, as well as adapters to allow the use of other major makers lenses on your camera (I know you can use Nikon lenses on Canon cameras this way).
Visit the lens manufacturers websites, and review sites as much as possible, but also try and get to actually use a lens before you buy, you may find it isn?t what you want after all.
Once you have your lens then you can look at the possability of adding a teleconvertor or extension tubes. Teleconvertors will increse the focal length of the lens on your camera (usually in 1.4x or 2x magnification), these can often be stacked to increase focal range even further, but when you add any extras to a lens then image quilaity can suffer. Extension tubes are usually used with a macro or close up lens, these decrease the minimum focal distance, allowing closer focusing or a slight increase of magnification at short distances, these will not alter the quality as they are blank tubes with no extra glass.
As always we aim to provide as many links as we can, but if you find some that we have missed, please let us know and we will endeavour to add them where possible.
Manufacturers - If you would like a review of your product to appear in the Fatphotographer review section then please contact us via the feedback forms.
Try the lens you want before risking a purchase!
PhotographyBLOG started life in January 2003 with the sole purpose of being a weblog about photography.
Equipment supplier that specializes in gear for checking lens alignment and focusing.
Manufacturer - Canon
US Links to canon lenses
Manufacturer - Carl Zeiss
The German Homepage of Carl Zeiss photography
Manufacturer - Cosina
Manufacturer of Lenses Cosina
Manufacturer - Leica
Leica's high-performance lenses are all made, by hand, at Leica's main factory in Solms near Wetzlar, Germany.
Manufacturer - Lensbaby
Lensbaby is Craig Strong's baby. Craig invented the Lensbaby Flexible Lens Mounting System (Patented) to bring a more organic look to his digital SLR camera. After getting enthusiastic feedback from fellow beta testers, Craig decided to make Lensbabies available to everyone. A unique company producing some interesting products!
Manufacturer - Nikon
US sight for Nikon lenses
Manufacturer - Olympus
US sight for Olympus lenses
Manufacturer - Pentax
The PENTAX DA series of high grade lenses, designed exclusively for PENTAX digital SLR cameras, features the quiet SDM focus system and tightly sealed, weather-resistant and dust-resistant construction to enhance durability for use in rainy or dusty conditions.
Manufacturer - Sigma
Sigma is committed to the creation of the highest quality optics creating the most powerful, afford-able and technically advanced camera lenses. No matter what camera system you own, Sigma lenses will increase control and creativity and deliver the most outstanding photographs possible. The lens is the most important part of your camera; make it a Sigma lens.
Manufacturer - Tamron
Di II Lenses exclusive for APS-C size Digital SLRs
Manufacturer - Tokina
AT-X comes from our original concept of ?Advanced Technology-Extra.? This vision encompasses a special group of lenses that are manufactured without compromise, using the most advanced design and fabrication technologies available.
Understanding Camera Lenses
Understanding camera lenses can help add more creative control to digital photography. Choosing the right lens for the task can become a complex trade-off between cost, size, weight, lens speed and image quality. This tutorial aims to improve understanding by providing an introductory overview of concepts relating to image quality, focal length, perspective, prime vs. zoom lenses and aperture or f-number.
This site was last updated on Monday, 15th February 2016.
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