You will end up paying more for your lenses than your cameras

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Buying Lenses

I bought a lot of lenses, definitely much more than I should have. On the off chance that you are like me, let me remind you better equipment does not make you a better photographer, something I experienced with every equipment I have bought.

Some things to keep in mind

  • For most non-professionals a kit lens will cover all needs
  • You do not need to cover every focal length. Get either a 20mm, 24mm or a 28mm wide angle, you do not need all three for example. See also prime lenses for an example how I end up using a zoom lens, most of the pictures I took with a Nikon 70-300 ended up being either 70mm or 300mm.
  • Very wide (< 24mm) and very long (> 180mm) lenses are special and they are not well suited for every situation. If you buy lenses in these ranges, you will most probably need a second lens (probably on a second camera to switch quickly). That adds a lot of weight.
  • Faster lenses (f/2.8 and less) are big, heavy and expensive. Modern digital cameras (i.e. pretty much everything manufactured after 2010) will allow you to work with slower lenses without too many issues. See more a discussion and examples on ISO.
  • There are some excellent lenses you can get used for very good prices.

Pros and Cons

Why to buy
  • Universal zooms
  • Wide Angle primes
  • Wide Angle zooms
  • Macro lenses
  • Primes 35-50
  • Long primes 85-180
  • Really long primes (200+)
  • Long zooms
  • Really long zooms (400+)
Why NOT to buy



See also




These pages are for Amateur Photographers and not really for seasoned photographers and professionals. I have no affiliation or commercial interest with any brand/make. I write from my own experience. I ended up using mainly Nikon, so I am more familiar with this brand than others. See price for notes on pricing as well as photography related links.