That’s a question I get asked all the time from my photography students. I normally answer that question with a question, “What type of photography are you most interested in, is it portraits, landscapes, macro, wildlife, weddings or something else?”

This is the place I recommend you go to, to purchase your lenses, a good supplier


What do you photograph the most?

Here are a few guidelines for lens selection:

Landscapes: Super wide angle 16mm to wide angle 35mm

Portraits: Standard 50mm to telephone 200mm

Weddings: zoom lenses from wide angle 35mm to telephoto 200mm

Sports & wildlife: Telephoto 135mm-300mm to Super telephoto 400mm and up, with a very large aperture (f2.8 to f4)

Macro: Special macro lenses with high magnification

Another question I get a lot is…

How much should I spend on a lens, and why are some lenses so expensive?

To answer this question, here is a cut from my essential skills video on lenses.

Now you know why some lenses are much more expensive than others. Here are a few more factors that determine why some lenses are more expensive than others:

The aperture number = the light gathering capabilities. This determines the size (diameter) of the glass. A f1.2 lens is a lot bigger, heavier and more expensive than a f5.6 lens.

The contrast it achieves (quality of the glass)

The lens material (plastic, glass or aluminium)

The construction and engineering that goes into the lens, this is another factor that will determine the cost of the lens


Basically, you get what you pay for. I have lenses that have lasted me 10 years and are still going strong. Check out my lens & optics video for more in-depth information and why zoom lenses are sometimes not as good as fixed focal length lenses. If you find this post informative, please leave a comment below. Have a great day, Brent

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