Which lens should I Buy? Part Two

So in my previous post I talked mostly about the difference between prime and zoom lens.

Once you have an idea which will be the best fit you can start to narrow down even further by deciding what focal length is be the best for you. You want to do this through a combination of looking at what you already have and seeing if there is something you want to start doing but don’t have the gear for. For instance if you have one lens that 24-70mm but you want to do more portraits you should look at least 85mm or up.


For truly impressive landscapes you typically want a wide angle, so starting at around 14 or 20mm up to about 35mm. This is not my area of expertise, Texan is great landscapes. I get kinda bored while shooting them.

Workhorses or All Around

Focal ranges of about 35 to 50mm are really popular with a lot photographers right now but they are not my favorite. I view them similar to how I view spinach. Don’t love it but I need it to fill in the gaps. I used a 50mm when I travel and during getting ready portions of the wedding day. It’s wide and versatile enough for almost anything that may come up.


Portraits are my favorite part of a session or wedding and I put the most thought into the lens that are used for them. To avoid distortion on peoples faces you want to look at 85mm up to about 200mm. Any farther and communication with your subjects will become more difficult, also long focal lengths lenses are expensive and if you’re looking at one you hopefully already know what you’re doing.

These are just basics, there is still macro lenses, those incredibly long focal length lens that you see at sporting event and then what I just call “fun lenses” like Lensbaby but I wouldn’t worry about expanding into these until you have some solid options in those first three categories.


For travel and outings I usually take my 50mm, like with this image from last Saturday kayaking. It’s small and I versatile enough so I don’t have to change my lens a lot (or ever because I usually don’t even bring others.)



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