If you are thinking about buying a DSLR camera or maybe you just bought one to take better photos of your family, kids, or you just got bitten by the photography bug then this is a great post for you to read. For those who don't know what DSLR means that stands for Digital Single Lens Reflex. They look like this...you know the ones that have all the dials, buttons, and you can switch the lenses.
They can range in price anywhere from $600 to over $5000 for the camera bodies. If you are just starting out I would go closer to the $600 end of the range. But this post isn't about what kind of camera to buy. I am going to tell you the one and only lens you will ever need in your bag in case you DO buy a camera. When you buy a camera, the salesman will usually try to "package deal" you. They will include a kit lens that in my opinion are the cheapest lenses the camera maker puts out. When you go in to buy the camera body you will want to ask for a...are you ready...a 50mm lens. That's it. That is the only lens you will need...for a while. I bet you are wondering, "What is his reasoning behind this claim?" Let me lay it down for you.
1. They are super inexpensive so you aren't going to break the bank with some super expensive pro caliber lens. They run about $120...the cheapest BEST lens you can buy.
2. Most pros have this very lens in their bag. So that should tell you something.
3. It is a super fast lens. A fast lens means that you have the ability to shoot in low light situations. It does not mean that it will make you run faster. With a maximum aperture of 1.8 - this means it can let a lot of light in to have higher shutter speeds in darker situations, and higher shutter speeds equals less blurry photos.
4. The 50mm f1.8 lens has fantastic bokeh. This may be a new vocab word for you. Bokeh is the portion of the photo that goes out of focus while leaving your subject sharp and in focus. I have also heard it been referred to as "that fuzzy part of the photo." Whatever you want to call it, this lens will make your portraits look more interesting and professional.
5. It is small and light so you aren't clunking around with some big lens on your shoulder (saves in chiropractor bills).
6. This lens is the absolute best lens to train your eye with (in my humble opinion). If you are just starting out then grab this lens and use it...use it all the time and you learn composition and lighting faster.
I know what you are thinking. But I want a zoom lens so I can take wide photos and close-ups with one lens. That is exactly what the 50mm is...you just have use your manual zoom feature (your feet) to zoom in and out. You are just going to have to trust me. I have been a professional photographer for 11 years and it is by far my favorite lens of all time. Here is what they look like so you know what to look for. I included both the Nikon (my brand) and the Canon as not to play favorites. I hope that you found this helpful. We love to talk photography and anything creative for that matter here at Canvas Press. Give us a shout if you ever have questions about photography. Especially if you want to turn one of your stellar photos you just took with your 50mm into a canvas print.