DSLR Lenses For Beginners

DSLR Lenses For Beginners

The question of many photography beginners is which lens should I buy as my next one. In this post, I will show you which lenses are good DSLR lenses for beginners. I will explain why they are better for you than others and for what type of photography they work best.

 

Alright with that being said let’s get started!

 

EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens

  • Rating 09/10
  • Price: New $125 used $50
  • Max aperture: f/1.8
  • The best place to buy: Amazon

Also called the nifty fifty. This was my first lens after the kit lens and I love it. You might think 50mm? I have that on my 18-55mm kit lens. Nope, you don’t. The quality and depth of field are not comparable. There are some really good reasons why everybody loves it.

DSLR Lenses For Beginners

 

 

  1. It is Absolutely Awesome For Low Light Situations

Why because it has an aperture of f/1.8. Think about it that way your kit lens has f/5.6 as the widest aperture. The 50mm gives  8 times (2x2x2) more light to the sensor than your kit lens. Which results in either a faster shutter speed or a lower ISO to avoid Iso noise.

low light

 

  1. It is Light and Small

It weighs 170g and is almost the smallest lens on the list. Which means you can always put it in your bag it won’t make it burst. 🙂

 

  1. It has an Absolutely Stunning Bokeh

Thanks to the f/1.8 it produces an absolutely stunning bokeh. (bokeh is how the lens renders the out of focus area) it is used to isolate a subject from the background or just to create a certain look.Most lenses that make a bokeh like that cost a fortune.

 

  1. Low price great value

The 50mm lens costs between $50 and $125 depending new or used. I bought a used one back in the day and I still use it.

 

  1. It is Super Sharp

Most of you guys already know that prime lenses are sharper than zoom lenses, due to there being fewer parts in the lens. Also, the wide aperture enables you to use a faster shutter speed which also improves your image sharpness by eliminating camera shake.

DSLR Lenses For Beginners

  1. It will Make you a Better Photographer

Many people say zoom lenses are better because when your subject is too far away you just zoom in and Eh voilà cropped perfectly 🙂 Ok maybe there is some truth in that, but especially when you just started with photography, I would advise you to get a prime lens. Because when you move your feed to get the subject cropped right you also change the rest of the picture and you start to play with perspectives.

What is the Lens Good for?

  1. Street Photography

The 50mm lens is great for street photography. It’s not too wide and not too long It’s small and light which is pretty important for that because big lenses scare strange people. Sounds weird but it’s the truth. 🙂

2. Portraits

When you put the 50mm lens on a cropped sensor (cropped by 1.6) also known as an APS-C sensor (all rebels and most other beginner DSLRs have them) your focal length becomes 50mmx1.6=80mm which almost is the most liked portrait lens. Just not for $350 🙂

Summary:

The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens is surprisingly good for a prime lens in that price category. In my opinion, it really is a must-have for every beginner. Plus even if you grow out of it (like I never did 🙂 ) you can still sell it for almost the same price that you bought it for.


 

EF-S 10-18mm IS STM

  • Rating 08/10
  • Price: New $279.00 (used $222.96)
  • Max aperture:  f/4.5-5.6
  • The best place to buy: Amazon

 

Ok so after I bragged about the nifty fifty (which is super awesome) 😛 We now come to my second most favorite lens for beginners. The 10-18mm lens is absolutely great and I will tell you why:

 

 

  1. Caseys Neistat uses it.

And that is all I have to explain about that lens. ;P

DSLR Lenses For Beginners

  1. Its light and small

Many people think that a zoom lens is always heavy. And that might be the case for many of them but not for this one. Its weight is 240g which even the weakest photographer can handle 😉

  1. Quality

The lens is made out of plastic as well as the mount. I know that seems really cheap and there are no words around it, it is pretty cheap, but when you consider that the lens only weights 240g I don’t think it will create enough force to actually break anything. Plus I know it might sound dumb but boy that plastic on the lens is some good high-quality plastic. 🙂 for real though it is robust.

  1.  Quick Focusing Without Sound

Of course, the lens is equipped with the STM focusing system, which makes it even better for filming. In case you don’t know STM focusing, it is a very quiet focusing system that allows you to focus while filming without making any sound in your video.

  1. Image Stabilisation

The lens has the IS button. That means that your lens will do its best to compensate your camera shake and makes slow shutter speeds possible. Whích is great because the aperture of f/4.5-5.6 often requires slow shutter speeds.

What isn’t that great

  1. I really tried to find at least a few things that I don’t like, but all the possible shortcomings are very small and considered the price it is very hard for me to complain. 😉
  2. It sometimes misses the focus.
  3. It doesn’t perform very well in low light situations since the smallest aperture is f/4.5.

What is it for:

  1. Perfect for filming

As Casey said above you are able to fit a lot into a shot. Another very handy feature of the lens is that the wider your shot gets the less you will realize camera shake plus the lens even has an image stabilizer. Which is pretty awesome, if you don’t have a steadycam or gimbal.

  1. It’s great for inside pictures.

If you are into food photography, real estate photography or anything else inside, this lens is awesome for you. Due to the wide field of view, you can take great pictures in close spaces.

  1. It’s great for landscape shots and architecture.

Almost all architecture and landscape photographers use wide angle lenses. Because you can 1. Fit more into the frame but also because you can really start to play around with leading lines when you use a wide-angle lens.

 

Summary:

The EF-S 10-18mm IS STM is not the best wide angle lens I have ever seen, but it certainly one of the best DSLR lenses for beginners. It is affordable and does what it is supposed to do very good for the price it costs.

 

The ultra-wide, ultra-light, ultra-small, ultra-affordable Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens really is a no-brainer choice for every beginner.


 

18-55mm

I assume you have this lens already that is why I will only mention it very quickly.

Lot’s of people say it is totally useless but they are wrong. 🙂 it absolutely isn’t the best lens but it is perfect for a beginner.

 

What is it good for:

To be used as a wide angle lens

With 18mm the lens is pretty wide and can be used as a landscape lens.

 

Or as a portrait lens.

With its 55mm which actually is an effective focal length of 88mm, the lens will shoot you some nice portraits.


 

EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM II

  • Rating 08/10
  • Price: New $149.00  (used $143.00)
  • Max aperture:  f/4.5-5.6
  • The best place to buy: Amazon

Last but not least the 55-250mm lens is a very popular lens for the fact that you can use it perfectly for traveling since it goes from 55mm (portrait focal length) up to 250mm which is quite a respectable zoom. But what I really like about this lens is that it is a cheap lens but it doesn’t really behave like a cheap lens. I will show you what I mean:

  1. It actually is sharp and crisp.

Amazing I know, but if you compare it to the first version of it or the 75-300mm lens it is a totally different world.

  1. It has STM focusing

STM focusing is a quiet focusing system for filming. So you won’t hear the camera focusing on the video later. But also This system is very accurate and quick and will give you a sharp picture in no time.

  1. It has an Image Stabilizer.

Which is awesome if you think about its 250mm zoom

4.It is light and compact

If you consider the zoom range the lens is still pretty light (390g) and pretty small.

Compared to an L Lens it really is a small little lens.

 

  1. Build Quality

The lens Is made like all kit lenses from plastic, but as I said above really nice plastic. 😛 I even think it makes sense to make it out of plastic to make it as light and as affordable as possible. Even though they could have made at least the mount out of metal…

 

Where to Use:

 

  1. Sport and Wildlife

The 55-250mm lens actually has an effective focal length of 84-400mm when you use it on an APS-C sensor which is cropped by 1.6. Which makes it perfect for some wildlife pictures of birds rabbits or your neighbor (just kidding) the only downside is that wildlife or sports photography require a low aperture to archive fast shutter speeds. The EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II is a bit slow at that point, but at least you have the Image stabilization to compensate that.

  1. Portraits

You can even take portraits with it since it goes from 55mm up to 250mm and so covers all good portrait focal lengths 85mm and 135mm. I got to admit that it wouldn’t be my first choice because of the small aperture, but I always say a picture is better than no picture.

  1. Traveling and street photography

When you travel you usually take pictures of your family and friends but also of the locations and people you go to Right?

I remember how I was when I started taking pictures on the street. Everybody told me to get up close to the people with my camera to take a “really good picture”. And there absolutely is some truth to that, but at the same time, I really hated bothering people with putting my camera up in their face. So what I want to say is, with this lens you can stand far away and take close up pictures without bothering anyone. Which is really cool to get started with street photography.

Summary:

The EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM II isn’t the best zoom lens I have ever seen in my life but compared to all the others in that price category it is the best. Plus it really gives you everything to get started.


Conclusion:

All these lenses are not the best lenses I have ever seen, but they are also not meant to be the best lens they are more than enough to get you started and to figure out what you like.

I would really recommend you to try one of these lenses first before you buy an expensive high-end one.


Ok, that’s already it with my DSLR lenses for beginners post. I hope you enjoyed reading it and that you found your next lens to buy. If you have any questions or opinions about the post please let me know in the comments and I will get to you in no time. 🙂

 

Cheers Aaron.

10 thoughts on “DSLR Lenses For Beginners

  1. Stella

    Hey, Aaron;

    A few years back, I started to get into photography because I enjoy it and find it relaxing. I already own a DSLR camera.

    Then, as it does, life got busy and I let the practice fall away. But lately, I’ve found my interest is renewed.

    I really like what you say here about the EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens. That looks like an affordable and fun lens to use for trying things out.

    The difference between the kit lens and the 50mm is amazing. And I love how it can do nice bokeh. I’m definitely going to check it out.

    Thanks for all of the great information and example pics.

    Stella 🙂

    1. Aaron

      Hey Stella, glad to hear that you found your love for photography again. 🙂  the ef 50mm f/1.8 lens was my first one after the kit lens and I really had a lot of fun with it as well as it made me a better photographer. And thank you for the great feedback. 🙂

  2. TJSchlenker

    I look forward one day to getting a DSLR so I can use these different lens types. I’ve been a film actor for decades and I’ve always wanted to get on the OTHER side of the camera and direct, but I know I can’t really do that without a firm grasp of lenses and what they each ‘bring to the party’.

    I currently film with a Canon Vixia video camera, and it allows me to use a couple different lenses, but not many.

    If I’m wanting to shoot primarily video to make short films, which camera do you think is the best value out right now?

    Thanks.

    1. Aaron

      Hey TjSchlenker, that sounds pretty interesting to me. As an actor you will have a lot of advantages behind the camera in opposite to somebody who just got started. Having different lenses really does a lot on video, so my recommandation would be either the M50 or the 77D both can change lenses and both can handle an external mic.

      M50: https://whatcameraguide.com/ca

      77D: https://whatcameraguide.com/be

  3. JD

    I love the 50mm lens. I actually bought one for my nikon and noticed a major difference, especially in my portrait shots. The focus on the subject is crystal clear and very defined. This was a big difference from my kit lens that i had earlier. Plus, as lenses go, its pretty reasonably priced so it makes it a good ‘first’ lens for a beginner photographer. Thanks for the great info!

    1. Aaron

      Hey JD, I 100% agree with you on the 50mm it really is a small investment but, it’s really worth it 🙂 and thanks for the great feedback.

  4. Darren

    To really get right into photography with a DSLR camera, your could literally spend tens of thousands of dollars on all types of lenses with varying focal lengths. At the moment I only have 2 lenses in my Canon kit, so I’m on the hunt for some more that don’t cost an arm and a leg.

    I would really like a fast prime lens, and the very first one on your list looks like a real bargain. How come it’s so cheap at just $125? Usually a lens with a f stop of 1.8 would be super expensive. I’m amazed by this price.

    1. Aaron

      Hey Darren, yep paying with arms and legs really sucks. ;P The 50mm is the cheapest version of the 50mm lenses available, but the price also comes from the fact that 50mm is the simplest lens that can be build. Don’t ask me more 🙂 that is something a photo technician told me once and he went on further, but he lost me there. 🙂 

  5. George

    Love your website, very informative for beginners in photography. Great selection of lens and their uses. Product links help make selection easier since descriptions and pricing is available. Nice product photos as well. As a beginner I am able to navigate through the different lens available. Just wondering where I could get hands-on training if needed.

    1. Aaron

      Hey George, I’m glad that you like my website. 🙂 The best hands on training is you taking your camera and shoot with it. There really is no reason to buy an expensive photography course you can find everything you need to know on youtube or blogs like mine. Just practice everything you learn and you will be good. 🙂 

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