The Best Camera Lenses for Beginner Photographer Guide

black nikon dslr camera on brown wooden table

Pictures move the world. They add colour, beauty and lifelong memories to our lives. 

That’s why an increasing number of new people enter the world of photography every year in search of new and engaging experiences.

If you’re part of these new folks, then grabbing the right camera lens for all your photography is a great start. 

The lens is the most important part of the camera and the right one makes the entire learning process for a beginner fulfilling. 

So,if you’re wondering what types  in the  market are beginner friendly, this article shines light on them.

This list also takes into consideration a wide range of prices. This way, your needs are met no matter your budget.

Armed with this information, picking the right camera lenses for your journey will become an easier task.

Factors that affect your lens choice

Before we settle into the different types of lenses available to you, we’ll take a quick turn and check out two factors that influence them.

Why is this important? Well, depending on your needs, you’ll be able to know which lens works for you. These factors serve as photography requirements to look out for in choosing your favourite lens.

1) Focal Length

The focal length of a lens refers to the distance between the center of the lens itself to the sensor when the subject is in focus.

It’s an optical property that determines a couple of things like: how zoomed in your photos are and the wideness of your shots. It is measured in millimeters. (Mm)

The lower the number, the  wider your  shot will be. While the higher the number, the longer the zoom i.e the more zoomed in your photos will appear. 

For example, if you want a subject’s entire body to fit into a frame then you can’t go wrong with a lower focal length of  20mm, 24mm. By doing this, you’ll be able to capture a wider angle.

However, if you’re looking to close in on your subject to a desired distance then go for a focal length of 50mm. Just remember to pick an aperture of f2.8 so enough light gets through.

Not sure what aperture is? No worries, we tackle it next.

2) Aperture

The aperture is an essential component of any camera. It determines how much light gets into the camera by using the f/stop number scale. It’s represented on your camera by the letter f and a corresponding number.

A small aperture number of f/1.4 translates to a wider aperture, which allows more light into the camera.

By controlling how much light gets into your camera, it affects the brightness and background of your photos. 

Also if you’re in a low light environment like right before dawn or in a room, then a small aperture number like we mentioned would be the right choice.

Different types of lenses available

Now, it’s time to take a mini tour and check out a compiled list of lenses that add flair to your photography. 

With price in mind too, this will be a detailed guide into some of the quality lenses available. 

They’re sorted into 3 categories based on the factors described above. This will make it easier to pick the one best tailored for your needs.

Prime Lenses 

These are first choice lenses for beginners. And we highly suggest you start with a prime lens.

They offer a great experience whenever you bump into low light situations. As a lightweight lens, they’re smaller than average lenses, making them very portable.

Due to their simple design and straight to the point performance, they come in as the most affordable lenses for photographers.

Also, the focal length is fixed and can’t be adjusted. Making them perfectly optimised for specific tasks. If you want to adjust the length, you’ll need to physically remove the camera and find a different lens.

The focal length for prime lenses is usually 50mm. And they often come with small aperture numbers like f/1.8, allowing more light to pass through into the camera.

Here are a few prime lenses to get the ball rolling:

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8

Designed for low light situations, this compact lens is one of the best choices for beginner photographers. 

At under 6 oz, it makes for a very portable device on the go. 

Plus with a  focal length and aperture of 50mm and f/1.8 respectively, it is well positioned for portraits, action shots and night photography. 

Due to simple functions, it’s one of the cheapest lenses available. 

So, if you’re a fan of Canon branded products and on a tight budget, you can pick up the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 for as low as $100.

Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 50mm

Nikon 50mm f/1.8D

Another prime lens with fast performance. This lens is packed with an array of features while still keeping costs low.

It’s also optimised for low light shooting conditions and makes for a portable lens with weight coming in at 5.5 oz.

NOTE: Nikon cameras usually come in D and G types. The G type is usually more expensive and is compatible with all cameras unlike D.

This however, is a D Nikon which means it’s quite affordable and with a price tag of about $100.

Sony DT 50mm f/1.8 SAM Lens

Sony 50mm f/1.8DT

This lens provides what you’d call a really fast and smooth autofocus. Its Smooth Autofocus Motor (SAM) technology is prized as the most elegant feature it possesses. 

It delivers crisp and sharp images. It also comes with a seven – blade circular diagram which is geared towards rendering a smooth bokeh 

Wide – Angle Lenses

As the category name implies, these lenses are designed to capture larger scenes like land and cityscapes.

By offering a wider field of view, any form of architecture you’re faced will be easy to handle.

What makes this ability significant is that gives room for more of a scene to fit into a frame.

Average wide lenses come in with focal lengths of 35mm while an ultra wide lens starts from 24mm.

Canon EF-S 24mm

Canon EF- S 24mm f/2.8 STM

This lens is an epitome of the strength of wide angle shooters; versatility, excellent image quality and speed.

Canon also went a step further by adding a full time manual that broadens and deepens your knowledge in photography. 

It also provides the possibility for manual focal length adjustments. 

Also, if you’re looking for a quiet performance with a smooth autofocus, then this lens will be valuable to you.

To wrap it up, you can grab this lens at $130.

Nikon 35mm

Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF – S DX

This brand of Nikon symbolizes a photographer’s quest for brilliance. 

Known for delivering photos that resemble reality, it has stamped its feet in the hearts of eager beginners

Elegant colours and unmatched sharpness are its most distinct features. This lens allows you to capture images the way they appear in your mind.

With a fast and quiet lens, it provides beautiful imagery with consistent colours.

Nothing says affordability with a dash of amazing performance like the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF – S DX. 

That’s why it should come at no surprise that you can grab one for under $200.

Zoom Lenses

These lenses have dug a well of versatility and scaled the mountain of effective photojournalism.

They provide you with options for adjusting focal lengths. Making them ideal for situations where you may be too far from the action but need to capture some highlights.

They’re great choices for capturing events where you may need to shoot to from a distance.

Tamron Auto Focus 70-300mm

Tamron 70 – 300mm f/4 – 5.6 Di LD

This lens is available in all camera brands; whether you’re a fan of Canon, Nikon or other popular brands.

It’s also a lightweight camera and offers durability that allows you to use it for years. Plus, its fast and accurate autofocus is a staple for sharp and crisp images.

With the macro switch located on the lens, you can adjust the focal length within a range of 180mm to 300mm. 

It is also designed to function with both DSLRs and film cameras.

This superpower gives you a variety of outdoor scenarios to shoot in like sports, nature and wildlife. 

Looking to grab one? You’re sure to snag it at around $140 or less.

Sony 55-200mm

Sony 55 – 200mm f/4 – 5.6 DT

This lens differs from others when you consider weight, coming in at 11 oz.

The Sony 55 – 200mm f/4 – 5.6 is another great all round lens, delivering stunning bokeh and a fast and smooth autofocus. 

Plus, if you’re going for long trips, it’s a great choice when you consider the mid range price tag of $200 and of course, a 1 year warranty from Sony.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8

Canon EF 75 – 300mm f/4 – 5.6

Finally we have another great lens from the Canon brand. 

One standout feature it possesses is the wide angle of view that can extend ùp to 32°.  Perfectly positioning it as the go – to choice for landscape photography.

With a small aperture number, it provides great performance in low light situations.

So, if you’re looking to get your hands on it, then you can bring out $200.

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