Your choice of lens is crucial when taking photos. There are 3 lenses you should always have with you wherever you go.
These lenses will allow you to take 95% of shots, no matter what your style of photography is.
The 3 lenses are a normal zoom lens, telephoto lens, and a prime lens. I will explain what each of these lenses are used for and when to use one over another.
To show the difference between each of these lenses, I will show a photo of a cactus as a subject.
So let's jump right into it!
Normal Zoom Lens
A normal zoom lens usually has a focal range around 35mm to 80mm. It allows you to take majority of photos with its extensive zoom range.
The one I use is part of a kit lens and has a range from 18mm to 55mm.
The only downside to this lens is that it has a pretty high minimum aperture. The one I have advertises f/3.5-5.6. However, you will only get the f/3.5 if you have a more expensive camera body. For me, I get f/5.6 most of the time and f/5.0 fully zoomed out.
This lens is perfect for shooting everyday items and landscape shots. This is a great all-rounder and can be used for almost everything.
Here are photos with the lens. You can tell that there is a good amount of aperture, but you can still see the fine lines between the ground. The quality of the front cactus is sharp and the background cacti are blurred lightly.
Telephoto lenses are technically anything that zooms past 50mm, but usually people refer to it as lenses that can zoom more than 100mm.
You generally use this lens to shoot subjects that are farther away. The photo is generally compressed and allows you to fit more of the background with the faraway subject.
It can however, be used to take portraits and landscape if you want to fit a bunch of landscape in one shot. This can be achieved by stepping farther away from the subject and shooting.
This is what I did for this shot. You can see that the shot is compressed, with farther away items appearing closer and more compressed. It also appears to have a slight vignette naturally (I don't know if it is related to the lens or not).
A prime lens is a type of lens that has only one focal length, meaning you cannot zoom in and out. However, it has a much lower aperture than zoom lenses, and is much cheaper than Sigma lenses (only $200!).
It is perfect for portraits and product photography with a specific subject you want to focus on, creating a silky smooth bokeh in the background.
This lens takes a while to focus, and it may not be accurate 100% of the time, so make sure to take multiple photos every time you use this lens.
Here is the same photo with the prime lens. You can see how smooth the background is, with the low aperture.
So this is my recommendation for my top 3 lenses that you should always keep with you. There is usually no right answer, only a recommendation of what looks better than the other.
But since now you know the difference between the lenses, it is easier to choose which lens is right for your situation.
Thank you for reading, if you want to learn more tips on camera gear and photography, see my posts below.