Mario’s Note: 95% of the times they ask me “what goal should I buy?” I answer one of the options that I describe below. If you are also looking to acquire your next goal, chances are that yours is down here.
Having an SLR camera means incredible photographic opportunities when playing with interchangeable lenses. Each objective opens up new worlds and possibilities. Of course, this raises a new question: “What goals do I want to have?”
With today’s article, I am precisely coming to answer that question. I will not let go of abstract theories, nor are we going to go into too technical aspects. I will try to answer your question as accurately as possible I know that deciding on a goal is a task, so my goal is to clarify the matter and help you be clear about that goal that is missing today in your backpack.
HOW MANY GOALS DO I HAVE TO HAVE?
Look, we started by asking the question wrong (I have made it intentionally clear;)). You don’t “have to have” a certain number of goals. Have the amount of goals you really need. We tend to believe that the more objectives we have under our belt, the better photographers we will be. That is monumental nonsense. Who needs 3 objectives that have 3, who needs 7 that has them, and who really does not need more than a single objective, because he does not have more than that. What is this mania of accumulating crazy junk? The abundance of objectives is not a sign that we are going to take better pictures. Most of the time with one or, at most with two objectives, it is usually more than enough.
If you hurry me, if you load with too many objectives the only thing that you are going to get is to get tired before, to annoy your spine, to finish exhausted, to wish that the excursion ends, and not to want to know anything about photography again. In my case I usually find myself very comfortable carrying a single lens, usually already mounted on the camera, and at most carrying another, stored in the backpack. The other one that I have kept, many times I do not take it out. I know the type of photography I like to shoot, and I know that my favorite objective is going to cover my needs most of the time. I prefer to go light and want to take photos, not to be loaded with material properties and end up overwhelmed. Summing up:As a general rule, don’t look for many goals because. Each lens that you carry in your backpack will have to justify its weight through good photographs. My personal rule is that, the fewer objectives, the better photographs.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN BUYING A SLR LENS
Before recommending you my favorite selection of objectives, first let me tell you what I normally look for in a target before signing it.
1. MY BUDGET
The following criteria are important but if I don’t have the money that costs a goal then we don’t go anywhere. Before getting into a goal purchase I always try to be clear about the money I have for that purchase. This allows me to discard those objectives that are too expensive for me.
2. THE TYPE OF PHOTOGRAPHY I LIKE
Choosing a lens is based primarily on the type of photography for which I want it. It wouldn’t make much sense to look for a macro lens if 90% of my photos are landscapes.
3. LIGHT, LOTS OF LIGHT
Lowering the amount of light in a photograph is relatively simple. Increasing it is much more complicated. In the market there are objectives that capture more light and others that capture less. I always look at those who can catch more light because that later gives me tremendous flexibility when it comes to taking photos. The issue of the amount of light that a target can absorb has to do with the diaphragm or aperture of the target. The larger the opening, as you can imagine, the more light will enter. It seems silly but the most affordable, common and common goals tend to have a relatively small opening. The good ones have wider openings and are a pass because you can take photos in moments of relatively low light and nothing happens, the photo is perfectly illuminated. That same photo with a cheap or bad lens would be much darker, you would have to eat your head to illuminate it, play with the manual settings of the camera to set a slower shutter speed, thinking that you get more light, but of course , you just got the photo moved. Or maybe you have to touch the ISO to get that illuminated photo you are looking for, but of course, with a very high ISO, in addition to capturing light, you get noise, a lot of noise.
As far as I go, a large aperture lens is the best tool you can incorporate into your photographic equipment. It will give you all the light you need and will save you more than a headache when adjusting the camera to later shoot the photo.
4. THE RATINGS OF OTHER USERS
I don’t like being the guinea pig. When a brand brings a new objective to the market I am never among the first to buy it. I prefer that other users have that first contact. Within a few months I get into Amazon or any other online store where there are opinions and ratings of buyers, and I look at the number of stars that that particular objective has. As much as a goal attracts me, I would never buy a goal with a rating of 2 stars out of 5. Ideally, it should be 4 or 4.5 out of 5. If it only has 3 stars or less, I don’t even think about it.
For the valuations to have weight there must be a significant number of users behind them. A goal with a rating of 5 out of 5 but based on a total of 3 or 4 users only, that is not very significant that we say. When you run into a goal that 50 or 100 users have valued well, that is a more “solid” note.
I give you two examples.
Here you have the 18-55mm lens, the standard, which usually comes standard with Nikon SLR cameras generally.
(* = Affiliate Link / Image Source: Amazon Affiliate Program)
and here, the 50mm f / 1.8 (a great goal, with AWESOME results). Look at the number of stars it has. Look at the number of buyers who have valued it, and finally, look at its price and compare it with the previous objective that I just showed you.
Nikon AF-S 50mm F1.8 G – Lens for Nikon (fixed focal length 50mm, aperture f / 1.8) black color – European Version * – Camera
From NIKON (Designer)
Price: (price not available at this time)
(As of: 2020/01/21 7:10 am – Details)
0 new 2 2nd hand from € 257.33
Watch now *
(* = Affiliate Link / Image Source: Amazon Affiliate Program)
MY 4 MOST RECOMMENDED SLR OBJECTIVES
I could have started the article here. I tell you the objectives that I like the most and that’s it, but I wanted to share with you my personal selection criteria so that you also understand why one objective and not another. That said, I present my selection of most recommended SLR lenses, with links to the right version for your brand of SLR camera whenever you can find them.
1) THE 50MM F / 1.4 (THE KING OF OBJECTIVES)
Here is the only objective that has practically been occupying my SLR camera mount for years. I have rarely disassembled it. It is the objective with which I shoot most of my photos. This in the end has to do with the type of photography that I like, which is portrait photography, photography of objects with a very unfocused background, details of nature. With it you get fascinating results ( here entire article dedicated to the subject ).
Photographs taken with 50mm f / 1.4
For Canon | For Nikon | For pentax
2) TOKINA’S WIDE ANGLE
Wonderful wide angle, perfect for landscape lovers. The Tokina 11-16mm f / 2.8 offers you the perfect combination of focal length, aperture, versatility, price, and build quality. It has a focal length ranging from 11 to 16mm, which allows you to capture wide viewing angles. It’s a pass because, if you put it in 11mm, you almost get your companion in the frame next to you, practically at the camera level or almost behind her. What do you think that 11mm is too little focal length? Place it at 14 or 16mm and you are already at a much closer viewing angle.
Finding wide-angle lenses was never a problem. There are all brands. The problem is to find one that allows to capture a beautiful amount of light. Do you remember that photography was mainly light? The Tokina more than responds to this need, thanks to its aperture of f / 2.8 diaphragm. Below I give you some examples of photographs taken with him and they are amazing.
To get a goal with these characteristics you have alternatives of Nikon and other brands. Tokina is a brand that produces lenses for most SLR cameras, and with more than respectable quality. Personally, I am inclined to Tokina’s wide-angle because little by little you compare it with the objective of the brand itself, it earns by far. If I want to take Nikon’s, I have 10-24mm that limits me to an opening of only f / 3.5 (less light) and for which I have to pay a lot more (850 euros for Nikon, 550 euros for Tokina).
Ah, one last thing, this wide angle of Tokina has very positive opinions on Amazon Spain but they are very few. Checking it on Amazon in the United States you see that it has hundreds of opinions with a very high score, which supports it as a great option.
Photographs taken with the Tokina 11-16mm f / 2.8
3) ZOOM, SWEET ZOOM
One of the small obsessions of the newly landed photographer in the SLR world is to achieve a lens with the highest possible zoom level. It seems to me that it is a “custom” that we drag from our stage of a compact digital camera or bridge. With the digital compact creative options are tremendously limited, you can not play with the shooting speed or the aperture, so you just zoom back and forth, have fun chasing people on the street with your zoom, zooming in more than you can to that window or to that tree branch, and you shoot the photo. The reflex world is different, it is richer in creative possibilities, the zoom theme is relegated to a smaller plane, in addition, the construction and mechanics of the lenses of the reflex cameras is different, its operation is different from that of the compact cameras,
In the market there are a lot of zoom lenses, most of them cover a good range of focal length. As always, here my preference goes towards the objectives that offer a smaller range of focal distances. To give you an example, between 18-105mm and 18-300mm, I would clearly stay with the first one, since, when covering a smaller range, its optics are much more specialized precisely in that range, unlike the 18-300mm that It has a slightly “wild card” optics, because it has to be valid for both 18mm and 300mm photos. Nothing better to describe this concept than the popular saying “the one that covers a lot, little squeezes . “
My recommended zoom is the Tamron 70-200mm f / 2.8. It has a relatively narrow focal length range, which makes it a specialist in that focal length if you are looking to photograph with distances of 70 to 200mm. It has a very prominent feature and is the opening of a generous f / 2.8 diaphragm with which you can capture immense amounts of light. The usual thing in the zoom lenses is to find apertures of f / 4.5 up (remember that the smaller the number f /, the larger the aperture and therefore more light you can capture).
Photographs taken with the Tamron 70-200mm f / 2.8
4) MACRO OBJECTIVE
For me, a macro objective has to have the following:
Light , the more the better, as always.
A relatively long focal length. There are 40 and 50mm Macro lenses but the problem is that, to get a macro picture with them you have to get very close to the subject or object. This makes the photo have a somewhat unusual optical perspective, apart from covering the light with your body by having to physically get too close to the subject. Therefore, macro yes, but it can be with long focal length better. From 70 or 80mm would be fine. 100mm would be ideal.
Right price . Macro lenses typically trigger price and are easily planted at 1,000 Euros. So, the more affordable the price, the better.
Applying these criteria, the Nikon of 105mm of f / 2.8 for example would have been ideal if it were not for its price of more than 800 Euros, so I do not recommend it unless you are a professional of the macro photography and you are already familiar with the. The Sigma 105mm f / 2.8 offers spectacular results and allows you to achieve beautiful savings. The following photographs testify to the quality of the objective.
Photographs taken with the Sigma 105mm f / 2.8
In this article I have proposed my 4 favorite objectives, I have shown you some photographs taken with these same objectives. Do not expect the lens to do magic, you will have to learn to take good pictures if you want to get results similar to those you have seen in this article. That said, the photos in the article attest that someone, somewhere and at some time, was able to take amazing photographs for that purpose. Why couldn’t you? If you have read this far, you probably don’t lack it, you probably lack the objective.
Thanks for reading me. Good luck with the acquisition of your brand new goal. Did you find this article useful? If so, I would always appreciate a “Like” on Facebook, Twitter or Google+