Which Lens to Buy

[caption id="attachment_959" align="aligncenter" width="468" caption="Canon 5D camera and Canon 180 f3.5 L series lens"]Canon 5D camera and Canon 600 f5.6 L series lens 

 

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I teach photography on a regular basis. One question that constantly comes up is "what lens should I buy?" There are numerous ways by which I can approach the answer. First I try to establish if the participant is happy with their current camera (brand and model) or is likely to consider upgrading in the near future.

If they're prepared to upgrade I next determine their preference for wide-angle or telephoto photography. In other words do they want to photograph wide vistas or to bring the subject closer and separate them from their surroundings? If their preference is for wide-angle photography I suggest they purchase a full frame digital camera like the Canon 5D Mark II or the Nikon D700. Such a system would be well suited to a range of landscapes, environmental portraits and visually dynamic images where the subject is positioned very close to the camera and, thereby, rendered larger than life and separated from the background through a sense of extended space and exaggerated perspective.

Those folks interested in sports, surveillance or candid photography will likely be hoping to magnify their subjects and isolate them from their surroundings. Telephoto lenses are for them.

Glenn Guy