4 Things to Consider When Buying New Camera Lens

Pappi Hex

Despite recent slow-downs in the global digital camera market, the use of digital cameras remains relatively popular. As reported by Technavio, the sale of digital cameras ranging from DSLR cameras to mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras is projected to have an incremental growth of USD 1.03 billion between 2021 and 2026. With this growth comes improved product quality and advanced features, which makes it more challenging to choose the suitable gadget for your needs. In this article, we discuss four things to consider when buying a new camera lens:

Price point

The camera lens you can buy depends on your budget. Although it can be tempting to buy multiple lenses for different purposes, sometimes it can be more worthwhile to invest in a few high-quality lenses that can break even in the long run. It’s crucial that you first consider your goals with photography, as well as what subjects and environments you’ll be in. Some additional features you may want to factor in as part of your budget are:

  • Image stabilizer — Some lenses have a built-in floating lens element that counteracts any movement or shake.
  • Autofocus – Most camera lenses have autofocus, but higher-end products usually have quieter autofocus which may suit specific environments.

Lens compatibility

An APS-C camera has a smaller sensor, so the full-frame lens wouldn’t be able to fit the APS-C — making it essential to note the lens format when determining compatibility. However, it can be safe to assume that most lenses are compatible with their own lens format, especially from the same manufacturer. The Fujifilm XF 30mm f/2.8 R LM WR Macro is compatible with more than 25 cameras within Fujifilm’s ecosystem. This lens barrel can be sealed in nine places when attached to the main camera body, leaving it resistant to moisture, dust, and temperatures down to -10°C. Remember that you may need a lens adapter to attach different brand lenses and camera bodies. Other adapters, such as the Sony LA-EA5 lens adapter, allow the full-frame lens designed for Sony’s models to be compatible with A-mount to E-mount cameras while also providing extra autofocus support.

Zoom or prime lens

Your photography needs will determine whether you should get lenses with variable focal lengths, named zoom lenses (e.g., 70-200mm), or fixed focal lengths, referred to as prime lenses (e.g., 50mm). Prime lenses typically have wider apertures, allowing them to work well in low-light environments and provide a shallow depth of field that works well with portraits. On the other hand, zoom lenses can be great for beginners as they offer greater flexibility and can be easier to store than having multiple lenses. Do note that cheaper models may have decreased zoom quality, and zoom lenses tend to be heavier than prime lenses due to their comprehensive range.

Subject and environment

Ultimately, the type of lens you should buy should fall on what you usually like to photograph. There is typically no one-size-fits-all lens for all occasions, but some lenses have overlapping uses. In the case of wildlife photographer Will Burrard-Lucas, he relies on older cameras with a small focal length for his camera traps and uses a telephoto lens when shooting an animal subject from afar. As mentioned earlier, a wide-angle zoom lens can be great for general landscape or portrait shots, allowing photographers to take different perspectives without changing their lenses. By knowing what subjects and environments you want to capture, you can best determine what lens suits your style.

By understanding your preferences in photography, you can find the best lens for you. For more guides and tutorials, make sure to visit our “How To” section for more information.


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