If you are looking for camera lenses for beginners you have come to the right place. For those just starting out in photography, the number of different lenses on the market can be pretty overwhelming – I know I was when I first started! With so many different focal lengths, it can be quite difficult to decide which one is for you. I personally believe that it’s best to invest your money into great lenses rather than camera bodies. Whilst the body obviously plays a part, camera bodies can easily become outdated and you’re more likely going to replace a body over a lens. A camera lens also tends to hold its value over time in case you decide to sell. In my opinion, you can get away with having a cheaper camera body if you have a great lens.
One thing to note about lenses is that they can be bloody expensive, especially if you decide to go with the lenses from your body’s manufacturer rather than a brand like Sigma. However, financing where you pay for the lens monthly has been super useful for me in the past, or you could just put some money away every month until you have enough money for the lens you’re after.
When looking for camera lenses for beginners, it’s important to take into account what type of photography you do. If you shoot exclusively close up portraits, there’s not much point in getting a super wide-angle lens (unless wide-angle portraits are your thing). Vice Versa, if you’re shooting landscape, it’s debatable to whether you should get anything smaller than a 35mm.
It’s also crucial to know what kind of style you’re into by doing research. Do you prefer the look of wide-angle photography? This is a style I love with my photography as I love the exaggerated lines and how creative you can get with angles, making everything appear much grander. However, if you’re looking for something a bit more true to life, a lens on the 35-50mm mark is probably more your thing.
These are the camera lenses for beginner photographers that I would personally recommend for people just starting out on their photography journey, but please take into account that I shoot mostly portrait and street, so if you’re a landscape or wildlife photographer, this list may not be exactly for you!
5 Best Camera Lenses for Beginner Photographers
Your Kit Lens
When investing in your first DSLR Camera, opt for a kit rather than just a body. It works out a whole lot cheaper and is a great way to get you started. My kit lens was an 18-55 f/3.5-5.6, and it’s a good establisher lens for you to experiment with. I used this lens for a year until I decided that I wanted a wider focal length and preferred the look a wider lens gives me. A kit lens is a great way for you to find out who you want to be as a photographer if you don’t know yet. This lens is best suited for portraits and full body. You’ll have to step really far away for you to get a lot of background in!
This lens does feel pretty plastic and cheap, mainly because it is! But it’s also really light and easy to carry. However, It’s not a lens I would recommend if it’s not already your kit lens. For me, this camera lenses for beginners should just be a kit lens and help you choose your lens upgrade.
I decided to go for the 16-35mm f/4 as my first proper lens as I knew I wanted something wide. I freaking LOVE my 16-35. I’ve had it for just over a year and I honestly couldn’t live without it. I opted for the f/4 over the 2.8 mainly because of the price difference (it’s over a grand cheaper!) but also because I didn’t need the nice bokeh that the 2.8 provided for what I was going to use the lens for. Nor did I need the extra f stop as I wasn’t interested in low light photography. I use my 16-35mm for my travel photos where I show off the background. I recently traveled to Vietnam where it was my job to showcase a beautiful hotel. For me personally, my 16-35 is brilliant for my travel photos where my job is to show off the surroundings. If you want a nicer bokeh and to shoot more effectively in low light conditions, opt for the 2.8.
24-70mm f/2.8L II
The 24-70mm is a great all-round lens, really. It’s brilliant for street photography (especially the wide-angle style I really love) and also good for portraits. It includes the two most popular portrait styles; the 35mm and 50mm and are close enough to the 85mm to justify not getting the 85 prime. Now, on this lens, I included the f stop because I think it’s important to have at least one lens that has a smaller f stop so you can shoot action better, get better quality photos in low light conditions, and have a better depth of field. Now, you don’t necessarily have to have a smaller f stop on this specific camera, but for me it’s ideal. This is the lens to use when you want the person to be the subject of the photos rather than the background. The 2.8 f stop also makes photos sharper and better in low light conditions. This is overall just a really good street lens. You can either opt for your Camera’s body manufacturers version of this lens or alternatively, you can go with a brand like Sigma, who do amazing lenses for half the price. They’re one of the great camera lenses for beginners if you’re on a budget.
35mm 1.4 Prime
If you’re a blogger or someone who exclusively shoots portraits, then a prime lens might be a better fit for you. Prime Lenses are great for providing amazing bokeh and sharpness as they have such a small f stop – usually around 1.8-1.2. 35mm is a really popular focal length for bloggers and travelers because it’s wide but not too wide. It can also make your photos look quite vintage. If you’re looking for razor-sharp images, then I would recommend a prime. The possible downside is that you can’t zoom, so you may have to move your feet more when shooting. This isn’t something that personally bothers me, though. If you want to splash out, you can go for the for £1,700 Canon 35mm 1.4 Prime, but I would recommend Sigma’s version. It’s a hell of a lot cheaper and get’s a lot of hype.
5. 50mm 1.4 prime
This is another extremely popular prime lens. It seems to be you either love the 35 or the 50, it just depends on what your taste is. But there is a reason why a 50mm is often called ‘the nifty fifty’.
The 50mm isn’t as wide as the 35mm, which can either be beneficial to you or a hindrance depending on what you shoot. If you’re shooting portraits and don’t want to get a lot of the background in, then this is the best lens option for you. And the best part is that this is one of the cheapest lenses you can buy! You can go with the Canon version which is just shy of £400 or the Sigma Art which is a bit more expensive but known for being a really great lens. Basically, if you’re a portrait photographer, it’s a good idea to have a 50mm in your kit.
I hope this list has helped you give some sort of idea of which of the camera lenses for beginners you should get. There are so many different lenses out there that it can be tempting to want to get everything lens all at once when that isn’t necessarily the case. I’ve only had one lens for the last year and have got by, and it’s only now that I am wanting to expand my lens collection. They can be a really fun way to get even more creative with your photography, so I hope you have fun with your new lens!
Bronte (Bee) is known for her creative storytelling selfies. She believes self-expression is the road to personal freedom, increased confidence, and a happy, fulfilled life. To this end Bronte encourages others to express themselves in every aspect of their lives, to think more creatively, and accept themselves as they are.