Choosing the right lens for your new camera
Make the most of your DSLR or mirrorless camera by adding lenses to your repertoire...
The right lens opens up a whole new world of possibilities to create professional-looking photos worthy of being on a magazine cover.
And with the 19th August being National Photography Day, there’s no better time to upgrade your kit. Let us point you in the right direction with our pick of fantastic lenses from the top brands.
Prime, pancake or zoom?
Once you’ve got to know your camera, you can start building up your collection of lenses and make your photos really stand out from the crowd come National Photography Day.
If you’ve got a DSLR…
Try a prime lens. This shoots at a fixed focal length, so it doesn’t allow you to zoom in or out. Instead, it lets you work with a narrower depth of field and produces a sharper overall image than a zoom lens.
- Telephoto prime lens – capture wildlife, sports and other faraway subjects in crystal-clear clarity with the Canon Telephoto Prime Lens. It offers completely silent focusing, and you won’t need to use the flash in low-light conditions, so animals won’t be disturbed.
- Standard prime lens – this hogs the middle ground between a wide-angle and telephoto lens in terms of focal length. At 35mm, the Nikon standard prime is a great all-round lens that’s ideal for capturing landscapes. It’s lightweight too, so doesn’t add too much bulk to your camera.
On occasions when you can’t get close enough – like when you’re in a crowd, trying to capture action-packed sport – onlya zoom lens will do. This brings your subject closer to you with amazing clarity.
Zoom lenses like the Canon EF 75-300 MM are also great if you’re travelling and don’t have space for lots of kit. They can do the job of two or three prime lenses in one.
If you’ve got a mirrorless camera…
Check out our Canon, Fuji and Sony lenses for shooting everything from people and places to everyday life.
- Pancake lens – this is a very thin and compact lens, making it easy to carry around around. It doesn’t zoom so optical quality isn’t diminished. The Canon Pancake Lens is great for portraits.
- Telephoto zoom lens – get up-close shots of something in the distance. Whether it's the kids playing football or a bird in flight, the Fuji Telephoto Zoom allows you to experiment with different focal lengths to get the perfect shot. Meanwhile, the Sony Telephoto Zoom Lens gets closer to the action with its 3.8x zoom capabilities. It’s also ultra-quiet if you don't want to disturb.
- Telephoto prime lens – prime lenses give the ultimate image quality, making them perfect for capturing your subject in absolute clarity. The Fujifilm Fujinon XF 90 mm telephoto prime lens produces ultra-sharp images with rich bokeh (the out of focus areas that help draw your eye to the main subject) even at the maximum aperture setting.
Make your camera more flexible with a mount adapter
Each camera-maker uses its own lens mount so, ordinarily, lenses can’t be swapped across brands. But a mount adapter lets you use a lens on a camera that it wasn’t designed for conveniently letting you switch between kit made by different brands.You can fit lenses from Canon's EF and EF-S range to the EOS M mirrorless camera with the Canon EF-Mount adapter
Attach Canon EF lenses to Sony E mounts with the Sigma converter.
Fit a NIKKOR F mount DSLR lens to the Nikon 1 mirrorless camera with the Nikon FT1 lens mount adapter
Tips for taking professional-looking photos
1. Turn off automatic mode
If you want to shoot better photographs, turn off auto mode. Scary, we know. Experimenting with aperture, shutter speed and white balance is the best way to learn the finer points of photography.
The Canon EOS 800D DSLR makes it easy to break away from auto mode, letting you take spontaneous and creative images with ease thanks to responsive handling and a bright optical viewfinder.
2. Shoot all types of subject
Landscapes, wildlife, sports and street photography all present different challenges. Try all of them to see which ignites your passions the most – and practise, practise, practise. The great thing about digital cameras is that you can delete anything you don’t like.
3. Adjust the shutter speed for action shots
If you want to create fast-moving images with blurring motion or crisply freeze the action in a moment in time, use a fast shutter speed. A good rule of thumb is to use a speed of 1/1000 of a second.
4. Use a high ISO for shooting in low light
If you’re shooting in dimly lit conditions, there isn’t much light available for your camera sensor. A high ISO number, such as ISO 3200, will give you a correctly exposed image.
Now that’s the basics covered, you’ll no doubt feel more prepared for upping your photography game in time for National Photography Day. Enjoy.