Camera Lenses

My current camera is the Nikon D5300. (Not that I am biased towards Nikon. It was the first brand of camera I used and I’ve grown accustomed to it.) I would like to know if you have a preference?

I have 3 lenses at the moment. The lens I’ve used the most is the standard 18-55mm kit lens. It has served me very well and still continues to do so. Especially because it’s so versatile. You can take anything from landscape, macro, portrait, animals, cars, near and far.

I also have a Sigma 70-300mm. It’s great for wildlife photography. I’ve used a few times in Namibia. Other than that, it rarely sees any action.

Like many others, I’m a huge fan of a shallow depth of field. (That’s the strong blur in photos). Two years ago I bought a Nikkor 35mm f/1.8. It was one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. It drastically changed how I take photos. I can now take pictures with a much shallower depth of field which means I can emphasise where I want you to focus when you look at the picture.

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Because it’s a prime lens, (which means it can’t zoom in. If you want to zoom in you have to use your feet), it challenges you to think differently.

A question that eventually comes up for new photographers is – a new camera or a new lens?

For me, a new lens. Having an excellent camera with a terrible lens is absolutely pointless, but having an okay camera with a good lens can change everything.

It’s better to have a $1000 lens on a $100 camera, than a $100 lens on a $1000 camera.


Because it’s pointless to have a good camera/sensor shooting through a low-quality lens. The good camera becomes redundant. On the other hand, having an okay camera shooting through a high-quality lens can drastically improve your photos.

Don’t buy expensive gear thinking it will automatically improve everything. Make sure there’s a reason why you buy your gear. The reason not being, “because I want to take better pictures or videos”.

Maybe you want to take pictures of wildlife, then buying a telephoto lens is a good choice. What if you want to up your portrait game? Buying a 35mm(if you have a crop sensor) or a 50mm(if you have a full-frame) can be a good buy.

But never allow the reason to be, “I want to improve my photos, this means I need to buy the most expensive gear I can find.”

Every piece of your gear is a tool, and it’s how you use it that makes all the difference.

If you found this helpful, here are 5 photography tips for beginners.

Learn about developing your eye for detail here.

Thinking about which camera you should buy to begin photography? Here is my advice.

Confused by some photography terminology? Here’s a list of photography jargon.


56 thoughts on “Camera Lenses

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  1. Hello! I am also using Nikon. I bought my first camera Nikon D3200 back 2015. Now I own 4 lenses, the 18-55mm kitlens, nikkor 55-200mm, yongnuo 35mm and yongnuo 50mm. I like using the prime lenses for portrait and the kitlens for landscape, and the telephoto for capturing birds.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a great camera! It seems like our use of lenses are exactly the same. My next upgrade will be the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8.

      I love the 35mm but it’s frustrating switching between the 18-55mm and the 35mm when I’m out shooting pictures and films. The 17-50mm f2.8 is right in the middle and will make things just a bit easier. I’m also after the f2.8 as it’s also great for shooting portraits. It makes it a very versatile lens.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s sounds great. In my case, I still need to save money to buy 17-50mm 2.8 because it cost a lot, but I think I will choose Sigma.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, it does cost quite a bit, but it’s a very high-quality lens. I agree with you choosing the Sigma. After doing a bit more research the Sigma can be a bit sharper in depending on what’s being shot.


    2. The first interchangeable lens digital I bought was a Nikon D3200 too. Great camera with good sensor. I traded it to a Nikon D5500 to get a touch screen. I bought mostly the same lenses you had, Nikon 18-55mm VR but upgraded to the P version when it came out at low cost. And I had the 55-200 VR just like you did. Very good lens for the price. I got my D3200 about 2013. I stayed with Nikon though and got their 35mm f1.8. Did not have a 50mm for those cameras, but several 50s on my film cameras.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I recently took a photography class and it has encouraged me to get out with my camera more often. I have the regular 18-55mm and a 70-200mm for my Nikon D3300. A colleague of mine takes the most incredible photos with a D3200 and a 35mm lens. After reading your article and seeing her photos, I may have to pick one up soon. Solid post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The D3300 is a great camera. I’ve always been hesitant to upgrade my camera for a few reasons, one of them being, to see someone else take much more incredible pictures than me with a camera that’s less expensive than mine. Because we can sometimes so easily be fooled by something that’s more expensive and new. Just because it’s more expensive doesn’t mean it’s better. It’s all about how you use it.

      A Nikon D3300 with a 35mm is a killer combination. The quality of your photos will go through the roof. At least that was my experience. I was blown away and couldn’t believe I didn’t do it sooner. I hope you have the same experience.


  3. `I have 5300, it is a very nice camera, even if it an entry level Nikon, I have 50mm lens and the Tokina 18-400 zoom, which is a fantastic lens.

    Unfortunately, I also have an iphone XR and Huawei PR20
    Pro, both of which
    I find I use much more than the Nikon simply because of the convenience.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have the Nikon D3200 and was recently having that debate in my head about whether or not to continue buying lenses or a new camera. I too use both the 18-55mm and also purchased the 35mm/1.8 and love it too for it’s depth of field and that’s why I bought it. I am getting more into landscape photography and am currently trying to decide if I should upgrade my camera but maybe your article has swayed me more towards a new lens…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m also a Nikon fan (I started off with a D50 and now have a D750 which I love!). Prime lenses rocked my world; the nifty 50 and all-time 35 favourite. I used to take lifestyle family photos, and I could do a whole session without ever switching out the 35mm lense. 🙂

    You’ve inspired me to grab my camera and take a few shots today. It has been awhile…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad to hear that! The 35- and 50-mm are two incredible lenses. They have so much potential especially when it comes to portrait photography. I enjoy the relationship it creates between you and your subject. Because you need to physically move closer or further away to get the shot you want.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. “which means it can’t zoom in. If you want to zoom in you have to use your feet” -made me smile. It’s exactly what we have to do but never had it stated in this way.

    Liked by 2 people

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