“What lens should I get?” or “Can help? - I need lens advice” are very popular questions on photography forums and I have noticed the frequency of these questions is getting more and more each day. Yep, the photography forums are getting clogged up with these questions and in order to find anything of interest you have to trawl through pages and pages of this trash, and it is becoming very boring.
In my opinion open ended questions like “What lens should I get?” have no place on a forum because there are a million and one responses, 99.9% of which will be of no use to the person asking the question.
A question like “What lens should I get?” brings up loads more questions, such as;-
When I first joined the forums I would attempt to answer these “what lens should I get?” questions and I spent a lot of time writing long, detailed answers that covered all bases. Responses to these questions took a lot of work and a lot of time, which in all honesty was a total waste, especially since I didn’t get anything for doing it. Okay, it is nice to be able to help out a fellow photographer but a little bit of recognition or gratitude every now and then wouldn’t hurt.
In the early days I responded to the “What lens should I buy?” questions, however as time went on I started responding to less and less of these questions, and now I can’t be bothered and don’t even give them the time of day. In fact, whenever I see the “What lens should I buy?” headline I don’t even bother opening the question because I know it will be a generic question. Some people provide sarcastic responses to the open ended “What lens should I buy?” questions, but I can’t even be bothered to do this.
If you are looking for a new lens, don’t know what to buy and need some advice then by all means hit the photography forums but don’t leave an open ended question. If you want to keep on the right side of photographer forum contributors, and get helpful responses you need to be specific. Let people know what camera you shoot, let people know whether you shoot a full frame or crop sensor and let people know what subjects you need the lens for, i.e. be specific.
There is an old saying that springs to mind “The more give the more you get” and this definitely runs true on photography forums. If you give more information you will get more responses. If you give more information those responses will also be more useful and relevant. If you give more information the forum members/contributors will look at you more favorably and will answer future questions you may have
So, before you post that “What lens should I buy?” question on a photography forum – slow down and provide a little more information. Spending a few minutes providing a little more information will pay dividends in the end. Trust me.
If you want to know the lenses I highly recommend (please note these are all Canon specific lenses – because that’s what I shoot with) I list them below for your perusal:-
Canon 100 f2.8L IS macro lens. For macro photography and close up photography there is no better lens than this lens. It is as good as everyone says, and more, and you have to see the results to believe it. This lens isn’t cheap but then it is pure quality and you have to pay for that. For and honest and unbiased review on the Canon 100 f2.8L IS macro lens take a look at this article.
Canon 24 – 70 f2.8L is a workhorse lens that is perfect for portrait photography because the bokeh is so nice. As well as portraits it is an ideal lens for wide angle uses such as landscapes, urban scenes and interiors. The 24 – 70 is a relatively big and heavy lens, but it oozes both build quality and image quality. For a full review of this lens take a look at this article.
Canon 50mm f1.8. A 50mm prime lens is a lens all photographers should have in their kit bag, and the cheap and cheerful 50mm f1.8 fits the bill perfectly. The 50mm 1.8 may look and feel like a child’s toy but it is a lens capable of capturing stunning photos. For a full review of this lens check out this article.
Canon 70 – 200 f2.8L IS. The 70 – 200 f2.8L is the flagship standard tele lens, and quite rightly so. This lens is tough, it is durable and it is built to last. The image quality is second to none and it is easy to see why this is one of Canon’s top selling lenses. For an honest review on this lens take a look at this article.
Canon 16 – 35 f4L IS. The choice was this or the16 – 35 f2.8L lens, and after a lot of deliberation, a lot of research and a few test shots the f4L IS was the version I opted for, and I have no regrets whatsoever. I typically use this lens for landscape photography, however the IS does make it useful for interior shots of churches, cathedrals and the like. As with all L series lenses, the build quality is excellent and the image quality superb. For an honest an unbiased review on this lens take a look at this article.
Canon 100 – 400L IS. The Canon 100 – 400 is the best value for money super zoom lens of all time. This is the perfect lens for motorsports, wildlife and all other situations where you need a bit of reach. The Canon 100 – 400 is also perfect for photographing dragonflies and butterflies where you can use the lose minimum focusing distance and zoom capability to get some real close up frame filling shots without having to get really close to the dragonflies/butterflies and risk scaring them off. For a review of the canon 100 – 400 take a look at this article.
Canon 10 - 22. If you shot a crop sensor Canon and want to take ultra-wide angle shots this lens is the best option. Sure, there are alternatives out there but the Canon is by far the best. For a review on this lens take a look at this article.
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.
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