I’ve many friends out there that are new users of DSLR cameras. Well… Some of them aren’t that new. They’ve been using their cameras for at least a year. So there comes the time when one has become fairly acquainted with their kit lens. It’s time to explore the other lenses out there… But what lens should I get next?
This really depends on the individual’s needs. In my case, I bought a second lens very soon after I had gotten my camera. I bought my Nikon D90 with the kit lens. I must admit now that I had bought my second lens because I thought it is a must for every budding photographer. You’ve got to get a second lens, and it’s got to be this lens. Yes… I fell into the trap of blindly following the advices of others without clearly reflecting on my actual needs. And so I bought the Nikon AF 50mm f/1.8 D. I bought it cheap. Well… It’s a cheap lens (not that it’s not good).
Most people have rave reviews for this lens. Some people claim this lens inspires them to be a “Henri Cartier-Bresson”. Then there are others that espouse of its value for money. It performs pretty well in the dark because it opens wide. Most fast lenses are expensive. Some cost the same as your DSLR camera, while others cost more! Hey… Whoever said photography is an affordable hobby!
I never really got round to using this lens. I didn’t like it for some reason… Until I bought the Nikkor MF 55mm f/2.8 Micro lens. I finally understood why I disliked the 50mm lens. It just didn’t suit my needs. It wasn’t a bad lens, but I had subconsciously been wanting a lens that allows me to go closer to my subjects. When I first played around with my macro lens, I was excited. It was as if I’ve found the lens that I’ve been seeking. Till this date, this macro lens goes with me everywhere, regardless of the shooting assignment. This is the lens that travels with me from Singapore to USA, then to Canada. It’s gonna be traveling with me for a long while.
I’ve decided to write this article because I’ve been getting queried by friends on the next lens to get. Most of them had gotten the 18-55mm lens (Nikon or Canon), and my reply to them is to either get a superzoom or the nifty 50 (50mm lens). It really depends on one’s needs. For me, I liked the 50+mm range, but I preferred having a lens that has pin-sharp focus. That is why the Nikkor MF 55mm f/2.8 Micro lens appealed to me.
However, sometimes buying lenses is a hit or miss thing. We don’t really know what we want, until we have it. We may think we need that lens, but it may jolly well end up a white elephant. There are people who espouse on renting lenses to figure out which lens they prefer. For me, I figured that you could observe the frequency of the focal length you use on your kit lens. If you find yourself needing a further reach on your lens, then you may need a lens with a longer focal length. If you find yourself shooting architecture shots, you may need a wide angle lens. If you find yourself shooting objects up close, perhaps a macro lens would suit you.
The kit lens is usually a good gauge for newbies to figure your photographic needs. If I were able to go back in time, I think I’d have given myself some time before getting another lens and consequently not jumping onto the Nikon AF 50mm f/1.8 D. It’s a white elephant, and I think I should get really get rid of it. Any takers out there?