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Lens Buyer's Guide: Choosing A Lens By Use

To help you find your ideal lens, here's our guide to lenses which is organised by photographic subjects.

|  Interchangeable Lenses
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If you've arrived on this page, you're either using our Lens Buyer's Guide or are looking for a new lens and have stumbled across this article as a result. 

Below you'll find a variety of photographic subjects you may want to shoot along with buttons that will take you to top lists that recommend lenses that are specifically designed for the subject you want to photograph. To speed things up, use the bullet points below to take you to a specific camera and/or lens manufacturer. If you'd prefer to search by photographic brand, have a read of this: Lens Buyer's Guide: Making Choices By Brand 

 

Macro

Macro photo

Macro lenses are the choice for you if you love shooting detail and close-up subjects. Shallow focus can be achieved with a small minimum focus length allowing you to get really close to the subject and isolate it from the background. They can also be used as a portrait lens, although often they're not as bright. Check out our macro lens roundup below to see our top picks for all the lens mounts. 

Top Macro Lenses

 


Portrait

Canon 50mm Portrait

Portrait lenses often offer super wide maximum apertures, makign them great for use in lower light situations and allowing you to isolate your subject from the background. Ideal for portraits of people and animals, portrait lenses are usually in the 35-85mm focal range as these are the most flattering to your subject. 50mm is the traditional focal length for portrait lenses. Below we have a couple of top articles for you to choose from.   

Top Portrait Lenses | Top Nikon Portrait Lenses

 


Low Light & Good Bokeh 

Bokeh

 

50mm is a classic focal length for photographers. 50mm is ideal for full-frame cameras, and 50mm lenses can be used as effective portrait lenses on both full-frame and APS-C cameras. 50mm is the focal length that is closest to what the human eye sees, hence why it's known as a flattering focal length for models. 50mm lenses have a wide variety of applications and are great for testing your creative skills, using your feet to zoom in and out. They tend to have relatively wide apertures allowing you to get creative with depth of field too and they're excellent in low light. 

Top 50mm Lenses

 


Wide-Angle Landscapes

Wreck : Hunstanton

 

Wide angle lenses are great for getting lots of the surrounding landscape in your shot. If used to subjects closer to the lens, distortion can be a problem. Wide angles are ideal for sweeping vistas of the city or country and are most commonly used for landscape work. 

Top Wide-angle Lenses

 


Wildlife, Sport & Distant Subjects 

Starling

 

Telephoto prime lenses give you lots of reach, and often offer you a bright aperture making them ideal for sports, wildlife and low-light photography. They're great for photographing things that you can't get close to, like illusive deer or subjects that are far away. Prime telephotos are the premium quality option but superzooms from the likes of Tamron will offer you more versatility for a more agreeable price. 

Best Telephoto Prime Lenses   Best Telephoto Zoom Lenses

 


Travel

Plane

Superzoom lenses are ideal for travel, as pretty much every focal length you could need is covered by one lens. This gets rid of the need to change lenses on the go, meaning you can travel lighter. Superzooms are great for any situation where you might be shooting a variety of subjects that all suit a different focal length. 

Top Super-Zoom Lenses For Travel  Best Travel Zoom Lenses For Micro Four Thirds

 

Still, haven't found what you're looking for? Go back to the start of our lens selection tool


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