Welcome to the blogger’s guide to camera lenses! Around 98% of the questions I get about cameras or photography, the answer is the lens. Lenses are so important when it comes to great photography, but I also feel that there is so much flexibility with cheaper kit lenses and zoom lenses that don’t always get the love they deserve.
So there are two parts to the lens, the focal length and the aperture. The focal length will determine how ‘zoomed in’ or cropped the image is and the aperture will determine the depth of field. For more info on camera settings I have an intro to using your DSLR here.
So you want a nice blurred background for your product shot
If you’re looking for some nice bokeh, you can get a number of lenses, zoom, fixed, whatever. The main think you want to look for is a low aperture. The lowest I currently have is f1.4. It’s a sigma 30mm lens and I love it as an all rounder.
You can also get some nice shots with a kit lens, so long as you position the product a lot closer to the lens and have the background some distance away. These were shot at f5 on a canon 18-55 kit lens.
So you want an outfit photo with a blurred background
Right, this is always going to be a tricky one, but as above, you want to have a lens that is a low aperture as possible. I know a popular lens is the 50mm 1.8 lens which is an affordable one for most. I, however, have real issue with this lens. It is such a cropped lens that you have to stand so far away from the camera to get a full shot, meaning that you are probably closer to the background losing the blurred depth of field effect.
What I would recommend is using a 50mm lens on a full frame DSLR or saving up slightly for something like the sigma 30mm.
So you want a fashion or lifestyle photo with lots in focus
For these sort of shots, there isn’t much better than the lens that comes with your camera. Kit lenses, as they are known, tend to be a zoom lens with a good range and a good aperture range. For these shots, you want a high aperture and a short focal length (20mm is great).
Lenses can drastically alter the way you look in photos. Take this tweet from Brandon Woelfel for example.
I mean, I could go and explain it, but this article sums it up better than I can.
I’ve used my own experience as an example for these guides, but if there’s anything you want to know and I have’t covered, comment below or tweet me and I’ll be sure to include an answer in a future photography phriday