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The Lens Buyer’s Complete Guide

The Lens Buyer's Guide to the Best Camera Lenses

In your quest for beautiful images, you’ll quickly discover that the lens is what determines whether you get the image you want. Photographers typically keep a single lens for many years longer than they keep a single camera body. This emphasizes the importance of lens selection and purchase. We have a series of guides that will help you understand exactly what you need to look out for based on the type of photography you intend to do.

If you’re a beginner photographer, you might be looking for a lens-buying guide to help you understand the features of each type of lens, and why those features are important for a particular type of photography. We explain those in detail in every guide and only present our suggestions after we explain why each type of lens is important.

These Beyond Photo Tips guides will assist you in selecting the exact lens that you require for a specific type of photography.

The Right Tool For The Job

In the right hands, the right tool can make all the difference.

No matter what type of photography you want to try, our Lens Selection Guides will guide you to find the right tool. In them, we explain not only which lenses are the best, but also why they are the best choices for the job at hand.

The links to all those Lens Selection Guides are listed below.

Lens Selection Guides:

These guides are not just lists of lenses. They’re actual guides that tell you what you would need to look for in a lens for a particular style of photography. 

How To Use the Guides

The Best Way to Use the Guides…

  1. Figure out the type of photography that you want to explore.
  2. Read the appropriate article from the list above to find out which lenses you should be exploring. 
  3. Try out the lenses before you use them. You could borrow one from a friend, or rent one from a lens rental. 
  4. If you’re satisfied that our suggestion – and your pick – is the right lens, then go out and buy the lens yourself.
  5. If not, then try another suggested lens, to find out which one suits your style of photography. 
  6. Repeat until satisfied.
  7. Enjoy taking photographs with some really sweet lenses. :D

Why Are There So Many Guides?

The guides are divided up based on various photography disciplines. They address the needs of those disciplines in particular.

Most lenses perform well for multiple uses across photography disciplines. But sometimes certain lenses will far exceed others for a particular job, and that’s why we have these articles categorizing the lenses as such.

Photographers will often use every type of lens that they can lay their hands on. This is because they’re always trying to create an image that looks different …  a different style of image, and this is just as important… To explore the various possibilities that your equipment may offer.

In turn, this means that these guides can never be entirely comprehensive for every photographer. It remains up to you … the photographer; to experiment and learn which lenses suit your style of photography, and to learn how to get the most from each lens that you use. What we offer is merely a beginning point for your exploration.  

Click through the links in the list above to start reading. The titles are self-explanatory.

Suggest Lenses to Help Us Complete the Series! 

This series is incomplete, as you can see. E-mail me about a particular lens that you would like to be included. If you make a compelling argument for the lens, you will see it added to the appropriate guide.

Help Us To Continue Creating

Get our email newsletter to stay up-to-date with our latest posts. It’s easy to read and is mailed once in 2 weeks.

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Published: April 23, 2007 | Last Updated: November 21, 2022

6 thoughts on “The Lens Buyer’s Complete Guide”

  1. Hi Peter,

    Thank you for that. That particular post is actually almost ready. I’m just working out the kinks. I should have it up in a week or so.

    Please do check back then!


  2. In your list of lenses for Sports Photography you recommend the older Nikon 600 mm not the newer AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4G ED VR

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