The Top 3 Camera Lenses for Beginner Photography

Hi there! Cheryl from Cheryl Michele Photography here. I'm not one to take up your time with silly things about me on this post so let's get into the good stuff.

Camera lenses are just as important in beginner photography as the camera itself. I'm going to go over these 3 lenses and why they are the best ones to get started with. Shall we?

Let's start with the 35 mm 1.8 prime lens. This lens is a wider angle lens that allows you to capture more in your frame while still getting that blurry background we all dream about. The 35 mm is good for tight spaces or small places. For example, I love this lens for a newborn shoot. Here in South Carolina I'm usually in an average sized house or a small room and this lens comes in handy because the view is wider. Instead of just capturing the baby in the frame, I can capture the elements around the baby along with mom and dad. It is a super versatile lens that most photographers use for newborn, portraits, landscape, and even street photography. It's also very handy for when you have small kids running around. ;)

The next lens I want to mention is the 50 mm 1.8 prime lens. Photographers call it the "nifty fifty" because it is probably the most versatile of the 3 prime lenses. If you don't know, a "prime lens" gets its name because they have a fixed focal length, which basically means it doesn't zoom and its fast. The 50 mm is what I started with. It's also affordable and an all around good lens. I use this lens for portraits of families and newborns. I also use it for my own kids and our family. The 50 mm has more distortion in the background than the 35 mm which makes it better for portrait type work. You do have to stand a little further back from your subject than with the 35 mm but I find the background blur to be totally worth it.

I feel I should mention that the 35mm and 50 mm lenses are not heavy and not bulky which is a huge plus, unless you want to go with a 1.4 lens or 1.2 lens (if you don't know what the numbers mean yet, they are aperture, the lower the aperture number the more blur in your background, but also more money to buy and they are heavier lenses). I have the Sigma 50 mm 1.4 lens and it is really heavy. I got it for an upgrade last year but I wouldn't recommend these lenses to a beginner photographer because they are a little more money out of pocket and when you're starting out, it's important to learn the photography skills and camera settings so you can find out what it is you really like shooting or how you like to shoot, so you can then figure out later what you would like to upgrade to, whether it's a camera or a lens. The only way to really find out what gear you prefer is to just get in there and shoot and practice. Sorry I'm getting off track. Let's move on to the next camera lens.

The next camera lens (and I love to save the best for last) is the 85 mm 1.8 lens. This is honestly my favorite camera lens because I love the blurry background and this camera lens allows me to isolate my subject by blurring the background more than the other two camera lenses I've mentioned. I call it the "up close" lens because you have to stand further back from your subject to get them in the frame. If you stand further back and look into the viewfinder on your camera, it looks like you are up close so you do need to step back a bit. Which, does make it harder to capture small kids running around and you don't have a lot of room in your frame. For portraits of seniors, family, models, maternity, and couples, this lens is a true workhorse. I don't use this lens indoors as I don't have enough room usually but every once in a while, if I'm in a bigger room, I can bring it out. The only downside to this camera lens that I've found is that it isn't as fast as the 35 mm or 50 mm. For that reason, it is not as versatile and you will spend some more money on it, but I say it's worth it if you are capturing things outdoors and you have the space.

If you are learning beginner photography and are ready to dive into more, I have created a free step by step guide on the "for photographers" page for photography gear and camera settings. There is also a guide called "The Ultimate Guide to Beginner Photography" that will teach you everything you can possibly imagine in beginner photography like what photography gear you need, cameras, lenses, how to shoot in manual mode in your camera, how to take better photos, photography techniques, lighting, composition, photography tips, and so much more! Go check it out!