One of the most frequent questions we are asked at DPG by DSLR owners is “What lenses should I get for my camera.”
This is no easy question to answer. Lens selection for an SLR depends on intent of use, subject choice and years of trial and error before you know what lenses are right for you. However, we have taken the time to throw together this “Top Five Lenses for New SLR Owners,” to give you the best start possible.
1. 60/55mm Macro Lens: I have heard many photographers refer to the 60/55mm lens as the “bread and butter” of underwater photography. This lens is the perfect choice for beginning DSLR users, as it allows the photographer the most options for shooting subjects- macro, fish portraits and even behavior shots are all possible with one single lens.
2. 15/16mm Fisheye: Beginning SLR users with the mantra “get close, get closer” in mind will love the challenge of using a fisheye lens for the first time. The close focus abilities of the 15/16mm lens forces beginning photographers to get closer to wide-angle subjects and will likely become his/her utility wide-angle lens of choice.
3. 100/105mm Macro Lens: With the world of super macro underwater photography ever expanding, the 100/105mm lens has become a staple of any DSLR shooter’s macro kit. The extended focal length allows the photographer to capture behaviors of shyer subjects and to fill the frame with medium macro subjects.
4. 10.5/10mm Fisheye Lens: If you find yourself enjoying a medium focal length wide-angle lens like the 15/16mm and are looking for more of a challenge, the 10/10.5mm lens is for you. Although the extremely minimum focus distance and distortion of the lens makes lighting subjects difficult at first, an extremely wide-angle fisheye like this is essential for creating images that seem to pop out of the frame.
5. 10-22/12-24mm Wide-Angle Zoom: Zoom lenses can be a dangerous tool in the hands of a beginner. The temptation all to often is to use the zoom as a crutch to fill the frame with a subject, rather than physically getting closer, which will often result in a poorly lit image. However, beginning photographers who use the zoom feature to adjust for separate shooting situations rather than as a crutch will find it a powerful lens in their arsenal.
There you have it- the top five lenses for new DSLR users. It is important to remember that these lenses are only the beginning, and what turns underwater photography into art is how you use the lens you have in your housing, not how many lenses you own. After all, as a DSLR user you can only use one lens at a time underwater.
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