Camera Lens- Why You Need a Better One

Picture a beautiful bird sanctuary early in the morning. As you ride by on a slow moving cycle rickshaw you spot a lot of birds. You dig out you new camera and start clicking. Soon you will realize that you cannot focus or zoom on the birds. Your dreams of clicking a magazine worth photograph bite dust.
This is exactly what happened to us. On latest trip to northern India covering heritage sites we visited Keoladeo National Park at Bharatpur.

Nikon 5100, 18-55 lens pic

As we moved forward with our guide cum driver he spotted quite a few birds for us. We excitedly started clicking photographs with our new camera. And we failed.

It was a result of an inappropriate lens. The 18-55 mm lens we had bought along with the camera was good for a lot of photographs but not for long distance wildlife/bird photography. Till that time we had not even discovered that rotating the lens would solve some of our problems. See painted storks below after zooming with the lens.

Nikon 5100, 18-55 lens pic

If you are ready to buy a entry level DSLR stop and think what you want to achieve. If you are coming in from a long time point and shoot world a 18-55 is great. The lens gives you far more options than a regular point and shoot.
As you graduate to manual focusing and adjusting other parameters for your photographs you will feel the need of getting a lens which satisfies the kind of photography you are interested in. You can read more about focal length here.

Basically smaller the focal length wider your view and higher focal length will help you magnify and focus closely on your target.

I had written earlier that I want to buy a 55-200 mm lens. I am not hoping to become a wildlife photographer but when you travel there are always things that you want to capture. Many of these have to be observed from far (like children playing). In situations where you would not want to make the subject aware of your presence you need a higher focal length. (When photographing people especially their faces asking for permission is the best way to go.)

Another thing to buy with your lens would be set of filters. They are again an investment and  a better quality filter would undoubtedly result in better photographs. At least get a UV filter to protect your lens. These are also on my next buy list.

What kind of camera and lens do you use? When did you buy second lens and why?

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