One question I get asked a lot is what the best lenses are for a DSLR.

And of course I also get asked for advice about buying a DSLR.

The two questions are related because lenses are an important consideration when buying a DSLR, because if you simply go with the lens that comes with the camera, you are most likely going to be disappointed.

Don't get me wrong, a "kit lens" as they are called can be a great lens... if you know how to take advantage of it.

A much better lens for an enthusiastic beginner though is the 50mm f/1.8. At only a little over $100, this is the best lens the least money will buy.

Master your photo gear


But remember, you also need to learn how to shoot out of auto or your investment in a DSLR may not even be worth it.

However, with the 50mm lens and shooting in aperture priority you can get greatly improved results very quickly - you can get started by following only a few simple steps, which I give you in Stop Missing the Moment, and in a more detailed lesson in the Photosanity Workshop.


Capture big moments in small spaces - the 35mm lens

But wait one moment. If you are willing to spend a little more, or already have the 50mm, the 35mm f/2 is also worth considering, especially if you live in tight quarters like, oh, say almost every single person in NYC or other major city!

This is because the 35mm has a wider angle so more fits in the frame - you are more "zoomed out". This is great for, as I said, when you don't have room to step back, or when you have a lot of people you want to get in the frame.


The other benefit is that the 35mm f/2 is also a macro lens, which means it can focus on objects the lens is close to, like, oh, say a small child who is crawling on top of you! It can certainly focus closer than the 50mm lens can.

I've been enjoying using my 35mm for this purpose lately, as you can see in the photos in this post. You do get a little distortion so it's a bit of a photojournalistic look but it's fitting for capturing that "in your face" way my kids have of interacting right now!