A Step-By-Step Guide to Choosing a Portrait Lens

Step 2 – Figure Out a Budget

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If you just aren’t happy with the lenses you currently have, the next step is to figure out a budget.

Of course, the budget is going to be the primary factor for a lot of photographers, simply because most high-quality lenses are going to have a high-quality price (with a few exceptions, like Nifty Fifties and third-party lenses from the likes of Tamron, Rokinon, and Sigma).

There’s certainly a lot to like about higher-end lenses…

They often have much-improved optics that result in images that are sharper, with less chromatic aberration, and less distortion. More expensive lenses are built better with higher-quality materials that last for years – decades even. Higher-end lenses are typically more likely to operate quietly and have weatherproofing too.

There’s a reason why so many photographers (myself included) preach that if you spend money anywhere, it should be on your lenses.

That means if you have to use your old entry-level APS-C camera for a few more years, do it. You’ll get better images with an old camera and a new, high-end lens than you will if you have a high-end camera and a cheap lens.

The moral of the story is that if you need to save now for a future with a better lens, bite the bullet and make do with what you have because it’s an investment that will pay dividends once you can actually afford a lens worthy of all that hard-earned money!

But as much as that investment will pay dividends, if the lens you want is more than your budget, just stick with what you have. There’s no sense in blowing your budget to have a new lens now when a few months more of saving can get you that same lens free and clear.

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