If you have a camera with an interchangeable lens, you probably started using it (or are still using it) with the included kit lens. While this is fine for the first few weeks-months, when you’re ready to use your camera to it’s full potential, you’re gonna need to upgrade your lens.
It comes down to 2 main reasons. First, is the literal quality of the glass. Kit lenses often have a high amount of distortion and discoloration, and this is just from the pure fact that the actual glass is low quality. Second, aperture. Having a fast aperture (2.8 or better) is key in getting creamy, bokehlicious backgrounds.
Sounds Awesome, But How Is This Budget?
The Answer: Primes
The secret to getting a low aperture and high quality glass is a prime lens. While it’s not as convenient as having optical zoom, it’s the best bang for your buck. The only way to get a fast aperture and a lens with optical zoom is to fork over a high price. For Canon users, starting with the Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM lens is recommended. For only $125, this offers some quality performance. While it’s great for portraits and close ups, it’s not a wide lens by any means. If you are looking for a wide lens, then check out the Canon 24mm f/2.8 STM, which will set you back $149.
Learning To Live With Primes
Primes can be challenging, and quite annoying at times. Not having the ability to zoom is a pain, but unfortunately it’s your best bet unless you can afford an L glass lens. Walking is your zoom! It’s as simple as that.
Instead of conveniently sitting around and zooming, you’ll be forced to think outside the box and get at different angles! Although it sounds annoying at first, I’ve gotten used to it, and I prefer primes now. You just can’t beat the quality you get with a prime lens, not even with an L lens. In addition, prime lenses are light and compact.
While prime lenses are inconvenient, they offer better quality and a better price tag over zoom lenses.