Thursday, January 20, 2011
Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 08:00 AM
As more people get into photography as a hobby, a common refrain heard is that it is an expensive hobby. It is not without some truth, as hobbies by their nature can involve spending large outlays of money since it is human nature to delve deeper into our interests, and hobbies that involve any kind of gear will have many opportunities for the hobbyist to spend their hard-earned money on. Not helping is today's world of marketing departments' promises of being better at what you do if you buy their companies' products or services.
Even if you ignore the messages from marketing, you still need some basic gear to take a photo, like a lens, and lenses can be very very expensive. Lenses can range from the popular f/2.8 zooms (as much as US$2,000+) to the super telephoto lenses (too much). Thankfully, there are cheap options out there, some good, some downright awful. So what does a budget (and budding) photographer buy? Well, here's a short roundup of some lenses that can be considered to be not too expensive.
This guide covers lenses for APS-sized sensor cameras for a number of reasons: 35mm film-sized sensor cameras are more expensive, and if you have the money for one of those, it makes sense to be able to afford the necessary lenses to go with the camera. Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds systems are not included as well, since both have very few inexpensive lenses in their respective systems.
I have broken up lenses into different categories that should cover a fair number of situations, and in each category I have tried to list lenses which are good but inexpensive (cheap would be a misnomer given some of the prices). Some categories have higher starting prices; this is simply due to some lens designs costing more, and is pretty much unavoidable. Also, for third-party lenses, some of them may not be available on your system of choice.