6 Must Have Lenses for DSLRs

There are so many different lenses on the market that it can be overwhelming to know which ones to buy. When choosing you need to think about the kind of photography you want to do, as well as the quality you want and your budget. Here are my 6 must have lenses for DSLR cameras which encompass a variety of photography types (in no particular order). They are mostly based around a Canon body as this is what I have.

If you want to learn more about camera settings, check out my guide to manual photography.

1) Canon 50mm f/1.8

One of the best value lenses on the market! The Canon 50mm f/1.8 only costs around £100 ($130 USD), and gives you a beautiful blurred background. This was the first portrait lens I ever bought!

What kind of photos is it good for?
– portraits
– creative landscape shots
– nearby wildlife

Photo example (no edit):37319157352_f727e85f1c_o.jpg


2) Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 

One of my favourite lenses as the aperture is fixed at 1.8, so you can get a beautiful shallow depth of field from a wide angle to more close up. The Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 is around £550 ($700 USD).

What kind of photos is it good for?
– portraits
– landscape shots
– nearby wildlife
– indoor

Photo example:42157882980_ef98e86402_o.jpg


3) Canon 70-200mm F/2.8

The canon 70-200m f/2.8 lens is high on my wish list and is a must for anyone who wants to take photography seriously. It’s a vastly flexible lens, and delivers beautiful quality imagery. With flexibility comes price, and this lens is over £1500 ($1900 USD).

What kind of photos is it good for?
– portraits
– astro photography (thanks to aperture)
– standard landscape photography.
– wildlife (great zoom so you can get close without spooking them!)

Photo example (by Petr Burkyt):43259539604_59cedbf0f4_o

4) Canon 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6

Wide angle lenses are super useful when you want to try and fit as much into the photo as possible, without doing a panoramic shot. I have the Canon 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 and it’s been super useful for my travel photography. This will only set you back around £250 ($300 USD).

What kind of photos is it good for?
– Landscape
– Indoor

Photo example:Nusa Penida-19.jpg


5) Canon 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6

Another one of my go to lenses is the Canon 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6. At only £350 ($450 USD), it is one of the more affordable zoom lenses.

What kind of photos is it good for?
– landscape
– wildlife (as long as it’s during the day)

Photo example:Komodo-2

6) Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8

This lens is perfect for macro photography. Close-up shots have a small depth of field, so a quality macro lens needs a narrow aperture to allow for ultra-fine focus adjustments. The Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 is around £400 ($510 USD).

What kind of photos is it good for?
– macro
– wildlife

Photo example by Monique Van Gompel:

I personally have 5 lenses, a Canon 50mm f/1.8, Sigma 30mm f/1.4Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 Canon 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 and Canon 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6. I like to take both portrait and landscape photos, and my lenses reflect this.

TOP TIP – If you are looking to take just general photos I would recommend having at least 2 different lenses. Ideally a lens with an aperture under f/2.5 and a zoom lens.

All the best in your photography endeavours! If you’re interested in learning more about editing photos, check out my guide to editing on Lightroom.


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2 thoughts on “6 Must Have Lenses for DSLRs

  1. Hello Ellie, thanks for the geat article. Just the 50mm lense, I think you are talking about 1.8, not 1.4. The 1.4 is mucg more expensive and also your link leads to 1.8 on Amazon.

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