Calgary Photographer Cody James outlines some things to consider when purchasing lenses.

Calgary photography

When I first began shooting photography seriously I was packing a Nikon D80, it was a great entry level camera and did wonderful in the world I enjoyed the most (landscapes). I personally believe the big long term investments should be your glass (lenses) but the body is also equally important in being able to open your world of photography to new avenues. I eventually upgraded to a Nikon d700 which due to its wicked ISO performance has allowed me to grow in the fine art, nature (macro), and portrait fields, but today I am here to discuss lenses. Over the years I’ve bought and sold my fair share of lenses which include:

  • 90mm Tamron
  • 10.5 mm Nikon fisheye
  • 17-55 Nikon
  • 18-200 Nikon VR 1
  • 80-400 Nikon
  • 10-20 Sigma
  • 24-70 Nikon
  • 85mm f/1.8 Nikon
  • 50mm f1.8 Nikon
  • 105mm Nikon VR
  • 18-135 Nikon

I’m sure there’s others but needless to say I’ve experienced a variety of lenses. I’m going to outline a few categories of shooting and list what lens I use in that field and lenses I might also recommend looking into

Be sure that you’re keeping what style of photography you enjoy most in mind when purchasing a lens, budget is usually a big factor so see where you can get the most bang for your buck, a lens like the Nikon 105 does very well both in the macro field as well as a portrait lens, the 70-200 from Nikon as well can be a goto lens for weddings but can also dub as a wicked landscape lens, its definitely not wide, but when you are trying to capture scenery from afar it is tough to beat.

Macro

I am beyond happy with my AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED lens, I also had a Tamron 90mm that performed quite well under favourable circumstances, but it wasn’t nearly as fast, crisp, and capable as my 105.

Landscapes
Believe it or not I captured quite a few of my best shots with the Nikon 18-200, if you’re on a budget it’s a versatile lens that gets the job done, it’s not as great as www.kenrockwell.com might lead you to believe though. I presently mix between my 24-70 Nikon and my Sigma 10-20 as both have their own added benefits, the big one for the Sigma being its ability to go VERY wide especially on an FX (full frame) body. You might also be interested in Nikons 14-24 which is said to be one of the sharpest lenses around!

Portraits
Both of Nikons 85mm lenses are solid, the 105mm is great, and the 70-200 is killer.

If you’re like me and looking to score some sweet glass on a budget don’t be afraid to hit up sites like Kijiji I’ve gotten some mint lenses for steals.

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