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More Important Than Cameras

Updated: Feb 20, 2021

One thing I hear all the time from my friends is, "Man, I'm not getting the kind of images I really want to make. I think I need a new camera." Wrong.

You need a new lens.

Lenses are what really determine the kind of pictures you are capable of making. Some lenses, like the ones you can buy in kits with a new camera, are not the sharpest or highest quality lenses on the market but they are always extremely versatile and a great place to start. Once you reach the point where you start noticing restrictions when you're shooting, take a look at your lineup of lenses rather than your camera.

Your camera is top notch even if it is considered a "beginner" level camera. I mean, the Canon SL3 shoots 4K video for crying out loud! My 1D X doesn't do that, but that's for other reasons I mention in my last post about choosing a camera. What I'm trying to say though is that lenses are the main factor in determining the kinds of images you can put out. Slap a 24-70mm f/2.8 on a Rebel t3i and the images will be tack sharp and professional looking as long as the photographer is professional.

Cameras are tools meant to allow us to capture what we as photographers see. Lenses allow us to shape that image into what we see in our minds. Want to take a portrait with creamy bokeh behind the subject? You need a lens with a fast aperture. Want to take a picture of someone 100 ft away from you? You need a telephoto lens that can cover the distance.

Camera bodies simply capture light while the lens shapes that light.

Taken on a Canon Rebel t7i

The image above was taken on a "beginner" level camera with the nifty fifty lens. The nifty fifty is a 50mm prime lens with an aperture of f/1.8 which is how I was able to create the blurry background that makes her stand out so much. So next time you think you need a new camera, take a look at your lenses and consider investing in some high quality glass that won't be replaced in a few months.

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