Lens hunt

One of my great interests is photography. I would like to call it a passion, but the fact is I can’t really afford to. ­čÖé Photography is a very expensive hobby. Although not as expensive as it once was, as you now don’t have to buy film and have it developed. It’s all digital now.

I have during a few days now been looking for lenses to my camera, a Canon DSLR. I suppose the kit lens works just fine, but it doesn’t fulfill my needs (or wants).

I’m fascinated by macro photography. The kit lens is a tad limited when it comes to macro photography. However, I’d like to show a picture I’m still quite happy with. It was taken the other day.

"Bug on bud" by J├Ârgen Brostr├Âm

"Bug on bud" by J├Ârgen Brostr├Âm

One of the lenses I’ve looked at is the Canon EF 100mm F2.8 L IS USM Macro. However, even if it would probably cover my needs when it comes to macro photography, I’m not entirely sure it would cover all my needs. I also have a need of a wide angle lens (for instance Canon TS-E 24mm 1:3.5 L II), as well as a good telephoto lens (for instance Canon EF 70-200mm 1:2.8 L IS USM).

So, that means I have to buy three lenses. Although, I probably don’t have to buy the wide angle lens as the kit lens (18-55mm) works quite well for that. That leaves two lenses.

Vaxholm's citadel

"Vaxholm's citadel" by J├Ârgen Brostr├Âm

Now, apart from my interest in macro photography, I like to take a lot of pictures when I travel. The problem is that I don’t particularly want to drag heavy camera equipment around where ever I go. So what is the solution to this conundrum? Well, it seems the solution would be to get a so called superzoom. They come in all shapes and sizes, as well as prices. The most common range seems to be 18-200mm. Apart from the brand lens, which for me would be Canon (for instance Canon EF-S 18-200mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS), you have other makes such as Sigma (for instance Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM) and Tamron (for instance Tamron AF 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC LD Aspherical (IF) MACRO). These third party lenses are usually a little bit cheaper. From what I’ve read and heard about these so called super zoom lenses, they keep up with the more expensive brand lenses quite well. At least in the lower range. However, they’re not as good when you use the zoom to its full extent, i.e. they tend not to deliver as sharp pictures as the brand lens.

So what to do? Well, it’s really a question of finance. Do you have a huge amount of money just lying around waiting to be used … then go for a brand lens. Pay a little extra and get a little extra. If you’re on a budget though, then I would not hesitate going for a third party lens. The Sigma and the Tamron are priced pretty much the same, and you get pretty much the same quality. Some would perhaps say that Tamron would be the better choice in this case. I tend to agree. But it depends on what kind of lens you’re looking for. Lenses with other ranges may be completely different.