Photographer Education

First Lens to Invest in when Starting your Photography Business

October 30, 2019

I'm Chelsy, a single mom in a small town, who loves photographing weddings, and helping photographers build their own businesses

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When starting your photography business it can feel overwhelming when it comes to what gear to invest in.  There are so many lenses and so many options even when you do decide on a focal length. One of the best investments especially early on in your photography business is lenses. When cared for lenses will last a very long time, and hold their value really well especially when compared to camera bodies. Professional wedding photographers may replace their camera bodies every 2-4 years, but they will usually keep the same lenses for 8-10 years if not longer! 

Zoom or Prime 

Choosing the right focal length is super important and one of the first things to consider.  You have two options when it comes to types of focal lengths; zoom and prime.  Zoom lenses give you the option to stand in one place and use your lens to get tighter images of your subject.  Prime lenses have a fixed length and if you want a tighter shot you will need to physically get closer. 

Which is best?

This mainly depends on what subjects you are photographing.  If you are more into nature photography then a zoom lens certainly might be a better option.  If you are photographing people, I suggest a prime lens.  

Why I Suggest Prime?

By choosing a prime lens you are getting a higher quality glass.  You also will have the option to get wider apertures.  Wider apertures mean you will be able to shoot in lower light situations and create a creamy, blurry background since you can create deeper depths of field. 

What focal length should I invest in first?

My suggestion is to choose the most versatile focal length, the 50 mm.  The 50mm is often referred to as a nifty fifty because it’s often one of the most used lenses in any photographers kit.  50 mm is pretty comparable to the human eyes field of vision. It’s wide enough to stay at a comfortable distance from your subject to get a full-body shot but tight enough to avoid getting too close for comfort when photographing a headshot. 

What lens to get first when starting your photography business!
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Full frame or crop sensor lens?

There are two types of lenses full frame or crop sensor.  If you have a full-frame camera you will hand down want to get a full-frame lens.  So what if you have a crop sensor camera body?  I still suggest investing in the full-framed lens. Yes, you will be photographing a little bit tighter than 50mm on a crop sensor camera, but you will have higher quality glass which will improve your image quality right away. Plus when you invest and upgrade to a full sensor camera body, you will already have the lens that will let you take full advantage of your new full-frame capabilities! 

For Cannon, you want to look for the letters STM in the lens name to indicate it is a full-frame lens. Nikon you will want to find FX in the name to indicate a fullframe lens!

What aperture? 

So what aperture do you choose, I suggest the widest aperture your budget will allow.  The wider the aperture the higher the cost, but the better the image quality.  

Cannon suggestion

Nikon Suggestion

There you have it, my suggestion for what lens to invest in when you are starting your photography business is the 50mm 1.4.

What lens to get first when starting your photography business!

What was the first lens you purchased when starting your photography business? Let me know in the comments! 

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