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Old 27-06-2014, 11:28   #1 (permalink)
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Why Do I Need More Than 1 Lens?

I am using 1 lens recently, but some of my frields always talk about having 2 to 3 lens. Why do I need to buy more than 1 lens, can you please share your ideas?

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Old 27-06-2014, 12:48   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Why Do I Need More Than 1 Lens?

Different subjects / genres require different lenses to capture the best pictures. For instance, if you want to take wildlife pictures where you cannot get close to your subjects you will need a long (telephoto) lens to bring you closer to your subject like using a telescope or binoculars. Something between 300mm to 600mm. Using the standard lens that came with your camera will only show the subjects as a tiny dot in the picture.

Conversely, if you have very little space, like taking pictures indoors, or in narrow streets, a wider angle lens will be much better.

If macro is interesting you really need a specialist macro lens to get the best results as non-macro lenses will not focus close enough.

Most cameras with interchangeable lenses will have a general purpose lens fitted when you buy them - typically 18-55mm - that will do most things adequately without excelling in any one aspect. Some people will buy a better general purpose lens than comes with the camera. Tamron have a lens that zooms from 18mm to 270mm for instance. Other makers have similar lenses.

Some lenses of all focal lengths have very wide apertures, usually f2.8 or wider. These lenses will allow fine control of the depth of field and allow much faster shutter speeds. They are often called fast lenses. Downside is that these lenses are often heavy and expensive other than the very fast 50mm prime lenses that most brands make.
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Old 27-06-2014, 14:45   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Why Do I Need More Than 1 Lens?

One lens can be sufficient if you are only interested in one kind of subject, for instance portraits in the studio. For this you would be probably using a fixed focal length. Equally one zoom lens (usually the kit lens) is satisfactory for many people.

If you intend to explore different techniques and subjects from those you use already, you may need another lens (as explained by dabhand). For instance macro is best done with a lens especially made for the purpose of capturing very fine detail.

If you could give some information about the kind of photography you do or want to try, along with some details of the lens & camera you have already it will be possible to advise as to whether extra lenses are essential for you or just a luxury.
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Old 27-06-2014, 15:48   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Why Do I Need More Than 1 Lens?

My wife has one lens, an 18-200mm. It meets all of her needs up to 90 % of the time. She likes to take wildlife Pictures and felt she wanted more reach. Because she wants the lightest camera kit we can find she ended up with a 300mm prime. For the average photographer the price might be to high. We saved for this and it is the best prime lens we have. It was made to shoot flowers and take wildlife. If money is hard to come by it can be fun to look into a used lens. Have someone help if you know less about lenses but it is an excellent way to end up with a lens you might feel you are glad about having. It's all in the fun of taking pictures, so ask your friends if they have a lens you might try out just to help find that happy place every photographer loves to be in. One lens can make you happy, so can one more.
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Old 27-06-2014, 16:10   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Why Do I Need More Than 1 Lens?

I have four lenses for my DSLR and Lightroom makes it easy to pull out stats on lens usage. Over the past 4 years my lens usage is:-

12-24mm - 11%
24-105mm - 70%
70-200mm - 18%
100mm Macro - 1%

To be fair, though I owned the first 3 lenses throughout this period, I have only owned the Macro lens for less than 6 months. On many occasions now I only take the 24-105mm lens. Usually I know if I need the 70-200mm (birds in flight, airshow, motor sport) so only take it when I do. An alternative is my Bridge camera which does not have an interchangeable lens but the zoom covers 25mm to 600mm and it can also handle Macro.

It is horses for courses. While the Bridge has a huge range in one lens and is lightweight, it is not in the same league as my DLR for quality. I do not need the highest quality for all photographs I take so I try to ensure that I have the right camera for the situation.

If you do have a DSLR with one lens, there is nothing wrong with this. I know several photographers who stick to one lens. It is the final images that matter not the equipment and it is better to master a limited range of equipment and produce excellent images rather than a bag full of equipment but not master any of it.
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Old 28-06-2014, 15:14   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Why Do I Need More Than 1 Lens?

First off, for my serious photography I only use one lens - a prime lens in the standard focal length for my format (if you're using an APS-C sensor camera, that's about 30mm). I hardly ever feel the need for another. Why - because I have a limited subject range, as I only photograph things that interest me, rather than the more common photographer's aim of photographing a wide range of subjects. I'm not really interested in photography; just in photographs. And there is a big difference. To save boredom, I've put the points I think important in bold; you can always skip the rest.

Why do you need different focal lengths? Two reasons. The less important has been covered already, but recapping (and expanding):

1. The image size is proportional to the focal length for distant subjects, so you'll get an image twice as large if you double the focal length, and half the size if you halve it. Since you're recording the image on a fixed size surface, you get more in if you halve the image size - you cover a greater angle of view - and hence a lens of shorter than usual focal length is usually referred to as a wide angle.

2. Changing the image size is helpful if you can't change you position to get nearer, and want a bigger image (e.g. a bird or animal that you can't approach), or if you can't step back and want to get more in. In this last case, if you don't mind using software (and assuming a digital file) you'll usually get a better result using a tripod, making multiple exposures and stitching them together. This won't work so well with group shots, but if you photograph people with a wide angle lens, you'll soon find that three dimensional off axis objects are enlarged (this is extremely easy to show with a diagram, and has nothing at all to do with any optical defects in a lens, nor is it confined to wide angle lenses - they just make it easier to see).

The more important reason is perspective control. I mentioned using a longer focal length if you couldn't get nearer. Think what this implies - the closer you are, the bigger something looks. If you take two people of equal height, stand them in a line and photograph them, if you're at right angles to the line, they should be the same height. Stand just off the line, so that they appear side by side, and then watch how their relative sizes change as you move backwards and forwards. Changing position changes the apparent size of objects - just as photographing a person from very close up with an extreme wide angle lens will produce an image with an enormous nose and small ears.

How an image looks depends on the subject position; and except in certain specialised fields the sole purpose of using different focal length lenses is to get the camera position you need to show the subject how you want it to appear, and then change the lens to exclude the extraneous matter, or include what's necessary, as appropriate.
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Old 28-06-2014, 23:06   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Why Do I Need More Than 1 Lens?

you dont "need" more than one lens....... you cold go out and buy a 28- 300mm which should colver all your options..... not everyone wants to carry a heavy lens like that about. ( other than my OH) i usually leave the house with three lenses unless i know img going to us my 150 - 500 then its 4 lenses...... 10-22, 24-105m 70-200, i also sometimes have the 50 and the 35 with me
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Old 29-06-2014, 06:22   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Why Do I Need More Than 1 Lens?

I love to photograph wild life and you need a really long lens especially wild eagles and then taking shots of the dogs or flowers requires a shorter lens,

but am not expert lots more experienced people about
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Old 29-06-2014, 14:03   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Why Do I Need More Than 1 Lens?

As others have said it depends on what subjects you are shooting to get the best shots.

As an example last week I had cricket and badminton to shoot so had a 400mm + 1.4 telex, 70-200mm, 135mm & 85mm with two bodies which meant I was able to cover every focal length that I needed.

Just be careful wanting more lenses......it can get addictive and expensive
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Old 30-06-2014, 01:14   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Why Do I Need More Than 1 Lens?

Opinions are going to vary greatly. But most of us have options based on what we want, or think will make photography more fun or our final results better.
I have Canon and I keep a 17-85, 50mm, 70-300 and a 100 Macro. But the 17-85 rides most of the time.
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Old 30-06-2014, 13:15   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Why Do I Need More Than 1 Lens?

It seems like you opened up a happy can of worms, everybody likes to talk about lenses. I was thinking about what lens would take a picture better then others. In evening light the wife who loves to take pictures of deer, the two of us set up a hide in some bushes along wide open grass fields where we see deer quite often. As we sat quite out of sight, a deer and two smaller ones came walking out 30 feet, saw us around the corner and took off. I had my very first telephoto lens on and was set for exposure and servo mode, then let it ripe. Took home a picture of the deer doing what they like, running and jumping. This was rare for me to catch deer because my wife is the one who likes to go there. The point being is I came along prepared to shoot fast and far away. Or those things apart of what is important to you. This type of approach should help you decide if you need more then one lens.
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