Sir, Which Lens I should purchase ?


“ Sir, should I buy a new lens ?“  This is a question I am asked very often by my students.

Before I try to answer this ticklish question, I remember a question asked to a candidate appearing for Union Public Service Commission. She was a lady. She was asked “ Diwali is fast approaching, Now tell us whether you will buy a silk sari for yourself ?”

The answer given by this lady, who later on posted as collector was , “ look sir” she said           your question I will rephrase , whether I will buy a  sari this Diwali ?  Now a days, a cotton sari too costs as much as a silk sari does, so it does not matter whether I buy a silk or cotton sari !. The mute point is whether I need  a sari !  My answer is if I really need a sari this Diwali, then I will definitely buy it.”

When you buy your first DSLR, you often get two lenses, typically, 18-55, and 55-250( canon) or 55-200 ( Nikon). These lenses are good enough to hone your photography skills in the first few days of your journey into photography.

Later on, as you progress  you start exploring further, you realize that your equipment is limiting your creativity, and then the search starts, generally this starts in your honeymoon period with your camera and photography !  “ I am not getting good photos of birds in flight…I am not getting enough details while shooting butterflies, small insects I do not get the background blur in my portraits. I do not get wider coverage….These are some of the complaints” these are the points that drive you to think about purchasing new glass…as they call lenses in America !

In these days, the question you should ask yourself is “ what is my main area of interest in Photography ? “ whether I like, shooting wild life or I am content with shooting small insects, small plants, flowers etc, in my back garden or whether I like  shooting, portraits, or street photography.

Hence, Friends, what should drive you to buy a lens ?  You should not buy a lens just because  your well healed friend has it, not because your neighbor has it.  Do you really need it ? whether the lenses you have are enough for your needs ?  whether your physical, mental make-up allows you to go for that kind of photography. After tackling these questions with honest answers, then you should arrive at a decision. OK ?

Once you decide your main area of interest, then go for an appropriate lens for that genre of photography. Do  not go on amassing lenses, just because you have oodles of money, then you will end-up having lenses you rarely use and instead of giving you photographic pleasure these lenses will serve as home for fungus.

Hence friends, it is your real need that should drive your choice for new lens and not anything else !