Here are some good lenses to add to your standard set up and/or to change you standard kit lens. They don’t cost a fortune and gives you a boost in expanding your creativity and photographic skills. Some of them are manual focus lenses. These good lenses are for APS-C bodies and for starting photographers. I don’t discuss stuff for Pro Photographers as they already know what to buy and what is good for their specific needs.
2016 is a very exciting year for Photography. Really, so many brands launched new models and lenses and there was already so much out there. This is a small recommendation from my point of view and focussed on the beginning photographer who whats to expand its gear and creativity.
Rokinon/Samyang/Bower is a brand that offers manual focus lenses with high speeds for a very very decent price. The image quality is very good and if you are a beginning photographer that is on a budget, you should consider these lenses. Rokinon offers lenses for Full Frame and APS-C for various camera brands.
Click here to go to the Rokinon Website.
85mm F1.4, probably one of the best portrait lenses on a budget available. On some websites they have tested it against much more expensive peers like the ones from Zeiss and the Rokinon 85mm stand its ground. A solid manual focus lens that will deliver. Price around 280USD.
12mm F2.0, if you are into wide angle shooting, this one you really need to consider. The Rokinon 12mm F2.0 is an APS-C format wide angle lens. (eqv. full frame is 18mm). And at F2.0 you can get some wide shots with creamy bokeh. And starting at around 390USD it will not break your bank.
10mm F2.8, same as above only more wide but a bit slower, 10mm at F2.8. (eqv. full frame is 16mm). Prices start at 399USD.
Sigma has a lot to offer. Their new line of Art series lenses are outstanding. However, they have also some good Contemporary lens line up. Check out these lenses.offers lenses for Full Frame and APS-C for various camera brands.
Click here to go to the Sigma Website.
17-70mm F2.8-4.0; when you are not happy with your standard kit lens but like the zoom range here is an alternative. The Sigma is a solid performer, delivers good image quality and has a quite interesting F range from F2,8 at the wide to F4 at the long end. So you get a stop more compared with a standard kit lens (F3,5-F5,6). Prices start at 300USD.
30mm F1.4; a very good prime lens for beginners with APS-C bodies. Focal length is 30mm (eqv. full frame 45mm) and with F1.4 good for some nice bokeh and object isolation. A very good prime starter lens. Prices start at 320USD
19mm F2.8; another good prime starter lens. Focal length 19mm (eqv. full frame is 28,5mm). This is more a standard wide lens, but with a fast aperture of 2.8. Nice for wide low light shots. Prices start at 150USD and is a good add on to you present standard kit.
10-20mm F4.0-5.6; A bit less than the F3.5 one, about half a stop but if you don’t need that, this one will do just fine. A very capable wide zoom for APS-C bodies. Focal length is 10-20mm (eqv. full frame is 15-40mm). Great image quality and even for a pro also a lens to consider. Prices start at 400USD
Tamron did the same as Sigma and offers also a good line up of affordable lenses. These lenses deserve attention as they offer good image quality and don’t break your bank account. Tamron offers lenses for Full Frame and APS-C for various camera brands.
Click here to go to the Tamron Website.
16-300mm F3.5-6.3; one of the best travel zooms available. If you look for a all-in-one travel zoom lens, consider this one. With a focal length of 16-300mm (eqv. full frame is 24-450mm) you can cover about everything. This lens is also a nice upgrade from you standard kit zoom lens. Prices start at 500USD
90mm F2.8 Macro; this is a fairly new lens. And its a good one. On the web it has been tested on several bodies and is a good performer. If you are into macro and portraits the Tamron should be on your short list. Prices start at 700USD.
Canon has a very wide choice of good lenses both for APS-C and Full Frame. Here are some of the budget lenses that you should have a look at.
40mm F2.8; a serious undervalued lens. With a focal length of 40mm (eqv. full frame is 60mm) and a fast aperture of 2.8 this lens is really good for street photography and even for some portrait shooting. The lens is small , its a pancake lens. Put it on a SL1/100D and you have a really nice package. Prices start at 150USD:
22mm F2; Another very good lens from Canon. Made for M mount bodies like the EOS M3. Comparable with the 40mm F2.8 only a stop faster at F2. If you have an Canon M system this lens is the one you need to add. Prices start at 250USD.
50mm F1.8 STM; At this price point there is really nothing to complain about this lens. A fast 50mm is nice to have and for the price this 50mm offers the lot. Good image quality, small and light. Build quality is so so, but what do you expect at this price point. Prices start at 130USD.
10-18mm F4.5-5.6 STM; A wide angle zoom for the beginning photographer. You can use this on as an add on to you standard gear like the 18-135mm STM lens. Then you can cover everything between 10 and 135mm with decent image quality and, at this price point, this lens is very good also compared with the much more expensive 10-22mm. Prices start at around 200 USD.
Fujifilm offers one of the best lens line ups. Covering every important focal length in a prime and zoom is something that says that Fuji takes their X-system serious. Overall, Fujifilm lenses are a bit expensive but offers great build quality, support and image quality. In their line up there are some good interesting lenses for not to much. Check these ones out. Click here to go to the Fujifilm Website.
27mm F2.8; the 27mm (eq. full frame is 40,5mm) is a pancake lens. Put it on a X-M1 or X-E2 and you have the perfect street photography combo. The lens is small, light, fast focusing and offers great image quality. A must have for all Fuji X users. Prices start at 260USD.
50-230mm F4.5-6.7; this is a long zoom and you can get it also as a combo with a Fuji X-M1 or X-A2. (incl. the 16-50mm kit lens). This lens is a bit a dressed out version of the 55-200mm but offers the same image quality. The lens is lighter but slower. It is also half the price of the 55-200mm.. If you can live with a bit less image quality and build quality, and you need a long zoom this is one. Prices start around 280USD.
35mm F2 WR; A new lens in the Fuji line up and it is a stunner. The new 35mm is weather sealed, offers stunning image quality, creamy bokeh from the F2 aperture and is small and light. And starting at around 400 USD there is very little to complain about. Full frame eqv. is 53mm.
Check these links for prices:
These links offers prices in USD and will be shipped for the USA. European prices can vary and can be quite high. For example: a Canon 50mm F1.8 STM retails online for about 150USD while here in Switzerland its between 150 to 249CHF. That is something to consider. So if you browse around the web you can get some good deals. And please look at the shipping conditions.