My Favourite DSLR Lens

Posted by Gary Ramey on August 8th, 2011
My Take: I’ve heard a lot of good things about the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 but this article makes me want to try out the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8. The prime lens I own is the Canon EF 35mm f/2. The reason I purchased it was because it would give me about the same field of view as a 50mm lens on a 35mm film camera but I haven’t decided if I really like it, yet. So far, I’ve been disappointed by the lack of sharpness. My other two lenses spend about the same amount of time on my camera. They are the kit lens, the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, and the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS.

I’ve been photographing with a Canon DSLR camera for over 5 years now and have been lucky enough to use quite a number of different lenses over that time. Some of these I’ve owned while others I’ve either rented or borrowed from friends and family. In this article I’ll discuss my top 3 lenses and try and pick a favourite.

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8

If you’ve not seen this lens then you’ve been missing out. It is a super wide angle lens that offers a really wide, almost distorted angle of view. I found it a bit tricky to use at first as it really makes you think about composition to get the best results. Simply pointing it at the horizon and shooting yields poor pictures. You need to either get up very close to your subjects or ensure your composition can lead the viewers eye through the shot.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8

I recommend that every DSLR camera owner buys this lens. It is by far the cheapest in Canon’s line up yet it provides a staggering jump up in the quality of images it produces compared to the usual kit lenses that get sold with most new cameras.

The huge aperture of f1.8 means it is great for shooting in low light without having to resort to using the flash. The bokeh it produces is great for portrait photography. After I bought this lens it barely came off my camera for literally 18 months.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM

This is the most expensive lens out of the three I’ve mentioned here (by a long way). It is one of Canons L series lenses, meaning it is designed (and priced) for the professional market. It is generally recognized as he sports/wildlife photographers weapon of choice.

The f/2.8 aperture allows fast shutter speeds in low light, essential to catch fast moving action, while on on board image stabilization gives you about another 2 f stops of speed.

My Favorite DSLR Lens

I’ve thought long and hard about which of these is my favourite DSLR lens. In terms of all round quality i nearly chose the 70-200mm however it’s high price point certainly brings it down. I am a massive fan of the nifty fifty (aka the 50mm) and would urge everyone to buy one.

However I finally chose the Tokina 11-16mm as my favourite. When I am getting bored and need some inspiration this is the lens I go to. It’s certainly not the easiest to use but I find it challenges my photography the most and makes me think about and improve my photography the most. When I get it right with this lens the results are really superb.

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