DSLR for Dummies- Lenses

Today we will continue our DSLR for Dummies series.  I’ll do Blogging 101 tomorrow..if I get my act together.  Today, I will be represented in pink.  Nate will be black.

Ok, lenses.  Teach me everything I need to know…but not in a boring way.

I can’t promise it won’t be boring but here we go…

When researching cameras I focused mostly on what body was going to be best.  I did not do much research on what lenses to purchase because i planned on buying the kit.  The kit contained an 18mm-55mm and 55mm-200mm lenses.

Uh, what’s that mean.  DSLR for the dummy, remember.

The lower the mm, the less zoom.  The higher the mm, the greater the zoom.

I  figured that these lenses would cover most all of the shooting situations I would want to shoot (the 18-55 for the closer shots and the 55-200 when I needed to zoom in). When I made the decision to purchase the Nikon D5000, I waited for the kit to go on sale with the two lenses.

A couple of months after buying the camera we decided to go on vacation to Colorado. After some online research, I decided that I could use a good landscape lens….a Tamron 10mm-24mm would be a good fit for me.  This lens is what is considered an ultra wide-angle lens.  I used is a lot when we went hiking in the mountains as it was able to get a lot more of the breath taking views.

Colorado 078

Another advantage of this lens is the ability to photograph a smaller room because of the wide angle.  It does have a trade-off as it does tend to distort the picture, so some caution has to be used when using it.  In the following picture of our mudroom, the room appears to have more room on the right side of the bench than there actually is.


After about 9 months of shooting with the kit lenses, I found myself being irritated with either having the wrong lens on (needed the zoom when I had the short range on, etc), or missing shots because I was in the middle of switching lenses.  Again, after doing a lot of research, I found that the Tamron 18mm-270mm had everything I wanted in an all-in-one zoom lens.  If I were to do it all over again, I would have skipped the kit lenses and purchased this one instead.  The lens does cost a little bit more than the two lenses but the convenience and zoom range (getting the additional 70mm) is well worth it in my opinion.

So, how is all of this changing lenses business different than me changing shower curtains and paint colors every other month?

It’s totally different.

Of course. Right.

I received my latest lens for Christmas, it is the Nikon 50mm f1.8.  This lens (or the Canon equivalent) is a must if you ever plan on wanting pictures with really nice bokah (we will talk about bokah and how to get it in a later post).  This also makes for a really nice portrait lens or a lens that will work good in low light.

Here are some shots with each of the lenses discussed above.  All of the pictures were taken on a tripod at the same spot in the room.…

Tamron Wide Angle 10mm
Tamron Wide Angle 24mm

Tamron All-in-One 18mm
Tamron All-in-One 270mm
Nikon 50mm

I still want to know why it’s a problem for me to switch out decorating type stuff but it’s okay for you to change lenses more often than most people change underwear.

People only change their underwear every 4-5 months.  That’s gross.

Lesson over.  I think I actually learned something.  But when do I get to touch the camera?

I didn’t think about you touching my precious camera when we started this series. Is it too late to stop?

Yes! Mwah ha ha.

Tell us your thoughts on lenses!  Any preferences.  Any questions?  Next week we’ll the camera settings from Auto to Aperture. Oooo, fancy.