choosing lenses

Do you remember in the last Indiana Jones movie when the old man tells Indiana to "choose wisely" in a really epic way? Just picture me saying that to you throughout this post. I've been getting a lot of lens questions so I'm going to share a few basic and diverse ones with you. (Lucky for you guys too, as far as lenses go, the ones that I'm showing you here are pretty inexpensive!) I'd suggest any of these lenses to somebody who is just starting out with photography. The following photos were taken in a pretty dark room and I sat in the same exact place for every photo so that you would be able to see the differences.

30mm f/1.4: This lens is my absolute favorite. I'm actually the only photographer that I know of who shoots mostly with a 30mm, which I just don't understand because it is an incredibly versatile lens that I find is perfect for portraits. In fact, 90% of the photos on this blog were captured with this lens. This lens is fixed, which means that it doesn't zoom. If you're unfamiliar with that, it can take some getting used to but I've found that my eye for composition has improved exponentially since shooting with a fixed lens.


50mm f/1.8: This was one of my first lenses and I will always hold it close to my heart. It's another fixed lens but the depth of field is so dramatic, you won't miss the ability to zoom at all. Most of the photographers that I know rely heavily on a 50mm lens. I've heard good things about the 50mm 1.4 lenses but the 1.8 is perfect for beginners because it is extremely affordable. Like, under $120 affordable, and it's not a bad lens at all. 

70-300mm: This is a tough lens to shoot indoors with because it doesn't function very well in low light but it is really great for outdoors. In this photo, it's not zoomed in at all, it can zoom in pretty far. I call it my "stalker lens." I like using this one to take portraits of people in the woods. The person is really crisp and the background is barely distinguishable, so the leaves and the light look really cool. Just be sure that you have a lot of space to move around!

18-105mm: This is the "widest" lens that I have. It also has the ability zoom but it's much less dramatic, so in contrast to the last lens, is good for shooting in smaller spaces. I don't use it TOO much but I know a lot of photographers who make great use of it.

Holga: This lens is SO much fun to play around with! It's meant to look like a Holga camera. Doesn't do too bad of a job, in m opinion. It has a grainy'ness about it that I just love. I've even been finding ways to use it in weddings. This lens isn't very functional but I use it more than I thought I would. It mixes it up every once in a while!

Happy shooting!
xo, e.m.



8 comments

  1. Thank you so much for posting this! I've been looking around for a new lens but having a hard time figuring out which one to get and reading about them all can get a little confusing when I know next to nothing of the spec speak. This was very helpful :)

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    1. You're welcome! If you have any questions on any particular lenses, don't be afraid to email me and I'll try my best to help you out! (erika @ larkandlace . com) It can be confusing and kind of scary and I understand!

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  2. And just as I was about to type the email to ask you the question...

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  4. Such a useful post!! Thanks! xxx

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