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10 Best Lenses To Upgrade From Your Kit Lens

10 Best Lenses to upgrade from your Kit Lens.

Most entry and mid level DSLR come bundled with a Kit Lens. They are lightweight and built to a price that won’t make the camera kit seem expensive, these lenses are primarily designed to get the new photographer off the ground and shooting with his or her new camera, straight out of the box. They come bundled with either a 18-55mm lens or slightly longer 18-105mm (nikon) / 18-135mm (canon). They just do the job and are obviously better than the point and shoot compact cameras.

In demanding conditions such as low light situation or portraits where sharpness is required it may not give satisfying results. So if you are willing to improve the quality of your photographs, get better bokeh and increase the creative freedom then its time to upgrade to a prime lens.

But that said its always advisable to upgrade your skills before upgrading your gear.


Why would a Photographer need a Prime lens?

Here are the prime reasons to get a prime lens.

→ Its faster and allows more light into the sensor providing better shutter speed.
→ Easily affordable compared to zoom lenses.
→ Having said that, wonderful in low light for its larger aperture (& Low ISO = Cleaner image)
→ Great optical quality with wonderful crispy and contrast pictures.
→ It gives a lovely bokeh, a soft background for a ultra-sharp subject.
→ And finally, believe me they make you a good photographer.

Prime Lenses
Let us check out the 10 Best Lenses to upgrade from your Kit Lens.

1. 50mm Prime Lens
A 50mm lens is a go to lens for all the beginners. It immediately transforms the quality of your photographs, gives you that beautiful blurred background and sharper images. Kit lenses don’t go wide enough to give great background blur. They open their aperture to a maximum of f3.2 . This 50mm will open upto f1.8 . Which also mean it will suck in more light and therefore better low light results. Offcourse you can buy 50mm f1.4 or a 50mm f1.2 also but they are very expensive and used by professionals mostly. 50mm f1.8 is good enough for hobbyists as well as semi-pros.
Check latest price here (Canon / Nikon)

2. 35mm Prime Lens
It is as good as 50mm but it will give your wider shots which means you can take group photos easily or can even take photos indoor where space is an issue. Remember you can’t zoom-in or zoom-out in fixed focal lenght lenses like 50mm, 35mm and 85mm. You will have to move forward and backward. It is good for both portraits, group portraits and landscapes.
Check latest price here (Canon/Nikon)

3. 85mm f1.8G
It is one of the sharpest lens and gives amazing results. The background is usually thrown completely out of focus and photos are extremely sharp. Its an excellent outdoor lens for portraits and family shoot.
Check latest price here (Canon/Nikon)

4. Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8
For those who can’t afford the prime zoom lenses like 24-70mm f2.8 , this lens comes to rescue your pockets and gives you satisfying quality. You get the ability to zoom-in and zoom-out and thus better composition control. Its an all-round lens which will do just any job and you will be glad with the results as this is massive improvement over your kit lens.
Check latest prices here (For Canon/For Nikon)

5. Dedicated Macro lens
If you are interested in macro photography and getting life-size images with extreme sharpness then this category is for you. Dedicated macro lenses may start at focal length of just 40mm but practically they aren’t very useful as the working distance between your lens and subject will be very small. This in-turn means you can scare that little bug and it will fly away. Its good to choose macro lens above 90mm. Third party lenses are always cheaper but there would be slight quality difference. Macro or Micro means same and is used by Canon and Nikon respectively.
Read about Macro Photography here.
Check latest price for Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro, Nikon 105mm f/2.8G or Tamron 90mm for Canon or Nikon

6. Extreme Wide Angle lens
Wide angle lenses give a completely different perspective. On a normal crop sensor body, the kit lenses starting at 18mm behave like a 24mm due to sensor crop factor. So a extremely wide angle lens will actually give your better results. You can do amazing landscape, seascape, street or even extraordinary portraits with it. They are a must for landscape lovers. Nikon and Canon wide angle lenses are very expensive. Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 is very positively and highly rated and does equally good job at lesser price point.
Check latest price for Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 (For Canon /For Nikon)

7. 24-70 f2.8 Lens

They are extremely sharp, highly professional and top of their category lenses.You wont find a sharper alternative in their class.They are used by professionals as well as normal hobbyists with deep pockets. You don’t even have to think about the quality, its just supreme.
Check latest price here (Canon/Nikon)

8. 70-200mm f2.8 Lens
They are everything told in point number 7, except they are slightly bigger and have higher focal length. They give you more working distance and good for outdoors.
Check latest price here (Canon/Nikon)

9. Tamron 150-600mm
For all wildlife photographers, this is the best value for money product. With a focal length of 150 to 600mm on full frame and 225-900mm equivalent on crop sensor camera you can’t ask for more at its price. The results are highly acceptable and has good wonderful reviews. Due to its high demand you may have to wait after your orders to get your hands on.
Check latest price here (Tamron 150-600mm)

10. The Holy Trinity of Lenses

Nikon's holy trinity of lenses
Nikon’s holy trinity of lenses

The name says it all. They include a 12-24mm f2.8 , a 24-70 f2.8 and a 70-200mm f2.8 . Except for the wildlife they take care for all kind of normal photography with the best possible results. Dont even compare them with any other lens. They are expensive but the results justify their high price tag. You can of course go to their sigma and tamron alternatives but the quality wont be same.

Other great alternatives that you should have on mind is award winning lens the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 Art.

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One comment

  1. A few years ago I brought a Rebel t3 and although it works fine, I am looking at upgrading. Thinking about the Canon 80d, but also torn between the 6d, 70d, 7d. I like taking general photos from shots of the granddaughter to landscapes and wildlife. Would also like to get into macro. Apart from kit lens I have the 50mm f1.8 and the 10-18mm f4.5 is stm. Had considered buying the canon 70-200 f2.8 L instead of the camera body as people have advised its all about the lenses. Not sure if the rebel t3 would do the 70-200mm lens justice.

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