Last Updated on July 14, 2021 by PixelPluck
Numerous manufacturers offer lens options on the market, making it hard to select the best one to purchase. The range of lenses today can do just all kinds of photography when paired with the right kind of camera. From ultra-wide to super telephotos and dedicated macro to fixed primes, there are many lens options to suit all kinds of budgets. What lens you need depends upon the type of photography you do. In this blog post, you will find the 10 dream lens for every photographer.
A 35mm prime lens might not be useful for a wildlife photographer, just as a 600mm lens might not be useful for a wedding photographer. There are a few popular lenses that are must-haves for a particular genre of photography. However, professionals creatively get the best out of any lens that is available to them.
A photographer will never have too many lenses. Here are the Top 10 Dream Lens for every photographer. These are the finest piece of optics available for professional photographers. If you are a hobbyist then remember to upgrade your skills before you upgrade your lens.
10 Dream Lens for Every Photographer
Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art
Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 is a game-changer lens. It is the world’s first constant f/1.8 zoom lens for DSLR cameras that was announced way back in 2013. It combines advanced flexibility with uncompromising performance. The build quality feels solid and well constructed. Photographing with it wide open, it gives nice sharp, vivid pictures with good bokeh.
Unlike conventional zoom lenses, the zoom on this lens has no moving parts on the outside. This results in a stable surface while shooting. This lens is a top choice for travel and wedding photographers. While other manufacturers are looking towards the FX-format, Sigma took a bold step to introduce this professional lens for the DX bodies [Read DX vs FX]. When compared to similar professional lenses, the Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 offers exceptional value for money. Lenses such as the Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8 and Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 by Nikon cost almost twice as much. There’s a solid reason for this lens featuring in the list of 10 dream lens for every photographer.
Check price & reviews: Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 Art.
85mm f/1.8 or 85mm f/1.4
85mm lenses are perfect for portraits and fashion. The focal length is best suited for a similar kind of photography. Considering the price difference and result between the f/1.8 and f/1.4 versions it is better to go for the pocket-friendly 85mm f/1.8 lens. The 85mm prime lens offers an appealing combination of small size, low weight, good optical quality at a relatively low price. This makes it an ideal ‘carry everywhere’ lens for portraiture and fashion photography. If you specialize in portraits and portfolios, an 85mm prime lens is a must-have.
24-70mm f/2.8 Lens
Almost all professionals who do a variety of work, from portraits to weddings, carry this one around with them. 24-70mm f/2.8 Lens is a highly versatile lens. It is also used by landscape photographers. The 24-70mm is made for FX bodies but can also be used on the smaller crop sensor bodies. The color reproduction, sharpness, and quality of the bokeh are on par with the dedicated primes. It works extremely well in low-light situations because of its wide aperture. This lens is designed for enthusiasts and professionals who work in dynamic lighting and weather conditions and need exceptional sharpness, color, and contrast.
A 70-200mm f/2.8 lens is one of the most popular lenses worldwide among professional photographers. From covering outdoor sports to weddings and events, from fashion shoots to journalism, you can just take it anywhere and it will become useful. It is the big brother of 24-70mm and gives you some extra reach in case you are shooting outdoors. 70-200mm f/2.8 is the lens of choice for any outdoor fashion photographer.
Due to its higher focal length, the quality of the bokeh is butter smooth and pleasant. It provides excellent image quality, fast auto-focus, and an incredibly useful focal range. The 70-200mm is a classic – the go-to lens for almost any type of shooting. Canon’s and Nikon’s 70-200mm are expensive, and many photographers opt for 3rd-party versions of this popular lens. Both Sigma and Tamron have come close to matching the quality of Canon and Nikon.
Dedicated Macro Lens: Nikon 105mm, Canon 100mm and Tamron 90mm
These should be your lens of choice if you do a lot of macro photography. Nature photographers who love to shoot small things, be it an insect, leaf, or raindrop, prefer this lens over anything else. It gives you a nice 1:1 life-size ratio and the photograph stands out. The possibilities are endless, you can present anything with a whole new perspective. It can also be used as a portrait lens. An arsenal of lenses for a nature photographer should include a macro lens.
Tamron 150-600mm is an affordable option for all wildlife enthusiasts. Especially those who can not opt for the expensive f/2.8 versions of fixed 300mm, 400mm, and above from Nikon & Canon. The versatile range of 150mm to 600mm makes it extremely useful under different situations. While still being relatively portable, this super-telephoto zooms to 600mm focal length. This type of lens is the tool of choice for small or distant subjects when large heavy primes are impractical or unaffordable. It can be used as a telephoto lens anywhere ranging from birds, wildlife, and sports.
The Tamron 150-600mm one of the most modern lenses in its class, and therefore, in principle, has the most up-to-date optics. It offers excellent optical image stabilization (which Tamron calls Vibration Compensation or VC) and an UltraSonic Drive motor for fast & silent autofocus. Even with the F5-6.3 maximum aperture, the high-ISO capability of modern sensors makes it very useful under difficult lighting conditions. It can also be used on APS-C SLRs, on which it offers a huge 225-900mm equivalent range. When you compare it with Nikon, Canon, and Sony counterparts, it is an outperformer for its price.
Check price & reviews: Tamron 150-600mm
Sigma 50mm f1.4 DG HSM
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens announcement created huge anticipation among the professional photographer community when it was announced. 50mm is a very natural focal length as it approximates how we perceive a scene with our own eyes (at least in field of view and perspective terms). It is one of the most popular focal lengths and is used in fashion, portraiture, weddings, documentary, lifestyle, sports, architecture, landscape, and general studio photography applications. When mounted on a crop sensor DSLR it offers an equivalent focal length of around 80mm which is just great for portraits. The 50 f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens receives Sigma’s premium Hypersonic Motor-driven AF system. This AF system is very quiet with only a few light clicks being heard during focus acquisition.
Check price & review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4
Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8
If landscapes are your genre then an ultra-wide-angle lens is a must. You may spend a fortune on the Nikon and Canon counterparts but the Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 will save you a lot of money. Ultra wide-angle lenses present a unique perspective where the background goes further back and the foreground looks relatively larger when compared to the original view. This opens up a creative corridor. Be it astrophotography or landscapes, the f/2.8 coupled with an 11mm wide-angle will help you there. The lens is one of the favorites for all professionals who don’t want to splurge on the branded ones from Nikon or Canon.
Check price & review: Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8
When it comes to portrait there is no substitute for the ultra-sharp 135mm from the house of Nikon & Canon. While Nikon’s 135mm has not been updated in the last 25 years, the Canon’s is relatively newer. They are among the list of dream lenses of any fashion and portrait photographer. It offers incredibly sharp image quality and pleasant bokeh. Canon professionals call it “the lord of the red rings“. It is sharper than the most popular 70-200mm f/2.8. The f/2 aperture makes it a winner under low light. There is a cheaper alternative from Rokinon. The 135mm is one the most special lens among the 10 dream lens for every photographer.
Leica Noctilux 50mm f/0.95 ASPH
Yes, an aperture of 0.95. Now that is what you call bokehlicious lens. These aren’t cheap, and you’ll have to shell out a lot of money for them. It sucks in all available light and is stellar in terms of performance. The Noctilux is tack sharp in the field of view even at f/0.95 aperture. The pictures have a dreamy, isolated quality that’s not possible with Summiluxes or other lenses. At f/0.95 one can get the eyes in focus and have the nose and ears *out* of focus which means that you need surgical precision when using this lens wide open, to get the perfect focus.
The build quality on Leica Noctilux 50mm f/0.95 is bespoke. There’s a good chance that this will still be around when your grandchildren grow up. You can carry the ‘M’ camera with lens in a small bag that doesn’t make you look like a photographer, meaning you can get into more places and capture more images (and more interesting images) than you would carry the typical camera bag and/or tripod. Couple it with a Leica M9 and you will have a match made in heaven. If you want to own it then get ready to spend the whopping US $11,000. Of course, the shipping is free.
Check price just in case you need it ;): Leica 50mm f/0.95 and don’t forget to pair a Leica M series camera with this.
We hope you enjoyed this insightful and informative list of 10 dream lens for every photographer. Which one is your dream lens? Let us know in the comments below.