If you are planning to buy a camera and have chosen to buy a DSLR camera, then most of time, this camera is bought as a kit together with a lens. Lenses sold as part of the kit are called kit lenses. Buying such a camera kit is quite reasonable because you cannot use the camera without the lens and the price of the lens in the kit is a lot cheaper than bought separately. So called kit lenses offered together with a camera are very different and here, the complexity of the camera is mostly the producers' decision. Half frame sensor cameras are sold as kits together with zoom lenses and their focal length is between 18-55mm, 18-105mm but also 18-140mm or something else.

The main purpose of the DSLR camera is to change the lenses in front of the camera. This gives a lot of opportunities to capture different photos. I would hereby like to give an overview of different lenses and their potential usage possibilities. First of all, the common Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6. Mostly, we are dealing with a wide angle lens with not so powerful f-stop. It is suitable for taking photos that acquire a wide angle: city views, landscape, interior design, group photos. In order to capture something more detailed on the photo, you would have to move very close to the subject you are photographing. When photographing a person, one might feel very uncomfortable when the photographer crawls into their lap and then, the emotion does not look natural on the photo anymore. It gets even crazier when photographing animals and birds. Attempts to get closer to them usually fail and there is no photo at all or the animal or bird being photographed is so small on the photo that the photo loses its point.


What lens is good as the next one and what can you differently with it? First, you should see if the focal lengths of the lenses you are purchasing are not the same as of the existing zoom lens’. Also it is not good if there is an uncovered area between the focal lengths. That is why, from DX (lenses meant for half frame sensor camera) series' lenses, you should consider purchasing a 55-200mm or 55-300mm lens in addition to 18-55mm focal length lens. To see the differences and understand the new possibilities, I am going to show you a couple of examples of photographing the city ducks.


File: City duck 1
A mallard duck photographed with 18-55mm lens remains small on the river and the photo rather describes the habitat of the bird than the bird itself.

File: City duck 2
If you use the maximum zoom of 55mm of the 18-55mm lens and try to get as closer to the duck as possible, then you get a photo where the duck family is just leaving into the safe distance.

File: City duck 3
A lens with a focal length of 55-300mm enables to photograph a nestling from a long distance. A little duck nestling fills up the most of the frame and a detailed photo is possible.


Lenses with a longer focal length are not only meant for photographing animals and birds. Longer focal length enables to photograph portraits and subjects so that you do not have to get very close to the subject. This way, you can photograph from the distance and the subjects feel comfortable and act more freely.

In addition, with a longer focal length lens, it is possible to shoot smaller details, like flowers and the weather without using macro lens. Here, the soft background while shooting with a more opened aperture is also an advantage to draw attention to the beauty of the flower.


File: Flower 1
Photographed with 18-55mm focal length lens. Although the shot has been taken with an open aperture, the background is detailed enough and the flowers disappear into the greenery.

File: Flower 2
Photographed with 55-300mm lens, focal length 80mm. The situation is much better - the background is soft and the flowers are highlighted.

File: Flower 3
Photographed with 55-300mm lens, focal length 300mm. Now, the flower is very detailed and the background is so unsharp that it forms a colourful background.

I believe that I was able to convince you to use more of your DSLR camera's possibilities if you decide to widen you row of lenses with a longer focal length lens. There is a wide choice among the lenses but enthusiasts could choose between two cheap, compact, lightweight and easy-to-use lenses.


AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4-5.6 ED VR II

AF-S NIKKOR 55-300mm 4.5-5.6 G ED


It is possible to examine these lenses more thoroughly at I AM Photographer Pro Shop at 84a Tartu Road. We are opened from Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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