If you need the best image quality, you need to master how to use the right lens for any situation. Of course, when it comes to using lens in photography, most photographers often disagree on the type of lens you will need to use. What might seem right to one photographer may be wrong to another. Although there are some common grounds, but I believe that the best lens is the one that helps you achieve the result you have in mind.
Determining which lens to use for any situation will depend on a number of factors. To help you figure out which lens to use, you need to ask certain questions. Below, I will provide some questions. Your answers to these questions will help you determine the type of lens you need for your current situation.
1. Do you intend Getting the Whole Scene in Focus?
Some type of photography such as street photography, landscape photography, and even travel photography sometime require that you have the entire scene in focus. Before making the decision on the lens to use, you will first need to determine your depth of field and how much of it you want to have in your image.
If you want a wide depth of field, you will be better off using wide-angle lenses. No doubt, wide-angle lenses are the natural choice for this situation; you can include more scenes in your image with these lenses.
2. Do You Want Bokeh Instead?
If you want bokeh in the composition instead of getting the entire scene in focus, you can achieve these using zoom lenses. However, it is recommended you use lens with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 or f/4.
A prime lens with wider aperture will help you to create bokeh easily. It also gives you more choices like using the widest aperture of the lens for creating an ultra-shallow depth of field. You can as well use conservative setting such as f/2.8 to blur the background and still keep your subject in sharp focus.
3. How close are you to your Subject?
If you can't get close enough to your subject, you will need to bridge that distance using a telephoto lens. You can as well use this lens for street photography as well as in wildlife and sports photography.
4. Are you Planning on Carrying Much Weight?
It is never advisable to carry too much weight when you are going on a shoot. Although most photographers do this in order to have a wide array of lenses on a shoot to cover every conceivable situation. But this can work against you. Carrying too much weight may not only weigh you down but also makes it harder to concentrate.
Before going on a shoot, think carefully about how many lenses you actually need. In most cases, 2 or 3 lenses is what you actually need, anything more than this is an extra weight. Understandably, there are some situations when you will need more lenses, especially if you are a pro going on a commercial shoot. However, limit the number of lenses you carry when you are going on a personal work.
5. Are You Going to Shoot in A Low Light Situation Without a Tripod?
If you think you will face low light situation without a tripod, you will need to consider how you are going to cope. Fortunately, most sophisticated modern cameras allow you to push ISO to 6400 or more in order to achieve fast shutter speeds to take sharp photos. You may also need to go along with a prime lens to shoot wide apertures if there are needs for it.
6. Are You Going to be Shooting Portraits?
If you plan on shooting portraits, I will recommend you use a telephoto lens. This lens has a flatter perspective that will help you to isolate your model from the background.
7. Do you need a specialty lens?
If you think you might be needing a specialty lens such as a Lensbaby, a fisheye lens or a tilt-shift lens, it is better that you plan in advance to get these lenses before your shoot. If you can't afford one, then you will need to borrow.