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Old May 17, 2010, 11:09 AM   #1
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Default Is buying extra lenses a must for DSLR?


i was just wondering if buying extra lenses is a high priority for a DSLR user, or if this can be a step to be made in the future for a home/family user?

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Old May 17, 2010, 11:27 AM   #2
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No, it is not a must buy thing right away. But it does offer a cost saving vs getting a longer zoom late. The kit zoom on the k-x in the states adds 150 dollars with the DAL 55-300mm. To get the same range and quality zoom later you will have to get the DA 55-300 instead, a bit nicer lens but it is 450 dollars. Or get a tamron or sigma 70-300mm that gives you a range gap, and does not seem as sharp on the long end.
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Old May 17, 2010, 12:06 PM   #3
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If you can do everything you want to do with the lens that comes with it, then there's no reason to get another lens. But one of the benefits of having a dSLR is that it can be customized for a particular purpose, by mounting a special lens, and then switch back to the original purpose by removing that lens and mounting the original lens. And sticking with a single lens can restrict your ability to have the camera serve multiple purposes.

But, over and above that, if you know what you want to be able to do, and you'll probably end up getting a lens that's part of a bundle anyway, you can save some money. But also, sometimes the lenses that are part of a bundle aren't the best choice for a particular purpose, getting an additional lens as part of a bundle isn't a good deal.
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Old May 17, 2010, 3:49 PM   #4
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As TCav pointed out, it really depends on what YOU want to do with the camera. For many people the 18-55 kit lens is sufficient for most/all of their needs and they don't need another lens, or getting another lens was very low on their list of priorities. Someone who shoots birds would want to get a lens that goes to 300mm right away. There are others (me, for instance) who's main interest is macro so getting a macro lens right away in addition to the kit lens was important, with a long telephoto something I could easily wait for.

Unless you have a specific need for something other than the kit lens AND you can save money by buying the other lens as a kit (not always a sure thing) then getting the kit lens only makes a lot of sense. Use the camera with just that lens for a while and see what it can do. See where its limitations are for what YOU want to do, then look around for a lens that will address that specific issue.
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Old May 17, 2010, 4:19 PM   #5
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It's best to master the lenses you have, or at least use them enough to know that they don't meet your needs before buying more. It's far easier to know what you need to spend money on from experience than guesswork.

I'll use my experience as an example. I got my *ist DL in 2006 or so, with the 18-55mm kit lens. A few weeks later, I went to visit my father and traded him my point and shoot digital for his reporter's k1000 rig (he'd long since retired), which included a Sigma 75-300mm f4.5/5.6, and a Pentax-A 50mm f2 prime.

I subsequently bought an 80-200mm pentax AF zoom, which cut the midrange out of the Sigma's workload, and then got sidetracked into a Pentax DFA f2.8 100mm prime macro (which is a spectacular lens, no lie) and a Pentax DA 1:2.8 40mm prime limited edition (The little pancake lens) which replaced the 50mm F2 prime. Add to this that I became a Strobist follower for a while, which entailed more gear and another ton of technique to absorb.

The result: I overwhelmed myself, and stopped shooting. A huge number of times we've gone places where I could have taken good pictures, I didn't lug my camera case (it's damn heavy with all that stuff in it) and gradually I stopped taking pictures.

I'm getting back into it now. That's why I'm here. I'm learning to use the glass I have, and sorting out what I actually need, and what kinds of shooting I'm actually most interested in doing.

The point I'm making here is to give yourself time with the gear you've got, to learn what it can and cannot do, and learn what you need for your shooting habits. I'm sure the folks here can give far better advice than I can on what lenses would meet those needs. I am, really, still pretty much a newb.
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Old May 17, 2010, 9:14 PM   #6
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Echoing some of the above: First, learn your kit lens intimately. Learn to compose, to use light and shadow, to use exposure, etc. Then figure out what you want to do that you can't do with what you have. Where are you going (what pictures do you want to take/make)? What will get you there (what gear is necessary)? What will make you happy (what can you afford)?

I started shooting film long, long ago. I've been shooting P&S digicams for a decade now. I got my first dSLR two years ago, based on asking myself: what do I want to do that I can't do with what I have? The answers: fisheye / ultrawide, ultralong, low-light. Pentax had affordable lenses I wanted, so my starting kit contained: K20D, DA10-17, DA18-250, FA50/1.4, and AF-360 (flash). My lens need drove me to a camera and kit, not the other way around. And cold logic drove me to Pentax, which I'd never used before.

Since then I've acquired too many lenses. Sometimes I was foolish; more often, I was lucky. Besides those mentioned above, my only other AF lenses are a DA18-55 (yeah, I got the kit lens), FA100-300 (incredible!) and a Lil'Bigma 175-500 (foolishness). ALL MY OTHER LENSES ARE MANUAL, and most are M42 screwmount, usable on many cameras (of which I also have too many), and most were quite cheap. I feel REALLY GOOD when using some crisp little beauty that cost me less than US$20.

Yes, if I had money, I'd surely like to have: some WR (Pentax weather resistant) glass; a great rectilinear ultrawide; some ultrafast and ultrasharp primes; etc. But it's still possible to assemble a comprehensive set of great manual lenses for the cost of one upscale AF zoom. I like cost-effectiveness, yes I do. I hate paying retail.
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Old May 17, 2010, 9:53 PM   #7
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Amen to learning the limits of your existing lens first. Unless you are one of those people who have lots of money to burn, and just want to buy a lot of gear. Once you are really comfortable with your kit lens, you may find that you want to have more telephoto, or better close-up capabilities, and then you will have a pretty ggod idea of what kind of lens you need.

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Old May 18, 2010, 1:54 AM   #8
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Thanks to everyone!

I'll buy just he kit lens (if i go for a DSLR) as i had initially in mind...

I am coming from a P&S and this is my first DSLR, and thus although other lenses might do some difference in some photos, my first priority should be to learn the important things of photography first, and then change lenses according to the scenes...
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Old May 18, 2010, 5:15 AM   #9
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I can only echo what the other experienced photogs wrote in this thread!! Bought my first DSLR in November 2009 with the kit lens (18-55)... but a few months later, I decided to add a nice tele (the 55-250 IS standard lens) to shoot all I wanted too shoot but wasn't possible with the kit

Now I'm really happy with my gear, because I can shoot everything I want to shoot - and it always get's better cause I've learned a lot since I started shooting!

The only lens I'd like to add at the moment is a nice 50 f1.8 prime lens for indoor (museum etc.) and portrait shooting
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Old May 18, 2010, 9:06 AM   #10
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OK thanks, is there somewhere that explains the differences of the 18-55mm and 55-300mm lenses for example?

I want to understand a bit more, what would i want to shoot and wont be able with either lenses for example.
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