Reasons to Consider Certain Camera Lens Focal Lengths

Owners of DSLR cameras, and especially those who are new to the concept of these cameras, have probably wondered and spent hours after hours trying to figure out which lens best suits their photographic needs. It’s a fact that the market is bursting out with new and powerful lenses every year, making our eyes shine bright at their sight. But what exactly is the key feature of each lens that will make me buy one and not the other?

We’ve all asked that to ourselves, we’ve all pondered on the matter, and from time to time, whenever there’s a need to upgrade or to widen up the range of our work, the question pops up once more, as we all try to find the best lens on the market that fits our purposes without compromising one of the most important things: budget!

To help you on that, Kai — with his typical sarcastic sense of humor — shot a series of videos dedicated to three different prime lenses: 50mm, 35mm and 85mm. In each episode he will instruct you on the advantages of each lens, as he wanders around Honk Kong experimenting these three impressive pieces of glass!

5 reasons why you need a 50mm lens:

  1. Light
  2. Makes you think
  3. Everything looks right
  4. Versatile
  5. Bokeh
50mm-lens-eg

Example photo from 50mm lens

5 reasons why you need a 35mm lens:

  1. The 35mm is a wide standard
  2. More versatile than the 50mm
  3. Get more things in focus
  4. Makes you get in closer
  5. A 35mm can be a 50mm (in cropped sensor cameras)
35mm-lens--eg

Example photo from 35mm lens

5 reasons why you need a 85mm lens:

  1. Not too long, not too short
  2. No distortion
  3. Compressed perspective
  4. Bokeh
  5. Not just for portraits
85mm-lens-eg

Example photo from 85mm lens

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3 Comments

  1. Jacques says:

    What about a longer lens? A lot of people feel uncomfortable when you are so close to them taking a portrait, look at even the last photo with the 85mm lens, you can see that she is not comfortable in this shot

    • Morten says:

      I agree that 85 mm (on full frame) is a bit short for portraits. I have just got my Canon 135 f/2 and it is perfect for headshot and head&shoulder.

  2. I own a Nikkor 50mm/1.8. It is my favorite lens. Less expensive to own, takes great bright sharp images! Its also small and light weight; takes up little space in my carry-all!

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