Lenses can make or break your pictures because they control the image projected in your imaging sensor. It will also give you the creative freedom to capture the photos you want.
Camera lens filters should also be part of your camera outfit. These filters include neutral density (ND) filters to reduce the amount of light that passes through the lens, UV/haze filters to provide extra lens protection, and polarizing filters to improve saturation and reduce glare.
Before you go out and buy lenses and neutral density filters, you first have to consider the type of photography you take. You need to understand that different lenses could improve your current photos, and neutral density filters can give you the flexibility to set the shutter speed and aperture you want.
Important use of neutral density filters
I’m a landscape enthusiast so I always have a neutral density filter in my camera bag. This lens is less appreciated by amateurs because it’s just a plain, dull grey filter with no multiple image glass or gradation , and all it does is reduce the exposure.
The neutral density filter is placed in front of your lens to reduce the exposure. For example, if I take pictures in low light, then ventured in bright sunlight it is physically impossible to take a photo. However, with ND filter, I can take a shot because it will reduce the light. When the neutral density filter is attached in front of the lens, the viewfinder may appear very dark so photographers normally compose their image before placing it.
ND filters don’t actually affect the image you capture, but only slow down the amount of time it takes for your sensor to record the image. This emphasis motion making a scene appears quiescent and surreal and opens up a world of creative possibilities. It also reduces the amount of light that passes through the lens.
When used on a sunny day, neutral density filters slow things enough to create a sense of movement. However, when used around dawn, it can turn a slow-exposure to several seconds long to enable you to turn a surging tide into a gentle mist.
What lens should you buy?
If you are compelled to buy more lenses, consider these factors to help you understand what to look for.
• If you are traveling, a good all-day lens offers you the freedom to capture shots from portraits to landscapes, and zoom in distant objects. If you have a DX Nikon DSLR 3.5-5.6G ED VR II is your best bet.
• If you are doing street photography, a focal range of 35-50mm is ideal for capturing the moment. The lens should feature a fast maximum aperture for lower-light situations. A great choice would be Fuji XF 23 mm f1 . 4 R Lens.
• If you want to improve your creative reach, get yourself a fast prime lens like the Sony E 50 mm f/1.8 OSS. This will enable you to shoot naturally and play around a shallow depth of field.
While many photographers buy lenses from the same firm as their camera, I buy from third party manufacturers because they are not only cheaper but as good if not better than their Sony, Nikon, Canon counterparts. If you are on a budget, you can also buy used camera lenses.
It’s worth remembering that, lenses last longer than your camera, but you don’t have to spend a fortune when buying a new lens. There are used camera lenses that will work just as well.