The term "professional lens" is often used in amateur or professional photographers. Find out with us what makes one lens suitable for professionals, while another is considered suitable for amateur photographers, as well as which is best for you and your photography style.
If you are ready to take a step forward to become a professional photographer, you must adapt your equipment to your aspirations. And not only for aspirations, but also for the style of photography in which you decided to shine: landscape, portrait, wildlife or sports, a whole world opens up to you through the camera lens. Just find out what kind of professional lens is right for everyone.
Professional goals – an overview
In general, and it is not necessarily our idea, but that of all specialists in the field, the professional objectives offer a better optical performance than the inferior ones in quality, a faster and more precise autofocus and a more robust structure. They also offer the fastest maximum apertures, so you can use lower ISO settings or shoot in diffused light. However, professional goals tend to be much larger than consumer goals and usually cost much more.
Consumption lenses are the opposite: in general, they are not as efficient, have higher distortion, do not have autofocus as fast or accurate and are slower, requiring higher ISO settings or better light. But consumer lenses, on the other hand, are much more compact and much less expensive, allowing photographers who do not have very generous budgets to have access to a wide range of focal lengths. Often, even professionals use them when they want to travel carrying lighter luggage.
Professional objectives for landscape photography
It is also possible to take landscape photography with entry-level equipment, such as kits, or the classic 18-55mm compact camera. The focal range already offers you various possibilities for depth of field and angle of coverage (at 18 mm) and will allow you to enlarge if necessary. The value as money remains modest, but also the optical quality of the included lens will be, in general, about the same.
For landscape photography, it is often recommended to use a wide angle lens (GA) or an Ultra Wide Angle (UGA), the peculiarity being to open the angle of view and to give an immensity effect to the scene in front of you. . Except in special cases (sunrise and sunset or night photography), the amount of light will be enough to take snapshots directly, even without a tripod.
Professional objectives for wildlife and sports
No matter how different these two styles of photography may seem, they can be successfully treated together because they have something essential in common: focus. Indeed, in such situations, you are usually far from your subject (animals, athletes in motion, bird in the sky, car in speed, etc.) and you will need to have a long focal length to zoom. To isolate your subject, you will often use a large aperture. A stabilizer lens can help with a long focal length. Finding suitable goals will not necessarily be easy, given the multiple options.
In general, entry-level telephoto lenses have fairly small apertures, for example 70-300 f / 4-5.6 or 55-250 f / 4-5.6. You will be able to zoom in with this type of focal length, and your vision of the photo will change. When you feel the need, you can switch to longer intervals, whether from well-known brands (Canon, Nikon) or even secondary ones (Sigma, Tamron). In almost all cases, these photo lenses will have a constant aperture of f / 2.8 or f / 4 and may also include a stabilizer.
Professional goals for low light
You will face in your activity a lot of situations in which the light will lose its intensity significantly, and the choice of the photo lens can be decisive. The SLR camera will also be decisive, as it will increase the ISO. In terms of goals, it all depends on what you want to surprise.
As lovers of the sunset and sunrise landscape, for example, you can orient yourself according to the previous specifications. The only difference will be that when you are in special conditions of balance or weather, you will have two options to avoid shaking the camera: a bright photo lens (the lowest possible "f /") or capturing photos from a tripod.
For those who are interested in night or street photography and want to isolate subjects and play with the blur effect, either a standard camera, or conventional telephoto lenses, or fixed bright focal lengths, such as those of Nikon lenses, are recommended. ( some examples compared by us here ).
Professional lenses for portrait photography
Choosing a professional lens for your portrait involves considering several criteria. Depending on the perspective, it is recommended to choose a lens with a focal length long enough so that you do not have to get too close to your model. 135 mm for the face, 85 for the bust, 50 mm for the full portrait are good bases for obtaining a natural perspective.
When you do a portrait photo shoot outside the studio, long focal lengths make it easier to isolate the subject from his or her context. With a short focal length, the background, even if blurred, will always be present.
When shooting close-ups, you can use a medium aperture and no very large apertures are required. As long as you take care to keep your model isolated from the background, it is possible that an 18-105 f / 3.5-5.6 system is perfectly suitable. Taking care to choose a sufficiently large focal length, the subject will be well taken out of context even without resorting to extreme apertures. Moreover, they should often be avoided if you want to give a completely clean face.
When taking a wide photo, detaching the subject on a blurred background requires a photo lens with a fairly large focal length and a suitable aperture (f / 1.4 or f / 1.8).
For an APS-C device, the focal length of 50mm seems to be the best option, and can be extended to the range of 75-80 mm. For micro 4/3 cameras, a 45 mm lens would be necessary, giving you a focal length of 90 mm.