Focus on photography: What’s your favorite lens and why?


We asked a few of your favorite photography instructors about their preferences in lens use. Here’s what they had to say:

"I should choose some cool, funky fisheye, but my students would know I was lying. At the risk of sounding ordinary and old fashioned, I will have to admit that I love the fixed, light-weight, small, inexpensive, plastic (yes, plastic!) 50 mm 1.8 lens. I always have this lens either on the camera or in my camera bag for many reasons: because it doesn't hurt my lower back, because it is so sharp, because for very little cost I have a very fast, low light lens, because if I drop it in the ocean I can replace it for only $120, and because if I want to get closer to my subject, it forces me to WALK closer to my subject (as I tell my students, "Zoom with your feet!). I bought my first one about 15 years ago to train myself to move around when photographing, and I never did go back to zoom lenses. This lens proves that a photographer doesn't need all the fancy equipment, but can do just fine with a decent camera body and couple simple, high quality lenses."

Sarah Meghan Lee, Instructor, UC San Diego Extension Photography Classes


"I switch lenses depending on the subject I photograph but my nifty 50 F1.4 is my staple for sure. From human eye view I go into wide world because I often shoot landscapes and wide allows me to capture lots of information about a place. Plus I like the perspective distortion that wide angle lenses allow. I enjoy my 85mm F1.8 for capturing portraits. The shallow depth of field with a lower F-stop allows me to concentrate on one part of a busy scene."

Ellyn Norris, Instructor, UC San Diego Extension Photography Classes


"My favorite lens is the wonderful Canon EF Zoom lens - 24 mm - 105 mm - F/4.0. (L series). It is excellent quality--to die for and very versatile–but I really want (in addition) the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 L II USM- stellar quality, awesome FAST portrait lens."

Rebecca Webb, Instructor, UC San Diego Extension Photography Classes

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