What lens do you use everyday? For a lot of photographers, their answer is going to be a common lens like the 50mm. We get it, it’s a beautiful lens. But when we asked the Click Pros what their everyday lenses were, a few answers surprised us. Our curious minds got the best of us and we reached out to them and asked them why these lenses were their favorites. To our delight, they were happy to share with us (and you!).
1. The Fisheye
For Texas photographer Missy Mayo, her most used lens is a fisheye. She says, “My Sigma 15mm 2.8 EX DG lens is hands down my very favorite lens. Its unique perspective lends itself well to fun, whimsical images that stand out. I can control the amount of curvature by either tilting my lens up to the sky (as I often do to increase the curve) or by keeping the lens parallel to the ground, which gives me a nearly even horizon line.
The super wide angle means that I can capture the whole story and often include elements, like an entire tree, that other lenses would cut off. I always choose this lens when venturing into mid-day sun because it captures blue skies beautifully and is very forgiving in harsh light. As a bonus, the Sigma fisheye is very affordable, small in size and my lightest weight lens.”
2. The Telephoto
“I love having a super long telephoto around for my everyday shooting,” says Jessica Nelson, primarily a nature photographer. “I have two that I alternate between almost everyday, a Canon EF 100-400L and a Sigma 150-600mm.
Since switching my focus to wildlife shooting, having a lens where I can get personal with the animals is a must. Getting used to shooting with a long lens can take a little time. The compression is much different than using a shorter focal length which means I have to pay close attention to my backgrounds. Also, these lenses are quite heavy so I have to make sure my shutter speed doesn’t dip too low and cause camera shake.
However, once you get in the groove of shooting super close to your subjects, you will truly miss that reach when you don’t have your long lens with you. They are also very versatile for people shooting too and make amazing portrait lenses. I always make sure I have one of my long telephoto lenses with me when I travel. They are perfect for capturing the far away details of my trip.”
3. The Tilt-Shift
Sarah Wilkerson, CEO of Click & Company, has a unique lens choice for her everyday shooting, too. Looking back she says, “Shortly after I placed an online order for the Nikon 24mm f/3.5 PC-E tilt-shift, my phone rang. The retailer was calling to make sure that I understood what I had ordered and to verify that I knew that it was for architectural and landscape photography. ‘Yes,’ I said, ‘that’s the lens I want. No, not for cityscapes; just for everyday photos.’
The truth is that there’s nothing quite like a tilt shift lens, not only in the unconventional way it renders a scene when I tilt the plane of focus but also in the way it pushes me creatively while I shoot. While I’d happily take my tilt shift along on an adventure or to an exotic location, there’s something extraordinary about the way it encourages me to visualize anew the scenes of our (sometimes mundane) daily routine. There is a dream-like, even surreal, quality that fills the frame when I painstakingly tweak the focus ring to selectively isolate my subject amidst the chaos and clutter.
I love the way the tilt shift coaxes me to explore details across multiple planes, offering up the opportunity to bring incredible depth and visual interest into a photo by creating a slender slice of focus that extends from front to back.
The truth is that this lens is hard to use well, and I have more discards than keepers when I shoot with it. But while it may be demanding and exasperating and messy and exhausting, it is also distinctive, memorable, and tremendously rewarding — because when you nail an image with a tilt shift lens, it’s absolute magic. That’s exactly how I want those memories of my everyday life to feel.”
We love lenses! Don’t you? Here are a few more stories about lenses that we think you might like: 5 Reasons using vintage camera lenses will change your photography, 4 reasons you should love zoom lenses and Traveling with one lens: The Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 Pancake lens. Plus, read more product and gear reviews here and check out which lenses the Click Pros use on the Images by Lens platform!