The standard 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens can only take you so far. Sooner or later, you’ll need to buy your first proper lens. That’s why we’ve put together this roundup of the five lenses you should consider when it’s time to step up your game. From the traditional “nifty fifty” to more eclectic picks like an entry-level macro lens, there’s a great option for every photography enthusiast.
The nifty fifty
The 50mm f/1.8 lens—also known as the “nifty fifty”—is the traditional first upgrade for beginners. Canon and Nikon shooters will have no problem finding an affordable 50mm f/1.8 lens for their system either. Once you do, and you discover the shallow depth of field and low-light capabilities of an f/1.8 aperture, you’ll be happy you left your kit lens behind.
The standard kit lens already starts at 18mm, but you’ll be amazed at the difference a few extra millimeters can make. Whether you choose a prime lens like the popular Rokinon 14mm f/2.8or a zoom like Nikon’s (DX only) AF-P 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6 lens, an ultra wide-angle will let you capture more expansive landscapes or try your hand at astrophotography. Sony users don’t have quite as many choices, but the new Rokinon AF 14mm f/2.8 FE is a great option.