Some folks swear that the only way to get good pictures is to only purchase lenses from the maker of your camera body. The Frog begs to differ. There are some great third-party camera lenses out there!
Some third-party camera lenses are as good as the lenses from the camera manufacturer’s, some are better, and quite honestly, some are just plain bad. Keep in mind that the lens can be the weak point in your system, so do your research and get the best lens you can!
First, whether your camera body is made by Nikon, Canon, Sigma, Pentax, Sony, Panasonic, Leica, or whomever, they’ve all got good lenses. Similarly, so do lens makers like Sigma, Tamron, Tokina, and others. Do your research!
Here’s a suggested approach to buying any lens: First, identify what you want. Then, check out the manufacturer’s websites (links above), check out Ken Rockwell’s site and Digital Photography Review. Check out buyer reviews on retailer sites such as B&H and Adorama.
Look at the results, and study the QFLs. Look at price. You might find it helpful to keep notes or make a table to track your findings.
In the case of All-in-One lenses, recognize that none of them are perfect, no matter who makes them! They’re great as long as you know their quirks, flaws and limitations (“QFLs”) – and your work within them. You might find that the third-party lens that costs half as much as the manufacturer’s lens has some QFLs that are different than the QFLs that the manufacturer’s lens has. And, for half the price, you can live with that! (In one instance, The Frog did that and ended up with two third-party camera lenses for the price of one manufacturer’s lens.) That said, if the price is too good to be true, it probably is…
Keep an eye out for specials, rebates, and package deals, especially before major holidays. You can save $$ if the timing works for you.
And… you probably know what’s coming… don’t forget to check things out at your local camera store!
You know that the Frog is shooting with Nikon DSLR bodies. So, whose lenses does he use? Nikon, and third-party camera lenses from Sigma, and Tamron.