Photographing Bands > Part Two


Part Two: The Lens ( July 26, 2000 )

   Another important part of your hardware, the second most import thing, is your lens. What lens you try to use for photographing bands will have a major impact on what your photos look like.

   The first thing to consider when buying your lens, if it didn't already come with your camera is new or used. I say go for used, and when you do, make sure it isn't scratched. Take it out for a test spin after you buy it, shoot a roll of film, anywhere, and get it developed to see there's nothing faulty with it. You should be able to return it if there's something wrong. Buying used equipment usually comes with a 30 day money back guarantee.

   The second things to consider is what brand of lens you are going to use. I'd say stick with the bigger names, such as Tamron, Canon, etc. I've had some bad experiences with no-name lenses before. I use a standard Canon 50mm lens that came with my ancient AE-1.

   The third, last and most important (likely), thing to consider is what size of lens you're going to use. An important misconception that I learned from when I started out is that you need to get a nice zoom lens ( 80mm+ ), to photograph bands. Actually, no, I think you should try to stay away from zoom lenses. Zoom lenses kind of encourage keeping distance from the action, which I think is a bad idea. I think it's better to stay with something small, get up close for some high resolution photos. The quality of a photo of a small lens is much better than that of a zoom lens, and they're cheaper too. I use a 50mm lens, but I find myself wanting a smaller one, around 20-28mm, to fit more in the photo. So, I suggest that you try to use a lens that's anywhere between 20-50mm. Get up close!!! ( more on that later... with positioning!!! )


Go To Part Three ( Flashes )