Sarah McAffry | Voted Knoxville's Best Photographer | Family, Senior and Teen Photography in East Tennessee » Knoxville Family, Senior and Teen Photographer in East Tennessee

Must-Have Camera Lens

It’s one of the most popular questions I hear at Camera School.

What lens do you recommend?

It’s one of the most basic questions, and it has an easy answer – yay!

It doesn’t do much good to learn all you can about improving your photography if you’re doing it with the wrong equipment.

Photography is an expensive hobby, you can’t deny that! But this is one of the most reasonable investments you can make to improve your skills without breaking the bank.

Let me tell you a little secret about photography equipment – I think the companies that make cameras sell them with crappy lenses just so you’ll have to come back later to buy a better lens! I know it’s awful, right?! But seriously, the kits lenses you get with your camera are pretty much useless.

My first tip for buying a camera is to buy it with the camera body only. Unless you’re buying a top of the line camera that comes with a top of the line lens, the camera companies will bundle an inexpensive lens with your camera body – and it’s usually made of plastic! Not to mention that it’s horrible quality. So just buy your camera body and then choose the exact lens you want.

Buying a lens like the ones below will drastically improve the quality of your images.

I tell everybody about these same lenses because they are so versatile.

Here are some reasons you should run, not walk, to get one of them:

  • They are good for shooting outdoors AND indoors.
  • Use them for landscapes, portraits, birthday parties, family vacations, etc.
  • They are small in size and easy to carry around in a purse or small bag.
  • They make it easy to capture the classic, blurry background for portraits.
  • They take high quality, sharp photos.
  • They’re good for still subjects AND moving subjects.
  • Unlike the top of the line lenses that cost four figures, these won’t break the bank!

I’ll let you in on another little secret: This is the lens I use for my own family’s pictures! I rarely take my big fancy lenses home from the studio. They’re so big and expensive that it’s just not practical as a mom of three to be carrying around something like that.

These lenses on the other hand are relatively inexpensive, so I don’t worry about dropping them, scratching them, etc. while I’m out with my kids. Also, they’re small enough that I can throw them in my purse and go.

I used the Canon lens linked below exclusively for our recent trip to the beach. The photos turned out better than I could have hoped and are now enlarged and framed on the walls!


Those are just a few of my favorite shots and you can see more HERE!

Are you ready to make the leap to really improve your skills?

Grab one of these lenses and prepare to fall more in love with your favorite hobby!

If you’re a Canon shooter, go for the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 lens linked below.

If you’re a Nikon shooter, go for the Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 lens linked below.

If you’re not ready for this kind of investment, go for this Canon lens OR this Nikon lens and you’ll still see incredible improvement over the lenses that came with your camera!

When you make the leap, shoot me an email at and let me know how much you love your new lens!

Sign up for a Camera School Class HERE!!!!