These are the ONLY Lenses you need for Photography and filmmaking!

Let’s unpack it together in this photography tutorial.

Different types of lenses for photography

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These are the ONLY Lenses you need for Photography and filmmaking!

Types of Lenses Explained & The ONLY Lenses You Need for Photography!

Trying to stay on a budget? Not wanting to have to buy a bunch of gear to start taking photos? Read on to find out the only lenses you need for photography.

Caleb Pike shows you the two lenses he has discovered will cover over 90% of your film and photography needs!


Find out the about lenses & what are the only lenses you need for photography

First, let’s talk about what lenses are. 

If you are a photography newbie, this will be really helpful.

Without a lens, your camera is basically a cool looking paperweight. The camera is useless essentially without a lens attached, which focuses and captures the light you see in the viewfinder into the camera.

The camera lens is a bunch of glass plates curved inward or outward to get different effects.

A camera with no lens will only produce a white light image, which isn’t so great.

An interesting point about this is that a high quality lens can make a cheap camera capture high quality images, while a cheap lens might cause even an expensive camera to take less great photos. 

A photo of a camera with a zoom lens attached

Camera Lens basics you should understand

There are many factors in the lens that determine the photo quality and look that the lens can capture. These factors are:

  1. Focal length: measurement in milimeters between the end of the lens and the sensor which captures the photo
  2. Aperture: how big or small the ‘pupil’ opening of the lens is, larger creating a more shallow depth and smaller making the image more focused. The maximum aperture will be listed on the lens barrel, and the wider the max typically the more expensive the lens.
  3. Depth of Field: The amount of the photo that is in focus, based on the aperture settings. For landscapes with everything in focus, a smaller aperture setting is typically used. 

Many different types of camera lenses

The Different Types of Camera Lenses

Prime Lenses –  sharp, lightweight, and have a fixed focal length

Zoom Lenses – using many different lenses within to change focal lengths within the one lens, flexible, slower, typically heavier than prime

Among those two main types of lenses are other types of different focal lengths:

  1. Macro Lens: great for sharp close up photos. Used commonly in nature photography for example.
  2. Telephoto lens: type of zoom lens, high magnification, narrow field of view, focuses on distant objects
  3. Wide Angle Lens: fits larger areas into the frame of the photo, focuses most of the image, used commonly for landscape and street photography
  4. Standard Lens: Average focal length between 35-85mm, pretty good zoom and closeup ability 
  5. Specialty Lenses: Unique types of lenses like fisheye, tilt shift, infrared, & others

Okay, now that you know what lenses are and different types of lenses, let’s look at which two are the most helpful for 90% of the photos or videos you need to take!

The ONLY Two lenses you need in your bag – Standard Zoom and 35mm Prime

With the goal of having just two lenses meet every need you have, these two specific types of lenses must be robust and have a good range of options.

First Lens you need for photography: Standard Zoom Lens

The first of the two lenses you need is a standard zoom lens in the 24-70mm focal range. Caleb is using the Tamron 28-75mm zoom lens in this tutorial, but recommends any that fit in this range. 

Why this lens? The focal range of this zoom lens covers the most amount of different lengths you will need between closeups and distance photos.

Price-wise, brands like Sigma and Tamron are going to be your more budget friendly options, while brands like Sony and Canon are getting up to the top range for cost. 

For this zoom lens, it is important that you get one that has a constant aperture of F/2.8, as this will ensure any length you’re using the lens at will be the most flexible for your different needs.

Examples of zoom camera lenses by tampon and Sony and prices


Purchase these lenses here!:

Sigma Zoom Lens

Tamron Zoom Lens

Sony Zoom Lens

Canon Zoom Lens


Second Lens you need for photography: Prime Lens – 35mm f/1.8

Of all focal lenses, the 35mm prime lens is fast and sharp, taking great photos with a field of view in a good range.

The aperture 1.8 is a large aperture setting, which means the lens has a fast shutter speed and shallow depth of field (less in the scene is in focus. 

If you are not using a full-frame camera (camera sensor of 24 x 35mm), such as a crop sensor camera (smaller frame than 35mm), you could use a smaller focal length like 30mm or 24mm to get a wider view. Most brands sell a standard 35mm f/1.8 at decent prices. 

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Purchase these lenses here:

Sony Prime Lens 35mm f1.8

Sony Prime Lens 35mm f1.4


You can have many, many lenses if you want to, but these are the only lenses you need for photography

Now these are the basics for most photography and filmmaking. There will be other needs for photographers and filmmakers specializing in things such as weddings or events. A third lens with longer focal length or a smaller prime lens might also be necessary for these types of photography. 

The point is that with two lenses like these, you can capture pretty much everything you need. These two lenses cover most of the range of length and aperture you will use most of the time. 

These two should get you started and cover most needs, especially if you’re on a budget and can’t buy lots of gear!

If the prime lens doesn’t cut it, the zoom lens will most likely do what you need, and vice versa.

A couple other reasons it’s easier to stick to just a few lenses:

  1. Packing your gear is easier and lighter 
  2. Do away with decision fatigue because you can get overloaded with too many options!

Which of these lens tips will you use TODAY?

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