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What I Wish I Had Known About Lenses (Lessons Learned)

Don't know what lens to buy?  Looking at a lens that another photographer suggested?  Here is what you need to know when it comes to buying a new lens!

A few years back I had an interesting conversation with a new photographer who was eager to jump head first into photography.


She sent me an email asking a few things, but mainly wanting to know what lens I used.


I always am super open about my gear and so I told her, the 135mm 2.0 (still my go-to lens to this day)

RELATED ARTICLE: WHY THE 135mm SHOULD BE ON YOUR WISHLIST

the best lenses for portraits
Photo taken with the 135mm 2.0 lens


Well a month went by before I heard from her again. She said:


“Yeah, so I bought the 135, but I returned it. I think something might have been defective with it because my pictures did not turn out like yours.”


I had a short, eerie moment of deja -vu. I don’t tell many people this but I also returned my 135mm when I first bought it…and for a similar reason.


Like her, I thought that if I bought this pricier lens, my pictures would start looking the way so many popular photographers’ photos looked.

What I Wish I Had Known About Lenses: here is the truth!
Photo taken with the 135mm 2.0 lens


Spoiler alert: they didn’t.


It wasn’t the lens though. It was me.

I didn’t have the patience to practice with it enough. I was so certain that this purchase would instantly be the magic ingredient to get my pictures looking magical.

Eventually I came to my senses and started figuring things out and bought it again.

Don't know what lens to buy?  Looking at a lens that another photographer suggested?  Here is what you need to know when it comes to buying a new lens!
Photo taken with the 135mm 2.0 lens


You may have figured this out already too.


It’s not your lens or your gear that creates magical photos that pop off the screen. The magic comes from YOU.


Sure, better gear might help you see some improvements in your work…but not if you don’t know how to use it, or don’t allow yourself the time to practice with it.

So take the time to learn and practice. Give yourself a break if your photo doesn’t come out the way you hoped the first time (….or second… or twelfth). You’ll get there.



Besides the 135, here are a couple other of my favorite lenses you might want to take a peek at!

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