Best Budget-Friendly DSLR Lenses To Buy In 2017

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Is your kit lens limiting you from taking good pictures? or Are you simply bored of your basic kit lens? You can really step up your photography game by investing in the right kind of lens for the specific scene or subject you’re interested in shooting.

As a beginner, choosing the right lens for the type of photography you are into can be really confusing. There are thousands of lenses available out there, some of them are really expensive and if you do not have geeky knowledge about this piece of glass you might end up wasting your money.

We have listed down some of the best budget friendly DSLR lenses to help you choose one for yourself without breaking your bank.

• Prime Lenses:

We are going to be starting our list with prime lenses as they offer really great quality images at a low price point. These lenses are used for shooting portraits as they have a really wide aperture which produces out of focus background (bokeh effect) that is pleasing to the eye.

The focal lengths of these lenses are fixed, means you can not optically zoom in or out. Mostly these lenses come in 50mm focal length which is standard for portrait photography.

• Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM:

This is one of the most popular prime lens available for Canon EF mount cameras. It is widely known as nifty fifty as it offers really great images and bokehlicious background at a very low price of $125. You can use this lens for shooting amazing portraits and improve your photography.

Image by Canon

The autofocus speed is pretty decent and it makes far less noise while focusing compared to its predecessor the “Mark ii” version.

This lens is very lightweight and compact lens and won’t take up a lot of space in your camera bag.

• Nikon 50mm f/1.8G:

This is a fast prime lens available for Nikon, when compared to the Canon’s 50mm this lens offers slightly better image quality and autofocus speed.

The lens costs at about $200 and offers plenty of bang for your buck. The built quality is also decent, it is made up of high quality plastic featuring a metal mount.

• Yongnuo 50mm f/1.8:

If you are on a really tight budget and still want to get the creamy bokeh effect then you are in luck as Yongnuo – A company known for flashguns has created replicas of Nikon and Canon 50mm lenses at a very cheap price.

The lens is slightly less sharp and slow in focus but overall produces the same quality images at a price of only $50.

Image by Shooting on a Budget

The built quality is also pretty similar and you might not even worry in case you break it. It makes noise while focusing but that should not be a big deal considering the low price.

• Zoom Lenses:

The zoom lens offers more flexibility with a wide range of focal length allowing you to zoom in or out of the scene for the perfect composition.

These lenses are very useful but they are not as fast compared to prime lenses as they do not have a wide aperture. They are great for travel and sports photography.

• Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6G:

Nikon 70-300mm  is one of the most affordable telephoto zoom lens available in the biz. This is a great lens for new photographers as it promises smoother and quicker autofocus and decent image sharpness and quality. You might see slight vignette in corners but that can be fixed in post processing.

It has a coating for improved light transmission and minimized ghosting and flare. This lens is compact and lightweight and costs only about $160.

• Canon 75-300mm f/4-5.6:

The Canon EF 75-300mm F/4-5.6 is a great telephoto lens which delivers amazing focal range, sharpness, image quality and bokeh. This lens also offers a surprisingly wide angle of view (32°) for a telephoto lens allowing you to shoot some really great landscape shots.

It is relatively small and affordable compared to other zoom lenses and costs only about $200. This lens is a great option for beginners who want to explore different kinds of photography.

Wide-Angle Lenses:

A wide-angle lens as its name suggests is used to capture a wider field of view. They are used to shoot landscapes and real estate. It offers unique perspective compared to other types of DSLR lenses. The standard wide-angle focal length is 35mm, you can even get ultra wide with a 24mm lens. These lenses come in both fixed or variable focal length but variable ones are very expensive.

• Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM:

This is an ultra slim, ultra wide-angle and ultra lightweight lens. It is very popular because of its speed, versatility, and portability. This lens is designed for the Canon crop sensor DSLRs and produces excellent image quality and sharpness.

The built quality is pretty decent and it has the STM motor for silent and smooth autofocus. The lens also has a specialized coating to reduce flaring. You can get your hands on this lens for only about $150.

• Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX:

This lens is perfect for beginners who want to go wide-angle at an affordable price. It offers great performance and delivers phenomenal Image quality. It is pretty similar to the 50mm prime but with a wider field of view.

This is a really fast wide-angle lens cause of the big aperture opening. It cost approximately about $160.

• Nikon 28mm f/2.8D:

This lens is slightly expensive compared to other cameras on the list but it is known for beautiful vivid color, contrast and image sharpness which are the key things in landscape photography.

It has an angle of view of approximately 74° without any distortion along the edges. This lens is best for street and landscape photography and it costs about $290 approximately.

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