Make the resolution: Try a new lens for your camera

Want to experiment? Lensbaby Spark is a cheap special-effects lens for Nikon and Canon mount dSLRs.

The most popular reason nonprofessionals buy dSLRs or other types of interchangeable-lens cameras is because they want better photos or faster performance than a point-and-shoot can deliver; the power of manual controls and interchangeable lenses seem to be a secondary concern. Nevertheless, I’m still routinely surprised when someone hands me his dSLR and it’s set to auto and equipped with a standard kit lens.

The best (and cheapest) way to advance your photography is to switch out of auto; here’s a map for venturing into that new territory. But the next best — and not-so-cheap — way to inject some new life into your photography is to try a new lens. (Know nothing about lenses? Jump to Basic terminology)

There are a variety of reasons to invest in a second or third lens — if you’re up to your third, chances are you don’t need any encouragement from me. The first, and possibly most compelling, is that you simply can’t get the shots you want with the lens you have, usually because most kit lenses have a limited telephoto range. On the flip side, you might be routinely frustrated by the inability to get everything you want in the photo, which requires a shorter focal length. Another reason to expand … [Read more]

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Credit: Crave: gorgeous gadgets and other crushworthy stuff. – CNET