What LENS should YOU BUY?!


– What’s up everybody? Peter McKinnon here, and today, whoo, we’re talking about lenses and which lens you should buy. Because let’s face it, so many choices. Super wide, wide, medium, closeup, (gasp) (snap) intro. (heavy drum techno music) There’s three questions that you need to ask yourself before you can start to really figure out
what it is that you need. Number one, are you
shooting photo or video? Number two, what’s your subject? And number three, what’s your price range? (ring) And when you answer those three questions, that’s gonna set you on the right path, a little bit closer to figuring out what it is that you need. So the first things that
you might be saying is, Pete, how do you have so many lenses? That is thousands, and
thousands, and thousands of dollars in glass. None of us have that kind of money, and myself included. I don’t either. My friends at Henry’s
Cameras, downtown Toronto, lent me all of these lenses for nothing. I just called them up and said hey, I need to make a video about lenses, can you guys help? And they said, sure, come in, we’ll give you whatever you want. So, shout out to my friends at Henry’s, downtown Toronto. I actually used to work
there back in the day, so we’ve got a little bit of history and it’s where I go to buy all my gear. So, thank you guys, I appreciate it. Before we dive into answering
those three questions, and talking about stabilization
and all that stuff, I want to show you what I have today that we’re gonna be talking about. Okay, we have a 14 mil super wide. We’ve got a 24 millimeter prime, a 24 millimeter tilt shift. 16 35, we’ve got a 35 mil, 50 mil, 24 70, a 135, a 100 mil macro lens,
100 mil macro lens L version, a 24 to 105, a 7200 zoom, 100 to 400 zoom, 200 to 400 zoom, and a
1.4 times teleconverter. Now, these are all Canon L series lenses that I’m showing you. Pay no attention to the
fact their L series. They’re the lenses that I happen to use, but they are very expensive. It’s Canon’s pro line. This isn’t the lens type I’m telling you definitively to go get. However, they’re just what
I have as examples today. But keep in mind the focal
lengths and the F-stops, because those are important,
despite what brand you actually end up going with. Being able to answer the question of if you want to do photo or video, why that’s important is because some lenses are better for video, and some lenses are better for photos, and some lenses are perfect for both. Here’s a great example. This 50 millimeter 1.2
lens from Canon L series is a very expensive lens. Now, this is what I’ve
found when I used to own it. It got rid of it because I felt that it sucked for photography. When I shot wide open at 1.2, I could never really
get a super crisp image. Now, you can go into your camera settings and do what are called micro adjustments. You can print out a document online. I might even put the Dropbox link below if I can still find one. And you can micro adjust every single lens so that you know it’s
perfect, spot on focus, every single time. So even after micro
adjusting the 50 mil 1.2, I just didn’t find it consistent
with getting sharp images. However, when it came to video and doing interview stuff
and talking head stuff, bokeh, the depth of field,
the speed of the lens, it was phenomenal. I couldn’t justify keeping it, because it didn’t work for photo as well, because that’s something I also do. So, I sold this, along with
an 85 that I never used, and I bought a 70 to 200. 70 was close enough to 50 for me, 85 was covered in that focal range, and the 200 gave me even
more of an extended range. The lens is also image stabilized, so the money from those two lenses went into one lens that overall feeds both my photography and my video in a better, more cost effective way. That’s why it’s important
for you to figure out if photo is your focus,
or video is your focus, or both. Because those three spectrums will dictate which type of equipment,
which type of lenses, that you buy ultimately
at the end of the day. I did a little test outside to show you the difference that lenses make shooting the same thing at different focal lengths. Keeping in mind the
distortion and the compression that different lenses have. So we did portraits at 16,
24, 35, 50, 85, 100, 130, all the way up to 400 with
that huge bazooka lens. Matty stayed in the same place. I kept him in the same spot in the frame, but just moved back
depending on the focal length I was shooting on. And I did this because I want to show you how it completely distorts his face going from a 16 mil lens all the way to a 400 mil lens. Take a look at this. I’ll throw them on the
screen as we go through it. Here is Matty with 16 millimeters, 24, 35, 50, 85, 100, 135, 200, 300, 400 mil. Huge difference. The lines in the alley completely open up, then they vanish completely, and you only got that background. So, you can see how that lens choice drastically changes the subject. If you’re gonna do portraits, maybe shooting them at a 400
mil is not the best idea. Maybe shooting them at 16
mil isn’t the best idea. Unless that’s what
you’re trying to go for. And that’s where video intercepts, and film makers use these same principles to tell stories and make
you feel different things, and convey different messages. Because maybe they want
that super wide alleyway to show the grandeur of a fight scene. Or maybe they’re gonna use that 400 mil to get in real close to a humming bird for the Planet Earth series. So these lenses aren’t just things that people want and end up buying because they’re cool to have a whole bunch. People are allocating specific jobs, thoughts, stories, messages, to the lenses that they’re choosing to shoot with. Maybe you don’t want to shoot the bride on her wedding day with a 400 mil and make her look like
she’s got 20 pounds on her. Might not be the most happy. Subsequently, you don’t want to shoot her with a 14 mil and make
everything look super, super wide and warped because you don’t want her to look like she tried a little bit too hard
to fit into that dress. Just saying. So just to touch on this,
because there are people here that have never
heard about this before, and I want to address your needs as well. When someone refers to a
lens as being really fast, or shooting wide open,
that means the aperture is as open as can be and the most amount of light is coming in. Now, why they say it’s fast is because due to that amount of light coming in to the sensor, you can make
your shutter speed faster. So you can take pictures, (hand smacks) and the shutter is gonna open and close faster than it would if it wasn’t getting enough light. Now, because that aperture is wide open, that gives you the nice blurry background. That gives you the bokeh,
the out of focus elements. Now, typically, if you’re gonna buy a faster lens, or you want a
lens that’s good in low light, or you want to get that depth of field, those do cost more money inherently. As an example of that, this 50 mil, if we’re talking about this again, Canon makes three versions of this. They make a 50 millimeter 1.8, a 50 millimeter 1.4, and a 1.2. So this lens opens up the widest, lets the most amount of light in, meaning it’s the fastest 50 mil that Canon makes. Subsequently, if you’re shooting video, and you want a faster lens, you’re not necessarily taking photos, however, because that aperture is open wider to 1.2, more light is coming in, which means you can shoot
in darker situations. So when you’re thinking about
what lens you wanna buy, that’s also a factor. Are you doing a lot of
low light photography? Are you doing a lot of low light video? Maybe you shoot weddings
and you need a lens that’s as fast and opens
as wide as possible, because you’re shooting through a huge variety of
scenarios during that day, from the morning where it’s nice and light to the very end of the day where it’s dark and everyone’s dancing and you need good low light capability. So depending on what you do,
depending on what you shoot, which is the subject, which we
brought up at the beginning, those things decide what lens
you’re gonna buy ultimately. Okay, so you’ve heard
everything I have to say so far, but you’re still thinking I
don’t know what lens to get. What do I do? Just tell me what I should do. This is a good neutral ground lens that I really, really love. It’s the 24 70. It’s the new version that
Canon just brought out. It is an L series lens, but it’s 2.8, so you’re getting a little bit of wide and you’re getting a
little bit of telephoto. It’s not too far in. 85 for me was always a little git too far, but 70 is just right. So 24 to 70 is a really good range for anyone who’s starting,
anyone who’s already shooting. It’s just a good middle
of the road solution. So, there are different
brands that make 24 to 70, you don’t have to get this one, because it is expensive. I’ll link them below. Sigma have a great 24 70, for example. Now, the first L series lens that I got when I was like, okay, I’m
gonna put money into a lens, here we go. I bought the 24 to 105
from BH Photo online. Had it shipped here. I got in in like a day, paid
for extra fast shipping. I loved it, for the longest
time it was all I needed. However, it’s only F4, so
in low light situations, I started struggling a little bit. So, I switched that to
the 16 to 35 two eight, and that’s when I really fell in love with doing landscape photography, and then that turned into doing portraits, which made me buy the 24 mil. And I’ve been pretty constant with that, as you guys know, for the better part of the last eight to 10 years. I bought the macro lens when I was doing a lot of wedding photography, because I needed those details. So, if you’re into events
and stuff like that, highly recommended. Now, if you’re into
like street photography, and urban stuff, and urban exploration, and you’re always kind of out on the go, you like a little bit of landscape, sometimes portraits, a 16 to 35 is a phenomenal focal length to go with, or a fixed 24 millimeter. If you’re into wildlife photography, or you want to do really crispy B roll, and really isolate your subject, something like a 70 to
200 would be better. ‘Cause the longer the focal length the more compression you’re gonna get in your image, which is really gonna make that subject stand out
and pop out of the screen. I use the 70 200 for just
about everything I shoot with regards to B roll. Again, depends what the subject is. This lens is massive. The lens hood makes it look a lot bigger. Take that off there. Damn if that isn’t a giant element. I don’t even think this takes a lens cap. I don’t think they make
a lens cap this big. Now, why on earth would you
ever use something this big? Or this heavy? This lens has its own case. It’s got its own neck strap. Is that overkill? I don’t know, it depends. What is it that you’re trying to do? If you’re shoot for National Geographic, and you’re out there trying to get super closeups of cheetahs running, that’s exactly what you need. Maybe you’re sidelines at the Superbowl. Are you gonna go do that
with a wide angle lens? No. I mean, you could. Might actually look badass,
but, let’s be honest, you want to get close up to the action. You want to get in on those players faces. You want to capture that moment when that ball is caught mid-air, but you’re way too far away to get anything with a wide angle lens. That’s when something
like this comes into play. This has a 1.4 times
teleconverter built in. Hell, you could put another one on it. (groan) It is a heavy bitch. You could legit work out with this lens. I could do this every single day and in two months from now, my biceps would be considerably larger. I’m not gonna do that
because, the hell with it. But, this is no joke to carry around. As you can see, it’s got its own bag. So, you’re not sticking
this in your backpack. It’s not going in that new
should bag you just bought. This is going beside you in a giant, ugly gray, Canon pelican-like case. So, keep that in mind. (laugh) There’s something inside me that just wants to smash the shit out of this lens. You could assault someone with this lens. Someone’s about to come through the door, (comic hit) game over. I’ll tell you that right now. Don’t do that at home. I’m not condoning that. Let’s just get that on the table. That’s the lens cap. You know what I mean? Like, this could be a
hat for a small child. Something to also keep in mind is when you invest in good
glass, an expensive lens, they hold their value pretty well. You can sell that down the line, sometimes for more than you paid, if not exactly what you paid, or a very small loss. So even though a lens
may seem super expensive, go into it knowing that
it’s a good investment. If you have a nice camera, you want to put a nice lens on there. Think of it as an
investment into your craft. It’s like when you’re
playing an instrument. You start on a not so good guitar. Maybe you work your way up to a custom, or a really beautiful Taylor, or something that was handmade for you. But that costs exceptionally more than something that’s
really beginner basic. Those instruments are easier to play. Those instruments sound better. It’s the same thing
when it comes to lenses. The more expensive glass does look better, it does make your job easier. But, you need to know what
it is that you’re doing. Is this a hobby? Is it only ever going to be a hobby? Is it a job? Are you being paid thousands
and thousands of dollars to capture moments for people that they’ll never have captured again? Maybe it’s worth investing
in something that is a little bit more pricey than you’d typically pay for because it’s
gonna make you look better. It’s gonna make your work better. It’s gonna be easier for
you to make that happen. Now, if you have an expensive lens, you probably wanna get a filter for it. Don’t buy a cheap filter,
because think about it. If you just spent $2,000 on a lens and you buy the cheapest
filter that you can, because you don’t want
to spend any more money, you’re taking a really
crappy piece of glass, and putting it on an
amazing piece of glass. You want to pair them both together. You’ve got a cheap lens
that you don’t care about, buy a cheap filter. You’ve got a beautiful lens
that you really do care about, buy a good filter to put on that lens. Buy a nice polarizer. Buy a good UV filter. B plus W make incredible filters. HOYA make good filters. Invest in quality glass to
put on your quality glass. (clap) Okay, so with
all of that being said, I don’t want to ramble too long. This video could easily have been like nine parts and 30 minutes. I hope you guys are okay with watching it as long as it already was. Lenses are very important. They’re important to tell your story. They’re important to convey meaning. They’re important to up
the quality of your work, in terms of sharpness, depth
of field, stabilization, quality, build quality, product that you’re giving to a client, or the product that you’re
keeping for yourself. Lenses are one of the
most important aspects when it comes to gear as a whole. Do you need to spend tons of money to get great lenses? No. There are tons of companies
and options out there to get good glass. But, do you need to know what you want in order to make the best decision, yes. So, hope you enjoyed that video. If you have any questions, leave
them in the comments below. What’s your favorite lens? And what do you love shooting? I’d love to hear it. I’ll try to get back to
you guys as much as I can. I love reading the comments. We’ve created this incredible community, and I’m so grateful for it. So, let’s start chatting below. What do you guys love using? So, if you’ve liked this video and you got something out of it, and you learned something,
hit that like button, subscribe if you aren’t already. And, and, I will see you guys in the next video. Shoo. (upbeat music)

100 Replies to “What LENS should YOU BUY?!”

  1. That moment when you don't understand what he's saying but still listen anyways because he's entertaining.

  2. Hi Peter,
    Would you please tell me what would be an equivalent trinity lenses for full frame on an aps-c camera?? I would like to get 3 lenses that covers almost of what does the trinity ones without going specially on L series.

  3. I’m brand new to all of this! I feel so lost but I am starting to understand a couple of things, thanks to you! This is my fifth video of yours tonight, and more to come. I am starting my own YouTube channel about beauty and makeup. That’s why I’m trying to learn all of this. I just bought my first camera and it’s the Canon 70D (body only). I am on a horribly strict budget and I can’t drop $500+ on a lens. I know I need to be able to zoom in good for close ups and to buy one that has autofocus and that’s not too loud. Help!!!!!

  4. Great vid Peter! I have a Nikon D5100 to start off and enjoy taking close-up portraits. What lens would you recommend? Thx 🙂

  5. Nice video for a beginner like myself! but I was hoping you would look more at the lens and possible application for each. Thumbs up

  6. Unless you are using a filter for a purpose, do not waste your money! UV filters are the con of the stores, especially Henry’s since they act like they are commission based (I’ve bought many items from them in the early days). When you buy a lens, putting more glass in front of it reduces the quality of the image. If you want to protect your lens from bumps, always use a lens hood. Except when using purposed filters (ND to cut light for landscapes, polarizer, or infrared/solar filter), the only time I do used a lens filter for protection is on my Canon 35L for weddings, more specifically when the bridal party is getting their hair done as it always gets coated in hair spray. That is the only UV filter I own, as they are a waste of money.

  7. I like your videos and this one too because it is too informative but I feel sad cause I am broke and I am still a student . I ll try to find this comment once I get my first camera and a good lens . thank you !!

  8. Hey, Peter, I am buying a new Nikon D5600 and I have an option of going either for 18-55 mm lens or can go for 18-110mm lens..which lens should I go for?

  9. I'm new follower , I just wanna say I love your work your videos , you give me excitement to have a camera , I like you 💜

  10. I recently purchased a Canon 80D, and I need a great lens with the low f-stop. After watching this I am still like, I Don't Know What I Should Get. I shoot photography, and i love doing portraiture and landscape. I need one really great lens for doing a little of everything but also works great in low light.

  11. Back in the day- like 1986- I purchased an antique Yashica FX-3 35mm with a 50mm and a 70 to 150mm telephoto F/4.5 . Put on the 2X doubler and I was looking at around F/11ish. I was ALWAYS hurting for light- if it wasn't summer, at noon I had squat.

  12. this is the old peter mckinnon i miss
    what happen to you man?
    Got an agent and all of a sudden youre a diffrent person now.
    changed for the fame

  13. I am interested in cannon 70-200 mm F/4.0 USM II for my APSC body (77D). Using it on APSC body will convert it into 112-320 mm F/6.4. Can you suggest any other lens apart from sigma 50-100mm F/1.8 that provides similar result. I intent to use mainly for photography. Thanks 😊

  14. What len should i buy if I wanna take pictures of people running I wanna take pictures at the soccer games

  15. Great videos Peter, can you pls put Amazon Canada links to your product as all of them are for US site 😜 and I believe you are a torontonian 🤟

  16. hey i just bought efs canon 35mm macro lens im using it for dental photography would the 35 mm lens work for that or should i look to get a 100 mm macro

  17. Peter, I need to thank you. I was re-watching this video moments before window shopping lenses on Amazon I cannot afford and discovered their prime day camera pricing fiasco. I got my first full frame (6Dii) and the 24-70 f2.8 for a combined $200. It would have taken me well over a year to earn that. It's because of this video that I wholeheartedly thank you, Peter.

  18. zhooging concerts with my Sony A6500 and carry the Sigma 16mm f1.4. Zeiss Touit 32mm f1.8 and my 'new' Sigma 56mm f1.4 that I like the most even though it's too sharp at times. Next buy would be an 85mm but undecided yet, atm between Sony 1.8 or the new Samyang AF f1.4…

  19. I currently have an old Nikon D80 with a 500mm lens and a 28-200mm lens. Love both my lenses. Have just recently ordered a Olympus OMD M1 Mark II with a 12-40mm lens for starters. I bought it for the option of video, need to take great pics of my artwork and after getting a knee replacement, I want to venture out again and take my camera off the beaten track.

  20. Can you do a video explaining the differences in the bodies of canon cameras and how lenses fit the bodies? I’ve never really understood that.

  21. I just bought the 50 mm.But I didn't see it was manual… My bad! It's really hard to get a sharpe focus image in action with this lense. Should have paid more attention when I bought it.

  22. Question! I've got a buddy who uses the sony a6000. What do you think of that camera for videos and photos? I'm starting out sorta kinda and want tips on good affordable gear.

  23. MAN, every time i look up a question about photograpy or video, thee always a video from u, u are a beast, so much helpful content ! ♥

  24. which square filter set (polarizer, ND filter and graduated ND filter) is the best? I want to invest in one set to serve all lenses. Thanks for your suggestions.

  25. Hey guys, Ik a lot of you might be feeling discouraged after watching this video, myself included, but remember sometimes lack of money can be a blessing in disguise cause it forces you to get creative and actually learn photography rather than just buy stuff you don’t need. Good gear can help but remember it’s nothing without the photographer. If you have the skills you can take better photos with even a kit lens 🙂

  26. I just started to do photography, for now it's just a hobby.I really like shooting landscapes, but thanks for the video. I have a Nikon d3400 with 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 VR lens I don't think that it's the best for photos but ok for video which I don't do. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance

  27. I’m looking to buy a lens. New to the photography scene and it’s more of a hobby if anything—but I want decent, if not better, quality work. I’m really just interested in landscapes and portraits. Any recommendations?

  28. The first lens I put money on is the 50mm 1.8f Prime Lens by Canon for my T6.

    I love this lens because not only does it shot beautiful shots for portraits and close ups, it’s limitations really stood out to me as my preferred style of shooting. I wanted wider shots.

    So the next lens I got was the 24mm Prime Lens, I get nice wider shots and now I get to shoot my subject in their environment with an 2.8f. So I lose a whole level of f-stop but it opened up a whole different genre of photography for me.

    I also recommend to look for used lenses so that you save yourself a couple of bucks, with hopefully little wear to them. Just my experience which hopefully helps another beginner photographer.

  29. How much of a difference does a F2.8 vs F4 make in regards to a 70-200? Is it a deal breaker? I just bought the G Master F4 for my 6400, and I'm hoping to use it for portrait and street photography. Crossing my fingers I didn't make a mistake and that even with the higher F Stop I'll still be able to get those popping shots 💪

  30. I've been doing photos as a hobby for about 1 year now. I got the standard started kit Canon Rebel T6 with the basic glass. I picked up a 50mm 1.8 and can't get enough of the lense. The versatility for portraits is awesome

  31. Basicaly if you don't have the cash or friends with good lenses your fucked that simple saved your time wasted on watching this

  32. back in the day I used a Pentax K1000. It's been a while, but I think the best lens I had was about 70 to 150 and maybe f2.4. I could use a 2x teleconverter to increase the zoom. It was 35mm film and I spent lot's of time in an actual darkroom. Now, I am relearning.Thanks for your videos.

  33. Awesome video about lenses. The EF 50mm f1.2L is not so good for photography. However, the RF 50mm seems much better than the EF one

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *