There’s a wad of cash burning a hole in your pocket and you want the money spent upgrading a lens. Choosing the right lens can be a daunting task with the vast variety of lenses on the market. The easiest way, if money is no barrier, is Plan A. Give me double the amount of the lens I choose for you and we both walk away with a “Win Win” situation. 🙂 What’s that? You don’t like that plan of attack?….. Ok then let’s try Plan B: Using Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Camera RAW to determine what our favorite focal lengths are. Of course this only works if you have your images in Lightroom or Adobe Camera RAW.
Step 1: Open Lightroom in the Library Module and select folder or folders where your images are located. Then select Grid View.
Step 2: Select Metadata from the Library Filter
My Library Filter panel may look different to yours so don’t panic. We are going to change what is displayed on your screen. If you have used this before and have it set up the way you like it you may want to write down or screen capture your settings so you can change them back later if needed.
Step 3: Change the column names to match mine.
Note: You can add or delete columns if required. Don’t worry it will not affect your photos.
Your overall number of images taken, the quantities taken with each lens, focal length and aperture will now be displayed.
Why I purchased Olympus 9 – 18mm f4 – f5.6
I purchased Olympus OMD EM5 in 2012 and it came with the Olympus kit lens 12 – 50mm f3.5 – 6.3.
As you can see in above figure when I select 2013, E-M5 and the 12 – 50mm lens I have taken 5818 photos and by looking at the Focal Length column and I have shot at every single focal length available to the lens. What stands out is the number of shots taken at 12mm, 3152, which is more than half the number of total images taken. It looks like I really loved the 12mm focal length or more likely that was as wide as I could shoot. Maybe I needed a lens with a wider view. Generally a Landscape photographer likes to capture a wide field of view and these figures suggest the same.
When I click on the 12mm focal length I can see the majority of my shots were taken with apertures between f5 – f11.
So based on this data my decision was to purchased the Olympus 9 – 18mm f4 – f5.6 premium lens December of 2013.
This is my go to wide angle lens…until Olympus release their 7 -14mm f2.8 pro lens in 2014. I still like to have the option of shooting wider, closer and have even better image quality….if money was no object. :))) I could run through other lenses I have purchased since then but this post is getting a bit long and you should get the idea by now.
Just remember a good quality lens will get the best image quality out of your camera more than a better camera with the same kit lens. An added bonus is if you ever decide to sell off your gear later, good lenses hold their value than camera bodies and cheaper lenses.
Also let’s make this point perfectly clear that a better lens and/or camera will not make us a better photographer. The only thing that will improve is the quality of the image. It won’t help you recognize an interesting subject, see great light, compose the shot, and process the image to the desired outcome you saw before you even picked up the camera. That takes time, patience and lots of practice.