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8 Tips for Mastering your Favourite Lens

8 Tips for Mastering your Favourite Lens
mastering your favourite lens tips
Photo by Paul Skorupskas on Unsplash

Mastering your favourite lens can be a bit different from mastering your camera but it can be also an extremely important process if you are aiming for the best results in photography

Let’s assume that you have a DSLR already and you are willing to invest in a good expensive lens, or you already own one.

You understand pretty well the camera, composition, settings and so on, but like many other photographers you may not focus that much on trying to take the best out of your lens

What lens do you mainly use? A prime lens or a zoom lens? Each can have a different application following the tips.

Therefore, I want to continue sharing with you 8 important tips to master your favourite lens.

8 Tips for Mastering Your Favourite Lens.

#1 Understanding the focal length.

starfield - mastering your lens
Starfield photographed with 50mm by Gabriel M. at Photornia.com

You probably already know what is the focal length and how to use the right focal distance, but have you ever tried improvising with it, taking it to another level?

As an instance, a landscape photograph with a super-telephoto lens, portrait photo also done with a telephoto lens, using a wide lens to do a low-level photograph, maybe even trying astrophotography with a 200mm lens? What about photographing the moon with a 500mm + teleconverter?

Matching the exact focal length with the type of photographs you are taking can be the wrong thing to do. Experiment with different focal lengths (if you own a zoom lens) or try to improve a specific focal length you are mainly using.

Learn and become an expert with a specific focal length (e.g. 105mm photographer)

Focus on it. Think outside the box.

#2 Understand the pros and cons of your lens

If you don’t know the real capabilities of your lens, the pros and the flaws, you are behind in mastering your lens and can have a negative impact on your photographic journey.

Don’t worry, don’t stress. Think about the lens you have it and what are the biggest advantages it has and the worst flaws.

As an instance, my Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 VR G2 is my favourite lens. The possibility to take outstanding handheld photographs in low light situations due to very good image stabilisation, the excellent sharpness and fast autofocus are the biggest advantages. Also, I am aware that chromatic aberration can be a pain in the a*s sometimes.

#3 Know your lens limits.

It may be obvious connected with number #2 but being able to know your lens capabilities may allow you to explore different scenarios where you can use your lens, a bit difficult, but realizable.

If you don’t force the usage of your lens, you will not know those limits, therefore, stress your lens under different scenarios such as weather photography, sport, nature, long exposures, astrophotography, event and so on. You do not have to stick to a specific niche in photography due to the lens limitations.

#4 Lens Flares. Use it on your advantages

mastering your favourite lens
Photo by JINGYU ZHANG on Unsplash

Every lens is differently coated to reduce the lens flares resulted from the sun reflection into your glass. Why not using this into your advantages?

If you consider this a flaw or negative side, try to work with it and create some special lens flare effects while shooting a scene?

Also every the lens flares are different on every single lens and scenes. Are you able to create a masterpiece out of this? Why not. Did you tried and failed? If not, try it.

#5 Try shooting only with it for a while

Like mastering your camera in time, same goes for the lens. You can learn and master your lens and can take the best out of it if you are using continuously for all kind of scenarios.

Create a challenge for yourself like a ’30-day photography challenge’ where you are using only your favourite lens. You will feel more confident about it after a while. Trust me, already been through and works charmingly.

#6 Understand its balance.

Your camera is part of you when you are performing the art of photography. So does your lens.

As some of the lenses are heavier and bulkier, some others are lighter and smaller.

There are way too many factors that can break or create a perfect balance for your lens in concordance with your camera.

Try to understand that and … that your lens is part of your arm. Mastering the balance of your lens and camera can help you take much easier sharper and more stabilised pictures

#7 Keep it clean. Maintenance time.

There is no more important task than taking care of your lens, keeping it dust free and clean at all times.

This would not only improve the clarity and the contrast of your lens but decrease the risk of getting dust in between your glasses through the focus or zoom ring, and further to your camera sensor.

Keep it clean at all times.

#8 Find the sweet spot of your lens aperture

On your day to day photographs where aperture will not crucially matter that much, use the sweet spot of your lens aperture.

If the lens aperture is too wide or too small, you will not be able to obtain the best sharpness out of it. As well the vignetting and the barrel distortion are more or less depending on your aperture.

Most of the lenses have a sweet spot between f/5 and f/8 where the sharpness is the best of your lens and there is less barrel distortion or vignetting.

Use that aperture as a native one for general photography where, as I’ve said, the aperture would not matter that much.

mastering lens
Photo by Matthias Oberholzer on Unsplash

Conclusion on mastering your lens

Although those are just a few tips I can give you right now, in reality, there are way much more, and it does take time in order to master your lens.

Take your time and practice with it. If you love it, you will eventually be able to master it.

Fortunately, master your lens is much easier than mastering your camera. But test it heavily with different scenes and composition, in different scenarios and so on.

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Mastering your favourite lens can be a bit different from mastering your camera but it can be also an extremely important process if you are aiming for the best results in photography.
In this post I will try to share with you 8 important tips for mastering your favourite lens.
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