2014-02-20_12-42-42

Rokinon FE14M-C 14mm f/2.8

If you're looking to step up from your kit lens and jump into capturing wide-angle shots without breaking the bank, you'll want to pickup an affordable lens like the Rokinon FE14M-C which retails for under $400. The 14mm focal length offers a 93.9° angle of view on APS-C cameras (115.7° angle of view on full-frame cameras) while minimizing distortion and chromatic aberrations. This model offers excellent build quality, a built-in petal-type lens hood, and solid low-light performance. The FE14M-C has received excellent customer reviews on all major retailers despite being priced far lower than most of its competitors.
Category: Ultra Wide-Angle – Prime
Compatible With A Full-Frame Upgrade: Yes
Commonly Used For Shooting: Real Estate, Landscapes, Interiors
Compare Prices: AmazonBHPhotoAdoramaBeach Camera

 2014-02-21_16-46-29

Canon 50mm f/1.8 II

The “nifty fifty” as they call it is one of the most popular lenses to find in a photographer's gear bag and is often the first aftermarket lens purchase to be made. Similar to the Rokinon model above, this is a “prime” lens which means it has a fixed focal point of 50mm which can not be adjusted. It is important to note that a 50mm will appear more like a 75mm lens on an entry-level DSLR due to the crop sensor. The Canon 50mm F/1.8 II can often be bought for under $100 on Amazon which is an absolute steal and should fit within most beginner's budgets. Canon's 50mm f/1.8 II offers sharp photos and excellent low-light performance although I will admit the build quality is far from perfect.
Category: Normal (Portrait) – Prime
Compatible With A Full-Frame Upgrade: Yes
Commonly Used For Shooting: Portraits, Family Photos,
Compare Prices: AmazonBHPhotoAdoramaBeach Camera

2014-02-22_22-38-521

Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II

The Canon EF-S 55-250mm was my first telephoto lens which I bought for my T3i and it is an excellent telephoto lens given its low price-point. The 55-250mm range is ideal for shooting sporting events, wildlife, and any other situation where you're looking to capture elements that are far away. This particular model offers a robust build quality, fast autofocus capabilities, and a built image stabilizer for helping smooth out shaky shots. Keep your eyes peeled as this model can often be found with a significant discount so I'd recommend shopping around for the best price.
Category: Telephoto – Zoom
Compatible With A Full-Frame Upgrade: No
Commonly Used For Shooting: Sports, Nature, Wildlife
Compare Prices: Amazon – BHPhoto – Adorama – Beach Camera

Featured Image Credit: Tim RT