5 reasons why you should upgrade your lens before your camera


Thinking about upgrading your camera? Maybe you’d like to improve the quality of your images. Maybe you’re worried your current equipment is outdated. Or perhaps you’ve just started working in professional photography, and want the very best camera and lens for the job. Either way, many photographers budgeting for their new gear tend to ask the expert team at Ted’s Cameras the same question: “What should I invest more in – the camera body or the lens?”

If you’ve had your current DSLR or mirrorless setup for some time, you may feel like you’ve advanced as a photographer, and are keen to take your skills to the next level, by way of a brand spanking new camera body. But before you start researching the latest and greatest in camera releases, we urge you to consider the impact that a new lens can have on your photography – and your wallet.

Photo by Claudio Schwarz, @purzlbaum
Photo by Claudio Schwarz, @purzlbaum

Here are 5 reasons why you should upgrade your lens before your camera:

1. Lens quality impacts your images more than you might think

With the consistent wave of new camera releases boasting loads of new features, it’s easy to get swept away with all the latest terminology and think that this is exactly what you need to become a better photographer. While certain advancements like fast AF drives, higher resolution, and high ISO performance does help photographers achieve great results, they still need to be paired with a good quality lens to achieve full potential. Corner to corner image quality, low-light ability and depth of field or bokeh are all elements that are dependent on the lens that’s mounted on your camera.

2. There are far better options than the humble kit lens

As good as your kit lens is, if you’ve only ever used this option you haven’t truly seen what you and your camera are really capable of. A more expensive and higher quality lens will provide a vast improvement over the overall quality of your images, as well as the usability of your camera. High-end lenses will often focus faster and allow you to perform much better in low-light conditions thanks to a larger maximum aperture.

3. You can delve into different types of photography

As beginners, we generally don’t know what particular style of photography we’re going to end up falling in love with. Our interest in more specific or niche style generally develop as we shoot, which is often when we start to notice the limitations of our camera kit.

Fortunately, when paired with a lens designed to do a specific job, such as a wide-angle lens for landscapes or a telephoto for sports, your camera is capable of completing these tasks with success. If you are struggling to capture a certain type of photography, more often than not the purchase of a more suitable lens will help, while the purchase of a new camera may be pointless.

Photo by Jiawei Chen, @noobrustic
Photo by Jiawei Chen, @noobrustic

4. You can make forward compatible lens purchases

If you purchase a more expensive, premium quality lens for your camera, there’s a good chance this lens will still be usable further on down the track when it does come time to update your camera. For example, Canon L-series lenses can be used to vastly improve the performance of entry-level DSLR cameras, while they are also compatible with Canon’s full-frame offerings.

5. Get the most for your money

As we mentioned earlier, the quality of your lens has a major impact on the quality of your photographs. For that reason, if you have a certain budget that you have to stick to, your best option is to put the majority of it towards a new lens. Spending most of your money on a shiny new body and having very little left over for a lens – or sticking to your original kit lens – will likely leave you feeling as if you haven’t progressed as far as you’d hoped.

In contrast, using your budget on a new lens or lenses will bring you the results that you have been craving. As a bonus, lenses have been known to hold their value much longer, both in terms of usability and financially.

Getting advice from the experts

Whether you’re after a large aperture lens, a low light lens, or a depth of field lens, investing in a high-quality camera lens is the best way to capture photographs exactly the way you want, in whatever style you want. So, if you’re looking for an upgrade and would like some expert advice, the team at Ted’s Cameras have put together this handy guide to choosing the best lens for your camera here.