What lenses should I buy?

This question is probably the most interesting for anyone starting up with filming and photographing. I struggled a lot on this question upon the time I found the clip above of Peter McKinnon at YouTube. Peter is one of the most successful youtuber which produces great content over a very long period of time.

As Peter describes, before starting buying you your equipment, you have to make a decision:
Do you need lenses for photographing?
Do you need lenses for filming?
Do you need lenses for both?

What also is very important for nearly everybody is weight. You can’t carry around tons of lenses in your bag. That means the more lenses you have the more weight you have in your bag, so it is better to buy less lenses with more zoom and probably at a better quality, that you also don’t need many prime lenses which often have better aperture.

In my case I need lenses for great filmmaking and for great photographing.
Because I use a Canon Camera I have the following roadmap for my lenses:

  • I started with the Canon EF 24–105mm f/4L IS II USM Lens which has an optical image stabilizer which is a benefit compared to the Canon EF 24–70 mm f/2,8L II USM which clearly has an greater aperture. The 24-105mm lens has the benefit of a higher zoom range which is very helpful for filmmaking. I’m very happy with this lens also for photographing. By the way: Peter McKinnon also started with this one.
  • To have a lens with an bigger aperture and for getting great depth of field effects for photos and films I bought the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM which has a great price point (around 350€). Further it is very light, so you can easily carry it around in your bag.
  • The lens I want to buy in future is the awesome Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM which has a very high aperture, big zoom range and thats fascinating also an image stabilizer.
  • What also would be an advantage would be an wide angle lens like the Canon EF 16–35mm f/2.8L III USM which is astonishing for filmmaking (around 2000€). But thats a lens not for now because of its price.

As you can see I prefer the Canon „L“ lenses except the 50mm prime lens. The „L“ lenses aren’t only great at picture quality, but they also have a high build quality and are weather sealed. If you often work at nature and under bad weather conditions you can save a lot of money have lenses made for those situations. They don’t break down so easily. Trust me!

The video below also offers a very interesting view on lenses by Christian Maté Grab, a fascinating German filmmaker:


Hope I could help you making a decision on your equipment. Most important is: Be aware for what you need lenses!

Stay tuned!