Standard & Super Zoom


Choosing the Right Camera Lens


Lesson Info

Standard & Super Zoom

Category 1, your standard zoom. This is really good place to be if you don't know what you're gonna be shooting and you just wanna be practical and have something that's available for a lot of different things to shoot. And so, for your basic zoom lens, we're talking about things that give you a bit of wide angle and a better telephoto. Canon's 24-105 has been a favorite for Canon shooters for a long time. The new version is a little bit better than the old version and it's quite nice. The Canon 18-55 is a very basic lens but you know what? It gets the job done and it's fine. Nikon's 24-120, not known as the sharpest, best lens out there but a lot of travel photographers swear by it because it's such a practical zoom range to have. Nikon 18-55, kind of very similar to the Canon 18-55. Very simple and basic, small and lightweight. Does a great job for people getting into photography. Sony just brought out their 24-105 which looks like it's gonna be a nice general purpose lens. The Sony ...

16-50 might be one of the worst lenses optically out there that you can get but the camera optically or electronically corrects for this and you actually get a pretty good result in the camera. It's gonna be the smallest camera out, smallest general purpose lens in this entire category but that's a bit of the trade off is if you want a really small lens, optically it's gonna be little bit more compromised but it is very nice for those people who are really wanting something small and lightweight. The Fuji 18-55 is probably one of the best kit lenses you will find anywhere out there. And so we have a reasonably fast aperture that's well built and the Olympus and Panasonics are simple but nice, basic, lightweight lenses. Now, if you wanna go premium in this same category of a basic zoom, you're gonna see a lot of maximum apertures of f/2.8. This is the standard in the industry. Having a lens that does basically a 24-72. or whatever the equivalent is and all of these are really, really good lenses. There is a big difference is size, though, as you get from full-frame to crop-frame in here. So, one of my favorite is the 12-40 Olympus lens, which is a relatively small lens. I wanna do a quick little demo here for you. Let me see if I can find it amongst all my lenses. And so, here we have the Olympus 12-40 lens and this is the Micro Four Thirds system. Now, the Nikon 24-70 is the equivalent lens for a full-frame camera. And you can see the size difference. Now, there is a bit of extra size difference here because we do have a hood on this but we also have a hood on this one as well. Now, these two lenses let in the same amount of white as far as an aperture. They both have a maximum aperture of 2.8. The Olympus actually has a bit more range 'cause it is a 12-40, which means it's the equivalent of 24-80, this is a 24-70. But this is the advantage of going with the Micro Four Thirds system 'cause that the whole system is really small. Yes, you are going to get better overall image quality with a full-frame sensor, especially better under very low light conditiions but there is a price to be paid in size and weight. So, we have different tools for different people with different needs. Get these back to their respective spots. Alrighty. So, that's our premium in this category. Now, the Super Zooms are ones that range with a really wide range. Generally, they're going from somewhere around 24 all the way up to 200. And these we don't necessarily have a premium category in general. Now, the exception is the Canon 28-300, which is a premium option and if you were strapped into a helicopter, not allowed to change lenses, shooting out the open door, that would be the most versatile one you could get to. The rest of these are generally some of the lower quality lenses in the entire lens lineup and that's because you're asking so much of a lens, to shoot wide angle and telephoto at the same time. And so, this is for people who don't like to switch lenses. It comes at a little bit of a price. There are always gonna be one of these in all the different categories. One of the best ones out there is the Olympus 12-100 millimeter. It's the only one of this entire group that has a fixed maximum aperture of F-4. You can stop it down, 5, 6, F8 and so forth but it has that nice fixed aperture which I think makes that one a bit more of a premium option in there. These are not my first recommendations and this is a recommendation for people who really, really don't like to change lenses 'cause you are a little bit compromised in your optical quality as well as your aperture as well.

Class Description

Once you’ve chosen the camera of your dreams, how do you know which lens will maximize your camera’s capabilities? Join camera expert John Greengo as he explains what the best lenses are to add to your camera bag. He’ll explain:

  • Which lens is best for specific areas of photography
  • The technology behind lenses
  • How to use specialty lenses including macro and fisheye
  • Tips on operating and maintaining your lenses

John will also talk about lens accessories including hoods, mounts, filters, and teleconverters. By the end of this class, you’ll understand exactly what lens you’ll need to take your best photos!


Boris Dimitrov

Excellent class packed with incredibly useful knowledge. John is an amazing lecturer. He has also developed really great materials to help explain all the concepts and technologies that are explored in the class. Looking forward to my next class with him!

a Creativelive Student

Great class. So informative. John Greengo is such a fantastic tutor and explains everything in such and easy-to-understand way. I would highly recommend this class. Prior to doing this class, I was so confused about which lenses are best for various photography. Now I understand lenses completely. Thanks John!

Lettie Turner

Another great JG class, my 4th. He gives a lot of individual attention to several popular lens brands. I really think after seeing this video series you could pick out three lenses that would fit your needs and your pocketbook. The class handout is spot on for what is covered in the video. Great job!! Thank you