Photography is an awesome, yet somewhat expensive hobby. Luckily, there are only two things you need to get if you want to take the step and upgrade from your phone: A camera and a lens.
Most of the time, camera manufactures sell their camera with a more simple lens in a kit. That would be the kit lens. And there’s nothing bad to say about kit lenses nowadays, they do what they are supposed to and some even offer decent sharpness and quality. I still use my 18-55mm kit lens, and even though it’s definitely not the best lens I own, it get’s the job done.
But at some point, you might wonder what kind of lens to get next. While that totally depends on what kind of photography you are doing, what your style is and, off course, how deep your moneybags are, you can’t go wrong with any prime lens. My 50mm 1.8 cost about a 100 Euros when I bot it and I got my 22mm 2.0 for 50 Euros* used, so they were quite affordable.
Prime lenses usually offer great photography at lower cost than equivalent zooms, as they are simpler in construction and optics than those lenses. Because of that, they are usually also sharper and more reliable than zooms. Prime lenses usually also offer a wider aperture, and thus better low light performance.
Off course, there are pricier options available. Like this Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art, which sells for north of 700 Euros on Amazon currently. That is still cheaper than Canons’ version, which sells for more than double with a price tag of 1700 Euros, and its’ image quality is at least comparable.
Another thing is that prime lenses are good in making you a better photographer. Because of the fixed focal length, you have to give more thought to your composition by default. You can’t just change everything by zooming the lens in or out, you have to physically move your camera closer to what you want to shoot or get it further away.
Of course, sometimes your movement is restricted, and that’s when I would usually crank out a zoom lens to shoot. But sometimes, like when I took this picture in Cologne, I only have one lens with me. For example when I don’t want to bring my slightly heavier backpack along. And in such instances I would always happily choose to go out only with my 22mm prime lens, mostly because the 50mm is really tight on APS-C, and face the challenge of only shooting with one lens at one focal length. I got some of my best pictures going that way. And I dare you to do the same.
*usually sells for around 200-250 Euros new.