Outside of my three “kit” lenses, all of which have a variable focal length (i.e., zoom lenses), I have three additional lenses with zoom functionality:
- Sigma 28-85mm
- Minolta 28-90mm
- Sigma 70-300mm
The primary difference between these three lenses and the three kit lenses I have is that these three are also “macro” lenses, in that they have the ability to focus on close-up items. Otherwise, they primarily serve three purposes: wide-angle to mid-range for portraits with the first two lenses, and long distance to longer distance (sure, why not) with the third.
The three lenses are listed in my order of preference as well, wiht the Sigma 28-85mm zoom lens being my preferred of the three, and the 70-300mm being my least.
This isn’t to say that the 70-300mm is a bad lens. It isn’t horrible. It was able to let me take this shot of my son golfing at a distance of 100mm.
But it’s big and bulky, prone to shake when zoomed all the way to 300mm, and needs a lot of light at that distance as well. A professional lens it is not. It is unusable for anything other than long-shutter photography in twilight hours.
The other two lenses are nearly identical in features, but the Sigma is much lighter and I prefer it’s macro focusing abilities over the Minolta; it’s easier to engage macro and out again. My recent Skeletor photo was taken with the Sigma in macro mode, as were these mushrooms and leaf, respectively:
In non-macro mode, these lenses gave me the opportunity to catch some various slices of life without Fear Of Missing Too Much ™:
I think it’s worth noting that all of these lenses are very “budget friendly.” I like camera lenses, but I do not spend a lot of money on them, as it is not my livelihood, and I have too many hobbies to be able to spend tonnes of money on each of them. Photography is all about capturing light; as long as there is sufficient light, the rest of the art is up to the photographer.