Why a Superzoom Lens Makes Sense

July 9, 2009 | Mark Goldstein | Photography Techniques | Comment |

The ability to use many different lenses with a DSLR camera body is one of the main attractions of the 35mm format, so why on earth would you want to fit and forget just one lens? Here are 6 good reasons...

Save your Back

Or your shoulder. Or your wrist. Do you wince when you pick up your camera backpack, shoulder bag, or even just your camera? Then it's time to leave all those other lenses at home and try a superzoom, which typically covers the same focal range as a typical standard zoom (28-70mm) and telephoto zoom (70-200/300mm). If you like to use prime lenses, the situation is even worse. You can easily fit a DSLR and superzoom in a small shoulder-bag, and never have cause to moan about the weight of your gear again.

Perfect Match for Entry-level DSLRs

Today's entry-level DSLR cameras are invariably small and light, making a superzoom lens a perfect partner. Despite their huge focal range, superzooms aren't as heavy or bulky as you might first think. Sure, they usually extend quite a long way, but they're also light because they're predominantly designed for travel. They provide a much better balanced package than a pro-level standard or telephoto zoom, and keep the overall weight and bulk down too.

Don't do that again honey!
Don't do that again honey! by pattpoom

Cover Most Angles

A superzoom lens can deal with virtually every photographic situation that you're likely to encounter, with the exception of extreme wide-angle and ultra-telephoto shots. When was the last time that you shot at less than 28mm or more than 300mm? If the answer's never, or very rarely, then a superzoom makes perfect sense, especially if you take pictures throughout the huge focal range that's on offer. From landscapes to close-ups of things you can barely see with your own eyes, one lens really can do it all (well, almost).

Never Miss the Moment

How many great photos have you missed whilst swapping lenses? We've all been there, rummaging around in a bag for the "right" lens, or frantically removing lens caps, whilst the action passes by in front of us. Even worse, eventually you get tired of swapping lenses and stick with just one, hoping that it will be the right choice for whatever comes along next (which it invariably isn't).

The platform
The platform by neilyb5d

Avoid a Dusty Sensor

It might seem like a cardinal sin to never take a lens off your DSLR, but at least you won't have to worry about getting unwanted dust and debris on your sensor. True, you won't avoid it completely, as all non-prime lenses suck in dust when you zoom in and out, but you'll definitely avoid the worst of it. And if your DSLR has an effective built-in anti-dust system, you may never actually have to clean your camera's sensor, a potentially tricky and costly process that most photographers hate doing.

Save Money, and the Environment Too

Buying a superzoom is more often than not cheaper than the cost of buying a typical standard zoom and telephoto zoom combination. You'll also boost your green credentials because only one product has gone through the production process, rather than two. So save some money and help the planet too!

In the next installment of this short series, we'll consider why a superzoom DOESN'T make sense...

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