Device recommendation – How to choose a starter kit with 1 or 2 lenses?

Your own taste and interests will lead you to your "final" objectives (there is no such object, but you will at least do it.) after all be in a state where you know what your specific areas of interest are, and buy large glass accordingly). But as you start, I suggest you investigate in the next few years. Depending on the course, buy and sell lenses, book the reading and (most importantly) the experience you collect. As a beginner (I was there about 5 years ago) there are some opinions / experiences that I can share:

  • The kit lens is a good starting point. If you close something, it can be sharp, and the macro level can be decent (compared to a long prime). I left pretty fast to make a "cheap prime" trip … but looking at my early lens lens images, they were not that bad.
  • "Cheap" (say: not fast, like f4-5.6) Telezoom (eg: 55-250mm) are only good outside, where there is MASSIVE amount of light. So just take one if you want to start taking pictures of children's sports, taking the first steps in bird photography. Image quality and bokeh can only be decent for these applications.
  • Primes are generally a good choice if you want to start taking photographs, as they will take pictures that are different from most phones. In addition, you can find out what your specific fields are: portrait, macro, landscape, bird photo, astrophotography, etc. are first-class glasses for every budget and every need.
  • To try a lens before you buy is one thing
  • Renting is one thing
  • AND Buying used, especially for beginners / amateurs, is definitely one thing

If I had to start from scratch, I would only get two lenses after the lens:

  • A normal telephoto, fast (50 or 85 equivalents). This gives you bokeh, great personal portraits and you can concentrate on your work.
  • A 35mm-like (slightly wider than normal) equivalent. Here you can work on storytelling and compositions while you are an appropriate lens for portrait, landscape and all-round lens (eg vacation).

If you're shooting Canon, that would be:

  • A new 50 f1.8 stm EF (they are so cheap, even new), a used 85mm f1.8 or 100mm f2 (no macro). The latter is my personal favorite, but frankly the 50mm is a better choice the first time.
  • A 24mm f2.8 (for an APS-C sensor) or 40mm 2.8 (for a full screen). Unfortunately, the Canon 35mm for full-frame is really expensive, so the EF-S 24 and 40 EF pancake lenses are the better choice … besides, they are the only two Canon pancake lenses … super sharp, cheap, relative fast and super light / small in a bag.

For Fuji, I would choose 23mm (35 equiv.) And / or 35mm (about 50 equiv.).

I do not know enough about other manufacturers to comment on them.

If you're using a Canon APS-C, keep the following in mind:

  • Bird / Sport: A used telephoto zoom, like a 70-300, just to see if you like it
  • Indoor sports, landscape: 10-18mm. It's a fun, sharp, relatively cheap lens, but only for APS-C.
  • Astro: An off-fire lens with wide and fast manual focus (eg 14 mm to 2.8 or 24 mm)

Cheaper lenses (like Canon "L") lenses are great, but it's only worth it if you know what you love.