Improve Photography’s Lens Finder

Answer 5 questions and we'll use that data to match it up with our database to find the perfect lens for you.

What camera system do you shoot?

Lens Finder Contributors

About the Lens Finder

This lens finder is–by far–the most ambitious project we've ever undertaken at Improve Photography. The lens finder asks you a series of questions about what you want in a lens, and then considers hundreds of lenses in a database and finds the perfect lens for you.

I didn't want the lens finder's recommendations to be solely mine, so I called in favors to some of the top photographers in the world to provide their expertise in lens selection.  I asked these photographers to contribute their lens suggestions on the areas in which they are expert–Martin Bailey and Juan Pons on wildlife photography, Lindsay Adler and Ben Von Wong on Portrait Photography, Jim Goldstein and Ian Plant on landscape and night photography, etc.  The lens recommendations are the result of hundreds of years of collective photography experience among the contributors.

We seriously considered charging for access to the lens finder, but it's too valuable to photographers to keep behind a pay wall.

The Lens Finder is an amazing project, but it will always be a work in progress as new lenses are announced and recommendations are improved based on feedback.  Please understand that lens choices are a matter of personal preference.  There are no “rights” or “wrongs”, but we do want your feedback if you feel that a recommendation could be improved.  Please submit suggestions and bug reports in the comments for the answer page you land on.

I have spent hundreds of hours of work on this project, so I sincerely hope you enjoy it, and will find it useful enough to share.

Jim Harmer

33 thoughts on “Improve Photography’s Lens Finder”

  1. I am just a couple years into serious photography. I use a Nikon D80. Do you all do recommendations for Nikon lenses? I only have Nikon lenses. I am hoping to purchase more as time goes on. One day, I would love to be a famous photographer, but I will have to wait and see. Thank you for this AMAZING resource. For me, it’s so helpful, because I don’t have a ton of experience to draw upon when I am picking a lens. However, knowing that the pro’s are always there to help is a huge confidence booster.? Keep up the superb work!!

  2. I’m getting into product photography, specifically clothing. I don’t know how many other people are doing this, but I think that might be a helpful category on this search. I know this is just released, and WOW! Thank you for taking the time to build this! It is a great tool!

  3. A great tool no doubt! Thanks so much for making this public! I was wondering why the Nikon 200-500 isn’t in the results for a wildlife lens.

  4. Hey Jim, I know that Cannon and Nikon are about 98% of the market now but can you update the recommended gear section and possibly the lens finder to include Fuji products? I’ve followed you over to the dark side with the X-T1 and the 16-55 and 50-140. I know you’ve mentioned almost all the info at some point in the various articles over the last few months so it’s all out there but I really think the Fuji system deserves to be listed under the recommended gear given the sharpness and the way images look right out of the camera.

  5. Hi Jim, just wanted to report a bug, unless it it just a result of the site being incomplete. I was toying with your lens finder and when choosing a Canon-Street-Prime-Wide Lens, the system comes up blank. I’m viewing on Chrome Mac OS. Just for your info, I came across your page after listening to your podcast. Thanks and keep up the great work!

    1. Debbie Christlieb

      Chrome is not compatible with many websites, particularly Wordpress and Joomla, plus a ton of other open source content management systems. Now you understand why the (open source) Mozilla Firefox is the browser of choice. When a site doesn’t work for you, switch browsers. 🙂

  6. Please review the Nikon 200 – 500 lens. I need long lens for wildlife, but can not afford the expensive lenses. Have a Sigma 15-600 Sport. Hates it.

  7. I have a Canon 400d and I would like to buy a wide angle lens and Im so “confused” as to which one, Im keen on landscapes sunsets and sunrises, also a macro lens that gets up close to flowers and insects.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated,

    Kind regards

  8. You might want to check one of your links. If you click on the Rent this Lens button for Best Canon EF lens for wildlife on a budget, it is linked to the Nikon lens on the borrow lenses.com site instead of the Canon. I didn’t catch it when I ordered. Let me know if you need more info- your site is a great resource! Thanks! ?

  9. I’m a rookie and wanting to buy my first lens, I want an all around lens where I can shoot great landscape and can be use also for portrait and micros. I have a Nikon DX. Please guys 🙁 what lens to buy, budget friendly if possible.

  10. Very freshly new in Business, 2 years I am running few studios in a smaller town, and few different ones.. Now I am also in a process of doing On Location where can be 10 people gathering for a Family Reunion or even A Weddings. Few booked by me where I see great results, with pets and outside Farms and name it ..

    What lens you recoomend for a great starter to have first good impression for a little town to knock socks off , at first time the customer experience with great experience of great result

    Kind respond is very appreciate it.


  11. I just did a review of the Lens Finder specifically for the Canon EF system and I have some questions about the data presentation. This could be website / data base issues or just omissions. My comments are;

    1. Portrait, Under 50mm, Under $1000 – Return no lenses
    2. Sports and Wildlife, Under I am a trust fund baby – Returns no lenses (must be a joke, right?)
    3. Street / Travel, Under Prime, DO YOU USUALLY SHOOT WIDE TO INCLUDE MORE ENVIRONMENT, OR IN TIGHT?, I want to shoot a bit wider to include more of the scene – Returns no lenses
    4. All Purpose Walk Around Lens, under both questions the return is the same list. (Also Option 3 is skipped in the list)

    Please clarify for me and others and thanks for an otherwise great resource. I plan on utilizing this information as a basis on determining my lens selections / purchases.


  12. I am looking for a lens for my Nikon D7100 that will take crisp large family portraits. Will the 24-70MM work well? I understand it is expensive, however well worth it.

    Thank you!!


  13. Love this! 🙂 I guess my next purchase is the 70-200 f/2.8L IS. I might add that the Canon 135L f2 is a ridiculous lens for the price, I have a hard time taking it off of my camera. Worth a mention for sure!

  14. William Bennett

    I have the Canon Mark III been using BBF for a while If I hold down the BB it will focuse all the time Can I use that for Movies?

  15. 95% of landscape photography is done with a wide angle lens, so that doesn’t surprise me that it recommended a wide angle lens.

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