7 Tips to Save Money on Camera Lenses

Today’s marketing knows precisely how to convince photographers that they need more and better lenses. Unfortunately, that makes this profession or hobby expensive if you like to be up to date. So here are some tips to help you save money on camera lenses and not fall into the trap of spending more than necessary.

1. Assign a budget and limit your expenses

Be careful not to get carried away with the variety of camera lens types. Photography can be very expensive if you don’t control the numbers! Assign yourself a budget or set purchasing limits according to your income.

2. Make the most of the lenses you already have

The purchase of new photography material is a delicate subject. Many photographers get frustrated because they base their creativity on their equipment, going long periods without taking photos because they blame their equipment for not taking “good pictures”.

Getting those wonderful photos we see in magazines or on the internet does not always depend on having the best lenses. Instead, it depends on our experience.

This isn’t about convincing you not to increase or update your lenses. Instead it’s about helping you consider several aspects that will allow you to make choices according to your real needs and budget while spending the least amount of money possible.

3. It is better to complete your lenses little by little

Be well informed about the uses of each of the different types of camera lenses. The type used for landscapes is not the same as one used for extreme sports.

If you are still not sure what you will be capturing with your camera, you can buy different lenses until you perfect yourself in a specific type of photography.

You should collect your photography equipment little by little as your knowledge and practice advance.

4. Try the lens before you buy it

If you buy everything at once, you may regret it if your photography style changes or you realize that what you have bought is more limited than you thought.

Not all lenses can be used for your specific type of photography, nor are all reviews unbiased. Once you have tried the equipment, you will be better positioned to decide if it’s what you need. You can test the material as follows:

Take advantage of test days

Take advantage of the free trial and return days offered by most stores that sell online, such as Amazon. Typically, you will have between 30 and 90 days to return the item. Just request the return, and in a few days the item will be collected from your house. You can also visit physical photography stores to ask about this type of service.

Lens rentals

More and more photographers are inclined to rent equipment instead of buying it. It is an excellent option for trying out a camera lens before paying a high price for something you aren’t sure you really want. Renting is also the best option for odd jobs outside of your usual type of photography.

5. Buy second-hand camera lenses

Many photographers have saved a lot of money buying used photography equipment and have never had a problem. However, you must take all possible precautions to make the purchase a success.

If you are patient and look for an item that is like new, you will be saving yourself a lot of money. Many people buy their cameras, use them four times, and then decide to sell them after a year. This is where you’ll find the real bargains. Between a new and a used version of the same model, the savings could be 25% to 50%.

Remember, there are always risks when buying used equipment, but with the right mindset and proper precautions, buying used photography equipment online can be incredibly convenient, affordable, and safe.

6. Buy alternative brands

Generally, official brand lenses are of better quality, but this is not always the case. Some brands, such as Tokina, Tamron, or Sigma, have excellent quality lenses in their catalog. Moreover, they usually cost less than their official brand counterparts such as Canon, Nikon, or Sony.

It is essential to look at the reviews when searching for a reliable product. The internet is full of professionals who share their experiences and compare the qualities of lenses from different brands. Browse and learn everything you can. In the multitude of advice you will find wisdom.

Not all types of camera lenses work the same for all brands. You must take into account several aspects to know which lenses work for your camera. Full-frame camera lenses can be used on APS-C cameras; however, APS-C camera lenses are not suitable for full-frame cameras.

7. Sell what you don’t use

It’s one thing to have a spare lens and quite another to accumulate dusty antiques. So first, think about which lenses you use the most and which ones you have only used a couple of times. Then, go back to the trading forums to sell them and earn money for new material. Think about how quickly everything is devalued. Why have a lens at home you will not use? Similarly, selling your old equipment to buy something new may be the best option.

Extra tips: When cheap is not a good idea

There are times when saving money is not a good idea, especially when the savings are only short term. Some cheaper products will make you spend more money in the end if you aren’t careful.

Don’t underestimate the light

Be careful about wanting to save on lenses that capture less light, as they are cheaper than lenses that capture a lot of light. It has to do with the diaphragm or aperture of the lens. Keep in mind that reducing the amount of light in a photograph is easy, but increasing it can become impossible.

Avoid kits and packages

Although this advice is not true for all cases, it is advisable to avoid packs where the camera is sold together with the lens.

The problem is that these lenses are often not enough for users who want to go further. They may be fantastic to begin with, but they are not very bright, their construction sometimes leaves a lot to be desired, they tend to be noisy, they have chromatic aberrations, etc.


The more knowledge you have about camera lenses, your tastes, your needs, your budget, etc., the better you can choose how to expand your equipment. Such knowledge is not only theoretical but practical. So make the most of what you already have before moving on to the next level. As you go and progress, enjoy every step of the beautiful world of photography.

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