How Much Will a New DSLR Lens Cost?

For the best image quality, get the best you can afford

DSLR Lens Cost

There is no "average lens cost" when it comes to SLR cameras, it is a question not quickly answered. If you have spent good money on a camera, please don't skimp on the lens cost. It almost renders the camera useless if you want high quality photographs.

Factors involved in how much you spend should include all of the issues discussed in the previous pages of this section. If you haven't read them, go back and read each section from the beginning. Before you part with your hard-earned cash, decide what you want the lens for, and then start shopping.

I have seen a really cheap lens for sale, will it do to start with?

A cheap telephoto lens can cost you under £100, but will cost you more in the long run. This is because as you progress in photography, you will start to understand the importance of quality.

Poor photographs produced by a poor quality lens may mean you having to return to do a job again, paid or otherwise. For that you would only have to buy a better lens anyway. Work out how much you have to spend and decide which type of lens you want. Then you can make a decision as to what to buy.

I have said it before, go for quality before quantity. If you need more than one lens, look for a zoom lens that covers the range you need. There are a few zoom lenses out there that will cover a large focal range, meaning you only need one lens for now. However, the lens cost for these can vary substantially.

Two examples are;

Lens Cost Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM

This costs in the region of $2,449 but it is the "L" series which means quality. Or the;

Sigma 50-500mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM APO

Lens Cost Sigma 50-500mm f4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM APO

…which costs considerably less at an average of $1,049, and also has a wider range.

What is the difference between these other than lens cost?

Apart from the range of focal lengths, the "L" series had the edge on quality. However, I will let you be the judge of that. The Canon lens quality is a no-brainer in my opinion.

Do you really want a 28-300mm lens though? If so, yes you have guessed it. Sigma actually produce one for an amazing cost of around $250. This would suffice for anyone on a lower budget but beware, as I have stated many times, you get what you pay for.

Where can I buy decent lenses?

As I have mentioned elsewhere, I personally do not sell camera goods on this site. What I do do however, is to recommend the best places to buy online. That is either from my own experience or from that of other professionals. B and H in the US have been one of our favourite stores in the past. Having bought a lot of equipment from there when I lived in Spain, I know the quality of service and prices are decent.

Of course, you can buy from a local dealer, but please be sure that they have:

  • Longevity (been trading a while)
  • Good knowledge
  • "Scruples"

There are quite a few stores out there that just want your cash! Also make sure that their prices can match or better the online stores.

In the near future, I will be adding more of the best buying information to this site, so please bookmark us and keep coming back. For now, I recommend you read up as much as you can before committing to any large purchases.

Here is a quick guide to "what to look out for" other than lens cost and regardless of what size of lens you are buying!


Make sure all the moving parts of the lens operate smoothly (if you buy online, make sure there is a returns policy). Also check the clarity and coatings of the glass.


Check the largest aperture and make sure it is "usable" for what you need. For example, F8 is really too small for any lens as a maximum aperture. Look for a minimum of f5.6 but f2.8 is best.

Focal length

It must cover all the bases for what you need it for, as discussed in the how many section.

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