How to Choose the Right Lens for Dog Photography

There’s a lot of discussion online about the right camera equipment. Every photographer will have their own preferred camera or lens, and will often have strong opinions about which you should use. So, how do you dig through the noise and figure out what lenses you should be using for dog photography?

The first thing to remember when it comes to choosing lenses is that the best photography gear you can choose is the equipment you’ve already got and that you’re comfortable using. The best lens is simply the one that’s already in your bag and ready to go. Don’t miss opportunities to take photos of your dogs or other pets just because you don’t have expensive gear – snap away, even use your phone to get the shot.

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However, if you’re looking for a way to make the photos that you do take even sharper and higher quality, and to increase your chances of getting the perfect shot, even if the light outside isn’t great or your dog is running around all over the place, there are a few pieces of equipment that you can get.

In today’s article, we’re going to look at some of the things you might want in a lens for dog photography. We’re assuming you’ve already got a DSLR camera, and we won’t recommend specific brands or lenses as these can change depending on what DSLR you’ve got and the compatibility of your camera. Instead, we’re going to cover a few things that you want to look for in a lens, and then a few types of lenses that we recommend for dog photography.

What features are best to look for in a lens for dog photography?

So, here are a couple of features that we’d recommend looking for if you’re choosing a new lens for dog photography.

Image stabilisation

Unless you’re going to be shooting from a fixed tripod, choosing a lens with image stabilisation is a good idea. It helps smooth out the motion of your hands if you’re holding the camera without support. Also, if you’re shooting dogs in motion and trying to get action shots, you can make more aggressive tracking motions with your hand and trust that the image stabilisation will help you get a great shot.

Auto focus

Auto focus is another useful feature on a lens that just makes it easier to snap that great shot quickly and without having to manually alter settings. Especially with dogs that are running around, it’s helpful to be able to snap photos and trust that an autofocus system will be keeping your pooch in focus and looking at their best.

A “fast lens”

Another thing to look out for is a wide aperture lens. Aperture is measured using f-numbers, and we’d recommend anything with f/2.8 or lower. The aperture refers to the amount of light that’s let in, which lets you shoot in lower light. This means you can still get bright, properly exposed images of your pets even amongst trees or woodland, and you can shoot later in the day. These lenses also have a narrower depth of field, leading to beautiful images with blurry backgrounds, highlighting your treasured companion right in the centre.

You can experiment with all sorts of lenses on your camera when you’re taking dog photos. For example, try a wide angle lens for gorgeous wide shots that really show off the natural landscape – or get up and close and personal with a wide angle for a unique perspective. To really get up close to your furry best friend, why not try out a macro lens? Whatever type of lens you choose, keep an eye out for image stabilisation, auto focus and the size of the aperture, to make sure it’s perfect for shooting dogs out and about.

If you’d rather get some professional photos taken of your dog (and you, if you’d like!) speak to Pawtraits by Steve. I can meet you at a range of beautiful outdoor locations across Norwich that we can shoot at, or I could even come to your home with my mobile studio. I always take the time to get to know you and your dog, so I can shoot intimate pics that really capture your relationship. I offer gift vouchers as well – get in touch with me today!