Let This Website Choose Your Next Lens

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(Photo by: Michael Jones)

If you want to take dramatic black and white images like the one shown above and are not sure what type lens to use, there's a new online service that might be able to help you, and best of all, it's free. What The Lens is a website designed to help you decide on what type of lens you should purchase next. So, how does this work?  First, you pick what kind of camera you have in the top left-hand corner of the screen like this:

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Then you're put into a gallery with a mix of photos from different styles of photography. They have extensive galleries for Nikon, Canon, Sony FE, Sony A, Leica, Panasonic, Fuji, and Olympus. I guess if you don't have one of those digital SLRs then you're most likely not going to be changing lenses anyway and this product is not going to be for you. If you want to get specific, you can select choices at the bottom of the screen for Lanscape, Macro, Travel, People etc.

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The people section has an NSFW disclaimer on it, so, I had to thoroughly go through all the images in all the galleries on all the Camera choices just to make sure that the disclaimer wasn't just for prudes, and it isn't. There's nothing pornographic on there, but there are images which reflect female beauty in the human body that might not be appropriate at work. Especially if you're an accountant. Why are you looking at these at work? There's not a single number on any of them! 

Once you select your camera and the type of picture you want to take, the site asks you to select 20 images. I set the camera setting to Nikon and um... just for research selected images from the PEOPLE (nsfw) section. Here are five of the images I selected.

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(Photo by: Timofey Smirnov)

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(Photo by: Bartosz Bystrowski)


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(Photo by: Dani Diamond)


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(Photo by: Galiya Zhelnova)

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(Photo by: Rene Chaffins)


Based on those five images and a few that might be a bit more 'artistic' the site recommended two lenses to me. 

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Not bad. The service isn't perfect, as I got at least six duplicate photos to choose from. But again it's free. I think this service has merit,  but not just to buy a lens. I think this service could be used as a test template for newbies to figure out which lens or setting on a zoom they should try on their next shoot. It also might help you zone in a particular style you're trying to achieve. If you look at the photos you pick, there might be a pattern as to what you like. That also kind of has to be something you specifically stick to for the service to work. If you pick epic wide landscape images and super shallow depth of field images for the same gallery, you're going to get a suggestion to buy a zoom lens. If you stick to one particular look, you'll probably get a recommendation that more closely matches what you're trying to achieve.