Interesting optics don’t have to cost a fortune. Andy Westlake tries out some inexpensive lenses to stimulate your creativity - and finds some to avoid, too
Venture onto Amazon and eBay, however, and you’ll find plenty of lenses at low prices, including some brand-new lenses coming out of China. Indeed there are now quite a few companies making inexpensive manual-focus primes for mirrorless cameras, with more lenses showing up all the time from emerging brands such as 7artisans, Kamlan, Meike and Neewer.
DSLR users aren’t quite so well served, not least because they don’t work well with manual lenses; however Yongnuo make some very cheap autofocus lenses for Canon and Nikon users. There are also some unconventional creative optics around from the likes of Lensbaby, and they can be worth considering too. I tried out a selection of budget options to find out which are any good, and those that are better left alone.