Third-Party Lenses vs. Native Brand Lenses: Which Should You Get for Your Camera?

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The camera lens you take tin person a important effect connected whether you meet your photography goals. You’ll apt cognize astatine slightest thing astir brand-manufactured lenses, arsenic galore camera bodies travel pinch a kit lens.

However, you tin besides acquisition third-party equipment. Doing truthful tin thief make immoderate kinds of photography—such arsenic wildlife photography—more accessible to group who don’t person a immense budget.

Third-party and autochthonal marque lenses person a unsocial group of pros and cons. To thief you make a amended purchasing decision, we’ll place wherever they some excel successful this guide.

1. Ease of Updating Firmware

man moving connected macbook adjacent to camera lenses

One of galore things you should see erstwhile buying your first camera is whether you person predominant firmware updates. That is besides important for lenses, arsenic these updates will thief spot imaginable glitches and capacity issues.

Speaking from individual experience, I’ve typically recovered updating camera lens firmware overmuch easier pinch brand-manufactured ones. You tin often execute these actions done an app connected your smartphone.

With third-party lenses, you tin often update your firmware by plugging nan instrumentality into your computer’s USB larboard and downloading it. However, immoderate users mightiness person much problem connecting their lenses than others—so this is thing to support successful mind. The bully news is that moreover without updating my firmware connected third-party lenses, I’ve ne'er encountered issues utilizing them.

Winner: Brand-manufactured lenses

2. Price

Photographer Viewing Photos connected Camera and Laptop

Camera lenses are notoriously expensive, pinch immoderate costing much than nan camera assemblage itself.

Contrary to celebrated belief, third-party lenses aren’t ever affordable. You tin get immoderate beautiful bully deals—I bought a Viltrox 85mm lens successful 2021 for nan balanced of astir $350—but different manufacturers, specified arsenic Samyang, are rather pricey.

Similarly, while galore brand-manufactured lenses costs a batch of money, you tin besides get immoderate bully deals. For example, every photographer should see getting nan 50mm—which is often 1 of nan champion cost-to-quality lenses you tin adhd to your collection.

How overmuch you walk connected lenses will dangle connected nan focal length, on pinch your aperture and different factors.

Winner: Tie

3. Lens Build Quality

A personification looking done a camera lens taking a photograph of nan photorgapherImage Credit: file404/Shutterstock

It’s needless to opportunity that you don’t want your lenses breaking wrong a fewer months of buying them, and fortunately, galore camera lenses are beautiful well-built. This includes third-party lenses, which often characteristic weather-sealing and different useful features. Samyang is 1 illustration of this.

Many high-end lenses that are manufactured by brands besides person useful features and a high-quality build. However, you tin besides get immoderate that consciousness rather flimsy. While I loved Fujifilm’s 27mm lens, for example, I ever felt for illustration nan build value wasn’t nan astir sturdy.

If you’re readying to return photos successful utmost conditions, spot our guide to basal rainy-day photography equipment.

Winner: Third-party lenses

4. Image Quality

photo of a camera, lenses, and immoderate books connected a table

Sure, nan photographer is responsible for overmuch of really their images look. But having lenses tin of capturing astonishing shots besides helps dramatically. So, image value is thing that you should powerfully see erstwhile buying a camera lens—especially if you’re nary longer a beginner.

In galore cases, brand-manufactured lenses nutrient amended results than their third-party counterparts. You’ll often get sharper images, on pinch punchier colors. The actualities will, of course, alteration from institution to company.

Having said that, third-party lenses tin still supply fantabulous results. If you’re caller to photography, it mightiness beryllium worthy purchasing a third-party lens and changing to a autochthonal marque later. And if you want to acquisition a third-party lens, Viltrox could beryllium worthy buying.

Winner: Brand-manufactured lenses

5. Compatibility

Photo of a personification taking pictures extracurricular successful nan wintertime

While you tin acquisition lens adapters, it’s overmuch much convenient if you bargain a lens that’s already compatible pinch your camera. Considering that manufacturers creation lenses for camera bodies they’ve released, you’re often amended disconnected buying autochthonal lenses for this aspect.

However, 1 point you should return into relationship is that immoderate lenses are only compatible pinch definite models. So, if you later upgrade, you whitethorn besides request to waste your lenses.

Third-party lenses often person a wide scope of products available, but you’re not guaranteed to find thing that some fits your needs and useful pinch your circumstantial model. With this successful mind, you whitethorn request to do a spot much investigation earlier buying a third-party lens that fits your device.

Winner: Brand-manufactured lenses

6. Warranties

Photographer successful snow

Having a warranty connected your camera lens tin supply bid of mind if thing goes wrong. Camera manufacturers’ warranties vary, pinch immoderate being 2 years and others only being a mates of months.

Your warranties mightiness besides alteration depending connected whether you bargain a caller aliases refurbished lens. You tin often acquisition add-ons for repairs and specified if you bargain your camera via an electronics store.

With third-party lenses, warranties will besides differ. For example, Viltrox offers a one-year constricted warranty connected products you buy. For different brands, for illustration Samyang, nan warranty depends connected your region.

If you bargain pre-owned lenses, nan website you acquisition from mightiness adhd its ain warranty. MPB is simply a awesome spot wherever you tin get second-hand lenses if you’d for illustration to return that route.

Winner: Tie (it depends connected nan manufacturer)

Third-Party Camera Lenses vs. Brand-Manufactured Lenses: Which Is Better?

Photographer holding Nikon camera successful greenery.

If we tally up nan full score, autochthonal marque lenses travel retired connected top. It’s worthy noting, though, that tons of sections were tied.

If you’re moving toward becoming a master photographer, you’re often amended disconnected buying a autochthonal lens for your camera manufacturer. Yes, you’ll astir apt salary more—but astatine nan aforesaid time, you will person amended image value and different useful features.

For hobbyist photographers, third-party lenses are a beautiful bully prime if you’re conscionable starting out. You will still person beautiful bully image quality, and you tin ever retouch your pictures successful editing package for illustration Lightroom aliases Photoshop anyway. Moreover, nan value is much accessible for entry-level photographers.

Key Takeaways

  • Brand-manufactured lenses are easier to update firmware on, providing speedy fixes for glitches and capacity issues.
  • Price-wise, some third-party and brand-manufactured lenses tin person bully deals, but it varies depending connected nan manufacturer.
  • While brand-manufactured lenses mostly person amended image quality, third-party lenses tin still supply fantabulous results, particularly for beginners.

Make nan Best Lens Purchasing Decision

Knowing nan quality betwixt third-party and autochthonal marque lenses is only 1 portion of nan jigsaw. You should besides see which attack is amended for you, and doing truthful will thief prevention you some clip and money.

Brand-manufactured lenses often person superior quality, but nan build tin alteration depending connected what you choose. Similarly, while you’ll often find it easier to update firmware connected autochthonal marque lenses, you should double-check to find whether nan warranty is bully capable for you.

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