Camera Lenses: Is Bigger Always Better?

If you’ve followed the lens market in recent years, you’ll have noticed that lenses have been growing in size. It’s odd—generally, technology aims towards making things smaller. Why isn’t that true of photography lenses? And do bigger lenses even mean that they’re better? If you’ve had these sorts of questions in your mind, you’re not alone. To help you out, today we have photographer Ted Forbes tackling these exact questions:

As Forbes rightly says, if you look at the lens from a technical viewpoint, the newer lenses are definitely better. Today’s technology allows manufacturers to produce lenses that they weren’t able to make even a decade ago. Also, it is important to note that due to the high resolution of moderns sensors, newer lenses are designed with comparatively higher resolving power, allowing them to capture images with finer details. So, technically speaking, newer lenses are better. But, again, when we view this from a practical stance, the answer may not be the same.

“If you are a street photographer and want to melt into the background and be very stealthy, a large lens may prohibit you from getting your best images.”

Further, in the video, Forbes also talks about the reasons why lenses these days are getting bigger. In short, it’s mostly because manufacturers are adding more lens elements and groups to combat distortions and aberrations. This doesn’t mean smaller lenses are bad in any way—they serve their purpose well. Everything ultimately boils down to affordability and practicality.

Would you rather have a technically perfect lens or the ones that’s more practical? Let us know in the comments.

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