The lens is your camera’s eye and plays the key role in capturing clarity, color, and details of each image. Whether you’re a specialized or a beginner photographer, choosing the right lens will definitely elevate your photography. With a point and shoot type of camera, the lens is fixed. DSLR cameras offer lens mounts that let you swap and use different type lenses.
Before diving into available types, the definition of focal length and the extent of the reach will help to clarify DSLR lenses. When the subject of an image is in focus, focal length measures the distance between the optical center of the lens and the digital camera sensor. It is measured in millimeters and displayed on the actual lens.
Another useful information found on a lens is the extent of its reach: 35mm–80mm, 50–100mm), 200–400mm, and so on.
Types of Lenses
Lens types are classified as prime, which comes with fixed focal length and zoom, which has a variable focal length.
Prime includes subgroups of standard (35–80mm), wide angle (15–28mm), macro (50–100mm), telephoto (80–300mm), and super telephoto lenses (200–400mm).
Zooms come with variations like wide angle to telephoto or standard to telephoto coverage.
Even point and shoot cameras come with a standard 35–80mm lens. The standard lens is also known as “normal-lens.” The term “normal” is used for this type because it captures a scene just as the human eye sees it. A standard lens is great for everyday shots, such as flowers, people, or pets.
Wide angle gives a broader view of a scene than a standard lens does. Because this lens captures a wide area it is used for photographing groups of people and landscapes.
Telephoto is used to enlarge pictures or for bringing distant subjects closer. A common telephoto comes with 75–300mm coverage. When you begin to move from the 35mm into something larger, it’s best to either use a tripod or a stabilizer. A stabilizer will help you hold the camera steady for clear shots even if your hand moves a little bit.
Super telephoto comes with a 200–400mm lens. It is mostly used for capturing wildlife.
A macro lens is designed to capture a tiny subject as a bigger image. Macro photography is a type of shooting that magnifies the size of a subject. As its name implies, it’s great for close up shots, such as flowers, spiderwebs, insects, and other small objects.
Digital zoom simply crops the image to a smaller size, and then enlarges the cropped portion to fill the frame.
Optical zoom works just like a digital zoom. The lens changes focal length and increase magnification as it is zoomed.
Helpful video on this topic:
What Type of Lens Should You Use?
- For general shots like people, pets, or flowers choose standard.
- For large groups of people choose wide angle.
- For landscapes use wide angle.
- For architecture choose wide angle.
- For action and sports use telephoto.
- For portraits the standard lens works best, however you can also use telephoto.
- For wildlife and bird photography use super telephoto.
- For close-up shots and tiny objects use macro.
In the photography world, lenses are a small piece of equipment but they help to capture better images.
About the Author:
Zoe Shaw from digitalphotoworks.net is a computer programmer and graphic designer.
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