Getting started in photography can be confusing regarding the different types of lenses on the market and the lens you need. Even experienced photographers will find it difficult to explain each particular lens’s exact differences and function. Still, knowing more about the camera lens’ functionality, focal lengths and uses can help you understand the right situations to use each lens. Knowing which lens to use is just one step toward becoming a better photographer. This blog will look at the different camera lenses and what they are best at taking.
What are the main types of camera lenses?
It can be pretty overwhelming in the early stages of getting into photography when you find out just how many types of camera lenses there are. Fortunately, you can split camera lenses into zoom lenses and prime lenses. We’ll explain the definition of these two camera lenses is below.
What is a zoom lens?
Zoom lenses are among the most common types you’ll need in your photography armoury, offering you an excellent range for photographing any subject, from people in the streets to wildlife in the wild.
Zoom lenses are an incredibly versatile piece of kit. Zoom lenses are the most popular: the 70-200 mm lens that you’ll see being used by wedding photographers. In addition, zoom lenses have variable focal lengths, so with a 70-200mm lens, you will have a wide range of zoom levels for what you need.
If you’re travelling light, you can purchase zoom lenses with broader zoom levels, such as 18 – 270mm lenses. An 18-270mm zoom allows you to photograph more efficiently, close up and in the distance.
Nothing can beat a good zoom range for quality and adaptability for photographers or anyone needing to photograph in a diverse range of conditions and subjects.
What is a prime lens?
Prime lenses have been around as long as cameras have. Unlike zoom lenses, prime lenses have a fixed focal range, so you can’t zoom in or out for your shot.
The main advantage that prime lenses provide is that they specialise in just one focal length. In other words, prime lenses deliver one specific type of photography, unlike a zoom lens that you can use in many scenarios.
As a result, prime lenses produce higher quality images than a zoom lens in general, but understanding which situation you can use them in is necessary. For example, the 50mm prime lens is perfect for taking product photography, as the focal length is as close to the human eye. For Landscape photography, a 35 mm prime lens, on the other hand, is recommended by landscape photographers.
If a standard zoom lens isn’t strong enough for your needs, the next step is a telephoto lens. These big lenses are within 100mm to 600mm zoom; however, this can be more than 600mm.
Telephoto lenses are, however, bulky; as a result, it is recommended to bring a tripod with you to support you. In addition, the heavier weight of the telephoto lens makes them less practical than a standard zoom lens could be.
A telephoto scope may be a good purchase if you’re a professional wildlife photographer, sports photographer, or photographing the night sky and the stars. However, for amateurs photographers, it’s perhaps not recommended for your budget.
Wide-angle lenses are a must-have purchase if you inspire to be a professional landscape photographer and to look to improve your shots. Wide-angle lenses have a wider focal field, allowing you to capture more of the scene than a zoom lens. Wide-angle lenses will usually have a focal length between 16 and 35mm.
For this reason, wide angles are the perfect choice of lens when photographing landscapes to create a much more vivid picture. Wide-angle lenses are also great for architecture photography, as you’ll be able to capture the entire front of the building.
If a wide-angle lens isn’t enough for your shot, you’ll need to invest in a fisheye lens. Like a GoPro image, fisheye lenses create the unusual ‘fisheye’ effect.
A fisheye lens is an ultra-wide-angle lens, offering an enormous field of view. These are more specialist lenses and aren’t generally needed by most photographers. However, they are helpful if you photograph indoors or use your camera for design work. An ultra-wide-angle lens can have a focal length as low as 8mm.
In conclusion, there are different types of the camera lens for almost any situation you could find yourself in as a photographer. Having an understanding of which lens is best for what scenario will set you on your way to becoming a much-improved photographer.