Introduction to camera lenses

Introduction to camera lenses for beginners

In case if you are cursing your camera for not getting that perfect shot, maybe you are using a wrong lens. Yes, camera lenses play a vital role in photography. There are different types of camera lenses available in the market which are designed for different purposes. In this article, I will guide you through these lenses and their applications.

Prime Lenses

Introduction to Prime lens

Image Attribution
By TonyTheTiger (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Prime lenses, also called the fixed lenses, are the ones with fixed focal length – and so no zooming option in it. Which means, if you want a closer image of your subject, then you will have to physically move closer. I personally feel all beginners should have a prime lens in their kit because it ensures that you really explore all the possible angle of shots at different distances. These lenses perform really well in low light conditions, providing you sharper images with good bokeh effects. These are generally less expensive compared to a zoom lens, but trust me, they are worth every penny you spend on them.

Telephoto Lenses

Introduction to Telephoto lens

Image Attribution
By Gene Wang (Crop and white background by User:Diliff) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

A telephoto lens is used when your subject is at a far distance and you cannot physically move closer to it. These lenses are further classified as medium telephoto and super telephoto. They are usually bigger and heavier than the other types of lenses. Telephoto lenses are commonly used for wildlife, wedding and sports events. These days telephoto lenses are also commonly used in portrait photography, because of the quick zooming option and the smooth effect it adds to the photograph when the subject is focused at maximum zoom. With the advancement of technology, these lenses are now equipped with fast focusing motors like USM making it easier to get sharp photographs.

Wide Angle Lenses

Introduction to wide angle lens

Image Attribution
By Medvedev (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Wide angle lenses are one with short focal lengths, like say between 8mm to 40mm. These lenses provide you with a maximum field of view. I guess you would have come across the term “fisheye” lenses, well they are basically extreme wide angle lenses which can capture nearly 180 degrees, making it a perfect choice for landscape, interiors and abstract photography. On the flip side, they create more distortions as they tend to stretch your frame. Because of the dynamic effect, they add to your photographs, these lenses are getting popular in these days.

Macro Lenses

Introduction to Macro lens

Image Attribution
By Richard Bartz, Munich aka Makro Freak (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

Macro lenses are designed for extreme close-up photographs. They have a reproduction ratio of 1:1, which means the image is the same size on the sensor as it is in reality. Macro lenses are useful for photographing any subject which is very small and at a very close range. Macro lenses are commonly used for taking photographs of insects, flowers, plants etc. Usually, only specialized photographers go for macro lenses.

Hopefully, you can now choose your lens according to your requirement.

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