A Guide to Lenses for your DSLR
When you bought your DSLR, chances are there is already a lens included. Commonly, this lens is called the kit lens and works fine for your regular photography needs. But as you advance in knowledge and skills in photography, you realize your kit lens will not be enough for those shoots you need to make. With that said, there are hundreds of lenses available in the market today to fill those needs. However, the variety of these lenses as far as features and capabilities are concerned can be overwhelming for a newbie photographer to choose which would be best for his/her needs. To make things simple, we have narrowed down the selection to the most common types we think you will need as a photographer, regardless if you are into baby portraits.
Ultra Wide Lenses
Ultra wide angle lenses have a focal length of around less than 24 mm (in 35 mm-format), this means they can take in a wider scene than is typical, though they’re not only about getting all of a subject into a shot. Because of this characteristic, they typically have a large depth of field which means images tend to pull in subjects that are close, and push away more distant ones making them appear further apart. They are typically used inlandscape, architecture and interior photography, as well as other creative uses.
Wide Angle Lenses
Wide angle lenses have a focal length of between 24 mm and 35 mm, with a wide field of view and often also boast of close minimum focusing distances. Thus, they can magnify the perceived distance between subjects in the foreground and background, providing less distortion ultra wide lenses. They are often used when trying to get the whole of a subject in frame like a building or a landscape, as well as interesting portraits
Telephoto lenses are those with a focal length above 70 mm, though many people would argue that “true” telephoto lenses are ones which exceed 135 mm. They focus on a much narrower field of view than other lenses, which makes them good in focusing in on specific details or distant subjects. They are generally larger and heavier than equally specified wider lenses. They can also compress elements such that the objects that are far apart in reality from the camera can appear closer together. They are used often to photograph subjects you can’t (or don’t want to) get close to, like sports or wildlife subjects. They can also be used for shooting portraits and even landscapes where their normalization of relative size can be used to give a sense of scale.
Superzooms are do-it-all lenses which cover focal lengths from wide to telephoto. If you’re someone who doesn’t like the hassle of changing lenses often, superzooms may be for you. The flipside though is that they do not have the same image quality of more dedicated lenses and often have slower and variable maximum apertures.
Macro lenses are the more specialist type of lenses, and they are frequently used to refer to lenses which can be used for extreme close-up photography. Such lenses typically have focal lengths of around 40-200 mm. Because of its close-up functionalities, macro lenses have excellent image sharpness, though it’s worth noting that when working at close distances they also have a tiny depth of field. In addition, they can also be great for portraits thanks to their typical sharpness and focal lengths.
As we have seen, different lenses can give photographers more freedom and capabilities in shooting different types of images under different settings and situations. Thus, it is important that as a photographer, you should first determine the type of photography that you do and the environments you are in that will help you in choosing the perfect lenses for your camera. With proper care and maintenance lenses are good photography investments that can last longer than even your camera.