There are many different types of camera lenses available. Each type is designed to excel for a specific purpose.
Understanding which lens best suits your needs can be overwhelming, especially if you’re at that stage of wondering how to get started with photography.
So this article will give you a quick overview of the main types of camera lenses and their benefits.
What Type of Camera Lens To Look For: Factors To Consider
There are four factors to consider when choosing the right camera lens:
- Focal length
- Prime vs. zoom lens
Aperture determines the amount of light that enters your camera.
Typically denoted with the letter “f” followed by numbers (known as f-stop), aperture indicates how much light goes through the camera.
The smaller the aperture numbers, i.e., f/1.4, the wider the lens opening is; more light comes through the lens, ideal for shooting and filming in low light conditions.
A focal length measures how far the optical center of the lens is from the camera sensor or film plane.
Measured in millimeters, focal length determines how much the subject is captured and how significant the elements will be.
The lower the focal length is, the more you can fit into your frame. Pick lengths such as 14mm to 35 mm.
A higher focal length gives a longer zoom, and the closer you get to the subject. Choose a lens with a focal length of 50mm to 100mm.
Consider how much budget you have and how far you’re willing to pay for a great lens.
Prime vs. zoom lens
Pick a prime lens if you prefer to add more brightness to your images and easily edit photographs.
Buy a zoom lens if you like close-up photography.
Seven Different Types of Camera Lenses
Here are the different types of camera lenses available in the market today:
1. Telephoto Zoom Lens
A telephoto zoom lens is suitable for photographing far-away subjects as this lens can adjust its focal length.
Telephoto zoom lenses have extended range capability while still maintaining top-quality resolution.
They are perfect for sports photography and taking photos of animals on a safari tour.
2. Standard Zoom Lens
Standard zoom lenses are ideal for everyday shooting because of their versatility and capability to cover an extensive range of focal lengths.
Standard zooms are designed with lightweight materials making them easier to carry around while still offering excellent image quality, perfect for new photographers.
3. Wide Angle Zoom Lens
A wide-angle zoom lens is excellent for photographing subjects that have multiple planes of depth, such as buildings, mountains, animals/wildlife running alongside a river or woods, etc.
A wide-angle lens will enable the photographer to capture all these things at once rather than moving backward or forward to get everything into the shot.
4. Prime Lens
A prime lens has no zoom capability, unlike the other types of lenses, which means that they are perfect for portrait photography.
Using a prime lens enables the photographer to have complete control over their focal length, which results in high-quality images with sharp contrasts.
The prime lens also eliminates the risk of camera shake and blurring caused by too much zoom.
5. Wide Angle Prime Lens
A wide-angle prime lens is perfect for photographing tight spaces with limited movement.
For instance, taking photos in a small house can be difficult due to limitations in space, so using a wide-angle prime lens is necessary.
Wide-angle prime lenses are also great for taking photos of large groups of people, such as conferences and weddings.
6. Macro Lens
A macro lens is ideal for taking highly close-up shots of small objects such as insects or flowers.
Macro lenses allow you to capture intricately detailed images within things that are not usually visible.
7. Fish-Eye Lens
A fish-eye lens works by curving the camera’s focal plane, allowing coverage of 180 degrees.
The main benefit of using a fish-eye lens is fitting more into your shot without cutting off any element at the edge of the frame.
While it can look distorted, an image taken through fish-eye lenses is an interesting way of showcasing as many elements in a frame as possible.
This specific style of photography should only be used when wanting to create an artistic or creative effect instead of accurate representations of subjects (as objects that are very close will appear to be further away than they are).
Knowing and using different camera lenses can help you take better photos.
If you’re interested in close-up photos, using a macro lens is the way forward.
If you’re shooting more significant subjects or objects from further away, then wide-angle lenses are perfect.
If you enjoy taking pictures of wildlife, then telephoto sticks are great for capturing shots at long distances with little movement, resulting in images that are clear and crisp.
Knowing the various lenses available in the market and their key differences makes choosing your next camera lens a total breeze.