When you have just begun taking photos with your brand new or pre-loved DSLR, we know it gets pretty overwhelming when you walk in a camera shop or browse on our webpage and see dozens of lenses. You start to wonder, “Should I buy them all? Do I need them all right now? Which ones will help me get that picture I have always wanted to take in the beach?”
Those are totally normal questions to ask. More or less, all newbie photographers, both professional and hobbyists have experienced asking the same questions themselves.
Indeed, there each kind of lens can bring a different outcome to a picture that you take. However, it doesn’t directly mean that you need all of them. It all depends on what pictures will you usually take and what you want out of a picture.
We have collated for you the different lenses and their descriptions. This will hopefully help you in deciding which lens to buy first for your camera and which ones to add to your basic camera kit.
Before we proceed, you will be reading a lot of “focal length” in the descriptions. Focal length is represented usually in millimeters (mm). Nope, it is not the size of the physical lens. Rather, it is the optical distance from the point where light rays converge at the focal plane in the camera which creates or forms a sharp image.
When the focal length is longer or “higher,” the pictures you take becomes narrower. On the other hand, if the focal length is shorter or “lower,” the picture has a wider angle and a lower magnification.
Now that that has been explained, read ahead and enjoy!
1. Fish-Eye or Ultra-Wide Angle Lens
These lenses have a focal length between 8mm to 16mm. The lens usually has its front glass bulged out because this will give the “fish eye” or distortion effect to your photo around the corners of the image that you took. Nope, this distortion will not mess up your photo! It’s a minor distortion that gives curves to your image.
Some people do not like having this kind of distortion to their photos, but imagine experimenting with these lens and producing beautiful photos. It is all about stepping out of the box!
The fish-eye or the ultra-wide angle lens are perfect for taking the panoramic view of landscape, infrastructures, and even for under water. These will widen your scope of the picture and have people appreciate the beauty of the scenery.
2. Wide Angle Lens
The Wide Angle Lens has a focal point between 16mm to 35mm. It is similar with the fish eye or ultra-wide lens, however this does not have any distortion to the image.
Similar to the fish eye or ultra-wide lens, this is a great lens to use to take sceneries, landscapes, architecture because of its wide angle that can capture a panoramic view.
3. Prime Lens
Unlike the first two lenses that were discussed, the focal length of the prime lens is fixed. Yup, the photographer needs to do some adjusting. This is because the use for this kind of lens is not for sceneries or long-range shooting. Rather, it is best used for portrait photography or even street photography.
The image’s beauty is magnified especially in lower aperture where you get more light for your subject. As a photographer, you will be challenged in the composition of your subject, its background, and other elements present.
4. Zoom Lens
The name says it all. This lens is best for shooting subjects at a long range. These our best for photographers who are assigned at taking pictures during a basketball game. Imagine not getting that slam dunk because you are a wee bit far from the player. However, with this lens, all you have to do is adjust it and boom! It’s the picture of the year for NBA and the winning team.
This is also a lens best used for wildlife and portrait photography. Its focal length ranges from 70mm all the way to 800mm.
5. Macro Lens
This lens has a focal length between 50mm to 180 mm. This is an interesting lens as well because it is able to capture tiny details of a subject or a scene.
They are best used for wildlife photography and for products for advertisements.
Now that these lenses have been described and explained to you, we hope this was able to guide you in choosing the lens that you will keep and use. If you feel like you need them all, why not? However, if you are on a budget, you can stick to one or two lenses for now and just add in the future.
After all, the beauty of a photo is in the photographer as well and not entirely on the lens.
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