As a photographer or someone who enjoys taking pictures, getting a great camera lens is something you should never pass upon.
There are different types of camera lenses that we can use for various purposes, and they all have their advantages and disadvantages.
This article discusses different types of camera lenses and their features. Read on!
Table of Contents
- What is a Camera Lens?
- Different Types of Camera Lenses
What is a Camera Lens?
A camera lens is the part of your camera which allows light from the world around us to be focused onto an image sensor inside the camera body, giving a great image quality.
The maximum aperture size (the hole in the middle) determines how much light passes through it. Aperture is measured in f-stops, where 1 stop means half as much light gets through.
For example, if you were using a 50mm lens with an f/2.8 aperture, 2 stops would mean that only one-quarter of the light gets through.
We can classify each type of camera lens with the focal length, angle of view, maximum aperture, etc.
The focal length refers to the distance between the front element and the rear element. In other words, this is the distance at which objects appear sharpest when photographed.
We can also call it the “effective focal length.” The focal length of a zoom lens changes depending on what setting you choose.
Moreover, the focal length of a fixed lens does not change. However, some lenses may have a variable focus feature. Most DSLR cameras come with an 18 – 200 mm range of focal lengths.
Different Types of Camera Lenses
There are different types of lenses, and they all have distinctive features.
1. Prime Lenses
Primes are single focal length lenses, and we can also call them standard lenses. They are usually smaller than most zoom lenses and offer better quality images.
You need a wide-angle shot if you want a prime wide-angle lens. If you want to capture more detail, you need a prime telephoto lens.
We can’t adjust the focal length of standard lenses. We can only switch between them by changing our position. Prime lenses are usually faster and sharper than zoom lenses. The benefits of prime lenses include:
They allow us to control the depth of field. Depth of field refers to the area of the picture that appears acceptably sharp. It’s controlled by the amount of light hitting the sensor.
There is less space for the subject to move out of focus with a wider angle lens. So, we can make sure that everything stays sharp.
They give us greater freedom of movement. We don’t have to worry about zooming into the scene with a prime lens. This makes it easier for us to frame the shot.
They provide better contrast. When shooting outdoors, you might notice that the sky looks brighter than the foreground.
This happens because the sun is directly behind you. You can avoid this issue by choosing a longer focal length prime lens.
2. Zoom Lenses
Zoom lenses are designed to cover a large range of focal lengths. These lenses are often used by photographers who like to travel with their cameras. Zoom lenses are generally slower than primes. But, they do offer flexibility.
With a zoom lens, we can easily switch between different focal lengths. This allows us to shoot pictures from far away to close up.
We can even use a short focal length to take shots of people or animals that are too small for a long focal length.
With a zoom lens, we have more options when framing our shot. We can set the focal length before taking the photo, and this way, we can ensure that all scene parts are in focus.
3. Macro Lenses
A macro lens is a special type of lens that focuses very closely. Macro lenses are mainly used for capturing insects, flowers, and other small subjects.
They are great for photographing details such as leaves, petals, and other fine textures. The best part about using a macro lens is that it can magnify objects.
This means that we can see things that would otherwise be invisible. For example, we can photograph tiny bugs without squint at them through a microscope.
The downside of using a macro lens is its size. A macro lens takes up a lot of room on your camera body. This limits where you place your camera.
4. Telephoto Lenses
A telephoto lens is a specialized type of lens that allows us to capture distant subjects. Telephoto lenses are typically used for landscapes, sports, wildlife photography, street photography, and other similar types of photography.
When using a telephoto lens, we can zoom in on the subject. This allows us to get closer to the subject while still maintaining an acceptable level of detail.
When using a telephoto lens to capture a landscape, we need to keep the background blurred. Otherwise, we will lose some of the beauty of the scenery.
5. Wide-Angle Lenses
A wide-angle lens is a specialty lens that has a wide-angle of view. Wide-angle lenses are ideal for landscape photography. They are also useful for portrait photography.
If you want to take photos of both people and nature, then a wide-angle lens is perfect. The wide-angle lens lets you capture a larger portion of the scene. This includes the sky and the horizon.
However, if you want to include everything in the frame, you should choose a standard lens instead.
6. Fisheye Lenses
A fisheye lens is a specialty lens among the different types of camera lenses with a 180-degree field of view.
Fisheye lenses are most commonly used for artistic purposes. However, we can also use them for landscape photography.
Using a fisheye lens requires a little bit of practice. It’s advisable to learn how to control the distortion so that you don’t end up with blurry images.
To create a pleasing image, you should use a tripod and ensure that the subject is not moving. You may also consider setting the exposure manually. This way, you won’t have to worry about the light changing during the day.
There are many different types of lenses available today. Each one has its benefits and drawbacks. If you wish to get the best results possible, you should experiment with each one until you find the right combination.