Choosing The Perfect Lens - Part 1 - Banner

Choosing The Perfect Lens – Part 1

Guide for the perfect DSLR lens

Now, the next big decision is to choose the lens for your DSLR camera. There are lots of lenses for DSLR cameras to choose from. Even after buying DSLR cameras which have been specially designed to take and make use of different lenses, large number of photographers use the kit lens that the camera came with. But certainly, picking the right DSLR lens can make a huge difference to your photographic skills and your camera outputs. This is why I’m going to try to help you out choosing the right lens for your camera after the kit lens. So what do you need to know before you choose a lens?

Lens jargon

If you are really not habituated with the terms used for lens specifications, this may look like some gibberish. On the side of a lens barrel you can find almost a sentence-long collection of numbers and letters that can tell you almost everything you need to know about a lens. We’ll focus mainly on the below parts in detail as these are the things you’ll probably give most importance.

Focal length, Maximum aperture, Lens mount and Format type.

Focal Length

The focal length of the lens is the distance between the lens and the image sensor when the subject is in focus. Focal length usually stated in mm (e.g., 18 mm, 55 mm) and a higher number means a bigger zoom, while a lower number means the lens can be used for wider shots. Zoom lenses come with a range of minimum and maximum focal length (e.g., 18-55 mm).

2.2 - Equipements - Focal_Length_Diagram

Maximum Aperture

Aperture refers to the opening of a lens’s diaphragm through which light passes. It is calibrated in f/stops and generally written as f/2.8 F2.8 or 1:2.8; these all means the same and refers to the maximum light a lens can gather. The lower f/stops give more exposure and the higher f/stops give less exposure because they represent smaller apertures. This may seems to be little confusing at first but if you look at the below image it’ll be clear.

2.2 - Equipements - Aperture_Diagram

Lens Mount

Before buying a lens, It’s important to know which lens will attach with your camera and that’s called lens mount. Lens manufacturers generally make proprietary lenses that will set only with their devices; sometimes they make multiple lens mounts for different camera lines. Exception is the micro four third lens which can fit with respective Olympus and Panasonic cameras.

So before heading to buy a lens you should know the lens mount of your camera. Example lens mounts for DSLRs include the Nikon F-mount, Canon’s EF or EF-S, the Pentax K and Sony’s Alpha (A) mount etc.


In addition to being able to mount the lens on your camera, you need to be sure it will produce an image big enough to cover the image sensor as different cameras use different sensors. Manufacturers produce specific lenses to work with specific lenses. Look at the below image for more clarity on this.

2.2 - Equipements - Format_Diagram


Well, these are few aspects of lens you need to know before buying one. In the next article we’ll discuss about different types of lenses.

To be continued…


Thank You for reading.

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