Choosing The Perfect Lens - Part 2

Choosing The Perfect Lens – Part 2

Now you have some knowledge (considering that you have read the previous article) about the basic attributes of a lens we need to take care of before buying. And I hope you understood what type of focal length, aperture etc. you want in your camera lens. Let’s take a look in some different type of lenses.

1. Zoom lens

The kit lenses of any DSLR cameras are probably the best example of a zoom lens. Depending on manufacturers and the models, the kit lenses are equipped with different focal-length-range but most DSLR cameras come with this type of kit lenses.

For example, let’s assume an 18-55 mm kit lens (similar zooms are also available for different manufacturers). At it’s shortest focal length, 18 mm, it’s a good wide-angled lens, relatively good for shooting group of people or scenery; at it’s longest, 55 mm, it serves as a portrait lens, allowing you to shoot in close of your subject from a several feet away.

In terms of image characteristics, standard zoom lenses come between wide angle and telephoto lenses and those are much like we see with the human eye.

Those are used for :

Standard zoom lenses are versatile which can be used in almost all sort of photography; street, documentary, landscape or portrait. Zoom lenses tend to feature faster maximum aperture and thus, allow you to shoot in low light and with a shallower depth of field.

2. Prime lens

Prime lens, my favorite one, is the converse of a zoom, available from 10.5 mm all the way up to 600 mm. A prime lens has a fixed focal length and is optimized for a certain type of photography. Primes are simpler in construction and generally lighter than zooms. Plus, they take better photos.

A simple comparison:

Nikon’s 18-55 mm kit lens is rated at f/5.6 at it’s maximum focal length (55 mm). On the other side, a Nikkor 50 mm prime lens is shorter and uses bigger glass, so it is rated as f/1.4 . Lower f-rating means more light and better control over depth of field.

A simple lens with less moving parts can mean that in many cases prime lenses are smaller and lighter than zooms.

3. Wide-angle lens

The lower the focal length, the wider the field of view­—any lens with less than 35 mm focal length is considered wide-angle lens. Typically a wide angle lens covers a focal length between 24 mm and 35 mm. Wide Angle lenses are available as primes or zooms and come with either variable or fixed maximum aperture.

4. Ultra wide angle lens

Ultra wide angle lenses have a focal length of around less than 24 mm which means they can capture even much wider scene. These lenses are not only to cover up everything of the subject. Rectilinear ultra wide lenses help keep straight lines and at the same time, fisheye ultra wide angle lenses will reproduce buildings with curved walls.

Ultra wide angle lens shots typically feature a large depth of field as the field of view is much wider.

Those are used for :

Ultra wide angle lenses can be used in number of ways. Typically those are used for landscape, architecture or interior photography. Perspective distortion of ultra wides can give falling-building-syndrome (fisheye effect). Even this type of distortion can be used creatively, especially when using fisheye lenses.

5. Telephoto lens

Telephoto lenses bring the actions closer. Generally telephoto lenses have focal length greater than 70 mm. There are also few disagreements about this; many people consider a lens as telephoto if the focal length is more than 135 mm.

They focus on a narrower field of view than other lenses, which means they are very good to focus in on specific details or some large distant subjects. Because of narrower field of view, they can also compress the apparent distance between objects. The depth of field is narrower and so, the subject can be in focus with blurred background and foreground.

Those are used for :

Generally telephoto lenses are used for sports or wildlife photography where you cannot or don’t want to get closer to your subject.

6. Macro lens

Macro lens is basically the opposite of a Telephoto lens. If a telephoto lens is like a telescope, a macro lens is like a microscope. Macro lenses are very useful for taking close up or extreme close up shots of flowers, insects and any other little wonders of the natural world.

The best quality of a macro lens is to maintain sharpness at very high magnification. You can often end up with a shot of an insect where only a fraction of it is in focus.

Those are used for :

Macro lenses are normally used for close-up photography (at which they excel). Macro lenses can also be used for portraits.


As we have seen different lenses give photographers a freedom to take all kind of images. Lenses are as important as the camera to photographers. So it’s really shame to see some photographers buy camera with the ability to change lenses but never do so.

It’s worth remembering that the lens may often last longer than your camera as they’ll fit even with your next new camera or even the after next generation camera. That’s why many photographers are willing to spend more on their lenses than the camera.

However this article doesn’t want to mean that you have to spend a hell lot of money for your lens. Better choose the particular lenses you actually need or you really want to have in your camera bag. You can capture great images with a perfect but inexpensive lens if you know how to use it. In the other hand you can fail even with the most costly lens in the market if you don’t know the proper use of that.

Hopefully this article made you more comfortable and confident on camera lenses. I have no intention to make you buy more and more lenses, if you’re really not sure if you need a new lens, probably you don’t.  Instead, I hope this has helped you understand what to look for when you feel you need a new lens for being the photographer you want to be.

If you still have any doubt, feel free to ask anytime ????




Thank You for reading.

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