Types of Camera lenses

Types of Camera lenses

Different types of camera lenses serve different purposes. A wide-angle lens is good for landscapes or groups of people, while a telephoto lens is good for close-ups or wildlife. A standard lens is good for general photography, while a macro lens is good for close-ups of small objects. There are also specialty lenses, like fisheye lenses, which create a distorted image. No matter what your photography needs are, there’s a camera lens to match.

Previously, DSLR was restricted to only one built-in lens but now further advances and hi-tech cameras have been introduced by digital camera manufacturers allowing access to the mantle and dismantling different camera lenses. 

A lot of people often ask me this question that is it necessary to change the lenses frequently in order to be a good photographer?

The answer is quite simple yet technically logical. If you are using a DSLR for your personal use, you would not feel the need to buy a separate changeable lens for your videography or photography. However, for the sake of professionalism, your clients would require a blend of art and creativity in your work. Your lens type would matter a lot to achieve that level of proficiency in your work. 

For example, you have a task to capture videos and photos of fast-moving objects like a dance party or a music concert where people are in a constant state of motion. You would definitely require a lens with the highest burst and aperture rates to capture tricky and difficult moments in a perfect way.

Mostly a prime lens is used in such events.

How to choose the best camera lens

For a beginner who doesn’t have sound knowledge and understanding of professional cameras and the types of lenses used in a particular event, it could be a next-to-impossible task to buy the best fit for him as there is a huge variety of cameras and lenses available in the market.

Even if you take advice from a professional photographer, it will be very difficult for him to guide you about the features of all the camera lenses available on the market. It requires years and years of experience and updated knowledge of the latest cameras and lenses to choose the best camera as per your requirement.

However, if you make yourself equipped with a basic knowledge of focal length, apertures, and lens functionality, you can learn about the kinds of lenses suitable for particular purposes. 

In this article, I will try to cover the maximum Types of Camera lenses, their functions, and their features as per my experience.

Different Types of Camera lenses

There are many different types of camera lenses. Each type of camera lens has its own advantages and disadvantages

1- Prime Lens:

The term prime indicates that the prime lens is the very basic form of the camera lens. A prime lens has a focal length of fixed nature which means that it can not be used for moving objects. For example, if your camera is a 3.5mm focal length, you can only use a prime lens of 3.5mm and cannot shoot beyond that point. 

The prime lens was most common in older versions of professional cameras when photography and videography were not in much demand. With the rapid increase in social events, higher versions of lenses came into being having a variable focal length and can be ideally used for fast-moving objects.

A photographer using a prime lens has to move back and forth while capturing the moving objects. 

Apart from a few disadvantages, the prime lens plays a vital role when it comes to image quality for static objects and low-light shots.

A prime lens is lightweight, easy to carry, and extremely handy while shooting events, especially for night events, photographers always prefer using a prime lens.

2- Zoom Lens: 

Unlike a prime lens, a zoom lens has a changeable focal length ranging from 50mm to 200mm.
The zoom lens is ideally used to capture events like hiking, dance parties, wedding events, birthday parties music concerts, or any other event which requires capturing far-away images/videos with high accuracy.
The focal length variability is the unique feature that differentiates the zoom lens and the prime lens. A zoom lens would allow you to zoom in on a far-away object without affecting image quality.
When it comes to focal length, it offers different focal length measurements starting from 50mm to 200mm.

The only disadvantages are heavy weight and the unsuitability to capture low-light or night events. 

Specialty lenses and their types:

Apart from prime and zoom lenses, there is another category of camera lenses which is commonly known as specialty lenses.
Specialty lenses are extremely advanced in technology as compared to prime and zoom lenses and are designed in such a way that the users can focus on any moveable object from a far distance to an extremely enlarged object.
The focal length allows you to enlarge tiny and micro-objects to macro sizes. 

Below are some of the types of specialty lenses:

1- Fisheye lens:

As the name indicates, a fisheye lens allows you to capture a super-wide area in one shot in a distorted vision. Commonly used for landscape modes where the user requires to capture maximum area in one click for example real estate agents. A fisheye lens would capture the whole room in one image giving it an aesthetic and abstract appearance.

The fisheye lens covers an area up to 180 degrees angle producing an ultra-wide image in a distinctive view. 

The only disadvantage of a fisheye lens is that it will not be suitable for shooting events like weddings, concerts, etc.

Mostly used by real estate agents to enhance their sales by showing wider areas to their clients in one click. 

2- Wide Angle Lens:

The wide-angle lens is almost similar to the fisheye lens in terms of its functionality and similar to the prime lens in terms of physical traits. Its basic function is to capture wider areas in one shot such as capturing a complete room in one photo. Also ideally used for low-light or night shoots makes it a bit different from the fisheye lens. However, the image quality is better than the fisheye when it comes to clarity and focus. 

3- Standard Lens:

A standard lens is used where the photographer requires the world to see images as they see the world with normal human vision. The focal length is maintained at 50mm.
Commonly used for documentaries and street photographs where people want to see objects similar to what they normally see with natural vision. 

A standard lens is considered a must-have camera lens for all professional photographers and is also beneficial in terms of cost-effectiveness.

4- Telephoto lens: 

A telephoto lens is bigger in size than all other lenses due to its hi-tech functionality. This lens has special built-in features to capture fast-moving objects with extremely high-quality focus and pixels. Similar to the zoom lens, it allows the photographers to be more precise on the object’s actions for example while capturing a sportsman in a sports shoot, the photographer using a telephoto can easily capture the zoomed expressions of the player in any winning situation making it a memorable picture for a lifetime.

5- Short-range telephoto lens:

A short-range lens is another form of telephoto lens ideally used to capture images that require focus on the background. 

For example, for a model standing in front of mountains, a short telephoto lens would make the mountains closer to the model enhancing the background beauty in the image. 

6- Super Telephoto lens:

The super-telephoto lens is an extremely high-quality and high-tech lens as compared to all other types. Usually bigger in size due to exceptionally high focal length (400mm).

Commonly used by wildlife photographers and astrophotographers who cannot go near objects and require a high level of zoom-in and zoom-out functions in their camera lens. 

7- Macro Lens:

As the name indicates, the macro lens allows you to capture tiny fast-moving objects in a slow-motion view making it extremely zoomed and clearly visible. For example, if you want to capture a honeybee sitting on a flower extracting the nectar before it flies away, with the help of a macro lens, you can capture this precious moment from a far-off place without affecting the video quality. 

Basically, a macro lens is ideal for capturing close-ups including the tiny details.

The only drawback of a macro lens is you cannot use it for normal shots like covering a wedding. However, this lens can be sued to focus on the tiny details of the wedding like the ring ceremony where you have to focus on the rings or any other jewelry items. 

Wrap Up!

Apart from the above-mentioned camera lenses, other varieties are also available in the market depending upon the utilization of the buyer for example kit lenses, tilt-shift lenses, and many more. 

No matter whichever camera lens you are using, you have to be extremely knowledgeable and equipped with your requirements, your expertise, and your choice of camera lens as per your event. 

Before buying your camera lens you have to analyze your budget and the compatibility of the lens with your camera body because not all lenses are compatible with all digital cameras.
If you are a beginner, you can take advice from your training institute before spending a wholesome amount. 

Also, you have to be careful about the focal length and aperture. 

Keeping in view all the above factors, your photography skills can be improved if you chose the right camera and most importantly the right lens for your photography practice.

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