One of the exciting facets of DSLR photography is the ability to change lenses. Getting a handle on the different type of lenses available and what each one does will open up a whole new world of photography for you. Images you thought you’d never be able to capture will become just a lens change away.
Chances are if this is your first DSLR, the concept of interchanging lenses seems complicated. Names assigned to lenses include an array of numbers and letters that can appear confusing, but don’t let that intimidate you. It really isn’t that hard to figure out. Once you become familiar with each lens and how best to use it, it will be like having different cameras for different subjects, and interchanging them will soon become second nature.
First of all, remember there is no limit to the types of lenses that are suitable for your personal use. When you consider using or purchasing a new lens, think about the type of photography you most enjoy and what you find lacking for it with your current lens.
Do you feel limited by the amount of subject material you can fit into your image? Or maybe you want a lens that offers better quality on far away objects. Perhaps you want a lens that focuses faster and more efficiently or works superior in low light.
Actually, with all the makes and models available there is probably more than one lens that will give you the quality of photos that you are looking for. To get an idea, consider the following lenses and which would be a good investment for the photos you like to shoot.
If you like to know what are the best lenses for beginners at the moment, be sure to check out our list of the popular DSLR lenses.
A standard lens is 50mm, which is a fairly close match to the magnification made by the human eye. That’s not to say our eyes are limited to 50mm. In fact, the human eye has a larger field of view, but if you were to look at a specific object through your own eyes, and then view it through a 50mm lens, the magnification would be quite similar.
50 mm is a good lens for a variety of photography. You can capture a startling landscape as well as a stunning portrait with the 50mm.
WIDE ANGLE LENS
A wide angle lens is any lens with a focal length smaller than 50mm. For example a 25mm lens will give you twice the diagonal field of a 50 mm. It is ideal for taking photos of large groups, wide landscapes and tall buildings, by allowing you to squeeze in twice as much information as you can in a 50mm.
Any lens below a 20mm is considered to be an ultra-wide angle lens. These offer a larger depth of field and allow for more focus from the foreground to the object and from the object to the background to capture the right depth of field.
However, keep in mind that when you squeeze in lots of information, your photo is likely to suffer from distortion, especially around the edges. But don’t let that stop you from working with the wide angle lenses. In fact, with patience and practice, you can actually use the lens to purposely exaggerate subjects to create a startling special effect.
Lenses larger than 50mm are telephoto lenses. You can’t fit as much information into the scene; however, they take a wide range of photos and work very well. For portraits, use 85mm to 135mm, and for wildlife or field events, use 200-600mm.
Lenses come with a fixed focal length, which remains the same, or with a zoom lens, which can be focused from one focal length to another. While zoom lenses are convenient and offer some variety, they really don’t produce as high quality photography as a fixed focal length lens.
You will find zoom lenses go from wide angle to short telephoto (28mm – 80mm), wide angle zooms that go from ultra-wide to normal range (16mm – 35mm) and telephoto zooms which go from short, 70mm to long, 300mm focal lengths.
To sum it up, lenses can really enhance your photography skills. Remember that your extra lenses are just as important as your camera so you’ll want to invest as much as you can, as wisely as you can. Rather than invest in two or three mediocre lenses, choose one lens that you really can’t live without, and invest in the highest quality you can afford.
Once you have the lenses you need, take more professional looking pictures with the right DSLR lens filters.