Why are camera lenses so important?
One of the best things about owning a DSLR is the ability to change and collect different lenses for your camera. As I mention a few times throughout All Things Photography, you are better off investing in a selection of high quality lenses over time rather than worrying about upgrading your cameras every 5 minutes.
Quality lenses can last a lifetime whereas cameras change and update constantly.
So what is the choice?
In a word…huge!
There is no definitive rules as to which lens suits which type of photography better, the best thing you can do is experiment and play…find your own style.
Don’t get overwhelmed and pressured into thinking that you need all lenses available, or a huge stash…2, 3 or 4 should do most people to start with. It is only when you do this for a living that you may need more, even then I only tend to use 4 or 5 mostly…
- 50mm F1.4
- 16-35mm F2.8
- 24-70mm F2.8
- 70-200mm F2.8
- 105mm Macro F2.8
Notice all the wide, F2.8 or wider apertures…the extra light is well worth the extra money!
In reality, the range of DSLR lenses goes from a super wide fish-eye lens of just 6mm to a stonking 2000mm telephoto with just about every focal length in between but you can get a good range of zooms to cover a good portion of that:
That will suffice for most general photography so work out what type of photography you aim to do and start there…here are some tips below but first let’s quickly talk about focal length:
So what is focal length? Here is an answer from http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/geoopt/foclen.html
“While a photographic lens comprises of multiple lens elements, it can be regarded as a single convex element. The focal length is defined as a distance from the centre of such a convex element (principle point) to the focal point (image plane) and it is one of the most decisive factors that determines the characteristics of a lens. * The focal length of a photographic lens is established with the subject positioned at the infinity point.”
Note: Image above courtesy of Tamron USA
So, to make this easier, think of what your eyes see as 50mm…that is the general consensus. Anything wider, i.e. 35mm, 24mm, 16mm etc is a wide angle lens and anything longer, i.e. 70mm, 100mm, 135mm, 200mm etc is a telephoto lens. Each number represents the focal length.
A zoom lens has a variable focal length such as the 24-70mm or 70-200mm.
Next Page – Lenses – Landscape