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Camera Lenses Simplified

Digital Camera Lenses

By Syed ImranPublished 3 years ago 3 min read


In this article, we have given an overview of some common types and few special types of Digital Camera Lenses, like how it works, few advantages or disadvantage, and for which type of Photography it is used. We have explained in a manner that a non-technical or amateur could understand it easily.

One of the biggest advantages of DSLRs and Mirrorless Cameras are that you can change their lenses according to your photographic needs. But which type of lenses should you buy? We will try to give the answer in simplified and generic way, so that anyone, who is new to the Digital cameras, gets an idea of which type of lens would suits him/her accordingly to his/her photographic requirements.

We can divide the lenses in two basic categories:

1. Prime Lenses:

Prime Lenses have fixed focal length and fixed angle of view. At first, it seems a limitation, but it makes them faster, sharper and a bit cheaper. Prime lenses are smaller and lighter and they have relatively wider maximum aperture than zoom lens, which makes them very useful for specific purpose, like low light shooting and easy to travel around with it.

2. Zoom Lenses:

Zoom Lens as the name itself speaks, means to make the subject bigger or smaller in the frame, without physically moving forwards or backwards. Zoom Lens allows this by adjusting the focal length of your camera to change the magnification according to the need. It makes it versatile and popular choice for regular photography. Zoom Lenses, as compared to prime lenses, are bigger and heavier, which sometimes makes it tough to carry them around, but it’s worth the result they give.

In both Prime and Zoom Lenses, many sub types of Lenses exist with variable focal length:

Macro Lenses:

Macro Lenses are smaller with the ability to create detailed close-up, macro level photographs. Their distinctive design enables them to take extreme close-up pictures in very high quality. They are best used to take photos of tiny objects in greater detail.

Standard Lenses:

Standard or Kit Lenses are general purpose lenses, which typically come with the camera (although high quality expensive lenses can be purchased separately). These lenses are suitable of all-round everyday photography.

Telephoto Lenses:

Telephoto lenses are type of zoom lenses that offers maximum magnification. This allows long distance and shallow depth photography, such as sports and flying birds. That is why these are mostly used by sports photographers to shoot the close-up actions from behind the boundary line.

Wide Angle Lenses:

Wide Angle Lens is perfect for wide area photography, as it captures broad and wider view. It is ideal for landscape, architecture and interior photography.

Portrait Lenses:

Portrait lenses are types of prime lenses that are designed to create the best possible portrait images. With right focal point and aperture, which makes facial features look natural, exceptional pictures can be taken.

Tilt Shift Lens:

Tilt shift lens mainly used in commercial and architectural photography. This lens changes the position and orientation with respect to image sensor. It has complex adjustments for specialized photographers to adjust for specific purpose.

Fisheye Lens:

Fisheye lens are ultra-wide angle lenses for shooting exceptionally wide angles.

They take 180 degree radius to produce panoramic images. The picture taken from fisheye lens can make a normal room looks like a bubble.

Infrared Lens:

Infrared Lenses are special lenses, which manipulate light in order to produce unique visual effects.

We have given an overview of the some common types and few special types of Digital camera lenses to get the idea of before selecting which type of camera lenses to buy.


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