Table of Contents
- Introduction to Perfect Lens Buying Guide
- What does simbols on lens means?
- Focal Length
- Maximum Aperture
- Lens Mount
- Different Types of Lenses
- 21mm Wide Angle Lens
- 24mm Wide Angle Lens
- 28mm Wide Angle Lens
- 35mm Wide Angle Lens
- 50mm Standard Lens
- 85mm Telephoto Angle Lens
- 100mm Telephoto Angle Lens
- 200mm Telephoto Angle Lens
- All-in-one Lenses
- Macro Lens
- Other factors to consider
- Final thoughts
Introduction to Perfect Lens Buying Guide
Even Today, when most Cameras are designed to be used with different lenses, many photographers only use default lens ( kit lens that came with their camera). But this information shouldnt suprise you.. Why not?
Because picking & choosing right lens is very exhausting, not to mention that most lenses are pricey, so buying the wrong lens would mean that you have to stay with that particular lens for some time and endure trying to make good photographs with not quite good lens.
Thats why we from LensesPro Community came up with this Unique & Ultimate Buying Best Lens Guide – where we explained different type of lenses, which factors you need to consider when buying the new lens and gave few examples of what lens to buy.
While we will mention Third Party manufactures in this guide, in our lens reviews we mostly recommend Nikon, Canon & Sony Lenses, since they are top choice if you are seriously looking to enhance your photography skills. However, we will mention other manufactures if the lens scores well after manual testing (each lens we recommend must be first testet in live). These lens usually have one advantage when comparing to Nikon & Canon lens – they are cheaper.
Lenses are most important part of every camera set-up and they are deciding factor in making your pictures Great, and just ok. Most of professional photographers would rather shoot photos with decent camera and best lens, then vice versa. But first, there are few things that you need to overcome in order to be competent in picking right lens for you.
Now when we introduced you to the world of lenses & LensesPro.org Comunnity, lets get started. We hope our comprehensive guide will help you in choosing perfect lens for your favorite DSLR or interchangeable lens camera.
What does simbols on lens means?
Long collection of letters & numbers on the side of lens could seem very complicated, but we will simplify it for you. There are 4 main details that you need to remember when choosing the right lens: Focal Length, Maximum aperture, Lens mount and Format type.
Focal Length is expressed in mm, where bigger number translate in bigger zoom,where lower number means the lens is for wider shots.
Example: Human eye is equivalent to 30-50mm on a full frame camera. Larger number of Focal Length means lens will have greater zoom, and lower mm means it will shoot photos with greater field of view.
If Focal Length has range with 2 numbers (18-200mm), it means its zoom lens but its able to working at any point across that range. If there is single number (35mm) , that is Prime Lens, and you cant change zoom or field of view. (You would have to get closer or further from item you are trying to photograph).
Its often said that Prime lens are better then zoom lens, but this is not always the case.
To make things a little bit more complicated, you also need to consider crop factor.
Sensors only takes part of projected image, which may result in different views on cameras. Unless you are using full frame camera, where lens will give you the field of view you expect from the number.
Maximum Aperture is maximum amount of light which the lens can gather (f/2.8). The Lens with lower maximum aperture number are capable of gathering more light.
There are also Lens with variable maximum aperture, meaning that maximum aperture changes depending on focal length.
Example: Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 Lens would have maximum aperture of F3.5mm at 18mm, where minimum would be F6.3 when you zoomed to 250mm.
You need to consider this factor as well. Most manufactures produces different lens mount for different lineup of cameras. It is very important to know what Lens Mount does your camera use, and make sure to always check to see is your lens compatible with yours camera. There is expection to this,and its called “Micro four thirds lenses” which can be used on panasonic & olympus cameras.
Last out of 4 details you need to look when choosing the lens is Format. This means you need to make sure that image is big enough for your image sensor. Different cameras use different sensors, so there are different Lens that works with these lenses.
Different Types of Lenses
There are few different types of lens, for different type of photography. Depending of what style of photos you like the most, you should choose your lens correspondingly.
21mm Wide Angle Lens
Ultra Wide Lenses have lower focal length, meaning they are able to take wider photos. They are mostly used in landscape & interior photography.
24mm Wide Angle Lens
Wide lens usually have focal length of 24mm up to 35mm. People tend to use this type of lens only when they need to fit entire subject in photo
28mm Wide Angle Lens
These lens can also be used in other situtations as well, if you want to make some interesting situation with normal day objects. Just make sure to not get too close when shooting faces, to avoid distortion
35mm Wide Angle Lens
35mm lens is consider mix between wide angle & normal lens. Technically, 35mm is still wide angle lens.
50mm Standard Lens
The kit lens you got with your camera is probably this type of lens. The have focal length 35mm-70mm, and they are very versatile, meaning they are good for most photography types – street, portrait, landscape etc. These lenses have faster maximum aperture allowing it to shoot in darker areas & having shallow depth of field.
85mm Telephoto Angle Lens
They have focal length of over 70mm, as well as narrow field of view which makes them perfect for zooming on objects that are far away such as sport events. However they are often larger then other types of lenses.
100mm Telephoto Angle Lens
Telephoto lenses are best for architecture building photography, where you need to zoom in far away objects. Its also good type of lens for wildlife photography.
200mm Telephoto Angle Lens
Often considered as “Super telephoto” lenses, these type of lens are best when you want to shoot a photo of objects who are very far from you.
We hope that by now you have clearer picture of what the different types of lenses are for. However, there are still two important lens types that we havent mention. Those are All-in-one & Micro Lenses.
As you can already assume these lens are most versatile type of lenses, having very high range of photos ability. This means if lens has focal length 18mm-250mm it would be able to go from 18mm (wide angle) to 250mm (telephoto).
They are perfect when you dont have time to change optics. Being so versatile means it comes with some drawbacks, in this case those drawbacks are: Image quality is usally not in the same level as other dedicated lenses, but for beginners or people who cant afford more then one lens, this is usually the prefered choice since its able to replace few other types of lenses.
Macro lenses are specially intended for close-up photography, they produce very sharp images. They are also able to zoom in tiny objects, such as insects or plants. Its important to mention that this type of lenses have tiny depth of field. What does this mean?
Simple – You can end up with a photo of flower, where only small surface of flower is in focus. Must have for people who want to get more active in macro photography.
Other factors to consider
Ideally we would all use 16-600 mm F1.8 lens, but it would be to heavy and too big for normal use. Not to mention that production of the lens would be hard and expensive.
Thats why no lens is perfect, each has its drawbacks. Some lens excels in one thing, but poorly in other. Its important to take your time when picking good lens, learn its shortcomings.
Size of lens is very important, lens with greater apertures & focal length are usally bigger & heavier resulting in bigger quality. This also means lens for your favorite camera will cost more.
For most people price is factor to consider when choosing between few similiar lens. If the two lenses offer similar quality but one is way cheaper then the other one, which one will you choose?
Being able to use your lens in extreme conditions should be also considered. Its important for your lens to be high quality, in order to withstand all minors breakdowns, drops etc.
As you can see, choosing the perfect lens is probably harder then it sounds like, because there is no such thing as “perfect lens”. Each lens has its drawbacks & benefits, and depending on what your style of photography you are interesting, it would depend what type of lens you buy. Make sure to keep our other tutorial to discover more interesting stuff about lenses.
Also your choice of lens will depend a lot on which camera you have. If you are looking for best lenses for particular camera, check out our buying guides. We hope this guide helped you and bring it closer to your goal – choosing best possible lens in your budget!