Basic Information About Camera Lenses

As there is no one cameras that can fulfill all type of shooting situation, same goes to camera lenses. Each camera lens has its own characteristics and element with distinct advantage and disadvantage over others. By learning more about how camera lenses differentiate over each other, we get to know how to apply the right camera lens according the situation and demands.

It used to be that most 35mm SLR cameras (equivalent to the full frame format for Digital SLR) in the market come together with a ‘standard lens’. Standard lens here refer to a lens with focal length of 50mm and this is the format that most people regards roughly as what we normally see with our own eye. As such, 50mm is still a very popular lens among all photographers. Normally 50mm camera lens has a maximum aperture of f1.8. There are also faster lens with maximum aperture of f1.4 and even f1.2. These fast lenses prove to bring better quality and much more useful though it all comes with much expensive price.

A thing that must take note of is that all SLR/DSLR cameras have interchangeable lenses. Changing of lenses can be done easily and is differentiated by the mount of the camera. The most popular mount for most cameras used today is the bayonet mount. In order to change lens in a bayonet mount, for taking out lens, press on a switch nearby to the mount then simply turn the lens 45 degree in a clockwise direction; for inserting another lens, simply align the lens accordingly to the marking on the camera body and camera lens and turn the lens in 45 degree anti clockwise.

The ability of changing lenses in SLR/DSLR is properly one of the biggest reasons behind the creativity and vast usability in photography compare to other cameras. Thus, a camera with a standard lens would not be able to allow you in using the camera to its fullest. Generally, most photographers will consider getting or must get another two lenses in the category of wide angle lens and telephoto lens.

What is wide angle lens? Wide angle lens usually cover in the focal range of 28mm to 35mm for full frame format. It will generally provide a wide angle view of what you see. As more area in front of the camera will be captured into the photo, it is widely use in landscape photography. Using wide angle lens, photographers generally has better control over the composition of the photo as the photographed subject can be really near to the photographer while at the same time the background can be kept in focus.

On the other hand, a medium telephoto lens usually covers the focal range of 85mm to 135mm. It generally gives photographer an advantage of capturing a subject that is far away. And more importantly, it is a superb portrait lens. Wide angle lens tends to makes the photo of a person’s face appear bulbous due to the focal range; with telephoto lens, a portrait photo captured with the focal range of probably around 100m will result in the photos to appear more pleasing. As the photographer would have to be quite a distance away, the person being photographed tends to be more relaxed and the end result photos will appear much natural as well. Other than that, a telephoto lens tends to make the background in the photo to appear much out of focus. While it is used in portrait photography, this will brings out more of the photographed subject, his/her eye, face, etc which will greatly enhance the photo.

In between wide angle and telephoto lens, many photographers have their preference on zoom lens as it is very convenient. Zoom lens as what it has in its name provides photographers the luxury of adjusting the focal lengths easily without changing the lens between wide angle and telephoto. Of course, the disadvantage of zoom lens is it would not be able to provide the level of quality a prime lens would provide. Though with the technology for the camera lens nowadays, it will take a really detail eye to notice the difference.

Other than these, there are also few types of special lens for specific purpose. For example, fisheye lens and macro lens. The macro lens will allows the photographer to take photo of subject appearing in life size while fish eye lens will provide a visual of 360 degree surrounding, as mimic to how fish is looking to the world. Such special lens can produce really dramatic result though it is not really any everyday use equipment as compare to the typical wide angle and telephoto lenses.

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