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Understanding DSLR Lenses

A DSLR lens is another important aspect of photography that needs to be mastered by an aspiring professional photographer.

Before one can embark on photography sessions, they ought to focus on learning and understanding DSLR lenses i.e. they need to know the types, the differences, and the uses.

With today’s technologies, DSLR lenses have quickly evolved to meet the current needs and want of its advanced users. There are various types of DSLR lenses that are available out there to be picked and used.

Standard Lenses

One of the basic steps in understanding DSLR lenses is by getting to know the most used lenses, which is the standard lens. Standard lenses are widely used by entry-level photographers and its setting can be found in many DSLR cameras.

It usually has a focal length that ranges from 35mm to 85mm. The standard lens is pertinent for normal use or for the purpose of portraits as the setting is versatile enough to cater for many types of photography sessions. It produces accurate, real-life image and is usually free from any error or distortion.

Wide Angle Lenses

Another important lens that photographers need to focus on in their endeavor of understanding DSLR lenses is the wide angle lenses. This type of lenses has a shorter focal length which is 28mm or less. It is very suitable for a documentary type of photography or if you want to capture landscapes.

However, it is important to know that wide angle lenses, when set at its widest, may result in a distortion at the edges of the image. Therefore, you might want to pay extra attention to your framing perspective while using wide angle lenses i.e. your main subject should always be somewhere in the middle, far from the edges.

Telephoto Lenses

Another famous lens is the telephoto lens. The focal length in telephoto lenses is usually around 100mm to 300mm. It is suitable to be used for sports events while taking scenery of wildlife or for portrait photography sessions.

Images taken by this type of lens will usually have a blurry foreground and background. Due to the blurriness, images were taken by telephoto lenses usually appear somewhat flat as they don’t clearly show the 3-dimensional perspective.

Although this seems like a disadvantage, this is actually a good feature if you want to have a sharp and focused subject. For photographers who want to have a clear image without having to get too close to the subject, a telephoto lens is also the way to go.

Macro Lenses

Macro lenses provide different functionality to photographers whereby it allows them to zoom-in to the subject without having to be too close to it. The images produced normally shows the fine details of the subject and some of the frequent subjects for macro photography are flowers, insects, animals, and jewelry. Macro lenses can capture an object at the same size of its real-life size (1:1 ratio) or greater (higher ratio, 1:10). Macro lenses typically have a focal length from 40mm to 200mm. For photographers who wish to advance further in photography, they may explore this type of lens in their quest of understanding DSLR lenses.

Zoom Lenses

Zoom lenses, on the other hand, have a wide range of focal lengths. It is extremely helpful if you’d like to have a reliable zooming capability on your DSLR. However, zoom lenses come with some minor drawbacks in terms of its aperture aspect. Zoom lenses are known to have less ability in allowing light into the sensor and they can also cause motion blur. However, most of the zoom lenses these days have been equipped with Image Stabilisation (IS) to reduce motion blur, or also known as camera shake.

Prime Lenses

A prime lens is one of the unique lenses that are available in the market — it only has one focal length. Some of the common lengths available out there are 50mm, 85mm, 35mm and 300mm. The 50mm lens is suitable for various purposes and has been dubbed as the standard lens. Even though prime lens doesn’t provide the various focal length customizations like any other lenses, it is still preferable by many photographers, especially by those who’d like to have a specific focal length to work with, fast speed and superior, high-quality photo.

Now that you’re familiar with the different types of lenses, take one step further in understanding DSLR lenses by checking out our article on how to pick the lenses for your DSLR or watch the following short video that shows the best possible lens for you.

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