Camera Lens: Differences and When to Use Them

Knowing Camera Lens






Camera lens is an optical lens that is used in combination with a body and camera mechanism to create images of objects. It serves as the eye of the camera, which allows the entire process to create the image. Telescope, microscope and camera lens has no big difference. The design and the assembly are the only major differences.  A camera lens could be permanently attached to a camera or it could be replaced. In addition, camera lenses may have a different number of elements, focal lengths, apertures, and other properties.

Knowing Camera LensWhen buying a camera for the first time, people usually look for the brand, model, features, and price. Most of us often think about the lens because it is pretty safe to assume that the kit lens is all we need. Usually, that is true but as one becomes more engaged in photography he tends to explore with the camera lens. Let me give some ideas about your lens in this article.

Focal Length and Aperture of Camera Lens

The focal length of a camera lens is the distance between the lens and the image sensor. Aperture is the ratio which expresses how wide the opening in the lens is.   Lenses can be classified into subgroups like prime, macro, wide angle, standard zoom, and telephoto zoom lenses. They are also rated based on f-stop or speed. An example would be a 50mm f/1.4 lens or a 16-35mm f/2.8 lens.




Understanding different groups of camera lens and what they can do will help in making decisions on what lens to buy and what to use for a certain shoot.

Different Camera Lens

Zoom Lenses

Zoom Lens could either be a standard zoom or a telephoto zoom lens.

               a. The lens with standard zoom usually, but not limited to, varies from 18-55 mm to 24-70 mm or just let me do it like your midrange lens. This could be used in most of the usual photo shoots.

               b. Telephoto Zoom lens could be used when a long distance separates you from your subject as it has long focal lengths. This lens brings the subject closer to you and increases the subject’s size in the frame. It is best used in wildlife photography and in sports or action. In addition, this can also be used in portrait photography. Telephoto lenses also provide your subjects a realistic look and flatten them out. Consider using high shutter speed in using telephoto zoom lens to avoid camera shake. Examples of this lens are 18-200 ISK, 55-200 STM, and 150-600/5-6.3.

Prime Lens

Prime lenses are fixed focal length camera lens. To zoom with these types of lenses, you need to move your feet and get closer or farther away from the subject. Prime lenses are sharper and faster than zoom lenses. There are some decent prime lens at low cost available in camera stores. Some of these are 50mm f/1.8, 24mm f/2.8, and 85mm f/1.8.

Macro Lens

Macro lenses are your eye to wonders. They enable you to get close up images of small subjects or details of an ordinary subject. Moreover, these types of lenses are awesome as it makes common subjects extremely wonderful. You can shoot coins, patterns in a flower, or even the compound eye of an insect. Macro lenses are usually expensive. However, it is a worthy companion.




This lens could take you to the wonderful world of tiny jungle. Your vision will extend to a level that you see through a dimension that exists but never noticed.

Water droplets

Wide Angle Camera Lens

Wide angle lenses have short focal lengths. The short focal length has the visual effect of making the subject appear smaller. It is advisable to use wide angle lenses for landscape as it captures all the features and elements in the subject. What’s best in this lens is that you can be relatively close to your subject and fit all of the background into the frame. Although, wide angle lens is known to produce a distortion that makes vertical elements appear to lean toward the center of the frame. However, some high quality wide angle lenses are made to address this issue. Examples of wide-angle lenses are 10-18mm, 8-15mm, 16-35mm, 14mm and 24mm lenses.

In addition to this, you must know whether your SLR is full frame or crop sensor because there are camera lens for each. For canon, the lens that are EF are for full frame and EF-S for crop sensor. For Nikon, DX for crop and FX for full frame.

Remember that knowing your gear is half the battle because it is important to identify the lens that best fits the photo shoot.

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