Camera Lenses 101

As a new photographer, many don’t really have the basic knowledge about their lenses, what type of lens to choose and how powerful a lens can be. Today, I will be putting you through the need to know about lenses.

Lens Ratio

The lens ratio is the set of numbers in ratios that you see when at the end of your lens barrel. The lens ratio is the maximum aperture of the lens.  The aperture determines the amount of light that the lens transmits to the sensor. Lenses with low maximum aperture rating are better quality lens, they produce brighter images allowing you to achieve a shallow depth of field.

Focal Length

The focal length is a primary characteristics of any lens. The focal length of a lens is the distance between the lens’s center and the camera film plane when focused at infinity. Lenses with shorter focal length provide wider field of view with less magnification. On the other hand, lenses with longer focal lengths result in a shorter view but offer greater magnification.

Types of Lenses

Standard Lens

The standard lens is has a fixed focal length within the range of 50mm-100mm. In terms of its angle of view, it produces fairly accurate view of what the human eye sees. At higher focal lengths such as 85mm or 100mm, it is a perfect lens for photography.

Macro Lens

They are used for close-up portraiture, with focal lengths ranging between 50mm-200mm. Macro lenses acquire very sharp (razor-sharp) focus for objects within the focus distance, but they lose their ability focus at distances beyond the object focus distances. They are used in wildlife photography to get large images of insects like bees, butterflies, wasps and flowers.

Fisheye Lens

The fish eye lens is a special, wide-angle lens that produces extremely wide by amazingly converting straight line into curves. The focal length of a fisheye lens falls between 7 – 16mm.It has the ability of producing convex, circular and oval images by simply altering the viewpoint and create a 180° image.

Zoom Lens

Zoom lenses are extraordinary lenses possessing variable focal length with unlimited usefulness. They can have focal length between the ranges of 24mm to 300mm providing you a broad range of view. But be quick to note that the bad side of the camera is its aperture. Zoom lenses have a limited ability to open and allow transmittance of light.

Wide Angle Lens

A wide angle lens has a focal length between 10mm to 42mm. It gives you the ability to capture a wider angle of view. If you intend going capturing outdoor landscape or large group portraits, it is the perfect choice for you. I cannot but emphasize the fact that it is the only lens that can capture the entire portraiture without omitting any importance element in the photo.

There are great number of lenses with variety of function, and I have only mention a few. I will be looking at other types of lens and their functions in other posts to follow.