When I first started writing about digital cameras the main question i was asked by readers was ‘Which Camera should I buy?‘ Usually they were in the market for a point, fairly entry level point and shoot digital camera.
However these days with the increase in people buying DSLR cameras (they are so much cheaper and more people are feeling comfortable enough with digital now that they want to take it to the next level) the biggest question that I’m now asked is ‘Which Lens Should I buy for my DSLR?‘
Answering the question is something of a minefield as each digital camera manufacturer offers a large range of lenses of different qualities and budgets. Add to this that each photographer shoots differently and has their own styles and preferences and it can be something of a minefield to navigate to answer the ‘which lens’ question.
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Types of dSLR Lenses
Most Camera today comes with a standard kit lens that covers a focal length of about 18-55mm. The standard focal length magnofication in lenses today is 35mm. Standard lenses are capable of offering modest wide angle settings and a modest telephoto effect.
Super-zoom lenses cover a wide range of shooting situations. Aimed ata a professional user these lenses have a focal length range of about 18-200mm. At maximum zoom, you have to have a steady hand else you will get shaky images.
These lenses have a fixed focal length with the ‘Nifty Fifty’ 50mm lens being the most popular. It is ideal for portraits and due to its wide aperture opening (f2.0,f1.8 etc) you get a very shallow DOF in your photographs.
If you want to capture a sweeping landscape that is to fit a wide range of scenery in your focal range, a wide angle lens helps. the focal length of a wide angle lense is less than 35mm. The shorter the focal length the more number of objects you can fit in your range. For example 20mm lens is wide enough to capture an expansive landscape
Meant for sports, actions and wildlife photography. Telephoto zoom lenses in the range of 200-300mm are used. Super telephoto lenses are used by professional photographers althrough such lenses are not widely used due to high prices.
Fisheye lens is a type of wideangle lense which got popular among photographers due to its hemisperical effect. A fisheye lens gives a distorted one-off result in your picture which can’t be obatined from other lenses. These where used by the meteorology department of study the formation of clouds and are also called whole sky lenses. These are quite popular among enhustatic photographers due to its ability to bend straight looking objects
“Macro” lenses specifically designed for close-up work, with a long barrel for close focusing, are one of the most common tools for macrophotography. (Nikon designates such lenses as “Micro” because of their original use in making microforms, but most lens makers use the term “Macro” or “Makro.”) These lenses are optimized for high reproduction ratios. Most modern macro lenses can focus continuously to infinity as well, using complex focusing mechanisms that alter the optical formula. In most cases these lenses provide excellent optical quality when used for normal photography, although a macro lens may be optimized to provide its best performance at its highest magnification.
A photographic lens for which the focus is not adjustable is called a fixed-focus lens. The focus is set at the time of manufacture, and remains fixed. It is usually set to the hyperfocal distance, so that the depth of field ranges all the way down from half that distance to infinity, which is acceptable for most cameras used for capturing images of humans or objects larger than a meter.
Rather than having a method of determining the correct focusing distance and setting the lens to that focal point, a fixed-focus lens relies on sufficient depth of field to produce acceptably sharp images. Most cameras with focus free lenses also have a relatively small aperture which increases the depth of field. Fixed-focus cameras with extended depth of field (EDOF) sometimes are known as full focus cameras.
Supertele photos lenses is also a telephoto lens having focal length greater than 300mm. It is widely used by high end professional wildlife photographers.This lenses are not used by others due to their high price.