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What Type of Lens to Use for Specific Situations?

The lens is the “eye” of your camera and plays the key role in capturing clarity, color and details of each image. Whether you are a specialized or a beginner photographer choosing right lens will definitely elevate your photography. With a point and shoot type of camera the lens is fixed which cannot be removed or replaced. Digital SLR cameras offer lens mounts where you can swap and use different type lenses.

“photographer” captured by Chanmee Gloria Kim (Click Image to See More From Chanmee Gloria Kim)

Before diving into available types, the definition of focal length and the extend of the reach will help to clarify digital SLR lenses. When the subject of an image is in focus, focal length measures the distance between optical center of the lens and the digital camera sensor. It is measured in millimeters and displayed on the actual lens. For example a standard focal length is expressed as 1.4f.

Another useful information found on a lens is the extend of its reach: (From 35mm- To 80mm),(50-100mm), (200-400mm),and so on.

Available Types:

Lens types are classified as “Prime” which comes with fixed focal length and “Zoom” which has variable focal length.

Prime includes sub group of Standard (35- 80mm), Wide-Angle (15-28mm), Macro (50-100mm), Telephoto (80- 300mm) and Super Telephoto lenses (200-400mm).

Zoom comes with variations like: Wide-Angle to Telephoto or Standard to Telephoto coverage.

Even the point and shoot type of digital camera comes with a Standard 35- 80mm lens. Standard lens is also known as “normal-lens” The term “normal” is used for this type because it captures a scene just as the human eye sees it. Standard lens is great for everyday shots, such as flowers, people, or pets.

Wide-angle gives a broader view of a scene than a standard lens does. Because this lens captures a wide area it is used for photographing groups of people and landscapes.

Telephoto is used to enlarge pictures or for bringing distant subjects closer. A common telephoto comes with 75- 300 mm coverage. When you begin to move from the 35mm into something larger it is best to either use a tripod or a stabilizer. A stabilizer will help you hold the camera steady for clear shots even if your hand moves a little bit.

Super telephoto comes with 200-400mm lens. It is mostly used for capturing wild life or birds.

A Macro lens is designed to capture a tiny subject as a bigger image. Macro Photography is a type of shooting that magnifies the size of a subject. As it name implies it is great for close up shots, such as flowers, spider webs, insects and other small objects.

Digital zoom simply crops the image to a smaller size, and then enlarges the cropped portion to fill the frame.

Optical zoom works just like a digital zoom. The lens changes focal length and increase magnification as it is zoomed.

Helpful video on this topic:

What Type of Lens Should You Use?

  • For general shots like People, Pets, Flowers choose Standard.
  • For Large Group of People use Wide Angle.
  • For Landscapes use Wide Angle.
  • For Architecture Shots choose Wide Angle.
  • For Action and Sports use Telephoto.
  • For Portraits the Standard lens works best however you can also use Telephoto.
  • For Wild Life and Bird Photography use Super-Telephoto.
  • For Close-Up shots and Tiny objects use Macro.

In the photography world lenses are maybe a small piece of equipment but they help to capture “better images”.

About the Author:
Zoe Shaw is from Click here for more free digital DSLR tips and techniques.


[via PictureCorrect Photography Tips]

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