LENSES

A Lens is the most important piece in any camera, it’s the heart and soul of photography everything
revolves around it and that’s why I found it necessary to delve just a little bit in this topic. We have
different types of Lenses depending on the type of shot you want to achieve or the occasion etc.

The creative use of the lens gives photography its expressive qualities – they shape the way you “see”
the world through the viewfinder. There is an inherent distorting quality to a camera lens, and you have
to embrace that to get your vision properly captured on “film” or in the image sensor.

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The Focal Length of a Lens.
A primary characteristic of a lens is the focal length. A lens’ focal length is defined as the distance
between the lens’ optical center and the camera’s image sensor (or film plane) when focused at infinity.
To understand this definition of focal length, we need to define “optical center” as well. A lens’ optical
center is the point (usually though not always) within a lens, at which the rays of light from two different
sources entering the lens are assumed to cross. Shorter focal length lenses provide a wider field of view,
but offer less magnification. Conversely, longer focal lengths offer a shorter field of view, but provide
greater magnification. On DSLRs, the interchangeable lens’ focal length is measured in millimeters. The
focal length of a lens is usually displayed on the lens barrel, along with the size of the adaptor ring.

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The Lens Ratio
When you look upon the front end of your lens barrel, you’ll see a ratio number (1:2.8, 1:2.8-4, 1:3.5-
5.6, etc), which is the maximum aperture of the lens. The aperture determines how much light the lens
transmits to the image sensor. The lower the maximum aperture value will indicate the quality of the
lens in terms of brightness. High quality zoom lenses deliver a constant f-stop throughout the focal
range (i.e. a f/2.8 at 35mm and a f/2.8 at 80mm); whereas on a lower quality lens, the f-stop varies as
you travel up the focal range (i.e. a f/3.5 at 28mm, but a f/5.6 at 80mm); you are losing at least one stop
of light as you zoom up the focal length from wide angle to telephoto.

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A lens with a low f-number (wide
maximum aperture), is a better quality lens, and allows you to do more with it. For example, such a lens
is "brighter", allowing you to take photos in low ambient light conditions, yet still register a quality exposure. In addition these bright lenses allow you to achieve a very shallow depth of field. It is to be noted that any lens that is f/2.8 or lower is considered to be a professional lens, and will have a
correspondingly higher price tag.

Standard/Normal Lens Standard Lens

The standard lens has a fixed focal length (50mm, 85mm, 100mm), and reproduces fairly accurately what the human eye sees – in terms of perspective and angle of view. For a 35mm film camera or a full-frame DSLR, the 50mm lens is considered standard. At higher focal lengths (85mm or 100mm) you have an ideal lens for portraiture, because when coupled with a wide aperture they thoroughly soften any background detail, thus making it less likely to distract from the main subject.2Wide Angle Lens

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Wide Angle Lens
A wide-angle has a shorter focal length (10 thru 42mm) when compared to a standard lens. This enables
you to capture a comparatively wider angle of view. A wide-angle lens is a natural choice for capturing
outdoor landscapes and group portraits. In fact, wide angle can be the only way to capture the complete
setting without omitting any important elements in the image. In this manner, you can use wide-angle
lenses to capture a deep DOF.3Telephoto Lens

 

 

Telephoto Lens
Telephoto lenses (100mm – 800mm) can provide you with a narrow field of view. These long lenses
enable you to compress a distance (and compress the sense of depth, as well) and pick out specific
objects from far off. They have a strong resolving power and an inherent shallow DOF, where the
slightest lateral moment can take a subject out of view. Telephoto lenses are great for wildlife, portrait,
sports, and documentary types of photography. They enable you to capture subjects from hundreds of
feet away.4Zoom Lens

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Zoom Lens
Zoom lenses have variable focal lengths, and are extremely useful. Some can range between a wide-
angle and a telephoto (i.e. 24 to 300mm) so you have extensive versatility for composition. The trade off
with zoom lenses is the aperture. Because of the number of elements required in constructing these
lenses, they have a limited ability to open up and allow in light. So unless you’re prepared to outlay a lot
of money, you will give up lens speed.5Fisheye Lens

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Fisheye Lens
Fisheye lens is a specialized, wide-angle lens that provides extremely wide images by changing straight
lines into curves. It can sometimes produce circular, convex, or oval images by distorting the perspective
and creating a 180° image. The range of focal length varies between 7~16mm in a fish-eye lens.6Macro

 

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Lens Macro
Lens Macro lenses are used for close-up or “macro” photography. They range in focal lengths of
between 50-200mm. These lenses obtain razor-sharp focus for subjects within the macro focus distance,
but lose their ability for sharp focus at other distances. These lenses enable the photographer to obtain
life-size or larger images of subjects like wasps, butterflies, and flowers.7Tilt-Shift Lens

Tilt-Shift Lens
The Tilt-Shift lens enables you to manipulate the vanishing points, so when you’re shooting buildings
you can alter the perspective of an image so the parallel lines don’t converge, thus eliminating the
distorting quality of the lens. The tilt-shift lens also enables you to selectively focus an image; where
only specific portions of the image are in focus and out of focus within the same plane.8

Image-Stabilization Lens
These lenses contain small gyro stabilizer sensors and servo-actuated lens elements, which purportedly
correct for camera shake that occurs with longer focal length lens or in low-light conditions when you
need to have slower shutter speeds to achieve an effective EV. It is claimed that these lenses enable the
user to shoot handheld at 2 to 4 stop slower shutter speeds (exposure 4 to 16 times longer) than the
minimum required for a sharp image.

Conclusion
There are many possible lens choices and all will give you a different and distinct image. Part of the
creativity of the photographer is in selecting the right lens to capture the vision of the world the way she
or he sees it, or wants to present it. You might also like: Simple Wedding Photography eBook Essential
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References

www.exposureguide.com/lens-basics

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