A Complete Guide to DSLR Camera Lenses

If you are confused and wondering “Which lens should i buy of choose?” Then overall choosing a lens doesn’t have to be a difficult experience. To help you choose simply think of what you will be using your camera for, will it be for wildlife pictures, sports, portraits or even close up photography, and this can then help you choose the required lens. As each photographer shoots differently and have their own styles and preferences. Each digital camera manufacturer offers a large range of lenses of different qualities and budgets. On this article I’m going to unpack the different type of lens that most manufacturers offer in the DSLR market. I’ll give a brief introduction about the lens that you can find across the DSLR lens market and you can choose which suits you.

Types Of DSLR Lenses:

Kit Lens: A kit lens is a “beginner” lens which is offered with DSLR.  It is generally an inexpensive lens priced at the lowest end of the manufacturer’s range so as to not add much to a camera kit’s price. Originally kit lenses were of normal focal length; more recently kit lenses tend to be inexpensive zoom lenses that range from medium wide angle to mid telephoto for added versatility. They are usually a fairly general purpose lens designed for everyday shooting.

Prime Lenses: A prime lens has a fixed focal length and it doesn’t allow you to zoom at all and is optimized for a certain type of photography. First of all prime lenses usually have lower aperture values and some of them go right down to f1.2 this means that a lot of light can enter the camera lens this is especially useful for low light situations  Available from 10.5 mm all the way up to 600 mm, primes are simpler in construction and generally lighter than zooms. They are known for their image quality and speed.


Telephoto Zoom Lens: A Telephoto lens acts like telescopes. The advantage of a telephoto lens is the ability to zoom in and out on your subject to create the perfect composition. Zoom lenses are favored by most photographers because of this function, however zoom lenses usually have higher f-stops than prime lenses, and this means that they usually leave less light into a photo which will affect the shutter speed being used.

Keep in mind that if you buy one with a long focal length (for examples you can get them in lengths ranging up to 300mm or longer) that the longer your focal length the more impact that camera shake has on your images. More and more lenses these days are being released with Image Stabilization (IS) or Vibration Reduction (VR) to combat camera shake Telephoto lenses. When you magnify a distant object, however, you also amplify any movement of the camera itself, so image stabilization technology or a tripod is a must.

Macro Lenses: A macro lens is like a microscope, these lenses are specifically designed for shooting objects up close. A macro lens’s best quality is its ability to maintain sharpness at high magnifications. Many lenses and cameras come with a ‘macro’ setting but true macro lenses will produce images that are life size and that enable you to get in incredibly close from the subject you’re shooting. High-quality macro lenses can achieve 1:1 reproduction, meaning the subject matter can be captured by the camera’s sensor at life size. Macro lens are useful for taking close up shots of flowers, insects and other little wonders of the natural world.

Wide Angel Lenses:

As their name suggests, these lenses enable their users to take shots with a very wide perspective. This type of lens allows more of the scene to be included in the photograph, which is useful in architectural, interior and landscape photography where the photographer may not be able to move farther from the scene to photograph it.

Wide angle lenses come both as prime lenses but also are being found at the lower end of telephoto zoom lenses increasingly. Be aware that very wide lenses will sometimes distort your image a little (or a lot), especially at the edges of your photos where they can be quite curved. This can be used to great effect but can also be quite frustrating at times.

Some extreme wide-angle lenses, called fisheye lenses, don’t fight distortion at all. Rather, they take advantage of it. The effect can be pretty dramatic, even a bit trippy. Fisheye lenses can be useful for taking in the huge crowd at a stadium—or getting right up in someone’s face for a warped portrait.

So you have got some information about the types of lenses now follow the following six steps and you can reduce the number of lenses you have to compare.

  1. Determine the focal length you’ll need
  2. Decide if you want a prime or zoom lens
  3. Select a maximum aperture
  4. Choose between first or third party lenses
  5. Evaluate any extra features
  6. Read reviews and narrow your options


Articles you may like to read

Camera and Photography Equipment Terms

Understanding ISO

Understanding Aperture

The art of Panning

12 Tips for Stunning Portrait Photography


This blog is designed to provide photography tips and tricks and post processing tips

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Posted in Cameras And Equipment

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