Different types of lenses

Different types of lenses

Prime, zoom, tilt and shift, standard, close, up, macro, fisheye, kit lenses, fast lenses,  lens babies, fixed, wide angle, telephoto, I am sure you have heard all about them, but you may not understand the lingo.

A prime lens has a fixed focal length, to for example there is no zoom, you need to use for feet to move yourself closer or further away to achieve the desired composition, the advantages of these lenses is that they are very affordable, are fast, and as they have less glass than a zoom, give excellent quality photo.  50mm, 35mm, 85mm, 200mm are prime lenses.

Zoom lens is the type of lens that has a variety of focal lengths. They range from 55-200mm, 70-300mm, and of course there are different focal lengths.  They are excellent for those you require more distance between the camera and their subject, for example for animal/wildlife photography,, some zoom lens are excellent for portrait photography. You have a variety of different focal lengths without moving yourself.

Tilt and shift lens: Architectural photographers use tilt-shift lenses to eliminate the perspective distortions that sometimes give buildings the appearance of falling over. Aerial photographers use them to make large cities look like toy models. Art and portrait photographers use them to control exactly where the focus falls. They are expensive for the majority of us common people.

Standard lens: this is usually referred as a 50mm lens, although this term is not as widely used as before, see prime lens (above) for further explanation.

Close up lens: Close-up lenses are special lenses that screw onto the front of your lens like an ordinary camera lens filter. They’re basically just a sophisticated magnifying glass that’s placed between your lens and the subject. It’s for this reason that they’re also often called “close-up filters.”

Macro Lens: this is a dedicated lens to photograph 1:1 ratio. They produce images that are life sized, you will find some zoom lenses have a “macro “ setting but these are not true 1:1 magnification. Used for bugs, flowers and other small objects.

Fisheye. Where the lens does not attempt to draw the light in a rectilinear fashion, but rather a curved one. It has a high amount of distortion, but also brings in a larger field of view than a rectilinear lens with the same focal length. You might find the camera will give you an option to convert a photo and create a pseudo fisheye photo.

Kit lenses: Is generally a lens included with a body of a camera, a starter lens. 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. Most kit lenses that will suit the average amateur photographer but if you are interested in selling or improving your photography a better lens will be required.

Fast lenses: these lenses have wider apertures, for example a 55-200mm f/2.8. The prime lenses, mentioned above are fast lenses, some of them with apertures of f/1.4.

Lens babies:a simple lens with a bellows or ball and socket mechanism for use in special-effect photography. The lenses are popular with photographers for the creative possibilities of the selective focus and bokeh effects.

Fixed: see prime lenses above.

Wide angle: They allow photos with a very wide perspective, useful for landscapes

Telephoto lenses: see zoom, above

ultrawide (~10-20mm)
wide angle (~17-35mm)
normal or standard (~30-50mm, depending on crop factor of sensor)
telephoto (~70-300mm)
supertelephoto (~>300mm).

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