Camera Lenses: 10 Different Types of Lenses Used in Photography

If you are confused about why we have so many types of lenses, this article is a must-read. Find out how each lens serve different purposes in photography

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  28 Dec 2021 5:42 AM GMT
Camera Lenses: 10 Different Types of Lenses Used in Photography

Are you an amateur photographer taking baby steps in the photography field? Whether for passion or profession, if you dream of capturing great pictures, knowing about the different camera lenses is quite important. To attempt a specific type of photography like abstract, street, food, landscape etc. you must pick the right lens, else the picture will not do justice to the subject. However, a beginner can find it overwhelming to understand the differences between each lens and its functions.That's not! Picking the wrong lens can cost you a lot of money and time!

This is why we have put together a basic guide of 20 Different types of Camera lenses. At the end of the article, you will figure out why we have so many lenses and how each of these will help you capture winning photographs.

10 Different Types of Camera Lenses in Photography:

Here are the 10 varieties of camera lenses that vary in zooming options, focal length, field views, etc. to suit different circumstances:

1. Zoom Lens:

Zoom lens is the most preferred type of camera lens for its ability to support different focal lengths without changing the lens. By manually adjusting the focal length, you can easily zoom in or out to create focused images of objects spread over a wide range of distances. Zoom lens also magnifies an object by cropping the existing image and retaining only the focal point. An important factor to know before buying a zoom lens is its zoom ratio, which is the ratio of the longest to shortest focal length, which expresses the overall range like 3X,5X,10X etc.Depending on the budget, required focal length and depth of field, you can choose from different types of zoom lens like parfocal lens, varifocal lens, telescopic lens, wide-angle zoom lens etc.

2. Prime Lens:

Prime lens does not allow the zoom in or our feature as they have a fixed focal range. Photographers prefer this lens when they want to produce high quality images that focus on a single focal length. The key advantages of prime lens are their ability to maximise the available light, render crisp details to the photographs and seamlessly separate the foreground from the background to create a sense of depth. This is why prime lens are highly preferred for taking portraits or closeup shots. The most popular prime lens is 35mm, 50mm and 85mm which vary in aperture speeds and build quality. Best uses of prime lens are new-born photography, wedding photography, travel photography etc.

NOTE: 50mm prime lens is a popular type of lens in photography and cinematography for capturing objects and people in a natural setting.

3. Telephoto Lens:

A normal zoom lens has limited zoom range and cannot work well for taking pictures of very far away objects like the stars, planets, wildlife etc. This is where a telephoto lens comes handy for you. With a zooming range of 100mm to 600mm, telephoto lens can capture detailed photograph of extremely far objects like the moon or even players in a huge sports field for instance. However, these lenses are quite heavy and you will need a tripod to support it. They are also quite expensive and not amateur-friendly. So, if you need a specialised lens for bird photography or astronomy photographer, telephoto lens is a must-have in your kit.

4. Wide-Angle Lens:

If you plan to capture a wide area like a landscape or a whole street, then a normal lens will not suffice. You will need a wide-angle lens which allows for more subject capture in the photograph. The lens will allow you to focus everything in the scene without having to move too far away to capture the entire frame. Wide-angle lens also come handy when you want to exaggerate the size of the foreground objects against a wide background. The focal length of a wide-angle lens usually come as 35mm, 28mm, 24mm, 21mm, 17mm, 14mm and even up to 6mm which creates ultra-wide photographs.

5. Normal Lens:

A normal lens or standard lens makes the photograph appear exactly the way the human eye sees it. It comes in a focal length between 40mm and 58mm. For instance, in a 35mm picture, a focal length of 50mm creates a perspective that represents the view of a naked eye. Photographers use this lens to create an accurate picture of the real-life objects as best as possible with the camera. Normal lens is easy to use and beginner-friendly too. However, these lenses do not support creativity and take only mundane shots that can get too boring. They also cannot justify larger objects like landscapes or far away ones like sports, wildlife etc.

6. Macro Lens:

Ever wondered how nature photographers take extremely closeup and detailed shots of insects, leaves and other small objects? With the help with Macro lens! As the name suggests, macro lens takes magnified shots of very small objects that are otherwise difficult to notice with naked human eye. They have a very short MSD or minimum focus distances compared to normal lens which will allow you to capture objects from a very close angle without getting blurry shots. However, the lesser-known aspect of macro lens is that they can allow closeup shots of landscapes, portraits and other large objects if you know how to use them. Main uses of Macro lens are food photography, insect photography etc.

7. Fish-Eye Lens:

Fish-eye lens is one of the specialist types of lenses which is popularly used to take the bubble-like shots of a sports stadium. The ultra-wide lens allows capturing of scenes 180 degrees around it, so the end photograph appears like a giant hemispherical bubble. This unique feature comes from the lens' ability to distort the field of view of an image and render a convex shape using a special mapping technique. Fish Eye lens are also widely used for space photographs for their super wide field of view and a large Depth of Field, which captures all the objects in space without missing anything.

8. Tilt Shift Lens:

Tilt Shift lens are widely used in fields which require miniature photographs of life-sized objects. These lenses distort the image perspective to make them appear many times smaller than their actual size. Tilt-shit lens come with two knobs, one for tilt control and the other for shift control which perform different functions. The Tilt control knob enables focus on two objects at different distances from the camera and create an enormous sense of depth. Shift control knob, on the other hand, allows for creating panoramic shots without moving the camera body. These lenses are widely used in architecture and fine art photography.

9. Infrared Lens:

Infrared lenses are used in infrared photography in black and white or color to capture certain light rays that we cannot see with our naked eye. These lenses focus more on light than perspective or depth. Unlike the regular lens which are made of glass, Infrared lens are coated with special materials like geranium which can be transparent in the infrared spectrum. They come in different types like 35mm, 50mm and 80mm to suit different levels of photography. Unfortunately, this lens cannot be used for any other purpose than in Infrared photography. They are pretty expensive too and require some amount of learning before putting them into use.

10. Kit Lens:

Kit lens are the standard type of lens which come in-built with the camera. They are beginner-friendly and inexpensive. Kit lens usually come in a focal length longer than 18mm-55mm which work pretty well to take normal photography. They are also lightweight and have moderate wide-angle abilities to capture landscapes or buildings in a decent size. You can use them for different types of photography like portrait, events and normal image captures which don't demand excessive detailing. However, kit lens cannot support specialised photography like sports, wildlife etc. due to limited focal length.

Those are the 10 Different types of camera lens used in photography. If you dream of becoming an ace photographer who is more than sight-and-shoot, then a knowledge of these lenses is very important. Behind a winning photograph, there is a lot of effort of the photographer and of course, the use of the right equipment.

Next Story
Share it