Greentoe Blog

Camera Lenses

Now that you have your very own Digital SLR camera, you’ll need to get a few quality lenses to complement your body.  This can be confusing, as there are many different types of lenses that do different things.  From wide angles to macros, it’s best to understand the world of lenses before you make your decision.  Here’s a few informational points before you make the bid.


Let’s go over the most important types of lenses:

Mid range – This is your most standard focal length range type of lens.  It’s the one you’ll probably use for everyday picture taking.  It’s also the type of lens that is typically included in a kit when you buy your body.  A Mid range lens is one you’ll want to have in your pocket for all occasions.

Telephoto – The telephoto lens zooms in on distant objects, and is generally used for nature or sports.  If you’ve ever gone to a professional sports event, you have probably seen that guy on the sideline holding a giant piece of camera equipment.  What you saw was a telephoto, in fact it was a super telephoto lens.

Prime – These do not zoom, they only operate at one focal length.  These are primarily for photographers who shoot from the same distance from their subjects, like with fashion or portrait photography.

Macro – Macro lenses allow objects that are extremely close to the lens to be photographed.  If you need to get up close and personal with your subject, this is the lens for you.  Other benefits are the ability to create a shallow depth of field, keeping certain points in focus while blurring others.  The effect can be quite dramatic

Wide Angle – These lenses have a wider than normal view angle.  The focal length is smaller than that of a normal lens, which allows more of the space to be seen in the resulting image.  Wide angles are great for interiors, architecture and landscape.



The most important specification on lenses is the focal length, which will tell you the distance you can cover in your image.  Know your focal range!

Name your price.  In other words, know how much you want to spend and budget accordingly.  It’s easy to get caught up in the magic of photography equipment, and a lot of lenses will come with hefty price tags.

Speaking of costs, you should know that the larger the aperture, the bigger the price tag.  In general, bigger apertures are better, but you don’t necessarily need it.  If you don’t have good light when you shoot, you’ll probably need to consider larger aperture.  For example, if you shoot bands or evening events.  If your images require a shallow depth of field, consider large aperture lenses.


Image Stabilization (IS) is a feature that will help reduce the shake of your camera in absence of a tripod.  It will also reduce the need of a large aperture in a low light situation.


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