10 Things You Should Know When Buying A Camera Lens
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Published by TOP4 Team
What will make you a better photographer today?
One of the more recommended practices for new photographers is to try and use a single prime lens, which allows novices to explore the subject more fully by walking toward it and making assessments through the viewfinder. The practice helps photographers understand the angle of view of the lens, and in the future, have the ability to decide which sort of lens to mount just by looking at the subject and mentally framing the image.
But before you actually get to practice this skill-improving habit, you first need to have the appropriate lens. And therein lies the question: What is the appropriate lens? With a dizzying array of selections, from fisheye to telephoto to ultra-wide, you may just be overwhelmed by your options.
Here are 10 things you need to know when buying one and narrow down your list:
1. There is a lens for a specific subject.
You’ll want to start with figuring out what you want to shoot. Are you into shooting portraits or are focusing on wildlife? Are you practicing to be a landscape photographer or are you training to be a sports photographer?
Landscape photographers use wide-angle lenses; portraits or close-up shots require macro lenses, and for sports, a focal length of 70mm to 200mm or 100mm to 400mm lens is ideal. If you want something that is just going to shoot anything and everything, a standard zoom lens is considered ideal for ‘walking around” shots because it is versatile for wide-angle work and close ups.
2. Different perspectives tell different stories.
Consider the stories you want to tell through your photos. You can achieve this by taking in the visual perspective of the scene you intend to shoot. When you mount a 9mm lens, you will be able to capture everything. When you use a 50mm lens, your photo can capture more details of your subject, and you get even more details, more intimate, with a 200mm lens.
3. A higher number focal length means a bigger zoom and a lower number means wider shots.
Focal length range with two numbers indicates it’s a zoom lens so you can use it at any point. Single focal length number means it’s the primary lens so you need to get closer o the subject.
4. A smaller aperture number means more light will come into the lens, and more light means faster shutter speed.
You’ll want to consider aperture number with the kind of subjects you choose, not just the lighting conditions. For instance, sports photographers need “speedy” lenses with large aperture numbers to capture those fast actions on the court or on the field.
5. Aperture also affects how you work the background.
Large maximum aperture, like f/1.8 will enable you to soften the background easier. Smaller settings will allow you to get more details from the background.
6. The cost of lens will depend on a number of features.
Affordable lenses come with different apertures while pricier lenses come with fixed apertures. Professional-quality lenses are also more expensive than ones meant for beginners. Brands, naturally, also affect the cost of the lens.
7. Larger aperture openings make for heavier lenses; consumer-grade lens is also lighter than professional-grade lens.
How many pounds are you willing to carry around in your camera bag? When shopping for lenses, feel the weight of it in your hand and see how easy it is for you to handle with your camera.
8. Image-stabilised lens can manage camera shake, even with slower shutter speeds.
Brands like Canon and Panasonic feature optical stabilisation into their lenses. But if you’re using Pentax or Olympus camera, you can use any sort of lens because these brands have built the technology into the body.
9. Not all lenses will attach to all cameras.
Know that manufacturers of cameras design their lenses with specific mounts. So one lens will fit one specific camera. Consider that Canon F-mount, Pentax K, Canon EF or EF-S can mount on DSLRs while Olympus and Panasonic cameras can mount Micro Four Third lenses.
10. Some lenses can come with weather-sealing and coatings.
Finally, most lenses can come with special features that allow you to use it in certain conditions. Weather-sealing will allow you to use it in extreme weather while coatings can boost sharpness and even eliminate image problems. Consider other things you will need for your lens and you will be able to make the right purchase.