So, you’ve got your camera sorted, taken a few photos and are ready to add a lens or two to your collection. Most lenses fall into five different categories – Macro, Telephoto, Wide and Ultra-Wide Angle, Standard and Specialty. Certain lenses will be better suited to your needs depending on your personal preference and style of photography.
Considered the ideal lens for many photographers, a standard lens is one you’re likely to be familiar with, as this is normally the kit lens cameras come with. With a focal length anywhere from 35-70mm and available as either a zoom or a prime (fixed lens).
You can use a standard lens for a range of different shots like street, documentary, landscape and portrait.
Responsible for most extreme close-ups, a macro lens is commonly used in nature photography. Usually a prime or fixed lens, Macro lenses range anywhere from 20-200mm and can deliver incredibly sharp images but have a tiny depth of field which can sometimes result in out-of-focus shots.
You’ll find this useful for getting closer to your subject whether that’s for nature, food, product or portrait shots.
Thanks to its incredible zoom and ability to focus on far away objects, telephoto lenses are favoured by sports and wildlife photographers. Characterised by their incredibly long body, telephoto lenses have a focal length upwards of 70mm with “true” lenses exceeding 135mm.
Telephoto lenses are mostly used for sports and wildlife photography but can also be used for portraits or landscapes.
4. Wide and Ultra-Wide Angle
Essentially, it’s all in the name. Wide or ultra-wide-angle lenses see more than the human eye, capturing wider photos with more of the subject in the frame. Wide-angle lenses are typically 24mm- 50mm, with ultra-wide-angle lenses having a focal length of less than 24mm.
Good for capturing the whole picture – wide or ultra-wide-angle lenses can be used for landscape, architecture, interior shots, large groups of people and astrophotography.
It’s unlikely you’ll be reaching for a specialty lens regularly, but if you want to try something new and unique, these are the lenses for you. The two most common being fisheye and tilt-shift lenses. Fisheye lenses create a bubble-like effect, while a tilt-shift makes your image appear smaller than reality for a unique and interesting effect.
We’d always recommend having a standard lens in your collection, with a wide-angle or telephoto lens being useful additions. Want to talk out your options? Head in-store to chat with one of our knowledgeable team members.
*Note: Specialty Lenses can be ordered in store.