Different Types of Camera Lenses for Photography

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Photography is a fun hobby that nearly anyone can easily pick up. Becoming a truly good photographer, however, will require some practice and the right equipment. Camera lenses are one of the most important pieces of equipment to improve the quality of your photos, so any aspiring photographer should be familiar with these different types of camera lenses for photography.

Prime Lens vs. Zoom Lens

All camera lenses will fall into one of two categories: prime lenses and zoom lenses. Prime lenses have a fixed focal length, meaning it’s not possible to use the lens to zoom in or out on your subject; rather, you’ll need to physically move closer or further away. Typically, these types of lenses are lighter, faster, and less expensive than zoom lenses. Zoom lenses, as the name suggests, have a variable focal length, meaning that the lens itself can zoom in and out. These types of lenses are more versatile than prime, but are often more expensive and can have lower image quality when the zoom is used.

Standard Lens

A standard lens has a focal length between 35-85 mm. These types of lenses are most similar to the human eye and capture very natural-looking photos. A standard lens is typically used for taking portraits.

Wide-Angle Lens

Wide-angle lenses are useful for taking photos of landscapes, as they are able to capture a wider scene than most other lenses. Most wide-angle lenses have a focal length between 14-35 mm—the shorter the lens, the wider the shot will be. This type of lens is quite versatile and a good one for beginners to try.

Telephoto Lens

If you’re into wildlife photography, a telephoto lens might be the one for you. Telephoto lenses have a longer focal length, enabling you to take clear, zoomed-in photos from a distance.

Macro Lens

Have you ever seen an extreme close-up photo? That was probably taken with a macro lens. Macro lenses are great for close-up photography because they allow you to zoom in extremely close and capture the details of an object regardless of its proximity to the lens.

Fisheye Lens

A fisheye lens will put a fun, quirky, abstract spin on your shot. These lenses capture extremely wide shots, giving the shots a curved, convex appearance. If you’re interested in creative photography, this would be a great lens to try.

When you’re first starting out, it’s a good idea to invest in a couple of versatile lenses that you’ll be able to use in most types of photography. Remember—you can always add additional lenses to your collection if you need them later.