This post was most recently updated on July 23rd, 2019
Nowadays, learning a new technology doesn’t have to be as demanding as before, and you can learn new technologies, such as photography, online. More people prefer to buy a camera of their own to record beautiful events in life. Coupled with the arrival of the short video era, shooting videos with cameras have become a new trend. One thing that however separates the pros from the noobs in photography is the camera lens. In this post, I will be sharing with you a vital camera lens buying guide that will be helpful when choosing the best camera lens to add to your device.
If you recently purchased an interchangeable lens camera, you may already be considering which lenses to add to your device. If you have a deep understanding of the capabilities of the lens, you will feel your new digital camera the more. The mirror camera is just as cool.
The sad truth is that most buyers(due to ignorance) with interchangeable cameras will never take off the kit lens that comes with the camera, but after a deep understanding of the magical effects of the camera lens, those users will be inseparable from these lenses.
First of all, we need to know that the reason why the lens looks different depends on the size of the camera sensor. And when you buy an interchangeable lens camera, you will be associated with that particular brand and the available lenses. For example, Nikon and Canon digital SLR cameras use incompatible lens mounts. While sometimes two or more companies will share a single stand (such as Panasonic and Olympus with a micro-quarter, or Panasonic, Leica and Sigma and L-frame), you can’t mix any lens with any camera.
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Camera Architecture and their Lenses
Digital SLR cameras and mirrorless cameras, especially entry-level models, are usually sold as kits, which means they are usually equipped with a basic zoom lens, which may be between 18-55mm or 14-42mm depending on the camera brand and format.
Compact Cameras vs DSLR/Mirrorless Cameras: Zoom Comparison
A common misconception about interchangeable lens cameras is that they have better zoom capabilities than compact cameras. In fact, the 18-55mm lens has only a 3x zoom. Compared to a compact camera, such as the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS (40x zoom) or Nikon P1000 (125x zoom), which costs $400, this is nothing.
In general, the maximum zoom you can find in an interchangeable lens is about 10 times, but it’s not fair to compare a DSLR or mirrorless camera to a point-and-shoot camera. Interchangeable lens cameras use very large sensors to produce very high-quality images compared to compact models. Although those large sensors require a fairly large lens. This is why small cameras can have a lot of zooms, while larger cameras require multiple lenses to cover the same range.
The zoom is usually also confused with how much the lens can pull the object closer. The number of zooms, such as 3x, only shows the range of angles from the widest to the narrowest of the lens. Zoom is a good indicator of flexibility, but not how close you can use the lens. To do this, you need a focal length, such as 50mm, 100mm, and so on.
In point-and-shoot cameras, the more common advertisements for manufacturers are the zoom level (10x, 40x, etc.) of the lens, while the advertisements for SLR and mirrorless lenses are the focal length range (18-55mm, 24-120mm, etc.). If a lens has only one focal length, such as 50mm, it is the main lens that does not support zoom at all, but usually has better sharpness, depth of field control, and concentrating power.
Camera Lens Buying Guide
The wide-angle to telephoto Lens
The focal length indirectly indicates the angle of view of the lens. The wide-angle lens can have a focal length of 18 mm or 24 mm, and the telephoto lens can be 100 mm, 200 mm, 400 mm, and the like. On a full-frame camera, the transition from wide-angle to telephoto occurs around 50 mm, and the lens near 50 mm is called the “normal” focal length.
Categories of Camera Lens based on the full-frame focal length
- The fisheye lens is usually wider than 14 mm
- Wide-angle lens usually covers between 14-35mm
- Standard or ordinary lens is about 50mm
- Telephoto lens covers between 70-200mm
- Super telephoto lens starts at around 300mm
- Macro lenses have multiple focal lengths, but you can get close to the subject for the ultimate detail
Wide-angle lenses are often used for landscapes or in tight spaces, while telephoto lenses are used for wildlife and sports. Portrait lenses are typically in the range of shorter telephoto lenses, from 50mm to 105mm, although they can be longer. Although portraits can be taken with wide-angle lenses, such lenses tend to cause distortion. That’s why your nose always looks bigger in smartphone selfies because the phone has a wide-angle lens. But it also helps to emphasize distance, which is why wide-angle lenses are popular in sports such as skateboarding.
Although the macro lens is usually a telephoto lens, what is really important here is the magnification or the reproduction rate. A typical macro lens has a reproduction ratio of 1:1, which means that if you shoot a coin, the image of the coin projected onto the sensor will be exactly the same size as the coin itself. You can imagine how much detail you can see when you see the picture on your computer screen or print a large picture.
Camera lens buying guide – the Zoom lens
The convenience of the zoom lens is unparalleled because the zoom lens has a wide range of focal lengths, and one main lens can only be fixed in one focal length.
In addition to the basic 3x zoom kit, there are also 7x and 12x lenses often referred to as “superzoom”, which is very popular. You will see graphics similar to 18-200mm or 28-300mm. Other lenses are used to make up your kit lens to leave, such as 55-210mm, and so on. Remember, “zoom” does not mean “telephoto”. You can use wide-angle zoom so that the entire focal length range is well below the 50mm cut-off point. And the professional zoom lens is very good, but usually provides less than 3 times the zoom capability, and is much more expensive than the set zoom or quality lens.
There are also many options to choose from when you buy, just check the manufacturer’s website for details and prices. If you only want a larger range than your kit lens, 55-200mm or 55-300mm (depending on your camera) is an affordable way. And don’t be afraid to go beyond the brand on the front of the camera. There are third-party brands – such as Sigma, Tamron and Tokina – which offer a variety of options, usually with a better price/performance ratio than the first-party lens.
Fixed Focus Lens
A fixed-focus lens provides only one field of view. It is one of the best lenses you can buy, and in most cases, it offers better image quality than a zoom lens and Low light performance. Also, it offers the ability to achieve outstanding image quality and low light performance at relatively low cost. This focal length is a popular recommendation for photographers who want to exceed their kit lenses.
Fixed-focus lenses usually have larger apertures (represented by f-values such as f / 1.8), which provide more light and allow more background blur, which is very useful for shooting portraits. When using the standard kit zoom, you must start using the flash when you are still using the available light with a fast focus lens.
what is the effect of a wide aperture in a fixed focus lens?
When you start searching for shots, you may see it a few times while watching the price. You might see a 50mm $120 and another $1600 from the same manufacturer. There are many factors in the fixed focus and zoom that make a lens with the same focal length more expensive than the other lens, but the key difference is the aperture, which is measured in units of “f”. The lower the f value, the more you can capture. The more light there is. In the case of Canon’s $120 50mm lens, the maximum aperture is f / 1.8. Canon’s $1,600 50mm aperture is brighter and the maximum aperture is f / 1.2, resulting in huge price differences.
Except for the most discerning professionals, everyone doesn’t need an f/1.2 lens, but if you often shoot in low light without a flash, invest in a large aperture lens, perhaps at f/1.8 to f/ 2 range, of course it is worth it. (For fun, we have to point out that one of the fastest lenses is the 50mm Leica Luminous lens, f/0.95, priced at $11,295.)
In contrast, the aperture of most kit zoom lenses does not exceed f/3.5, and almost always decreases with the active aperture of the zoom. That’s why you will see a lens name written like 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6. This means that at 18mm, the widest aperture is f/3.5, and at 55mm, the widest aperture is f/5.6 (approximately half slower, that is, the aperture at 55mm is the same as the aperture at 18mm, Can only absorb less than half of the light). A large aperture main lens typically absorbs twice, three times, four times or more light than a normal lens.
Professional zoom lenses are typically up to f/2.8 and are specially designed to maintain aperture over the entire zoom range. Lenses such as the 24-70mm f/2.8 are very popular among many manufacturers, but the price of this model may be well over $2,000.
What does Image stabilization represent?
Many mirrorless cameras have built-in image stabilization to help eliminate camera shake. However, this feature is rare in digital SLR cameras. If you want to shoot stably without a built-in camera, you must buy a stable lens. Manufacturers use a variety of tags to represent this feature, from Canon’s IS (image stabilization) to Nikon’s VR (Vibration Reduction) to Sony’s OSS (Optical Steady Shot).
Stableness is not always necessary for still photos – fast shutter speeds keep things clear. However, it is very important to work at low speeds with slow shutter speeds, or to shoot video under any conditions, or to use very long focal lengths. Stabilizing lenses are more common on zoom lenses, and less common on fixed-focus lenses with larger apertures and faster shutter speeds.
Final Thoughts – What is the Best Digital Camera Lens
The best shots depending on your needs and can be defined according to what you shoot the most. The 50mm f/1.8 is an affordable, bright lens that is ideal for taking low-light photos, portraits, or taking better pictures of your pet to meet everyday needs.
For landscapes and travel, wide-angle lenses may be appropriate and, of course, more professional. The telephoto lens is ideal for the close-up shooting of wildlife and athletes. Of course, such a lens is not something everyone needs.