How To Pick the Right Camera Lens For Photography

How To Pick the Right Camera Lens For Photography

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Photography requires a perfect set of camera lenses for vivid categories of shooting. The right camera lens required can be determined by a professional photographer based on the needs of the acquired subject.

However, a high-quality photo can be achieved only when camera lenses are selected by considering the landscape, scenario, assignment, or architecture in photography. If you are a beginner in photography, you must first experiment with different niches and find your niche choice.

Once you’ve selected your niche, you can start researching the lenses required for capturing highly professional photos in the specific genre or niche. These will help you to avoid overspending on the lenses that will turn out to be an utter blunder in the future.

Camera lenses are critical compared to the camera body since it provides a focal length, aperture, and sharpness to the images. The use of a lens helps to capture the essentially sharpened and extremely valued arrangement photos.

Let’s Have a Look into all the types of Camera Lenses and also their Preferable Niches and Categories :

1. Prime Lens

Prime Lenses are used for getting a detailed photo with a close focal length shot of the subject. Prime lens increases the brightness and sharpness of the photo when the photographer gets close to the main subject. Prime lenses offer a wider aperture with a high-quality image. 

For getting a detail-oriented picture, prime lenses are the best lenses and provide immense value to the subject. The depth of the field is increased 2x times, giving the picture a full-featured look.

The prime advantage of using prime lenses is that it is small and light in weight, making them easy to carry during vacations or travelling. It will easily fit in your small luggage space. You can capture a wide range of photos, including landscape or solo shots, while on vacation.

As a photographer, your job is to hold a camera for as long as possible. So wandering around with a heavyweight camera will add strain to your shoulders. Prime lenses are easy to fix while travelling and getting amazing shots by doing your job as a photographer. It also helps shooting with lower ISO and the same shutter speed.

2. Zoom lenses

Zoom lenses are widely popular among photographers due to their skillfulness in speed, fast focus on distant objects, and lightweight. You can effortlessly capture a fast-moving subject due to its autofocus capabilities. I recommend using Cannon 16-35 mm or Cannon 28-70 mm for Zoom lenses. It will help in reducing your time through quick capturing of high-definition photos.

A photographer can also explore her creativity by using different compositions and adding required cropping frames. The speed of the zoom lens camera also plays a massive role in acquiring clear, crisp photos even in far landscape objects.

In-demand zoom lenses among professional photographers are fast f/2.8 or more comprehensive for maximum aperture and f/4 or higher for slow lenses with maximum aperture. The technology in photography has also tremendously improved in the past few years, providing lightweight photography equipment to carry around easily.

Zoom lenses are also comparatively lightweight in the past few years, making it convenient for the photographer to pack and carry a high-quality lens while travelling for work assignments.

The functional advantage of the zoom lens is that it is fast in capturing photos with fantastic autofocus in a limited span of seconds without any external disturbances. And, you don't have to stress a lot during focusing, low surrounding lighting, and shutter speeds. Zoom lenses will balance everything out and provide high-definition photos in no time.

3. Focal length

The focal length is decided based on the comprehensive or shorter view of the Angle. The smaller focal length captures a wide-angle view focusing on the entire landscape. The longer focal length captures a magnified subject image, focusing entirely on the subject. The shorter focal length takes up smaller scenarios of the subject and the background landscape that will appear far and distant.

An eagle has a focal length between 400mm and 600mm that helps to catch its prey easily with a wide view angle of faraway subjects. Similarly, the higher the focal length, the wider-angle view can be achieved with smaller scenarios in the complete frame and vice-versa.

The focal length can be broadly classified on the grounds of full frame or distance in millimetres to seize the perfect photo. The lenses that fall in the focal length can be as follows :

Standard Lens:

Camera Lens Standard Lens

Captures image in the exact shot frame. The focal length is around 50mm. It captures a realistic view of the image, the exact focal length of the human eye. Standard lenses provide less distortion, too, due to their focal length range and balancing of harsh or low light conditions. The standard lens is usually called the "Human Eye Perspective Lenses" as its focal length matches the human eye focal length angle of view.


Wide-angle Lens:

Camera Wide-angle Lens

It captures wide-view photos with short focal lengths. It is primarily used in monumental sculpture or landscape photography because its wide angles provide a view of substantial mesmerizing scenery with eye-catching beauty. Wide-angle lenses are generally found in the range of 24mm to 35mm for landscape.

However, wide-angle lenses create less distortion in landscape photography than ultra-wide lenses. Wide-angle lenses are preferably used in portraits, sports, architectural, or landscape photography.

Wide-angle lenses also provide significant cropping of images without making the image lose its pixel quality. Due to this additional benefit, without any worries, you can crop wide-angle lens photos and make them fit into any social media banner or post quickly.

Ultra-Wide Angle:

Ultra-Wide Angle

As the name suggests, Ultra-Wide Angle provides a higher focal length than a wide angle. Ultra-wide Angle ranges from 8mm to 24mm and has maximum distortion compared to wide Angle. Therefore, it is not used for portrait work due to its wider aperture.

It is most preferable in landscape, architectural, and real estate photography. Ultra-wide lens pulls you into the photographic story shown down below. It tends to enlarge the objects nearer to the camera and shrink the farther objects in the photograph.

Telephoto Lens :

Telephoto Lens

Professional photographers use telephoto lenses to bring distant subjects closer in photos without distortion. The view seems similar to a photo taken from a closer frame, yet the photographer has captured the shot from a far distance. Telephoto lenses are popular among wildlife or sports photographers.

It is because, in some circumstances, you must maintain a safe distance from the subject to avoid interruption or danger during photography. However, through such a distance, How will you enhance the depth of field in photography? Telephoto lenses are the best option among lenses to capture explicit details from distant places.

In the below photograph, you can see the kangaroo from a closed-detail perspective. It looks like the kangaroo is shot from a closer range, but who is going to risk messing with the kangaroo for the perfect shot? The reason why professional photographers use telephoto lenses is to capture the detailed view of distant subjects.


Macro lens:

Camera Macro lens

Macro lenses are suitable for capturing close subjects with a detail-oriented perspective. It snaps high-scaled sharpness and contrast for shooting tiny subjects such as bugs, flowers, or miniature drawings.

You can experiment on everyday subjects, too, for a specific detailed photo. A macro lens typically ranges from 40mm to 200mm. It is shot in a more considerable focal length, and the depth of the field is not too high but still high enough for the proximity subject.

4. Aperture:

When buying a camera lens, an important point to consider is the aperture of the lens. Apertures are represented as 'for 'F', a short focal length. The wide apertures are effective in low light conditions equal to 1 or above and fall in f/1.4, f/1.8, or f/2.8. The higher the aperture range from f/4 or f/5, the worse it is to work in low light.

The wide apertures are extremely useful in shooting moving objects with a fast shutter speed. It also procures high-quality images with no blur in the background. It exhibits a shallow depth of field in comparison to high aperture ranges.

Although wide aperture camera lenses are expensive due to their high-image quality but are not quite affordable for beginners, a beginner photographer can opt for higher aperture ranges (f/4, f/5) due to their affordability and practice deeper depth of field. These would eventually provide experience and let you into pro wide aperture lenses.


5. Crop Factor 

Crop factor is used in professional cameras in 35mm film format. It is a full-frame format and is installed on all professional cameras. It is better than crop sensors in the frame categories. Crop sensors capture less than 35mm standard frame format and are more compact.

The crop frame camera provides more field depth and reduces the camera's size and weight on lenses. It comes up with a lightweight body that can be carried easily for shooting all day.

A crop frame camera has better image pixel-acquiring capacity than crop sensors. Crop full frames are also best in shooting at low light and yield high ISO performance.

6. Image Stabilization

Image stabilization is widespread in professional photography to avoid all inaccuracies. It reduces blur images from occurring, provides low-light solutions, and levels the image's quality. Most cameras, especially from brands such as Sony, Nikon, and Canon, have image stabilization installed to exclude camera-shaking disasters that can result in blur images.

Stabilization is also essential while shooting at a fast shutter speed for sharp images and a low shutter speed for better pixels with deeper depth of field. Image stabilization has a high exposure level that helps capture high-quality blur-free images even in low light.

7. Distortion

Distortion of images occurs when there is a curve or a bent in the straight line that eventually agitates the image quality. The distortion could be a pincushion, barrel, or waveform of the lens's geometrics. This leads to a disproportion of images with no depth of field or pixel quality.

Distortion of images can be avoided if the camera is placed far away from the subject or use a longer lens is used to prevent distortion of waveforms from happening on the edges of the image. In the below image, there is vertical distortion in architectural photography.

The straight line of the peace tower looks curved outdoors, making it look unappealing to the eyes. However, the distortion of images can be corrected in lightroom photo editing software.

Even though you can avoid all the scrambling into the mess later by simply getting further away from the subject until a straight line occurs, you can also use a longer lens to fix the curvature in such architectural images.

8. Focusing

The camera's focus depends upon where you want the focus to happen. Is it in the entire landscape, a minor subject, or a particular body part of a human or animal? Professional cameras have many focus options, from manual to autofocus. It all depends on your skills, subject, and desired output. 

Do you want high contrast, saturated, sharpened, or shallow depth image? Manual focus allows you to adjust the settings and click the photo based on your perspective. Autofocus is more user-friendly and great for beginners in capturing great shots in a limited amount of time. The camera does all the work for you in capturing the perfect shot automatically.


9. Image Sensors 

Image sensors are used in Digital cameras for the conversion of the received signal into electronic signals. It provides all the information automatically that constitutes an image. It converts the waves into signals that portray information on images.

The image sensors are used in electronic equipment such as camera phones, medical image equipment, digital cameras, thermal imaging devices, ad so on. The types of image sensors are charge-coupled devices (CCD) and active-pixel sensors (CMOS).

CMOS is used in small camera manufacturing companies, is relatively cheaper, and absorbs low power. CCD sensors are used for high-quality video cameras, and CMOS is used to shoot still photos due to their low-quality range to capture moving subjects.

How To Choose The Right lens? Choosing the Right lens depends on your photographic level, skills, and the photography assignments you're working on. To ultimately decide on the best lens for your work, evaluating all the basic requirements mentioned above is necessary.

Do you want a zoom lens, prime lens, focal length wide aperture, or telephoto lens? The Choice is going to be hard if you're a beginner. However, you can research based on your niche and find a suitable lens for your work.


  • Lenses for Landscape photography - Wide-angle lenses are best for landscape photography, including brands such as Nikon 14-24 mm, Canon EF 16-35mm, Sony FE 16-35mm, and Hasselblad 35mm.


  • Lenses for Portrait photography - In portrait photography, prime lenses are popular. The brands that offer portrait photography lenses are Nikon 50mm, Canon EF 85mm, and Sigma 40mm.


  • Lenses for Car photography - Zoom lenses are primarily preferred in car photography and the brands preferred are Canon 50mm, Nikon 50mm, and Sigma 18-35mm.


  • Lenses for Wildlife photography - Zoom and prime lenses are best for wildlife photography, and the lenses best for it is Canon 100-400mm, Sigma 150-600mm, and Nikon 200-500mm.


  • Lenses for Food photography - Prime lenses are suitable for food photography, and lenses you can use are Canon EF 35mm, Tamron SP 90mm, and Canon RF 35mm.


If you're still confused about the lens, try to rent a few lenses based on your budget and earnings. This way, you can experiment with all the best lenses and eventually figure out your right lens.


How many lenses do I need for photography?

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You need only 5 lenses for all your photography needs. Wide, Zoom, Prime, Telephoto zoom, and Telephoto prime lens

What are the factors to decide the best photography lens?

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The factors to decide according to me would be genre, focus, image stabilization, crop factor, and depth.

What lens to use for a sharpen close photo of a far-away subject?

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Telephoto Lenses are the best option for a clear closer photo of a long-distance subject. Especially used in wildlife and sports photography when you have to maintain a safe distance but procure sharp images.

What are the best lightweight cameras?

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The best lightweight camera options are Sony a7c, Canon EOS RP with CMOS sensor, and Panasonic Lumix GX80.

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