When Do You Need a Different Camera Lens?
If you want to take advantage of different lenses for your digital camera then you probably want a DSLR as this will allow you to change lenses. While you can find some ‘add-on’ lenses for compact Canon, Sony and Olympus digital camera to try out, the lenses on the DSLRs are usually more robust. That is not to say you need a fancier camera, but having more options when taking photos will give you a better chance of taking fantastic photos.
There are essentially three main types of lenses:
- ‘Normal’ lenses
- Wide angle lenses
- Telephoto lenses
It is not enough to own these types of lenses as you also need to know when to use them. Most photographers will even use specific types of lenses to create certain effects in their photography. Or, as is more common, to cover specific situations such as telephoto lenses to take sports photography.
A ‘normal’ lens is the common sized lenses in most cameras designed to approximate the a scene as it is seen by a person’s eye. While other lenses ‘distort’ the view (from our perspective), this type of standard lens seeks to capture scenes as closely as you would see them with the naked eye. Generally, this lens is from 35mm and has a focal point of about 50mm.
A normal sized lens is great for taking snapshots of people but is not as great for detailed shots. It is better for closer shots (though not extreme close ups). Even though it will take reasonable landscape shots, it is not the most ideal lens for this type of photography.
Wide Angle Lenses
Wide angle lenses can solve quite a few problems for landscape photography, group shots as well as real estate photography. Having a much sharper focal length (35mm or less on a 35mm camera) allows this lens to take in a much wider view than a conventional lens. This type of lens is very popular for landscape photos as it allows for wide panoramic shots.
A wide angle lens is also useful in tight situations where a group shot is required. While you would have to back up to take photos of a group with a standard lens, you can make use of a camera in a small space with a wide angle lens. This is why it is the number one tool in a real estate photographer’s arsenal.
Wide angle lenses are used by real estate photographers to capture every part of the house even if it is just a small bathroom. It also helps the real estate agent to bring in the buyers as it will make rooms seem bigger in the photos than they really are. Wide angle lenses are great for both wide open spaces and small spaces.
These type of lenses are more like ‘telescopes’ as they push the layers of the image together to bring subjects closer. This is used to great effect in sports photography or even nature photography. It is also useful for focusing on a subject as the lens will ‘blur’ out the background. A highly versatile lens that can be used from portrait photos through to action shots.