A camera without lens is of no use. The only kind of image, a camera without a lens can produce, is that of a white light. Even a cheap camera with various types of lenses, will help you capture astounding photos. Hence, an insight into the topic is essential.
What is a camera lens?
Camera lenses are made up of a series of glass plates that are convex or concave. They are capable of storing an image chemically or electronically. The lens is what focuses light from what you see through the viewfinder into a tiny, 35mm spot on the back of your film, DSLR, or mirrorless camera.
Features of a camera lens:
Focal Lengths: The focal length of a lens is the distance from the optical center of the camera lens all the way back to the image sensor. It is usually expressed in millimetres, such as a 50mm lens or a 70 to 200mm lens. Different focal lengths give different fields of view.
Aperture: The light passing through an opening of a lens’s diaphragm is an Aperture. It is calibrated in f/stops and is generally written as numbers such as 1.4, 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11 and 16.
Maximum Aperture: Lenses list a maximum aperture on the barrel area, which in turn indicates the maximum width a lens aperture can open. Wider maximum aperture lenses are costly & can make a hole in your pocket.
Depth of Field: A photographer’s best tool to draw attention is to control the amount of photo/subject in focus. The depth of field varies with the type of lens, due to maximum aperture.
Types of Camera Lenses
Types of Lenses
Prime Lenses: The perspective, in prime lenses changes, only if the distance between the camera lens & subject varies. These can be removed & should not be confused with a “fixed” camera lens (lenses being permanently attached to the camera.) Prime lenses are light & sharp focusing which makes them convenient to carry around. They are usually less expensive & give high quality images.
Zoom Lenses: A zoom lens makes it possible to photograph different views of a scene (closer or further away) without changing your position or changing the camera lens. Zoom lenses can be used at various focal lengths & are found on both fixed & interchangeable lens cameras.
There are different types of lenses within Prime & Zoom lens:
1. Macro Lenses
This type of camera lens is used to create close-up, macro photographs. They have a unique design that allows them to produce sharp images at extremely close range. These are great for nature photography, enabling to capture an enormous amount of detail.
2. Telephoto Lenses
Telephoto lenses are a type of zoom lens with multiple focal points. They provide a narrow-angle of view magnifying objects that are some distance away, making them appear much closer than they are. Many sports photographers use telephoto lenses to provide a sense of intimacy with the subjects. There are many different types of telephoto lenses, & can be quite large, heavy, and expensive. Tamron AF 70-300mm is one of the best Macro Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon’s DSLR Camera
3. Wide Angle Lenses
Wide angle lenses are perfect for fitting a large space into the frame. Especially useful for street photography or landscape photography. With wide angle lenses, almost everything is in focus, unless your subject is close to the lens.
4. Standard Lenses
Standard lenses are used for various types of photography. The range of their focal length falls somewhere in the middle, usually between 35mm and 85mm. A zoom lens between this range tends to have a small enough focal length at the bottom end to take a wider angle, full-frame photo, and a large enough focal length at the top end to zoom in on the subjects.
5. Specialty Lenses
There are some special types of lenses that can impart a unique look and feel to your photographs:
- Fisheye lens: An ultra-wide-angle lens that can take in a full 180-degree radius around it, Fisheye lenses are so named because they distort an image’s field of view, making even a room in a house look like a bubble.
- Tilt shift lens: A tilt shift lens distorts perspective, making things look smaller than they really are—almost as if they are toys.
- Infrared lens: These lenses play with light rather than perspective, filtering out all light waves except infrared for a unique visual effect.
- Probe lens: It incorporates a 19” long by 1.3” diameter lens barrel which lets you move further inside or closer along-side a product than with conventional lenses. Wildlife documentary shooters generally use probe lens to get macro shots of small insects.
There are various lens sizes each having their own specifications & uses. The most common ones are 16mm Lens, 35mm Lens, 50mm Lens, 85mm Lens, 200mm Lens.
It’s created when non-image forming light penetrates the lens & hits digital sensor or camera’s film. This appears as a characteristic polygonal shape, with sides which depend on the shape of a lens diaphragm. It can reduce the overall contrast of a photography subject & is often an undesired flare of art. However, some types of optical flare may in fact enhance the artistic feel of a photograph.
There is a great photo editing app PicsArt which has lens flare option. With PicsArt Lens Flare tool, you can create your own artificial lens flare which can look quite realistic.
Lightning in Photography
It is necessary to control & manipulate light to get the best texture, vibrancy of colour & luminosity on your subjects. Lighting determines brightness, darkness, tone, mood & the atmosphere. By distributing shadow and highlights accurately, we can create aesthetic photographs.
Positioning Light – The sources of light have a huge impact on how it falls on the subject. Light originates from behind the camera, pointing directly onwards gives a flat lighting.
Shaping & Manipulating Light – Light can be manipulated to fall on a particular area of interest on your subject. This can be achieved through the use of diffusers and reflectors.
Canon & Nikon are one of the top DSLR manufacturers.
Nikon’s D3500 is a 24 Megapixel entry-level DSLR. It’s cheaper, lighter, & has a longer battery life & is one of the best available cameras in the market based on the types of lenses, having unusually good 5fps continuous shooting speed, where most rivals in this range can only manage 3fps. The prices start from INR 28,900.
Whereas, Canon’s 500D (the Rebel T1i) is a fifth generation of Rebel whose most noticeable new features are – higher resolution sensor, the new high-res LCD and the HD video mode & much more. It’s price in India starts from INR 30,990.
There’s a lot more to explore on the types of lenses. Before investing in any camera, we suggest you go through more blogs & resources.
Radhika AgarwalContent Writer