Camera lenses are at the heart of every photo.
A pro photographer knows that they matter more than the camera.
As long as the camera gives you control on focus points and has an excellent ISO in low light setting, any will work. But a lens has to be just right to let your creativity reign free.
Why is a camera lens crucial to photos?
Because a lens changes the way you compose your images. Each lens “sees” the subject in its own way. For instance, a wide-angle lens emphasizes on elements like flare, exposure, sharpness while a telephoto lens lets you zoom in on far-away subjects.
So, what you want to capture decides the type of lens you will need.
What are the basic camera lenses for a budding photographer?
The lens that comes with your camera kit is called a standard lens. It has an 18 to 85 mm range. If you are a beginner, these lenses are perfect for exploring landscape photography.
1. Wide-angle lens
These are the lenses you need for more professional landscape photography. Also called ultra-wide-angle lenses, they include the whole landscape in one image.
2. Telephoto Lens
When you are going to shoot a long-distance subject, a telephoto lens is what you require. Think mountains or waterfalls far, far away. With this lens, you capture very crisp details.
3. Prime lens
The lens you must have for portraits is a prime lens. If you can buy only one lens for your entire #CreatorLife, make it a prime lens. They give you the most bang for a buck.
Which camera lens to use for portrait photos?
A prime lens, as we said before. When it comes to focal length – use 50 mm. If you go below it, the face of the person distorts. Also, don’t go beyond 85 mm. In that case, you will need to stand far away from the subject, which becomes an issue when space is limited.
And if you genuinely want to take stunning portraits, find a 50 mm prime lens with f1.8. It will give you the narrow depth of field necessary for outstanding portrait shots.
An 85mm with f1.4 is another lens for portrait photography if you are ready to shell out some extra moolah.
Which camera lenses to use for landscape photos?
Wide-angle lens, as we said before. When it comes to focal length – use 16-35mm. The lens gives you an ultra-wide-angle which is essential for landscape photography. You can use this lens for:
- Or just conventional landscapes.
Plus, with a 16-35mm lens, you can get up close and personal to the foreground and to give the photo an exaggerated compositional element. With this ultra-wide-angle lens, you not only include more of the entire subject in one frame but show the foreground prominently!
Another lens that is great for landscape photos is a 70-200mm lens. This is a medium telephoto lens and perfect when you have to click:
- Deep landscape
- Distant landscape
- Or a subject that is isolated like a broad scenery with a single tree.
The 70-200mm brings the apparent depth compression between distantly placed subjects – something mandatory to landscape photos. FYI, this telephoto lens does wonders for portraits too!
Good camera lenses are a photographer’s best friend
The most important equipment a photographer can own is a good lens. The kind of lens that is best for you depends upon the type of content you create. If you take more landscape pictures, use a wide-angle 16-35mm lens. If you click more portraits, use a 50mm prime lens.
That said, don’t stick to just these two lenses. Experiment to know what feels right to you and which lens is most relevant to your work. Before you buy a new lens, try borrowing one from another creator. If not that, rent it. Then test it out.
You will save up on money (good lenses are not cheap), and you’ll find out which lens helps you capture the best photos!