Introducing DSLR Lenses
If you’ve bought yourself a DSLR, then chances are at some point you are going to want to extend your lens collection beyond the standard lens that came with your camera as one of the obvious benefits of the DSLR is the ability to swap the lens to suit your shooting situation. So what kind of lens would make a good addition to your kit?
There are basically two types of lens – a prime lens which has a fixed focal length or a zoom lens which can magnify the action. Though of course these basic types breakdown further to ultra and super zooms and wide angle lens – but at the root of it, they are all usually either zoom or prime.
While most novice photographers love the benefits of a zoom – there is much to recommend a prime lens. Firstly they usually handle chromatic aberration far better – it’s a lot more difficult to eliminate barrel distortion when your focal length varies. Secondly they are usually far lighter than their zoom counterparts – so camera shake is less of an issue. Thirdly they generally take sharper images as they usually have less lens elements. Finally – cost – a prime lens is usually (though not always) cheaper.
So why would you get a zoom when I’ve just told you the many great benefits of a fixed focal length – well what are you planning on shooting? Are you shooting wildlife or action sports – then you can’t go past a long lens telephoto zoom… Want a great ‘go anywhere’ lens? Then why not purchase one of the super zooms say an 18-200mm with image stabilisation built-in and you have a good all-rounder.
Are you planning on shooting a lot of flora or insect life? Or maybe you are a scientific photographer… Then you’ll need a macro lens in your kit so you are able to capture the minute detail of small subjects. A true macro lens is able to reproduce its subject at life-size or better magnification.
Tilt & Shift Lens
Unless you’re planning a career in architectural photography, you probably won’t find the necessity for a tilt and shift lens, which allows you to manually control the axis of a lens to distort the perspective. Best use – straightening up building edges when shooting from the street…
Wide Angle Lens
If you love taking portrait shots or you can’t go past a picturesque landscape without wanting to snap off a shot, then a wide angle lens is a good investment as it allows for better perspective and a wider field of vision – so portraits don’t suffer from exaggerated features and landscapes can fit within the frame.