DSLR cameras are relatively simple to buy and operate, but when it comes to finding the best camera lenses, it is another story.
People that are busy and unable to carry out extensive research before purchasing a lens for their Canon or Nikon DSLRs often ask for recommendations for the best camera lenses.
Here is a look at the factors that will affect your decision in lenses and tips to find the best camera lenses for your DSLR camera.
Buying the Best Camera Lenses
If you have bought a digital DSLR camera, then it is likely to have come with a versatile basic zoom lens kit. But many people do not move beyond these lenses and it is not hard to see why.
With the plethora of lenses with different specifications available, it can be difficult to choose the best camera lenses for you.
The following basic aspects of a lens should be understood before you know where to spend wisely.
1. Focal length
The barrel of a lens has printed on it the range or measurement of the focal length of the lens. The focal length is the distance between the lens and the sensor.
A rule of thumb is that longer focal lengths are good for focusing on distant objects (such as telescopic lenses) while shorter focal lengths are good for taking in the entire scene (such as in wide angle lenses).
Zoom lenses will contain a wide range of focal lengths.
You will also find the F-stop rating on the barrel (for example, f/4), which is a ratio of the aperture of lens and the focal length. The F-stop ratio determines how much light enters the lens aperture.
The printed number is the widest aperture possible (the lowest F-stop) for that lens. Zoom lenses typically have a wide range because the focal length increases as the zoom is used.
The best camera lenses that are prime lenses (described below) may have lower f-stops that suggest crisper images and greater depth of field.
3. Zoom lenses
The best camera lenses in typical commercial zoom lens kits are very versatile.
For instance, if your lens comes with the shortest focal length rating of 18mm, it will work as a wide angled lens good for shooting groups of people and landscape.
If the longest focal length is about 55 cm, you can shoot close-ups of people far away. Simply turning a dial can let you change from one end of the focal length range to the other.
4. Prime lenses
Prime lenses have fixed focal lengths and are the best camera lenses for specific types of photography. You will find them with focal lengths ranging from 10.5mm to 600mm.
They are lighter than zoom lenses, are simpler and produce better quality photos.
5. Telephoto and Wide Angle Lens
Any lenses that have focal lengths lower than 35 mm is a wide angle lens offering a wide field of view. These are the best camera lenses if you want to shoot photographs of interiors.
However, make sure that if you are buying a super wide lens, you avoid the cheaper quality ones that cause distortion along photo edges.
Fisheye lenses, however, are some super wide angle lenses that use distortion to achieve dramatic effects. Telephoto lenses are the best camera lenses for magnifying objects that are placed at a distance.
But when using these lenses, you will need to make sure your camera is stable (with a tripod) to counter the effect of magnified camera motion and prevent blurred images.
A macro lens is the opposite of a telephoto lens. Macros lenses are the best camera lenses to take close-up shots of tiny objects in the natural world, such as insects and flowers.
The specific feature of a macro lens that allows high quality macro shots is its ability to take sharp images even at very high magnifications.
The best camera lenses for macro shots have a 1:1 aspect ratio and they can take a photo of the subject at life-size.
DSLR camera lenses can be expensive, so before buying, be sure to understand the lens feature basics listed above.
Also remember that non-branded lenses can be cheaper, but when it comes to the best camera lenses, you get what you pay for!
P.S: If you would like to venture into the world of monochrome, checkout Black And White Photography Techniques here.