Types of DSLR lenses Explained

Types of DSLR lenses Explained


With a number of different lenses on the market today you can be forgiven if you get a little confused as to what lens you need in order to take the best photographs under different shooting conditions – if you are looking for a lens for your Nikon D5300 click here. But essentially there are only a few types and each offers its own pros and cons.


What are the Different Types of Lenses?

There is a multitude of DSLR lenses on the market and knowing which one to get will ensure that you get the quality images you are looking for.

Prime lens
These lenses will allow you to get sharper images and they will perform very well even in the low light shooting. These are much lighter and a lot more compact, as well as being a lot cheaper than your zoom lenses.

Zoom lens
These are great lenses as you do not need to move to change the composition of your shots. Instead of having to carry more lenses with you, these will take the place of two or even more prime lenses.

Wide-angle lens
Your wide angle lenses are those that give you the ability to take in a lot when composing your shot. Focal lengths of these types of lenses are between 17mm and 40mm and they are the perfect types of lenses to use when shooting wildlife or landscapes. They are also used to shoot spaces that you want to make look larger than they are and concerts.

Normal or standard lens
Any lens that offers a focal length of between 40mm to 60mm is considered a normal or standard lens. They are the type of lens that will take the picture just as you see it without distortion. This makes these lenses perfect for portrait shooting as well as composing shots to perfection. These are flexible lenses that any professional photographer will never be without.

Telephoto lens
These are lenses with a focal length of 70mm or longer. These lenses are not prone to distortion and will enable you to get very close to your subject. They are often used at sporting events, shooting wildlife, and portrait shooting.

Specialty lenses
Macro lenses allow you to get extremely close to your subject and are great for taking pictures of smaller objects. No matter how close you get to what you want to photograph, these lenses will still keep their sharp focus. These are the type of lenses that the CSI would use as you can catalog small items with great clarity.

Fisheye lenses on the other end of the scale are ultra-wide-angle lenses. These types can offer you up to a 180-degree scope of vision. They are called fisheye because when you use them your images may have a look as if you are seeing things from inside a fishbowl, a little distorted around the edges. These lenses are mostly used for landscape photography and for sporting events.

Lens Used in Camera Concave or Convex?


The basic difference between a convex and concave lens is that the convex lens is thicker in the center and thinner at the edges and the concave the other way around. Cameras use convex lenses as a norm. The rays of light are converged by the convex lens and this is what forms your image. The angle that the light will enter the lens will determine what kind of shot you will take, such as wide angled or sharp close up images.

The concave lens, on the other hand, is used in some specialty lenses to create special types of pictures. Because the lens is thinner in the middle than at the edges it will give you a much more divergent image and thus a virtual or diminished image will be the result of using a concave lens in your camera.

Do SLR Lenses work on DSLR Cameras?

The bottom line answer here is yes they will. However it will depend on the brand of camera you are using, sometimes the older lenses or SLR lenses will not fit onto your DSLR camera due to design changes. You will have to check your manufacturer on your camera to ensure that they are a match, or you could damage your camera trying to fit a lens that does not match the body of your camera.
Whether it will serve you to use your old SLR lens on your new DSLR body comes down to what type of photography you are wanting to do. If you are wanting to shoot images that contain moving objects, it may not be your best choice, but if you are wanting to shoot landscape of still life scenes, then the old SLR lenses will serve you well, and best of all they are a lot cheaper than your newer DSLR lenses.

What are Different Lenses used For?

With the multitude of different lenses out there you can be forgiven for getting a little confused as to what lens you need. Not only do you have the standard lenses you get fisheyes, but telephoto also zooms, primes, and then the specialty lenses such as tilt-shift lenses to consider. The main question here is what kind of photography you are looking to do.

This alone will be the decider as to what lens you should get. If you are going to be shooting predominantly landscape scenes you want a lens that can take a lot in, to give you a broad scene. This is where you will look towards the wide angle lens to give you that expansive view. Your standard lenses, on the other hand, are some of the most popular around and range from 35mm to 85mm.

They will take any shot you need them too and they will do it with great clarity. You get the standard zoom lens as well as the standard prime lens. Telephoto lenses are the lens of choice for a lot of photographers. They are lenses that allow you to take long distance photos and make your subject appear to be a lot closer.

They are excellent for a range of different types of photography such as landscape, portrait, and sporting events. Then there are the specialty lenses. The macro lenses will allow you to shoot very small objects with precision, while the tilt-shift lens and the perspective correction lens are great for shooting architecture.


Choosing the right lens is an important aspect of getting the perfect shot. There are so many different lenses available to suit any photographer’s needs, from telephoto to wide angled, you just need to decide what type of shooting you will do and get the lens that is the most appropriate.

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