How to choose the right lens for you?

Before many people have their favorite lens, they may compare various parameters on forums, websites, and friends, and then choose a camera at a reasonable price and embark on a photography career. Cameras you may use for many years, but lenses are different. The dazzling lens market always tempts you to spend.

The market for mobile phone lenses is also huge today. Cameras and lenses are always debated among photographers whenever they are related to equipment. People are always talking about what kind of equipment is best, how to choose the right lens?  But inevitably, personal preference and even prejudice enter the equation.  Beginners can get confused, too.  

1. Classification of the lens

Until 30 years ago, SLRS were sold with so-called standard lenses. The focal length of the lens was 50 mm. Now, lenses with a shorter focal length are called wide-angle lenses, lenses with a longer focal length are called telephoto lenses, and lenses with a focal length above 300mm are called ultra-telephoto lenses. There are also specialized lenses, such as macro lenses for close-ups, or shift lenses, mainly used for buildings, that can overcome the effect of a building’s slanting lines, or perspective distortion, by adjusting the angle of view.


When shooting with a macro lens, the depth of field is shallow. If you want most areas of the primary subject to look sharp, you have to make the aperture very small.

Whether in the studio or outdoors, focusing above 50mm makes for beautiful portrait shots. An old standard lens mounted on a digital camera acts as a medium telephoto lens with a focal length of about 80mm (in terms of focal length conversion factor) – great for portrait shots. Using this focal length makes the model’s face look realistic while the background blurs or disappears. In this way, there are no distractions that distract the viewer from the main subject.

Wide-angle lenses can capture a lot of things, but they can also produce unusual architectural looks. shooting directly from the bottom up with a wide-angle lens not only creates slanting lines but also completely distorts the image of the primary subject.

Stay as close to the primary theme as possible without compromising the primary theme — telephoto lenses do this.

2. How to choose the right lens for you?

What kind of lens is the most appropriate? This question may vary from person to person, or what kind of lens you need is more appropriate. Figure out what kind of scene you want to shoot before you decide what lens you need. Here’s a nine-point summary of how to choose the right lens for you.

Choose the right lens to shoot the landscape

(1) Do you want the whole scene to be filmed?

When photographing landscapes, streets, travel, or environmental portraits, you may want to capture the whole scene, not just a close-up.

In general, this is when you need a wide-angle lens, it will help you to show more of the scene. Some photographers use a wide-angle lens as a story lens because it covers enough detail to show the background of your subject to better help tell the story of your subject. This type of shot is usually used for scene portraits or documentary photography.

However, if you need a shallow depth of field effect, most wide-angle lenses probably won’t cut it. We know that the depth of the field is closely related to focal length. The longer the focal length is, the shallower the depth of field is. Then you have to use a medium telephoto lens to shoot from a long distance.

(2) Do you want to shoot beautiful bokeh?

If the background is not your primary concern and you just want the subject to be clear, it’s best to have the background completely blurred out to create a hazy and illusory effect.

Of course, using a wide aperture lens can easily achieve this effect, but wide aperture lenses are usually expensive. F/2.8 or even f/4 can create a shallow enough depth of field when shooting with a medium telephoto, so if you’re on a budget, you don’t have to be obsessed with a wide-aperture lens, and sometimes using the telephoto end of the zoom head can give you the look you want.


Of course, if bokeh shots are your main focus, invest in a high-end, wide-aperture lens.

(3) Do you want to take pictures that have a strong visual impact?

Wide-angle lenses can be enhanced by their special perspective distortion. As a result, it’s easy to get a visually striking shot as long as you’re up close.

This feature is usually used to shoot architecture, landscape, and other subjects. Of course, using distortion to photograph people can also create a creative effect.

(4) How close can you get to your subject?

Telephoto lenses are essential for wildlife photography or sports photography. Some street photographers also like to use telephoto lenses to shoot, so that it is possible to capture people’s subtle expressions with minimal aggression, but there is a disadvantage, the lack of background, you can only capture the subject, but it is difficult to capture the whole scene.

If there is an insurmountable barrier between you and your subject, and you can only look at your subject from a distance, then you need a telephoto lens to compensate for the distance.

(5) How much weight can you carry?

While I know every shot is amazing and I know you want to cover as much focus as possible when you go out on a shoot, for most girls, too many shots are just not physically possible. How do you have the energy to take pictures with a bag this heavy?


This is even more important if you are a street photographer. You spend hours or more of your day wandering the streets, and the more you carry, the heavier your bag, and the more difficult it becomes.

Depending on what you’re shooting that day, choose the right focus segment, bring a hook head, or at most a spare one, and then go out. Don’t get lost in your closet.

(6) Are you good at finding beauty in details?

A telephoto lens is a good choice if you are good at looking at details or parts of things and finding them beautiful.

Because it can compress vision, take out the superfluous scenery around, let the picture be more concise, purer, also can highlight detail, local aesthetic feeling more.

(7) Can you shoot in low light without a tripod?

The concept of a safe shutter is important. Most of us will inevitably suffer from hand tremors under the safety shutter, which will cause the hard work of the photo to be blurred. Fortunately, the ISO available range of modern digital cameras has been greatly improved, and some cameras can even be easily handled by pushing tens of thousands of ISO, which was unimaginable in the previous film era.

And now cameras and lenses are getting better all the time, even with five shutter speeds. Oh my God, that’s one of the benefits of technology.

sea of flowers

A large aperture is useful for increasing the amount of light that comes in, but the downside is that a large aperture creates a shallow depth of field, and even a large aperture can be prohibitionally expensive.

Wide-angle lenses are also less prone to shake than telephoto lenses. This is because the safety shutter is the inverse of the focal length, so the longer the focal length, the faster the safety shutter must be. The safety shutter is 1/30s for 35mm and 1/125s for 135mm. In normal use, most people with a shutter speed slower than this will easily cause the picture to shake.

(8) Can you take portraits?

What method would you like to use to document the models you want to photograph?

One is to use a telephoto lens, which gives you a flattering view of the frame closer to your subject and helps isolate the subject’s background for close-ups or busts.

One is to use the wide-angle end, which provides a full background and can be used for panoramic or full-length portraits. However, the main thing you should never do is get your wide-angle lens too close to your model unless you want to distort her face.


(9) Do you need expensive professional lenses?

Sometimes, we may need to shoot a special subject and use professional lenses, such as macro lens, fisheye lens, pivot lens, or Lensbaby lens. But most of the time it’s these special lenses that we use once or twice and then put away.

Unless you’re a professional photographer, there’s no point in buying a lens that you’ll only use a few times. It’s better to borrow or rent one than not use one.

The above is how to choose the best lens today. I believe you have a certain understanding of the choice of lens. Equipment is only a small part of photography. I want to learn photography. More important are the skill and aesthetics. With a lot of practice, you can get into photography.

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