Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Photography 101: Types of Lenses

There are four main types of lenses: your standard zoom lens, telephoto lens, micro lens, and wide angle lens.

Your standard zoom lens will usually be 28-135 mm, and will provide you with a decent sized frame. You can use this for practically anything you can think of, although other lenses may be suited better. If this is the only type of lens you have though, you're not that bad off. It will produce images like my "The Mask" photograph, shown below.

A micro lens is used when you want to capture small items or minute details. A 50 mm lens, is great in this area. Micro lenses are great for insect and fruit photography. With it, you have a more shallow depth of field, which can also be great for food images. You can capture images like my giant dandelion and barnacles photographs.

If you want to capture as wide of a frame as you can, opt for a wide angle lens. This will allow you to have a larger view of what you're trying to capture. However, wide angle lenses can also distort the image. The objects around the rim of the frame might appear a lot larger than those in the center of it. But for occasions like a big birthday bash, it can come in handy like it did while I was shooting the birthday of Dwight Bentel, the founder of the journalism department at San Jose State University.

Then there is your telephoto lens. This allows you to capture up close shots of people or events without being close to your subject. They're great for weddings or concerts.

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