Buying Lenses for your DSLR

When you’re planning to get new lenses for your camera, you have to consider other factors besides the cost and weight. The great thing about DSLRs is that you have an option to change the lenses to suit different needs.

Here are some things to keep in mind when purchasing lenses.

Lens Mount

Before you get too excited to buy your first telephoto lens however, you need to remember that the lens mount should work with your camera. Some brands of lenses will not work with others. Research first which brands will work on your camera.

Lens Coverage

The lens coverage refer to the range of the focal length of the lens. The type of lens that you will need will depend on what kind of photos you’re planning to shoot. The focal length is seen on the label on the lens. It’s usually a range measured in millimeters (mm).


Check if the lens has options for manual and/or auto-focusing.

Depth of Field

The aperture is determined by the f-number. Those lenses with bigger apertures (meaning, they have a smaller f-number) can let in more light and therefore take photos with shallow depth of field. In a shallow depth of field, the background is blurred or out of focus.

Types of Lenses

The following are the types of lenses.

1. Standard Lenses

These lenses have a focal length of 30 to 70 mm. They are used for just about any event and subject.

2. Wide Angle Lenses

These lenses have shorter focal lengths. If you want to capture a wide area as much as possible, you can fit more in this lens. Wide angle lenses are ideal for landscape photos. They are also great for photos with a lot of people.

3. Portrait Lenses

These are also called medium telephoto lenses. As the name implies, they are used mostly for portraits because they frame the head and shoulders perfectly.

4. Telephoto Lenses

These have longer focal lengths and are great for capturing subjects at a distance. They can magnify small areas so you can focus on details more closely. They usually have a focal length of 130 to 300 mm.

5. Macro Lenses

When you want to take photos of subjects at very close range, you might want to get a macro lens. Sometimes extreme close-ups have problems with focusing and you end up with a photo you’re not satisfied with. Macro lenses magnify the subject. Macro is one type of specialist lenses.

6. Fisheye Lenses

They are almost similar to wide-angle lenses but are more powerful. They magnify the subject much closer especially the center of the subject while the background is greatly diminished. This is another type of specialist lenses.

7. Super Telephoto Lenses

Their focal length exceeds 300 mm. They are commonly used by wildlife and sports photographers and hobbyists.

8. Prime Lenses

This type of lens only has one focal length. Taking photos with this is a challenge because it’s not like the other zoom lenses.