Camera Buyer’s Guide – Types of Lenses for DSLR Cameras


Camera Buyer’s Guide – Types of Lenses for DSLR Cameras

Introduction to DSLR

You have bought a new DSLR, and you are all set to step into a photographer’s shoes. When you see impeccable snaps and wish to capture images with the same quality, you must know that the type of camera body and lens play a major role. Since you have bought a DSLR camera, along with the kit lens, we must tell you that your journey has just begun.

To be a professional photographer, you have to equip yourself with lenses other than the kit lens. Now, the question arises how to buy a camera lens? To clear this confusion, we have prepared a detailed guide on the type of lens for DSLR cameras. Check this out.

Primary Aspects for Consideration

The selection of a camera lens is dependent on these aspects:

  • Focal Length

The focal length of the lens is measured in millimeters (mm). The angle of view of depicts the area coverage by the lens. A lens with a lower focal length will cover a wider angle of view and vice versa. The lenses with a fixed value are known as Prime Lens while lenses with two values are known as Zoom lenses (for example, 18-55 mm lens).

Now, the actual focal length, or equivalent focal length, is not the mentioned one. The equivalent focal length is dependent on the size of the sensor. For example, if you are using an APS-C lens, the equivalent focal length of 16 mm will be 24 mm (16×1.5). But for a full frame sensor, the equivalent focal length will be same as 16 mm (16×1). These values, 1 and 1.5, are known as crop factor.

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  • Aperture

An optimum aperture is necessary to click sharp images, and up to a certain limit, it controls the exposure to the light as well. The value of an aperture is denoted as F4, f/4, 1:4, and so on. A smaller lower value indicates maximum aperture value and maximum exposure to the light. Hence, low aperture settings are suitable low-light conditions. Moreover, a larger aperture means the shorter depth of field (sharpness in the image, in front and behind the point of focus).

For example, f/2.8 indicates large aperture that will produce a short depth of field. Moreover, this aperture value is suitable for shooting in low light conditions as well, such as inside a room or during sunset.

  • Lens Mount

Let’s assume you own a Canon DSLR, and you want to purchase a lens for the same. In this case, you can purchase Canon EF, EF-S, or EF-M lenses; depending on the camera type. Similarly, different manufacturers have a specific lens mount. For example, this means you cannot use Nikon lens on a Canon camera.

However, certain manufacturers like Sigma and Tamron manufacture lenses that are compatible with multiple brands.

  • Image Stabilization

You must have captured shots in which the object looks blurred. Although it can be corrected by adjusting the shutter speed, you need a good lens with image stabilization feature. This lens will be beneficial in reducing the destabilizing possibilities.

For objects placed at longer focal length or in low-light conditions, consider opting for lenses integrated with image stabilization technology.

  • Format Type

Now, APS-C and full frame sensors are two type of sensors used in DSLR’s. The size of the APS-C sensor is 24mm × 16mm, and that of full frame is 24mm × 36mm. Therefore, while purchasing lenses, you should consider lenses that are compatible with the format supported by your camera. The lenses designed for full-frame cameras are compatible with APS-C sensor cameras whereas APS-C lenses are not compatible with full-frame cameras.

  • Zoom versus Prime

While zoom lenses are flexible when it comes to altering the angle of view, they are large and bulky at the same time. So for outdoor shoots and landscapes, the zoom lens is a preferred choice.

But if you are looking for a compact lens that is capable of shooting in low light conditions, a prime lens is the ideal choice for you. A prime lens has larger apertures that facilitate sharper images at all times.


Based on these parameters, you can streamline your search for the perfect DSLR camera lens. These parameters will be beneficial in clearing your doubts regarding the world of lenses. Apart from these, your purpose and your budget are equally important while finalizing your purchase.