Types of Lenses, Characteristics and Uses

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After getting to know the characteristics that are valued for a goal, it is best that you begin to add names and surnames to the different types of goals according to their specifics.

Yes, it is time to explain what everyday words mean in the jargon of photography, such as telephoto lenses, wide-angle, fisheye, SUVs, etc.

And not only that, but also something much more important, let’s look at what they are for and when you should think of one or the other type of object depending on the photo you are looking for.

To begin with, I would like to remind you that in the previous issue we have already talked about what is probably the most distinguishing parameter talking about goals, the focal length.

It is this value that will enable us to classify our goals. If you remember, the focus was directly on the perspective of the photo and thus on the perspective of the photo. From this relationship arises, for example, the name Wide Angle, because our photos have a wide view. Well, let’s stop the preambles and talk directly about the types and photos they are best for.

Types of Lenses, Characteristics and Uses

But most of all, one last thing, we’ll check the application for “full-frame” sensors in this delivery whenever we specify a focus. So, if your sensor is not 35mm, you must use the multiplication factor as used in previous rates to get the appropriate focal lengths.

Types of Objectives: Super Wide Angle

They have a focal length of less than 24 mm. And they offer a viewing angle of more than 84 ° (up to 180 ° and more) and thus more than human vision.Types of Lenses, Characteristics and Uses

Lenses such as the paradigmatic Sigma 10-20mm or the Tamron 11-18mm can be taken here, which were already analyzed in this article and which go into the wide-angle and wide-angle.

These goals offer a very wide field of view, which can even lead to margin distortions. Distortions that are amplified as we approach the photographed object, so we must be careful when we choose the distance in which we move.

The type of photography that best suits these purposes is the capture of landscapes, architectural or interior motifs. The wide angle that they offer makes it possible to reflect the entire scene, and it is also lenses that have an important depth of field and are usually quite bright.

Types of Objectives: Wide Angle

Many photographers do not make that difference because the border between this type and the “super” is diffuse.Types of Lenses, Characteristics and Uses

In any case, we can speak of large angles as lenses that provide focal lengths between 24 and 35 mm and therefore viewing angles between approximately 63 ° and 84 °.

There are no big differences between these lenses and super wide-angle lenses, which is why they are often indistinguishable.

The type of photography in which they are used is very similar to that of the “super”, although it should be noted that the field of view, the depth of field and the distortion of the fringes that provide these goals are smaller.

The 50mm objective

Within the “normal” objectives, we can speak in a special way of a classic objective where they exist. This is the 50mm fixed focal length lens .

Types of Lenses, Characteristics and Uses

It offers a vision identical to that of the human eye. It also has a reasonable price, a considerable picture quality and a high luminosity, all thanks to the fact that it is not a zoom lens (with variable focus), it has a smaller number of lenses and the building processes are easier.Types of Lenses, Characteristics and Uses

In portrait photography, its use is more than recommended, as its great luminosity provides the opportunity to take photos with the aperture very open.

Soon we will talk about the depth of field, we will define it and we will see how the opening of the aperture, among other factors, is directly related to the depth of field.

Specifically, the greater the aperture of the diaphragm, the depth of field is reduced and vice versa . But do not be overwhelmed, that is the subject of another delivery and soon we will see.

Types of Objectives: Telephoto lenses

The main feature of these lenses is that they allow the photographer to be very far from the shot. It does not interfere or bother and can work comfortably.
On the other hand, the distances between the photographed objects are rather reduced and seem to be displayed in the same plane, so they do not offer very realistic shots in this sense.The type of photography you should use to judge this type of goal is to photograph sports events and wildlife. They allow the photographer to perform both portraits and a very precise selective approach.Finally, it should be noted that many photographers in the group of “Teles” in turn form subgroups, such as: short telephoto lenses (70-135 mm), normal telephoto lenses (135-240 mm), super telephoto lenses (240-500 mm) also ultrateleobjectives ( > 500mm).If you are considering getting a “tele“, you should know some aspects: luminosity, stabilization system, focal length … We will tell you all about it in 5 questions when choosing telephoto lens.

If you have a smaller budget, you may be interested in a focal length multiplier. This is nothing more than an accessory that, when placed between the housing and the camera lens, multiplies the focal length of the lens, but with a loss of brightness and image quality

“The Others”: Fish eyes, SUVs, Macros …

With the types mentioned so far we would have covered most of the objectives that exist in the market in terms of the range of focal points they offer. However, they are not all. There are “peculiar” objectives that you must know.

I have chosen to call them “the others”, because they are either hybrids of the previous ones, or they are similar but with some peculiarity that makes them different.

In this group we could include the eyes of fish, the SUVs and macros, among others. Then I talk about each one of them.

Fish eyes ( FishEye )

Many photographers use the eyes of fish as targets, whose focus is even lower than those of the large angles and therefore offer a wider viewing angle than these.

Types of Lenses, Characteristics and UsesHowever, it is not the point of view or the focal point that is characteristic of these lenses, but the lens produces distortions that give a circular or curved image.

The focal points of many of these lenses are in fact not inferior to those of very wide angles. For example, the Minolta AF 16 mm FishEye lens has a focal length range of 10 to 20 mm sigma, which, as we saw before, was not a fisheye lens.

In assessing when to use these lenses, we can think of similar applications to the super-wide-angle targets, assuming, however, that the finish has the peculiar effect of the distortion that the fish’s eyes provide.

Types of Lenses, Characteristics and Uses

No, I have not gone crazy and I’ve started talking about cars. There is also a group of objectives known as “SUVs“. And that is precisely because they are worth, as they say, “for a broken and unstitched”.

They are targets with a very wide focal range , between 18mm and 200mm or 300mm in many cases. In this way they allow to combine a wide angle, a normal lens and a “tele” on the same lens .

Of course, as you will understand they do not offer the same quality as specific objectives, but, without a doubt, they are an economical alternative (in terms of money and space in your camera bag), comfortable (you only need one goal for everything) and fast (You will not have to change the objective at all).

Macro Objectives

Do not you know the macro photography? I have to admit that I am a fanatic personally. That was the main reason why I bought my SLR camera. There is no comparison with a compact, no matter how good it is.

Macro photography is one in which the object in the photograph is at least as large as the object in reality or even larger (multiplied several times).

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here you can see a good selection of macro photos. And so you get an idea of ​​what I mean.

For this type of photography, there are very suitable lenses, the macro lenses, which tend to have long focal lengths (100 mm), high quality and a very small minimum focus distance (a few inches). They avoid any kind of deviations and represent the photographed object clearly and clearly.

However, if you have no money or want to try a lot of effort with a macro target, you have cheaper alternatives that can be used to “turn” your target into a macro target. Of course I’m talking about proximity lenses, extension tubes, bellows, inverter rings, etc.

Types of Objectives: Summing up …

Types of Lenses, Characteristics and Uses

As promised, we would specify the name and surname of all objectives. And the truth is that in the end, the only thing we missed was knowing their parents 🙂

In any case it was necessary. And now you can choose one or the other lens according to your photographic tastes and needs.

Finally, I would like to clarify that this classification is not official or standard at all. In fact, there are goals we have not taken up: catadioptric, decenterable, flus, submarines, anamorphic, etc.

In fact, there are many variations and discrepancies in the photographers community. Some time ago, we published a different classification that you can see as a juxtaposition and find that we too can not make a clear classification.

Very simple, because it does not exist.

But with this we believe that you are more than prepared to know what kind of objective to use in each case , with its pros and cons. And with that we can say, at least for this delivery: Mission accomplished!


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