5 Best Camera Lenses for Photographers

A camera lens is also known as photographic lens or photographic objective.

Camera Lens is an optical lens, or you can say a combination of lenses into just one lens that is used in the camera.

All the camera lenses handle warping which is a combination of different colors of light which ends in different ways inside the lens. This is the reason why all the different camera lenses are responsible for producing images in its way.

The quality of the photograph depends on some factors and the most important amongst all is the lens that you use. A high-end lens will capture flawless, sharp photographs with precise contrast. On the other hand, if you use a poor lens camera, you will end up with blurred and dull photographs.

Consider your subject before you start shopping for the camera lenses because that is what determines the kind of lens you should buy. We understand how difficult it is to decide on one type when you have so many options available in the market. This is why we have done all the homework that will help you make the right buy. This article explains how a camera lens works, specifies the buying guide as well as types which will help you make the perfect purchase. Also, check out the top 5 camera lens recommendations.

TOP 5 CAMERA LENSES

Product

Focal Length

Aperture

Price

Our Choice

7-14 mm

f/2.8

The Versatile Hero

12-24 mm

f/4

Perfect for Handheld Shots

35 mm

f/1.8

Quality on a Budget

18-105 mm

f/4

Best Superzoom Lens

28-300 mm

f/3.5-5.6

Product

Price

Our Choice

The Versatile Hero

Perfect for Handheld Shots

Quality on a Budget

Best Superzoom Lens

How does Camera Lens work?

Camera Lens is an optical lens, or you can say a combination of lenses into just one lens that is used in the camera.

The elements actually can be produced in some ways and can be arranged inside the camera lens to reduce any optical flaws.

With a digital camera, it is not required to buy the most expensive lens to capture amazing photographs, but yes the quality of the lens decides the optical properties which are needed to capture some bright photographs.

When the light passes through these multiple lens elements, it can reduce the quality of the photograph if the lens is not of high-quality, which is why if you use a low-quality lens, you will not get the results as you are hoping for.

To produce good results, no matter what the camera is, the lens is the most important part of it. The camera and the sensors are evolving, but the high-quality lens can be used for years with any camera upgrades, only if you use the same brand.

Types of Camera Lenses

There are many different types of lenses available out there which are specially designed for a variety of uses under a wide range of circumstances.

Standard Lenses

A standard lens is one type of camera lens which has a mid-range focal length, around 50mm.

They are capable of producing images which is almost the same as what a normal human eye can see, meaning it produces images that are natural to the viewer.

Standard lens usually has a fixed focal length with a wide aperture. This gives them the advantage of capturing excellent photographs in low light. These lenses are popularly used for various photography subjects which include landscapes, candid shots, and portraits.

Macro Lenses

A Macro lens is specifically designed for close-up photography. The construction is different in the macro lens than that of the normal lenses, which gives the advantage of capturing sharp photographs with high contrasts.

This means that they can produce some stunning, eye-catching photographs.

Macro lenses are opted to shoot photographs where the subject is at a very close range. The subjects include insects, plants, animals and also detailed photographs of everyday objects.

Telephoto Lenses

A Telephoto lens has a long focal length which can provide a very high level of magnification and that allows photographers to capture the subjects at moderate to far distances.

These lenses are big and heavier than all the other type of lenses. Although with the advancements, the lenses are becoming more compact and light-weight which makes them easy to operate with.

These kinds of lenses are very popular for any photography where you cannot be near to the subject that you want to capture, and this includes wildlife and any sports events. They can be used for portrait photography, and the lens produces natural photographs which are not distorted.

Wide Angle Lenses

A Wide Angle lens is the type of camera lens which has a short focal length. They are capable of producing an angle of view that is beyond that of standard lenses which helps in capturing most area in a single shot.

Wide angle lenses are called the fish-eye lens, which is capable of capturing at an angle of 180 degrees and produces abstract photographs that are intriguing to the eyes.

The lenses are useful for photographing interiors, landscapes and any other subjects that do not fit in a normal lens field of view.

Fish-eye lenses are quite popular for taking sports pictures like skateboarding and surfing that can give the photographs a lively feeling without any distortion.

Specialist Lenses

Now comes the specialist camera lenses that cater to fewer photography needs.

It includes tilt lenses and shifts lenses which are especially for perspective control, the soft-focus is for portrait photography, and infrared lenses are capable of capturing the light which is out the normal spectrum.

These kinds of camera lenses are used to produce a special effect which is very limited in the general use of photography. They can be of use only if you are focused on capturing a particular kind of subject, in a specific manner.

Kit Lenses

Almost all the entry level DSLR’s come with either two or more camera lenses which are usually called starter kit or the kit lenses. They are generally cheap which is why it is good to get started with this type of lenses for photography.

It does not produce top quality photographs though as the lenses are slow. It is just a great starter kit for trying your hand at photography and helps you in figuring out which focal lengths best suit and which ones you should consider buying looking at your budget.

BUYERS GUIDE TO CAMERA LENS

When it comes to choosing DSLRs, the biggest benefit is that you can change the lenses as there are a variety of lenses to choose from. It is easy to get confused with all the options if you are new to photography.

Let us look at some common terms that are taken into consideration when buying camera lenses.

Compatibility

Before you go for purchasing camera lens, you first have to make sure if the lens will fit your camera. If you have a camera which has a cropped sensor size, also known as APS-C, then you can choose from a wide range of full-frame and APS-C lenses.

All the entry level DSLRs are designed with a cropped sensor size. Full frame lenses can be expensive which is why APS-C lenses are affordable and are smaller and weigh less. If you have a camera which has a full-frame sensor, then you can only choose from full-frame lenses because only that will work right with your camera type.

If you own an old DSLR model, you can use the lenses on the newly bought camera. It is best to go for high-quality lenses as they tend to last longer and are designed to be compatible with all the future camera models.

Your investment will be worth it and won’t go to waste, as you can go for camera upgrades and use the same lenses. You might also find third-party manufactured lenses which are designed specifically to fit all branded cameras.

Focal Length

Focal length defines the angle of view of the camera lens, which is the determination of how wide the image is. A camera lens with short focal length produces a wide image and a camera lens with a longer focal length allows zooming the image for a narrow and close shot. If you have a longer focal length, then you can zoom in on a distant subject.

Almost all the entry-level DSLR cameras come with an 18-55 mm lens which is a good choice in general. If you need a lens with more zoom-in power, then you should consider going for a telephoto lens. It is typically between 55-300 mm range. Also, you should keep in mind the fact that a 50mm focal length camera lens will be able to produce different results on a camera cropped sensor than on a full-frame camera.

If you are using a cropped sensor camera, then the angle of view will be narrower, that means if you attach a 50mm full-frame lens to your cropped-sensor camera, the camera lens will act like an 80mm focal length camera which depends mostly on the camera brand that you are using.

If you are using a Nikon camera, then you can figure the equivalent focal length for a full-frame lens on your cropped-sensor camera by multiplying the focal length by 1.5 and if you are using a Canon camera then multiply by 1.6.

Aperture (f-stop)

Every camera lens has an aperture range. It is also known as the f-stop number. It allows the user to control the amount of the scene which should be in focus. If the f-stop number is low, that means only a small area of the scene will be in focus. This is what gives beautiful portrait shots with blurred backgrounds.

The greater the aperture, the more control you will be having over the camera lens. This means you can maintain faster exposure in low-light conditions. This allows you to shoot photographs in indoor conditions without flash, giving you great photographs captured in evening settings.

If you do not know how to use the aperture, then you can always select the auto mode from the settings, As you get comfortable and familiar with your camera settings, adjust the aperture manually the way you want.

1. Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 - Our Choice

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 is a wide angle lens which has a focal length equivalent of 12 mm – 28 mm. It has a fixed aperture of f/2.8 which is pretty fast at all focal lengths. It is dustproof and comes with weather sealing. It does not come with image stabilization which means you cannot take handheld shots.

Main Features

  • It is dustproof, freezeproof and can resist harsh weather conditions
  • The built-in lens helps in producing no flare photos which also protects the camera lens from any accidental damage
  • It has a seven-blade rounded diaphragm which produces smooth bokeh quality photographs.
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    The weight of the item is 535 grams
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    The minimum focal length is 7 mm

PROS (What we liked)

  • It is weather resistant which means it is dust, water and freezeproof
  • Produces great image quality
  • It does not produce distorted images due to the sharp wide angles
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    It is ideal for professional use due to high brightness
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    It is compact in design

CONS (What we didn't like)

  • It does not have image stabilization
  • The lens is a bit heavy as stated by Amazon users

2. Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG HSM Art - The Versatile Hero

The Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG HSM Wide angle Zoom lens is designed to provide minimum distortion. The lens has FLD glass elements which provide stunning image quality, and the updated Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) makes use of 1.3X the torque for a quick auto-focus.

It is equipped with a constant focal length of f4 which allows you to capture photographs in low light and produces no distortion, flaring and ghosting. The edge to edge performance gives sharp photographs with high-contrasts. It can be used for a variety of photography styles which is perfect for landscapes, architecture, interior photography and much more.

Main Features

  • This camera lens is designed to support the full-frame format and also can be used with APS-C models to offer an equivalent focal length of 19.2-38.4mm
  • Constant aperture of F4 provides a performance with consistency throughout the range of zoom.
  • The 80mm large diameter is incorporated within the camera lens to correct chromatic aberrations and ensure high-quality sharpness, clarity and limits vignetting.
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    The multi-layer coating allows minimizing the flare and produces high contrast images, even in backlit conditions.
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    The weight of the camera lens is 680 grams
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    Updated AF system with 1.3X torque
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    The dimensions of the lens are (W x H x D) – 11.9 x 8.4 x 8.4 cm

PROS (What we liked)

  • It can survive weather conditions equivalent to a snowstorm
  • It produces sharp and high-contrast output
  • Quick and accurate auto-focus

CONS (What we didn't like)

  • It does not have a self-timer
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    Some users find it heavy
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    It just has an F4

3. Tamron SP 35mm f/1.8 Di VC USD – Perfect for Handheld Shots

The Tamron SP 35mm f/1.8 Di VC USD lens produces stunning photographs with high-resolution with a wide range of focus. This lens type features a MOD of 0.2 m which have never been achieved in a standard lens. Photographers can use this lens to their full potential as it has a f/1.8 full open aperture.

If you are looking for digital single lens reflex cameras for clicking close-ups, then having this lens can help in producing wide-angle photos that have a depth to the subject. It helps in achieving great sharpness in photographs that you capture. The wide aperture allows maximum light to pass through. It is great for handheld shots as it comes with image stabilization.

Main Features

  • It has a 63 degrees angle of view compatible for full-frame cameras and 43 degrees for APS-C
  • The maximum distance of the object is 0.2 m
  • The size of the filter is 67mm
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    It consists of 9 aperture blades
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    The weight of the camera lens is 449 grams
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    Dimensions of the product are (W x H x D) – 17.5 x 14 x 13 cm
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    The maximum magnification ratio is 1:2.5
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    Molded glass aspherical elements compensate for chromatic and spherical aberrations.
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    Fluorine coating allows long-lasting oil and water resistance to the lens.

PROS (What we liked)

  • It produces sharp photographs
  • It has minimal distortion
  • The lens has a wide aperture
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    It is compatible with Canon, Nikon and Sony DSLRs
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    Features close focus capability
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    It comes with weather sealed protection

CONS (What we didn't like)

  • The edge to edge performance lags a bit with wide apertures

4. Sony 18-105 mm f/4 OSS G – Quality on a Budget

Sony 18-105 mm f/4 OSS G has an equivalent focal length of 27 mm – 158 mm and has a fixed aperture with the focal length which is ideal for travel photography.

As it is a G series camera lens, it has a high-quality lens which is primarily designed for Sony’s APS-C type sensor cameras. It is not recommended for full-frame cameras. It has an affordable price which makes it a great choice.

Main Features

  • The weight of the item is 481 grams
  • The dimensions of the product are ( W x H x D) – 11 x 7.8 x 7.8 cm
  • The minimum focal length is 18 mm
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    The camera lens has a 76 degrees angle of view
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    It has a high performance with the E-Mount lens
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    The zoom range is from 27 – 158 mm
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    It has a constant f4 aperture through the zoom range

PROS (What we liked)

  • It has image stabilization which makes it great for handheld shots
  • It has internal zooming and focusing features
  • Produces great bokeh photographs

CONS (What we didn't like)

  • It does not have a self-timer

5. Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G VR – Best Superzoom Lens

Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G VR is ideal for full-frame Nikon cameras. This lens covers a wide range of focal length which has a reasonably fast aperture and offers great image stabilization. This is a superzoom lens with 10.7 x zoom which can capture distant objects easily producing high-quality images.

Main Features

  • It is an ideal Nikon camera lens
  • The minimum focal length is 28 mm
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    It is an FX zoom lens that has a zoom ratio of 10.7
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    It consists of two ED glass which three aspherical lens that produces a high resolution with contrasts photographs
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    It has a Silent Wave Motor which is a fast and quiet auto-focus feature
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    For image stabilization, it has Vibration Reduction 2
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    The weight of the lens is 798 grams
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    The dimensions of the product are (W x H x D) – 11.5 x 8.3 x 8.3 cm

PROS (What we liked)

  • The images are sharp throughout the zoom range
  • It has optical image stabilization

CONS (What we didn't like)

  • It does not have a self-timer

Conclusion

Our choice for the best camera lens is the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8. Hope this guide can help you select the best camera lens for your photography needs. Start capturing some stunning photographs and become a pro photographer. Carefully figure out what is best for your camera and within your budget, and you are good to go.

Diganta Misra
 

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