Types of lenses

The different types of lenses you use are one of the most essential factors in determining the quality of your photos. An excellent camera lens will capture sharp shots with plenty of detail and contrast, whereas a bad one will result in dull, indistinct pictures.

When searching for the different types of camera lenses, keep in mind the kind of subjects you'll be shooting, the lighting conditions you'll encounter, and, of course, your budget. Because no single lens is ideal for every occasion, you'll have to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of the various alternatives before deciding on the best compromise.

This article will assist you in making these critical decisions to discover a camera lens that meets all of your aesthetic and practical requirements.

Different Types of Lenses

When it comes to extending your normal lens arsenal, we'll break down the list of all the types of lenses! Here's a handy lens cheat sheet to help you figure out which lens is best for which sort of photography based on focal length!

1. Standard Lenses

Standard lenses have a focal length in the middle of the spectrum, roughly 50mm, but can be anywhere between 40mm and 60mm. The most popular focal length is 50mm, which is right in the middle of the range.

On a full-frame camera, this focal length will give you a field of view that is nearly the same as the naked eye - it's not exact, but it's a good rule of thumb. When you raise the camera to your eye, the scene will not appear “zoomed in” or “zoomed out,” so it will appear natural and distortion-free.

When would you use a standard lens?

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These are excellent all-around lenses since they most nearly resemble what we see in nature, so you won't have to worry about picking the "wrong" lens for the job. Here are a few concrete examples:

  • Portraits
  • Street Photography
  • Indoor Photography
  • Outdoor Photography

That doesn't mean it's the "perfect" among the different types of lenses, but it does imply that if you only want one lens to cover a wide range of scenarios, a standard lens is your best bet.

2. Telephoto Lenses

Telephoto lenses have a longer focal length and magnify the subject, allowing you to photograph objects from a greater distance. A telephoto lens has a focal range of more than 60mm, but you can possibly further divide a telephoto range into a "mid-range" telephoto, which is roughly 70mm to 200mm, and a "super-telephoto," which is anything greater than 200mm, such as a 300mm or 400mm.

When would you use a telephoto lens?

Outside, especially when there is some space between you and your subject, you should use a telephoto lens because they can be fairly cramped indoors.

They're also wonderful for portraits since they gently slim down the face and provide superb background blur, which helps to distinguish your subject from the background. These types of lenses are also useful for situations where you can't go too close to your subject while photographing wildlife or sports.

So here are some situations where a telephoto lens comes in handy:

Telephoto types of lenses

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  • Portrait photography (especially with a mid-range telephoto lens)
  • Wildlife photography
  • Sports photography
  • Astronomy
  • Any situation requiring a dreamy background haze

As the focal length of the lens increases, so does the weight and size of the lens, so at the end of the super-telephoto range, you'll need to utilize a tripod or up your gym exercises significantly. As a result, they're not ideal for going on a lengthy walkabout with, as they may rapidly become bulky - especially if you're using a zoom telephoto lens.

3. Wide-Angle Lenses

Wide-angle lenses are the types of lenses that are the polar opposite of telephoto lenses in that they allow you to fit more into the frame than a conventional lens, making everything appear zoomed out. A wide-angle lens has a focal length that is less than 40mm. The narrower the focal length value, the more you may fit into the frame; however, take in mind that the more you squeeze into the frame, the more distortion you'll get.

Also known as a fisheye lens, any lens with a focal length smaller than 20mm provides you an approximately 180-degree field of vision (making it appear as if you're capturing an image from within a fishbowl - hence the name!)

Wide angles aren't ideal for individual portraits because of the distortion they might induce, but they're wonderful for group images, as well as lifestyle and environmental photographs.

When would you use a wide-angle lens?

Wide-angle lenses are used when you need to squeeze in more people or elements into the frame, such as in tight interiors, a large group of people, or to encompass an entire landscape.

They can also help you give an image a more inclusive sense, which means you want the audience to feel as if they're standing right there in the scene when they look at it.

Here are some specific situations in which you might wish to employ a


Documentary types of lenses

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  • Landscapes
  • Interiors
  • Photos of large groups of people
  • Lifestyle / Documentary photographs
  • Street photography
  • Architecture
  • For a welcoming atmosphere

As a rule, if you choose a prime lens for your wide-angle lens, it will be tiny and lightweight, making it ideal for walking around.

4. Macro Lens

Macro lenses are used to picture objects up close. They have a 1:1 ratio, which means they can magnify your topic to life-size. You'll need a macro lens to catch the very small details of a flower, an insect, water droplets (or the minutiae of anything else, for that matter), or newborn photography.

That doesn't imply you can only use your macro types of lenses for close-up photography; because of the greater focal length and exceptional sharpness and contrast, they may also be used to create stunning portraits.

When would you use a macro lens?

Macro photography types of lenses

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  • Portrait photography
  • Detail photography
  • Nature photography
  • Insect photography (ring shots if you shoot weddings)

5. Prime Lenses

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After you've got a sense of the different types of lenses' focal ranges, you'll need to select whether you want a fixed prime lens or a zoom lens.

Prime lenses, such as 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 135mm, and others, have a fixed focal length. You must physically move closer or farther away from your subject because they do not zoom in or out.

They can shoot at lower apertures, such as F1.8 or F2.0, and are thus excellent for allowing in more light and creating background blur, particularly if you have a telephoto lens.

Finally, compared to zoom lenses, prime lenses produce sharper images and have greater overall image quality.

6. Zoom Lenses

Zooms allow you to modify the focal length of a lens by simply spinning the barrel, allowing you to zoom in and out to fill more or less of the screen. You can choose between variable aperture zoom lenses, in which the maximum aperture changes depending on whether you're zooming in or out, and fixed aperture zoom lenses, in which the maximum aperture remains constant across the focal range.

The advantage of a zoom lens is that you can acquire a variety of focal lengths in one handy lens! This means they're fantastic if you only want one lens, and they're useful for shooting weddings or sports when you might need to zoom in or out but can't get up from your seat to do so!

The disadvantages of these types of lenses are that they are more expensive, heavier to carry, and do not produce the same image quality as prime lenses.

Introducing Strikingly

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If you share your photos with others, they become more significant. As a professional photographer, putting your photos on your website portfolio expands your opportunities. It can provide you with solid employment and partnerships with a variety of businesses. To identify the ideal applicant for their organization, most of them nowadays look at online portfolios. You will not only obtain a steady source of money but will also be able to share your passion and love for photography with the rest of the world by posting your works to your photography website. So aside from that equipment, it's also a good idea to start working on your photography website. Strikingly can help you create your own! Strikingly offers a variety of website layouts that you may use to showcase your photography expertise.

Strikingly’s templates are simple to work with. It's possible that editing your images will be more difficult than modifying these. As a result, don't be intimidated by them.

Now that you understand the basics of photography lenses, start investing in your gear and using those templates to build a photography website to showcase your work and expertise!


There are plenty of choices for renting lenses to avoid buyer's regret if you don't like a particular lens. Some professional photographers adore zoom lenses, while others find them burdensome; similarly, some photographers only use fisheye lenses and specialize in one area of abstract photography.

Like our particular identities, the argument is that selecting the different types of lenses is extremely personal, and there is no single lens perfect for any topic. Take pleasure in the process of selecting the ideal camera lenses for you and your artistic individuality!