Lenses, what do they mean?

Ok, once I got my camera, I set the old lense a friend of my father lend me, and … it was awful, completely awful. So I have decided to buy a new one (I have decided and I so needed it, to be honest) and then is when I discover. Oh, having lenses is cool, cause each lense works for something and stuff but… how? What does 18-105 mean exactly? how do I choose the proper lense? I was even more lost than choosing my camera, so if you are in the same step, hope we can deal with it together and this post helps you a little bit. The DSRL is a confusing world sometimes.

Then lets say that usually a lens is not just one lense, it’s more like a set of different lenses that play out and between them to get different kinds of images. There’s like two main types, the ones called prime lensesthat means that they just have one focal lenghtwhile the zoom lenses have different focal lenghts. Why would we want a prime lense then? There are two main reasons to get a prime lense, one is that they have maximum aperture, this means you will be able to play an f1, or f2, so you will be able to play with the aperture really open and be able to get more blurry backgrounds, as we’ve seen previously. The second one is the quality, as they have less moving parts and manufacturers focus more on the quality of the glass. Why would I use then zoom lenses!? Because they let you use in one fine lense multiple focal lenghts, so it’s easier to carry around and have the same functions as the prime ones, they are more flexible.

And what is focal lenght? In theory is the distance between the center of a lens to the sensor when we focus at infinity, in the practice, what it means is how far on the distance can we focus, or “zoom”. That’s what the numbers on <> mean. Then, when we see a lense that is 18-105mm, means that the focal lenght goes from 18mm the closest, to 105mm the furthest. Yeah,… that’s so cool but… What does it really mean!? Ok, the thing is that from 50mm and less, are those lenses called wide-angles, more than 50mm are telephotos, therefore, wide-angle, as it sounds, is the a large angle of vision that’s going to be captured, for example, 180º from the camera, the higher the focal lenght is, the more narrow our angle will be.

Focal lenght

When do I know which lense to use then? Well, in general I think, in my experience and according to people I have talked to, you will start with one lense, it’ll probably be something like a 18-55mm, or a 18-105mm, and those will let you do and try a wide range of things. But generally speaking, your lense will completely depend on the type of photography you are going to practice, and while you’re a learning, I think one of those two will be fine, and I wouldn’t get much deeper.

Which lense do you have? Are you happy with it? Or which was your first one? Let me know in the comments!

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