Camera Lenses

"There are two main characteristics
that define different camera lenses: aperture size and focal length."

Aperture – This is the iris like opening of the camera lens that controls how much light is let in. It also controls depth of field.

Focal Length – This is the distance between the front lens of a camera and the point that focuses on the film or image sensor.

Types of Lenses

There are three main types of lenses. Each of them has its own characteristics. Each of them can be used to create some very interesting effects.

Normal Lens – This is the stock lens that usually comes with a newly purchased camera. While it is comparatively limited, it is still easy to use and convenient for day to day photography.

Wide Angle Lens – This lens increases the perspective of the photograph by widening the angle of view. These are commonly used for architectural and some landscape photography. The depth of field is just about infinite.

Telephoto Lens - This is a favorite of nature and sports photographers (and P.I.s). It allows the photographer to seem to be up close to the subject through the appearance of the photograph, without having to physically be that close. It also narrows the depth of field for some neat effects.

Specialty Lenses

While these lenses are not as common as the ones above, they have outstanding characteristics that help produce some amazing photographs.

Macro Lens - You cannot get any closer than this without sticking the subject under a microscope. With these, everyday objects can seem wondrous. The depth of field is very narrow though, but that can also be used for some interesting effects.

Fisheye Lenses – Some of these have a field of view that is even greater than 180 degrees. They distort the picture in an intended wrap around fashion.

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