Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Types of Camera Lenses

As of today, there are many types of camera lenses on the market to meet the needs of photographers, both functional and just a hobby. On the job, a photographer sometimes use more than one lens, for example, a wide-angle lens to take landscape photographs, and a standard lens to photograph detailed houses.

My observation has been circulating in the market 6 types of lenses, namely:

Types of Camera Lenses 1.jpg

1. Standard zoom lens is a lens with a vario lenses which focal distance can be changed and maximum aperture changes with focus distance. This lens is suitable for a variety of personal documentation purposes. Kit lens 18-55 mm, 18-70 mm, 28-80 mm are including these lens types. Because of crude quality, many people are looking for better quality. For example: for a wider zoom range to choose from 18-105 mm, 28-135 mm, 28-200 mm, and so on. For more sharpness normally used Tamron 17-50 mm or Carl Zeiss 16-80 mm.

2. Prime lens have a fixed focal distance so that have the best quality and sharpness, but the photographers should take a lot of foot-steps to adjust the composition and proportions of the photos. Lenses of this type include 50 mm f/1.8. Alternatively, for example, 50 mm f/1.4, 50 mm f/1.2, 85 mm f/3.5, 135 mm f / 4, and so on.

3. Wide lens is a lens with a shorter focal length to obtain the space of view (FOV - Field Of View) wider. Lenses that are of this type, including the 10-22 mm, 11-18, etc. Another development is the fish-eye lens, such as Samyang 8 mm.

4. Fast lens is a lens with a wide aperture. The lens has a number of aperture f/2.8, f / 2, f/1.8 or smaller. The advantage, with a wide aperture, the shutter speed can be obtained higher. That's why it earned the nickname fast lens. The side effects of a wide aperture is lens blur or bokeh due to narrow DoF (Depth of Field).

5. Macro lens is a lens that has a special construction that allows for photographs of objects from a short distance (50 cm or less). True macro lens has a 1:1 magnification capability, while the specifications that widely used are 100 mm f/2.8 Macro, 50 mm f/2.8 macro, and so on. However, 3rd party lens manufacturers such as Sigma, Tamron, and Tokina develop vario lens with 1:4 macro capability, 1:5 or 1:7, such as the Tamron 18-200 Di II LD Aspherical Macro which has a minimum object distance of 45 cm with a magnification of 1:4.

6. Super telephoto lens is a lens with a focal length above 180 mm, for example 100-400 mm, 170-500 mm, and so on. The lens type is suitable for shooting sports, wildlife, bird watching, and other objects that do not allow photographers approach the object directly.

Types of Camera Lenses 2.jpg

Apart from the focus distance and aperture, note also the additional features on the lens that will provide convenience (with prices to match), including:

  • Motor high quality lens that is more responsive, thus ensuring sharpness of moving objects. Lenses of this type usually has a special code that is different from any manufacturer, such as SSM (Super Sonic Motor), HSM (High Speed Motor), DX, SAM, etc.
  • Image stabilizer is a feature that allows you to absorb shocks in a photo shoot with a low speed. This feature also has a different code, such as IS (Image Stabilizer) in the canon, VR (Vibration Reduction) in Nikon, SSS (Super Steady Shoot) on Sony, etc.
  • Coating (optical lens coating chemicals) is an important factor because the response of a digital sensor to light different from the reaction to the film. Problems with the coating can cause flare, chromatic aberration (CA), ghosting, etc.. Digital lenses typically have several layers that are marked MC (multi-coated) which in general has a better performance than the old lenses are still single coating.
  • Aspheric lens is a construction containing aspheric lens elements and serves to reduce the refraction spherical aberration caused by the shape of a convex lens.
  • Low Dispersion is a minimal dispersion (spread) of light of optical element, so that the intensity of light reaching the sensor becomes higher and obtain more details.

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