Camera Lens Buying Guide

Lenses are pieces of glass that are shaped and cut to magnify light, allowing them to be used as optical instruments. They control the image that is projected onto the image sensor and ultimately the photos you take home.

Lenses are arguably the most important piece of your camera equipment; they make or break your images. Lenses are pieces of glass that are shaped and cut to magnify light, allowing them to be used as optical instruments. They control the image that is projected onto the image sensor and ultimately the photos you take home.

That’s why many photographers prefer to shoot with a good camera and a good lens, rather than a good camera and lame glass. Knowing how important a good lens is is one thing. Knowing which lens will give you the creative freedom to take the photos you want is another.

A camera is just a recording device that lets you click pictures and save them to a memory card. The sharpness of an image, the depth of field, the amount of light the camera can capture at a given shutter speed and ISO – all of this is determined by the lens.

When you buy a camera lens or any other electronic device, technical knowledge about a product helps you analyze it better. Lenses are an essential piece of photographic equipment, but with so many options available, it can be difficult to understand the importance and choose the right lens.

Choosing the Type of Lens

Here’s a list of basic lenses for your photography needs:

Prime lens

Primes have a fixed lens focal length, making them faster and sharper. Prime lenses force you to be more creative with your composition and exposure. While prime lenses are less flexible due to the fixed focal length, they are also fast and lightweight, making them the perfect lens for travel.

Zoom lens

Zoom lenses cover a wide range of focal lengths and allow you to adjust that focal length within a certain range. You can change the angle of view and make it smaller (zoom in) or larger (zoom out). What we like about the zoom lens is that it’s very convenient. You don’t have to carry a lot of fixed focal lengths, which is perfect when you’re traveling and have limited space.

Wide angle lens

Wide-angle lenses are best for landscape photography, street photography, or anything where the photographer needs to add more background information to the image.

With wide-angle lenses, almost everything will be in focus unless the subject is very close to the lens. They also allow the camera to capture much more of the scene than a “normal” lens.

Telephoto lens

Telephoto lenses are a type of zoom lens with multiple focal points used to focus on distant objects. It is perfect for isolating a distant object.

Many sports photographers use telephoto lenses to give a sense of intimacy to players on the sidelines or in the stands. Some models of telephoto lenses can be large, heavy, and expensive, so take some time to choose the right lens for your equipment.

Standard lens

Standard lenses are what most photographers refer to as “normal lenses.” These lenses are great as general purpose lenses. They can be used for everything from portraits to landscapes to street and product photography.

It’s perfect for beginners. Their focal lengths are somewhere in the middle, usually between 35mm and 85mm. The scenes you shoot with a standard lens look the most lifelike to the viewer.

Fisheye lens

Fisheye lenses have a very short focal length. This gives them an extremely wide viewing angle, which means that the image becomes exceptionally wide, wider than is possible for the human eye, which is why it is called a “fisheye”.

It distorts the edges of the captured image and makes the photo spherical. Everything near becomes very large, and everything far away becomes very small.

How to choose the right lens?

To choose the best lens for you, you should take the time to think about the above factors. What will you use the lens for? Do you need a zoom lens with image stabilizer for your work, or is a fixed focal length lens with a wider aperture better suited? Think about what you will be photographing, what you need and what you don’t. Remember that lenses are an important piece of equipment. So it’s worth taking the time to think about your requirements, read reviews and, if possible, maybe even rent the lens before you buy.

Lenses for portrait photography

Hasselblad 80mm f2.8 (equivalent to 60mm in 35mm format) and Hasselblad 100mm f2.2 (equivalent to 73mm in 35mm format)

Lenses for fashion photography

Hasselblad 35mm f3.5 (equivalent to 26mm in 35mm format), Hasselblad 80mm f2.8 and Hasselblad 100mm f2.2

Lenses for product photography

Hasselblad 80mm f2.8 (equivalent to 60mm in 35mm format) and Hasselblad 100mm f2.2

Lenses for landscape photography

Hasselblad 28mm (manual focus) (equivalent to 21mm in 35mm format) and Hasselblad 35mm (manual focus) (equivalent to 26mm in 35mm format).

Specifications of a Lens

Focal length

An important criterion when choosing a new lens is the focal length, because it determines how much of a scene you can capture in your photos. The first number you’ll see when describing a lens is its focal length (50mm). The focal length, along with your camera’s sensor size, determines the angle of view covered by the lens.

A single number on the lens means that it is a fixed focal length lens: It is fixed and works only at that one focal length. Lenses with two digits (24-70 mm) are zoom lenses, and their digits refer to the extremes of the range they cover.


The aperture of a lens is the measure of how much light it can accept. Choosing a lens with a large aperture (small numbers) offers several advantages, including the ability to shoot indoors and in low light without a flash. The aperture is usually the second number in the name of a lens and is also referred to as F-Stop. In short, the F-Stop indicates the maximum aperture.

This important specification indicates how much light the lens can accept. Lenses with a larger maximum aperture let in more light, which is desirable for low-light shooting. A larger aperture also allows for a shallower depth of field, which makes for dramatic images with sharp foreground and blurred background.

Lens mounts

Each camera manufacturer uses its own lens mount, which means that lenses cannot be interchanged between different brands. For example, a Canon lens will not fit a Nikon body, and you would damage both lens and camera if you tried. The two exceptions are Micro Four Thirds, developed jointly by Panasonic and Olympus, and L-mount, a full-frame collaboration between Leica, Panasonic and Sigma.

Most companies are now focusing on their mirrorless camera mounts, so this is where the latest and most advanced lenses are being developed. Many DSLR mount lenses can be adapted to mirrorless cameras of the same brand (older models usually do not offer the full range of features), but mirrorless camera lenses cannot be used on DSLRs.

Size and Weight of Lens

Typically, full-frame lenses are larger and heavier than crop and micro four-thirds lenses. So if you have a smaller sensor size, you can probably get lighter lenses. This can make a big difference when you’re shooting for extended periods of time and need to carry your gear around. The amount and type of glass in the lens has the biggest impact on size and weight.

The more glass, the heavier the lens, but you’ll also get better results overall, although that’s not always the case. If you do a lot of walking, consider how much weight and how unobtrusive you want the lens to be. Street photographers often choose the smallest and lightest fixed focal lengths they can find. This keeps them inconspicuous and lightweight, and makes them suitable for shooting day and night.

Image Stabilisation

Image stabilization is designed to reduce image blur. It is particularly useful when shooting handheld or in low light conditions. Although this feature is common on newer lens models, it’s worth checking if it’s also available on older models.

Image stabilization is identified by the letters IS (for Canon’s image stabilization), VR (for Nikon’s vibration reduction), OS (for Sigma’s optical stabilization), or VC (for Tamron’s vibration control).

Lens Controls

Camera lenses are sometimes equipped with a number of controls and buttons. These are added to help advanced photographers optimize their shots and make quick changes to the way the lens works. Controls may include an autofocus switch, focus lock, programmable buttons, stabilization settings, and more.

A manual focus ring, aperture ring, and control ring are also common. If you like to work fast or choose your own settings, look for these features in the lens you’re considering.

Build quality and weather sealing

Generally speaking, the more expensive a lens is, the better it is built. The kit lenses that come with cameras tend to be lightweight and plastic. If you spend a little more, you can get something more durable.

Some lenses are sealed against dust and water. In general, these lenses tend to be on the higher end of the price spectrum, but Pentax and Olympus in particular offer a decent selection of sealed lenses in the mid-price range.


With the exception of a few high-end brands, most modern lenses offer some type of autofocus. Also known as “AF lenses,” these allow you to simply point your camera and get a perfectly focused shot with minimal adjustments.


Another factor in choosing a lens is, of course, the camera you own. Digital SLRs and mirrorless system cameras have either APS-C or full-frame sensors. APS-C sensors are found in most affordable models – these have a cropping factor that reduces the field of view you would get with a 35mm camera – the higher the cropping factor, the less you get in the frame with the same lens focal length.

Professional cameras are equipped with full-frame sensors. These are the same size as a conventional 35mm film frame, so there is no cropping or restriction of the field of view. When buying lenses, you need to keep in mind that lenses designed for full-frame cameras will work perfectly on APS-C cameras, while lenses designed for APS-C will not work properly on full-frame models.

Aperture Diaphragm Blades

When you buy your lens, you should take an even closer look at the aperture and the number of aperture blades. Seven or nine aperture blades are most common, but we also see 11 or even more.

The more aperture blades you have, the better if you love smooth, out-of-focus areas in your images with nice, rounded bokeh bullets. The more aperture blades, the better. When the slats are rounded, you also get rounder bokeh and smoother backgrounds.

Focusing Motors

Most high-performance lenses are driven by ultrasonic motors (USM) or high-precision stepper motors that move internal elements to adjust focus and/or change zoom range. These AF drives operate very quickly and quietly, with barely perceptible stops and starts and minimal power consumption, making them particularly suitable for use in movie shooting.

Cheaper lenses typically use micromotors, which are generally noisier and often slower. The camera’s built-in microphones often pick up the sounds created by camera settings and record them on film soundtracks. Autofocusing and zooming are the main causes of this unwanted noise.

Compatibility with your camera’s sensor

In digital cameras, the sensor is the part that captures the image when you press the shutter button, unlike the film in analog cameras. The sensors in most DSLR cameras and mirrorless cameras are larger than the sensors in point-and-shoot cameras, so the images are clearer and more realistic. There are two types of sensors: the CCD (Charged-Couple Device) and the CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor). The CMOS sensor is larger than the CCD sensor and can capture more light, which allows it to produce higher quality images than the CCD sensor.

However, this difference in size can also affect the structure and overall function of your camera. So make sure the lens you buy is compatible with your camera’s specs and body. DSLR cameras and mirrorless cameras come in two formats: Crop sensor and full-frame. If you use a full-frame camera, the focal length specified on the lens will work normally and will be accurately reflected in the photos you take. However, DSLR cameras with crop sensors have a magnification factor between 1.5 and 1.6, depending on the brand you use.

Mirrorless cameras with crop sensors, also called Micro-Four-Thirds cameras, can have a magnification factor of up to 2x. So if you use a 100mm focal length lens on a full-frame camera, your images will actually reflect 100mm. If you use a 100mm focal length on a Canon crop sensor camera, your lens will function more like a 160mm focal length lens. Most crop sensor camera lenses only work with crop sensor cameras. So before you buy different lenses for your DSLR or mirrorless camera, make sure they are compatible with your camera body.


We hope this Lens Buying Guide has given you a good understanding of how lenses work and what to look for when buying a lens. Your camera’s lens is perhaps the most important thing you need for your photography. It is what really determines the quality of your photos.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!


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