How to choose a lens?

The choice of the lens - almost the main task when buying a camera, because even the most first-class matrix can not give you really impressive shots in the absence of a high-quality lens. Moreover, depending on the parameters of the product, it will depend on which pictures you can take - portrait or landscape, and, perhaps, it will be shooting in macro mode. On what technical parameters should pay attention to when buying a lens, read on.

Make and model

Everything is simple here - for the body of a particular brand (the basis of the camera, "bird") will need a lens from the same manufacturer. A product from another company is not suitable for the mount itself - the so-called "bayonet".

However, there are individual companies engaged in the manufacture of components for certain brands of cameras. For example, Sigma or Tamron, Tokina. Their main advantage in most cases is the lower cost of production. As for quality, one can find both truly worthy lens models that easily compete with branded products, and frankly weak designs.You should also always consider the possibility of incompatibility (partial or complete) of the body with a lens from a third-party manufacturer.

As for how to choose a lens for a particular model, here it is necessary first of all to pay attention to what technical capabilities the body has. If the matrix is ​​weak, then you cannot save it with a strong lens. Therefore, choosing an expensive product simply does not make sense. That is why people involved in photography at a professional level, updating their collection of lenses, buy a new camera, and vice versa. Only this allows to achieve more perfect results in work.

Focal length

The following types of lenses can be distinguished:

  • ultra wide angle. Their focal length is from 7-8 mm to 24 mm;
  • wide-angle (from 24 to 35 mm);
  • standard (45 to 50 mm);
  • telephoto lenses (from 85 mm, but for the most powerful telephoto lenses the index is from 300 mm).

At the same time, the Crop factor is important in assessing the viewing angle. It allows you to calculate the real value of the focal length, which will be possible by combining the available indicators of focal length with the capabilities of the matrix.In Canon cameras, the cropping factor is 1.6. For semi-professional SLR cameras, Nikon, Pentax, Sony, and Samsung is 1.5, while Olympus and Panasonic have 2.

Thus, multiplying the real focal length by the crop factor, we get the equivalent focal length. For example, having a real 35 mm and a crop factor of 1.5 units, we get an equivalent of 52.2 mm. That is, such a lens becomes for a camera with these indicators not a wide-angle, but a standard one.


This indicator determines the maximum amount of light that the camera is able to pass through the lens to the matrix. The more aperture, the easier it will work in low light without using a flash.

The most powerful lenses for this indicator are portrait lenses. And the most successful choice would be a portrait lens with a aperture of 1: 1.8 - its capacity is enough for most tasks. More powerful products (1: 1.4 and even more so 1: 1.2) will be many times more expensive, but you will rarely use their maximum capabilities.

Image stabilizer

There are both lenses with or without image stabilizers.In this case, the first are more expensive, but the benefits of them more. For example, when shooting a still object in low light conditions, the stabilizer will significantly increase the shutter speed, while maintaining the clarity of the frame.


Autofocus drives are different for different lenses. Modern Canon devices have built-in autofocus motors, while their “colleagues” from Nicon, Pentax and Sony, for example, can have both built-in drives and “screwdrivers”. The latter use a camera motor for their needs, which is not a very good idea: by installing such a lens on a body that does not have a motor, you simply lose the autofocus function.

As for the built-in drives, the best of them are ultrasonic ring models (they can be marked with the following marks: USM, SSM, SWB, SDM). Thanks to them, the focus becomes really fast and almost silent. Motors of this kind are used in expensive lenses. More budget models include other drive options.