Choosing the Right Lens for Your Camera

Choosing a good lens for your camera can be daunting. Learn what factors to consider when selecting your next lens such as focal length, aperture and focus range.

Choosing the Right Lens for Your Camera

When it comes to photography, the lens is just as important as the camera. The aspect ratio of a lens is determined by the size of the sensor (or film size) of the camera in which it is going to be mounted. If a lens is designed for an APS-C size sensor, it won't align properly with a full-frame camera. Telephoto lenses are also preferred for portraits, as they protect facial proportions better than a wide-angle lens.

It's essential to choose a lens that offers you the most versatility in terms of aperture and focal length when shooting. You're also more likely to get so-called distortion with a wide-angle lens: straight lines start to bend at the edges of the image. It's worth checking the condition and appearance of the lens before making a purchase. Lenses are an essential piece of photographic equipment, but with so many options available, it can be difficult to know what it all means and how to choose the right one.

In standard compact cameras with a 3x zoom, the focal length is usually extended from 35 mm to 105 mm (depending on the 135 format). To help you get an idea of which lenses are best for different types of photography, below I describe the lenses that I use regularly. There are focus extraction accessories for still photography lenses, but the actual focus range is likely to remain the same. Spherical, wide-angle, standard, telephoto lenses and even special lenses that tell a slightly different story.

The best camera lenses may only be available for specific focal lengths, meaning you'll have to decide between image quality and the ability to switch between magnifying the lens. When performing focus extractions with still photo lenses, you can also make the lens move, which results in images that can be considered unusable during editing. I have described the different focal lengths below, but you can see the results that each of them produces in this video, in which I take several different images using everything from an ultra wide angle to a telephoto lens. With a telephoto lens, it's much easier to get a blurred background, since telephoto lenses have less depth of field than wide-angle lenses.

Remember that understanding the objectives of the cameras is a combination of learning the technical aspects together with narrative techniques. Distortion is a different lens error, in which straight lines toward the edges of the image bend inward or out. Then, once you've made a choice, you can go ahead and choose the lens that works best in that genre. Choosing a good lens for your camera can be daunting. With so many options available on the market today, it's important to understand what each type of lens offers and how it will affect your photos.

To help you make an informed decision when selecting your next lens, here are some tips on what to look for.

Focal Length

The focal length of a lens determines how much of your scene will be captured in your photo. A wide-angle lens has a shorter focal length and will capture more of your scene than a telephoto lens with a longer focal length. When shooting portraits or close-up shots, telephoto lenses are preferred as they protect facial proportions better than wide-angle lenses.


The aperture of a lens determines how much light will enter your camera when taking photos. A larger aperture allows more light into your camera and will result in brighter photos.

When shooting in low light conditions or at night, it's important to choose a lens with a large aperture so that you can capture more light.


Distortion is an optical effect caused by certain types of lenses where straight lines appear curved or bent at the edges of your photo. Wide-angle lenses are more prone to distortion than telephoto lenses as they have less depth of field. When selecting your next lens, make sure to check for any signs of distortion before making your purchase.

Focus Range

The focus range of a lens determines how close or far away you can focus on an object in your photo. Some lenses offer focus extraction accessories which allow you to extend their focus range but this may come at the expense of image quality.

When selecting your next lens, make sure to check its focus range and decide if it meets your needs.


Choosing the right lens for your camera can be tricky but with these tips in mind you should be able to make an informed decision when selecting your next lens. Remember that understanding the objectives of each type of lens is key when deciding which one is best for you.

Kristopher Donofrio
Kristopher Donofrio

Hardcore bacon ninja. Social media lover. Incurable analyst. Hipster-friendly music guru. Avid internet practitioner. Beer practitioner.