The term “lens” is often used interchangeably with “filter,” 40mm Vs 28mm Lens, but they are not the same thing! A filter is an attachment that you put onto your camera to modify or enhance the image it produces.
A lens, however, is what makes up half of what we refer to as a full-featured digital SLR (Single Lens Reflex) camera. It is also what allows you to attach additional lenses to your device in order to create more depth of field, increase focus, or take advantage of specific features like the ability to capture square footage using panoramic photos.
Many believe that choosing between a 24–70 mm lens or a 70–200 mm lens is a matter of personal preference, but this view ignores one very important factor: cost!
Some people may be able to afford only budget-friendly zoom lengths, while others can spend much less if they choose instead to get a standard non-zoom length. However, beyond price, there is no clear difference between these two types of photography equipment unless you plan to use them for taking closeup images or creating large landscapes.
This article will discuss why some professional level zoom lengths are still worth investing in even though you probably already have something similar. We will talk about some reasons why getting a longer focal range doesn’t make sense due to how expensive it becomes and whether or not it is truly needed.
The difference between wide angle and normal lenses
A lot of people are confused by what kind of lens they have, or even whether they have a lense at all! Some terms to know are focal length and field of view (FOV).
A shorter focal length means you can be closer to your subject than if you had a longer focal length. This is called being more “wide-angle”. An example would be taking pictures of tall buildings – it creates a very large canvas that makes them feel crowded.
A wider FOV gives your picture more area for other elements such as landscapes or groups of people. It draws your eye around the frame which sets off beautiful light effects. These types of photos are popular now because everyone has their phone with them at every place.
The difference between long lens and normal lenses
A longer focal length means you have to be closer to your subject to get the same amount of coverage as with a shorter lens. This is typically not a good thing, unless you are trying to capture intimate portraits or landscapes that require you to get close.
With wider angle lenses, like a 16-20 mm f/2.8 or even 24 mm f/1.4, we call them wideangle lenses! These shots look way beyond what you can normally achieve with shutter speeds faster than 1 second due to the distance needed to create enough depth of field (DOF).
At this distance, most people do not feel comfortable being photographed because it makes them feel too closed in. By using a longer lens, you have to go deeper into intimacy with your subjects, which many find more meaningful.
A lot of artists use very long lenses when creating art so these lessons learned here apply.
The impact of focal length on image quality
A longer lens is going to have larger proportions of glass than a shorter one, which means it will gather more light per unit area. This allows you to get brighter images with the same number of photons (light particles).
A long focus also gives you greater magnification, making small objects look bigger. Technically speaking, this isn’t directly related to f-stop or ISO, but it does affect those settings because people usually use faster shutter speeds or higher ISOs when using large lenses.
By adding some extra spread to the lenses, especially at wider angles, we can achieve an effect known as bokeh, or out-of-focus background blurring. This looks really pretty and makes your photos seem more professional.
However, too much softening of the edges in a photo can make things look blurry instead of crisp, so how best to achieve both depends on what kind of photography you want to do.
Should I get a long lens or a wide angle lens?
A lot of people debate about whether it is better to have a wider-angle lens or a longer focal length (thus getting a closer look) lenses, but most professional photographers agree that having both is unnecessary!
There are two reasons for this. The first is cost. Longer focal length lenses are usually more expensive than ones with shorter focal lengths. Having one or the other makes sense depending on your budget!
The second reason is practicality. Most professionals only need very few pieces in their collection. They may not even use all of them!
So, why would someone want to buy a large-angled lens if they’re only using half of it once in a while? This way, they can keep buying cheaper short lenses instead of investing in longer ones that you probably won’t use often.
Helpful tips for lens selection
A lot of people start buying photography equipment by choosing whether to invest in a wide or short focal length (or even both!). This is not a bad thing, but it can be tricky deciding which kind of camera to get!
Having a range of different lenses is like having many pairs of shoes- they all fit your feet and you will always have one around. Having too much variety can create some issues though as you may feel like you are trying to match too many things at once!
When investing in new gear, we recommend looking into the field’s most popular settings first before moving onto more advanced products. For example, if you love taking pictures outside, then look into how good a budget you have before picking up anything expensive! We also suggest reading about the differences between each type of lens so that you know what features they have.
Obrigatory shot of a lens
A lot of people debate about which size of lens is better than another. They are always talking about how much closer you can get with their specific sized lens, or how wide their lens is. These debates usually come down to personal preference!
There is no one right way to take pictures. Different styles seem to have different levels of quality depending on who you look at. What works for someone else may not work for you.
It’s totally okay if you feel that nothing beats your old camera equipment, because you know what tools make you happy and you should be confident in yourself and those skills.
But there is something new out there! Something that many professional photographers use and love. And that is an 18-40 mm lens!
And I have got some news for you… it’s pretty cheap!
I will talk more about why this lens is so good later on in this article, but first let me show you some examples of using this lens.
Keep it natural
A lot of people start off buying DSLRs with a 50mm lens. This is totally fine! You will probably find yourself using that lens more than your other lenses.
Why? Because most things are built around the 55-65 mm range, so having a 50mm lens makes for some interesting pictures.
However, as technology advances, so do our needs to take photos. Having a wide angle can sometimes be limiting. That’s why there are now smaller, wider lenses available!
We have talked about them before, but here we talk about which ones are worth investing in and how to use them.
Disclaimer: The following article may contain affiliate links where I would get paid a small commission (with no extra cost to you) if you purchase something. My opinion is all my own and yours should always be their own judgement.
These are typically considered ‘street photography’ lenes, mostly due to their shallow depth of field. A very close subject will become sharper while everything else becomes soft focus.
Many photographers prefer this effect as it creates an intimate feel. It also gives the photo more suspense as the viewer has to wait until the exposure is right before they see what was being photographed.
There are many brands that make great quality 40mm lenses, such as Tamron, Tokina, Sigma and Sony. All are worthy additions to any photographer’s collection.
Fill the frame
A lot of people ask about which lens is better, large or small. They wonder which one feels more solid in their hand and if it looks good overall. These are definitely important things to consider, but there’s another major factor that makes a difference: what kind of images you want to create.
If you want to take pretty, artistic pictures then going for a larger focal length can help. If you like natural looking photographs with soft focus effects then a longer depth of field is needed.
However, unless you have photoshopped software such as Photoshop, most of us do not need very long depth of fields. The best way to use depth of field is to keep your shutter speed high so that the camera has time to work on getting sharper shots later.
A faster shutter speed means less chance of blurry photos due to motion.