The ABC’s of Camera Lenses: Choose Right to Capture That Winning Shot

One of the many professional areas in which I have a desire to perfect my skills, is photography. Since I chose another professional path, I do photography only as a hobby now, and I must say, I enjoy it to the fullest. Nikon cameras are my absolute favourite due to the exceptional quality of the photographs they make and the ease of handling them with just a basic knowledge in cameras, lenses and additional accessories. As you spend more time with a camera trying out all new kinds of tricks to make the perfect shot, you’ll realise that owning a high quality camera alone won’t do the job. So naturally, you should start looking for gadgets that will take your photography skills to the next level. That’s where the need for camera accessories emerges in every photographer, which is ultimately the reason why you see professional photographers with their camera bags overloaded.

If you’re still reading this post, I assume you’re something like me: in love with good photography, in love with the ability to capture a moment and put it in a beautiful frame, and looking to perfect that skill even more. If so, the first thing I want to suggest you do is consider the camera you have, as it’s the first and most important item you should own. Think of it as your partner; mine is Nikon and I love it because it complements my abilities, experience and needs so well. Once you have your partner and you develop a connection and an understanding of the way you should use it most optimally, the next thing you’ll naturally want to upgrade it with should be new and better lenses.


To newbies, this will probably sound like a nonsense as newbies can rarely tell the difference between photos taken with different lenses. But there IS a difference, and it is a huge one. Another problem for newbies is the fact that there is such a large range of lenses available on the market that choosing the right ones is a hard task. So if you feel like you can’t handle the pressure of choosing lenses in a shop and talking to someone with obviously more experience and knowledge in photography than you, buy camera lenses online; it’s easier, way more comfortable and you get to have them delivered to your door in most cases. However, the fact that you’d be shopping online, doesn’t mean you should just buy the first thing that pops on your screen. And while it’s totally true that you can’t know everything all of a sudden, you can most definitely know some basic things, like how to choose the right type of lenses. Here is a short info that will certainly help you gain more knowledge in photography and make your lenses shopping easier.

What does Focal Length Mean?

Focal length is always expressed in millimetres. A bigger focal length means you’d have a bigger zoom, while a lower number means you can make a wider shot. To make it clearer, the industry usually takes the visual field of the human eye, which is 30-50 millimetres on a full frame camera. Now, if your lenses have a focal length that is smaller than this number, this suggests that the camera would take in a bigger view than what your eye normally sees. A bigger focal length means that the camera would focus on a smaller aspect of what you actually see. This number is usually written on the lens – if you’re buying in store, you’d be able to see it on the lens’ body: it’ll be written either as a range, or a single number. A range would be something like 28-80mm, and this means you can zoom and use your camera at any point in this range. If it’s a single number, for instance 50mm, it means it’s a prime lens, and in order to focus more or to catch a wider scenery, you’d need to physically move closer or further.

Maximum Aperture

As a criteria, maximum aperture refers to the maximum amount of light that the lens can gather. Generally, lenses that have the maximum apertures will be able to gather the most light. To recognize these, you should be searching for the lower numbers. For instance, a F1.8 lens can gather more light than an F4 lens. Additionally, the lenses with lower numbers can be used in low-light environments without the need to use a flash.


You need to be able to produce an image that will cover the image sensor. Different cameras use different sensors, so you need to make sure you choose lenses that can work with your particular sensor. I have a Nikon DSLR and this camera comes with a full frame sensor. So if you decide to buy camera lenses online, filter your search to F mount lenses, as these work best with Nikon’s sensors.