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10 Best Camera Lenses

There are various best camera lenses that have been designed for different applications. They focus light like a magnifying glass, creating an image that is visible at the focal point. In the past, film was exposed, but today light-sensitive electronic image sensors are taking over this task. Photo and video recording cannot be done without a lens. Each camera manufacturer offers a variety of different lenses from ultra-wide angle, which lets you shoot in tight spaces, to super telephoto, which lets you bring distant objects very close. As an alternative to the original, you can get the best lenses for less money from third-party manufacturers who offer products for the most common camera brands.

best lenses

For comparison, we present the 10 best camera lenses in detail. It gives you an overview of each application area and information about all relevant features. Our guide will then explain how lenses work and the different types of lenses. This will help you with your buying decision. We also tell you about lens accessories and care and more.

10 Best Camera Lenses In Big Comparison

best lenses

1. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8 . Lens
  • Normal lens type
  • Nikon FX compatible mount
  • Description of 50 millimeter camera lens
  • Maximum focal length 50 millimeters
  • Min Focal Length 50 millimeters
  • Lens design festival
  • Auto/Manual focus type
  • Fixed focal length lens 50 millimeters
  • Image stabilization is not
The standard lens for Nikon SLR cameras with a fixed focal length of 50 mm produces a bright viewfinder image thanks to its 1:1.8 light intensity. You use it for low light shots or photos with a shallow depth of field to separate people and objects well from the background. This model is also suitable for portrait photography. The lens-mounted silent wave motor is designed to ensure near-silent and extremely fast focusing.

Aspherical lens for better image quality: Completely redesigned optical design with aspherical lens provides better image quality than its predecessor.

You can use the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8 lens on full-frame FX and DX cameras with smaller APS-C sensors. The viewing angle when used on a DX camera is equivalent to 75 millimeters. The seven rounded aperture blades should contribute to soft bokeh and soften reflected light. You can only use the lens on Nikon SLR cameras with an F bayonet. With the help of an adapter, you can also use it without restrictions on Nikon Z series mirrorless system cameras.

What is meant by bokeh? This term from photography describes the effect of artificial blur, such as what you can capture with a telephoto lens. The word bokeh comes from Japanese and means "out of focus, blurry".

According to the manufacturer, this model is the best camera lens for the price conscious photographer. Its low weight of 185 grams and its compact design with a diameter of 72 millimeters and a length of 52.5 millimeters are also worth mentioning. The sealed metal bayonet is designed to prevent dust and dirt from entering the camera. Amazon buyers are praising imaging performance even with high-resolution cameras. You can switch from auto focus to manual focus on the lens, there is no image stabilizer.

  • Bokeh effect (artificial blur effect)
  • Aspherical lens for better image quality
  • Light (185 grams)
  • Silent wave motor (quiet and fast focusing)
  • Compatible with adapters for Z . series mirrorless system cameras
  • For Nikon F-mount SLR cameras only
  • No built-in image stabilizer
best lenses

2. Sony SEL50F18F tangan hand lens
  • Description of focal length 50mm
  • Normal lens type
  • Sony E . compatible mount
  • Description of 50 millimeter camera lens
  • Maximum focal length 50 millimeters
  • Min Focal Length 50 millimeters
  • Lens design festival
  • Focus type auto focus
  • Fixed focal length lens 50 millimeters
With the Sony SEL50F18F lens you get the standard lens for mirrorless system cameras from the manufacturer with E-mount. The large aperture at 1:1.8 is an advantage for shooting at night or when indoor lighting is weak. According to the manufacturer, with cameras from the Sony series that have built-in image stabilization, you can take clear pictures in very difficult lighting conditions.

DC Motor for Optimal Focusing Precision: The newly developed DC motor drive system is designed to ensure smooth and precise focusing. The manufacturer promises you optimum focus precision and speed as well as smooth manual and automatic focus control.

Its compact dimensions and low weight of 186 grams will give you good handling and practical comfort. According to the manufacturer, textures and details are realistically reproduced with the help of the best camera lenses, curvature and distortion are minimized by the dual-lens Gaussian design and offer high optical performance right into the corners of the image. The metal bayonet allows you to mount the camera firmly and stably.

Only suitable for certain Sony cameras: The best camera lenses are designed for use on Sony mirrorless system cameras with E-mount, so they cannot be used on cameras from other manufacturers.

According to the manufacturer, this best camera lens works with full-frame cameras and crop cameras with APS-C sensors without limitations in imaging performance or autofocus. Be sure to consider compatibility as you can only use the lens with certain Sony cameras. This includes system cameras from the full 7 series, 3000/5000/6000 series and NEX. Before buying, you should make sure that your existing camera belongs to one of these groups.

  • DC motor for optimal focusing precision
  • Gaussian dual lens design (minimizes curvature and distortion)
  • Metal bayonet to fit the camera
  • Compatible with full-frame cameras as well as crop cameras with APS-C sensors
  • According to the manufacturer, clear shots in difficult lighting conditions
  • Only suitable for Sony cameras
  • No built-in image stabilizer
best lenses

3. Canon EF 75-300mm . Lens

This telephoto zoom lens from the manufacturer Canon is perfect for the company's own EF bayonet. They use it on full-frame cameras and APS-C crop cameras with the EF-S bayonet. The EF 75-300mm lens does not have an ultrasonic autofocus motor, instead Canon has installed a classic micro DC motor, which should allow for reliable operation. In addition, there is no built-in image stabilizer for cost-effective production.

Versatility: These best camera lenses give you a wide range of focal lengths, so you should take advantage of their high degree of versatility. Developed for Canon EOS SLR cameras, you can also use it with the adapter on Canon EOS R series mirrorless system cameras.

With a focal length range of 75 to 300 millimeters, this Canon lens covers a wide area of ​​photography such as portraits in natural perspective and telephoto shots. The Super Spectra coating is intended to minimize glare and stray light and ensure good color balance and increased contrast. The manufacturer describes the lens as an inexpensive and compact addition to any Canon EOS camera and emphasizes high imaging performance. This model is suitable for beginners.

What do I use a telephoto lens for? With a telephoto lens you can take pictures that are far away. Your subject is detached from the background, which is displayed in a blur. Telephoto lenses are very often used in animal photography. We've gathered extensive information about the different types of lenses and their application areas for you in this guide.

Due to its optical design, which allows zooming to long focal lengths, there is a compromise in the light intensity of the lens. Apertures of 1:4.0 at 75 millimeters and 1:5.6 at 300 millimeters are considered weak. In low light conditions, this feature has a negative effect on the results and can cause images to become blurry, especially when moving objects are the subject. You should be able to shoot close subjects well at 1.5 meters away, even with a long focal length. Application areas include:
  • Telephoto
  • Wildlife photography
  • Portrait photography
  • For full frame cameras and APS-C crop cameras with bayonet EF-S
  • Integrated image stabilizer (shake-free recording)
  • Super Spectra Coating (minimizes stray light that occurs)
  • According to the manufacturer, ideal for animal and portrait photography
  • Lens hood not included
  • Only compatible with adapters for mirrorless cameras
best lenses

4. Sigma DG OS HSM Contemporary
  • Description of focal length Sigma 150-600mm F5.0-6.3
  • Lens type zoom lens; telephoto lens
  • Canon EF-S . compatible mount
  • 600 millimeter camera lens description
  • Maximum focal length 600 millimeters
  • Min Focal Length 150 millimeters
  • Lens design zoom
  • Focus type auto focus
  • Image stabilization Yes
Sigma offers lenses for several brands. The entire product range is available with different bayonets. Among these is the Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary lens - a super telephoto zoom with a wide focal range. A focal length of up to 600 millimeters will allow you to capture very far away subjects with this lens. Three special low dispersion glass elements are designed to correct for color fringing around the edges that can occur in the telephoto range. The bayonet for Canon cameras has a rubber seal to prevent the entry of dust and water droplets.

What is a bayonet? In the context of the lens, the bayonet is the connection or connection of the lens to the camera. It differs depending on the brand. It is therefore important that you pay attention to the type of bayonet when buying. In our guide, we've listed the most popular lens brands with bayonets to suit you.

The built-in image stabilizer facilitates blur-free recording. Image Stabilization includes two modes - one for horizontal and vertical stabilization and one for vertical stabilization only. The latter is perfect for shooting motorsports and other moving objects that require panning. You get this telephoto lens with a Canon EF, Nikon F and Sigma SA bayonet. It is not compatible with analog SLR cameras, except for the Nikon F6 and Canon EOS 1V. You can use models for telephoto and animal photography, for example.

The zoom ring of the lens has a lock switch that allows it to be locked at any focal length mark. This should correct the focal length and avoid accidental adjustments. According to the manufacturer, you can release the lock again at any time with a slight twist, except for the 150mm focal length. The Hyper-Sonic motor ensures fast, low-noise autofocus. When active, the manual override switch allows you to manually intervene in autofocus at any time. With the Sigma USB dock, you can customize and improve focus behavior on your computer. You can also update the lens firmware yourself.

  • Extremely long focal length for distant subjects (150 to 600 millimeters)
  • With rubber seal against ingress of water and dust
  • Three special low dispersion glass elements (color correct edges around the edges)
  • Built-in image stabilizer (shake-free shooting)
  • Zoom ring with lock switch
  • Hyper Sonic Motor (fast autofocus)
  • Very heavy lens (1,930 grams)
  • Usually a tripod is required
  • Not suitable for close-ups
best lenses

5. Panasonic H-FS45150 LUMIX G VARIO Lensa Lens
  • Telephoto lens type, zoom lens
  • Micro Four Thirds compatible mount
  • 300 millimeter camera lens description
  • Maximum focal length 150 millimeters
  • Min Focal Length 45 millimeters
  • Lens design zoom
  • Focus type auto focus
  • Image stabilization Yes
  • Model name 45 - 150mm / F4.0-5.6 LUMIX G VARIO MEGA OIS ASPH(HFS45150)
Panasonic offers this lightweight 200 gram telephoto zoom lens for its Micro Four Thirds bayonet. Since the Micro Four Thirds standard allows cameras to have a much smaller image sensor than the full format, you must multiply the focal length by a factor of two. The H-FS45150 LUMIX G VARIO lens has an internal image stabilizer designed to compensate for horizontal and vertical movements for clear images even in low light.

Large focal lengths for distant subjects: The focal length range of 45 to 150 millimeters with this best lens equates to an angle of view of 90 to 300 millimeters. This lets you shoot distant subjects.

In this model, the ultra-high refractive lens, together with the aspherical lens, ensures uniform and high imaging performance. Dimensions of 62 millimeters in diameter and 73 millimeters in length make this lens compact. Thanks to the close-up limit of 0.9 meters, you can shoot smaller objects in full format. The manufacturer emphasizes good autofocus tracking performance, so you won't miss anything even in fast-paced, action-packed scenes.

Please note before buying: You can only use the lens on Panasonic and Olympus cameras with a Micro Four Thirds bayonet.

The silent zoom and lens focusing promised by the manufacturer are very beneficial when shooting video. The scope of delivery includes front and rear caps and lens hoods. They use models in telephoto photography and animal photography, among others.

  • Long focal length (equivalent to 90 to 300 millimeters)
  • Ultra high refractive lens (high imaging performance)
  • Integrated image stabilizer (horizontal and vertical motion compensation)
  • Must be ideal for animal photography
  • Not suitable for indoor use
  • Lens hood not included
best lenses

6. Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Lens At LD MACRO 1:2
  • Macro lens type
  • Canon EOS compatible mount
  • 300 millimeter camera lens description
  • Maximum focal length 300 millimeters
  • Min Focal Length 70 millimeters
  • Lens design zoom
  • Auto/Manual focus type
  • Zoom ratio 4.3:1
  • Image stabilization is not
With the Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD MACRO 1:2 lens, manufacturer Tamron supplies a versatile telephoto zoom lens that you can use in macro photography, among other things. It is available for various brands of bayonet connectors. The compensation and multiple layers of the best camera lenses are meant to reduce stray light and distracting ghost images that can arise from incident and reflected light. The nine-blade circular aperture is designed to create soft bokeh.

The best camera lenses available for Canon EF, Nikon F, Pentax K and Sony A bayonet. It's worth mentioning that you don't get it for Sony's E-mount mirrorless system, but you can use it with an adapter. You use the lenses on both digital and analog SLR cameras. The main feature of the telephoto zoom is its high mechanical qualities, combined with excellent optical properties, according to the manufacturer. Apertures of f/4.0 at 70mm and f/5.6 at 300mm allow less light to enter the image sensor. As a result, blurring can occur in poor lighting conditions.

With macro function: With the switch, you can switch to macro mode from a focal length of 180 millimeters. It lets you take fill-in shots of 7 x 5 centimeters object format, the close-up limit is 0.95 meters.

The lens does not have an image stabilizer. At 435 grams, this lens is still one of the lighter telephoto lenses. There is no seal on the bayonet. Note that a simple micro motor has been installed and fast subjects push autofocus to its limit. The following application areas are highly recommended:
  • Telephoto
  • Macro photography
For what motive do I use a macro lens? The most well-known fields of application are insect and flower photography. It can also be used to capture the details of a larger motif.

  • Integrated macro mode (high focal length and close-up limit)
  • Multi-coated lens (against flare and phantom images)
  • Nine-blade circular aperture (soft bokeh)
  • Fits Canon EF, Nikon F, Pentax K and Sony A . bayonet mounts
  • No integrated image stabilizer
  • No bayonet seal available (dust and water protection)
best lenses

7. Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM . Lens
  • Wide angle lens type
  • Canon EF-S . compatible mount
  • Description of 18 millimeter camera lens
  • Maximum focal length 18 millimeters
  • Min Focal Length 10 millimeters
  • Lens design zoom
  • Focus type auto focus
  • Lens fixed focal length 50 Angstrom
  • Image stabilization Yes
The ultra-wide angle lens captures much of the surrounding environment through a wide viewing angle. The Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM lens was developed for its own EOS SLR camera with an APS-C sensor. The main application areas are landscape and architecture, and are also suitable for indoor shooting. Turn off autofocus on the lens. In poor light conditions, the built-in image stabilizer will help you compensate for unstable camera movement for sharp images. The Super Spectra coating is designed to prevent reflections from stray light and ensure good contrast.

Silent video recording: According to the manufacturer, a near-silent stepping motor allows you to follow focus quietly and video recording is not disturbed by the focus motor noise.

You can use this best camera lens on all Canon EOS digital cameras with APS-C sensor and EF-S bayonet. Use with Canon EOS full-frame cameras is not possible and may result in damage. With the adapter, you can use it on mirrorless Canon EOS M system cameras. Weighing 240 grams and measuring approximately 75 millimeters in diameter and 72 millimeters in length, this is a lightweight and compact lens.

The bayonet is made of plastic. Aperture at 1:4,5 to 1:5,6 relative to a short focal length leads to a large depth of field. Lenses are not suitable for effectively separating people and objects from the background. You can use models very well for landscape and architectural photography.

  • Super Spectra Coating (against reflections from stray light)
  • For EOS SLR cameras with APS-C sensor
  • Integrated image stabilizer against unstable camera movement
  • Stepping motor (almost silent recording)
  • Supplied without a lens hood
  • No water and dust protection available
best lenses

8. Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR ultra wide angle lens
  • Description of focal length 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6
  • Lens type wide angle lens; zoom lens
  • Nikon DX compatible mount
  • Description of 20 millimeter camera lens
  • Maximum focal length 20
  • Minimum focal length 10
  • Lens design zoom
  • Focus type auto focus
  • Optical image stabilization
They use this ultra wide angle lens for APS-C cameras in Nikon's DX format. The VR AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G Lens features an optical design with three aspherical lenses designed to minimize fringing and distortion to achieve high imaging performance. The seven aperture blades are rounded for soft background blur. An image stabilizer is built into the best camera lenses, which you can enable or disable on the camera via the menu. You can only set manual focus through the camera menu. You use models for landscape and architectural photography, for example.

The fast stepper motor ensures near-silent and precise focusing. When shooting video, the motor allows you to shift the focus evenly, which shouldn't affect the sound recording. This very light lens weighs 230 grams, with a diameter of 77 millimeters and a length of 73 millimeters, it is one of the compact models. The scope of delivery includes front and back caps, lens hoods and lens pouches.

Only certain Nikon cameras are compatible with this lens - the Nikon D3000 series from the D3300, the D5000 series from the D5200 and the D7000 series from the D7100. You may need to do a firmware update.

  • Comes with lens pouch
  • Suitable for APS-C cameras in DX format
  • Three aspherical lenses (high imaging performance)
  • Seven Aperture Blades (Soft Background Blur)
  • Consistent focus shift in video footage
  • Not compatible with all Nikon cameras (firmware update required)
  • No protection against dust and water splash
best lenses

9. Yongnuo YN50mm F1.8
  • Lens type mirror lens
  • Canon EF . compatible mount
  • Maximum focal length 50 millimeters
  • Min Focal Length 50 millimeters
  • Lens design zoom
  • Focus type auto focus
  • Fixed focal length lens 50 millimeters
  • Digital image stabilization
  • Maximum aperture 1 mm
The Yongnuo YN50mm F1.8 lens is a cheaper alternative to the original Canon EF 50mm f1.8 lens. You can use it for all Canon EOS cameras with EF and EF-S mounts. A slightly modified version is available for Nikon SLR cameras. This model has autofocus, which you disable using a switch on the lens. The main application area for this standard lens is portrait photography.

When is fixed focal length better and when is zoom? With prime lenses, you are more likely to avoid color fringing and similar optical errors while still getting high-quality shots in difficult lighting conditions. Zoom allows you to use it flexibly without having to change lenses constantly. You can read more about the pros and cons of these two variants in the guide.

Thanks to the 1:1.8 light intensity, you can take clear pictures in difficult lighting conditions, and people and objects can be easily separated from the background. The focal length of 50 millimeters is fixed and therefore you cannot zoom in. This best camera lens is suitable for full-frame and APS-C cameras. Weighing only 118 grams, this is a very light lens. No image stabilizer. The scope of delivery includes the front and back covers.

What should I pay attention to when equipping lenses? Apart from the type of lens, there are several other features you should consider before buying. This includes a built-in motor, image stabilizer, bayonet material and lens hood. In our guide following the product comparison, we will provide you with detailed information.

  • Suitable for all full-frame and APS-C cameras
  • Relatively light (118 grams)
  • According to the manufacturer, ideal for portrait shots
  • Fast and bright shutter speed (fixed focal length)
  • Lens hood and lens pouch are not included
  • No image stabilizer available
best lenses

10. Samyang 12mm F2.0 NCS CS
  • Wide angle lens type
  • Sony E . compatible mount
  • Maximum focal length 12 millimeters
  • Min Focal Length 12 millimeters
  • Lens design festival
  • Focus type Manual focus
  • Fixed focal length lens 12 millimeters
  • Description of lens coating Nano crystal coating
  • Digital image stabilization
This fast, ultra-wide-angle lens was developed specifically for mirrorless system cameras with APS-C sensors. Due to the smaller APS-C sensor, a focal length of 12 millimeters corresponds to a viewing angle of approx. 18 millimeters in full format. You operate the focus on the Samyang F2.0 NCS CS lens manually, there is no autofocus. Thanks to the multi-layer coating of all lens elements, this model compensates for reflections and improves contrast according to the manufacturer. Two aspherical lenses are designed to correct aberrations and a lens made of extra-low dispersion glass ensures fine color detail.

Not suitable for SLR cameras: This lens is available for mirrorless system cameras with Sony E mount, Canon M bayonet, Fuji X bayonet, Samsung NX bayonet, and Micro Four Thirds bayonet. It cannot be mounted on an SLR camera.

Due to the wide viewing angles, the main areas of application are landscape, architectural and interior shots. The 1:2.0 high maximum aperture lets you take blur-free shots in low-light conditions. An image stabilizer is not included, it is also usually installed in a mirrorless system camera housing. The Samyang lens weighs about 235 grams and is compact in dimensions with a diameter of about 73 millimeters and a length of 59 millimeters.

What are the advantages of aspherical lenses? This best camera lens deviates from the normal spherical shape. This should minimize imaging errors such as spherical aberrations, which create blurry images. Aspherical lenses are often used in photography with high-speed lenses, zoom lenses with long focal lengths, and wide-angle lenses with large angles of view.

  • For mirrorless system cameras with APS-C sensors
  • Two aspherical lenses (no aberration)
  • With detachable lens hood
  • Extra-low dispersion glass lens (fine color detail)
  • Not suitable for SLR cameras
  • No auto focus available
What are lenses and where do they come from?

A lens is a combination of different types of ground glass used to collect and focus light rays. This makes it possible to project real objects as optical displays onto the surface. The word lens describes a shortened version of the word glass lens, which has been documented since the 18th century. They usually have a spherical shape and can be attached to the camera with a bayonet or permanently attached.

Early photography can be found with pinhole cameras, the "camera obscura". This very early form of camera produced a faint image of the environment through a very small hole in a light-tight box. The aperture acts as a kind of lens by refracting light. In the article "Problemata physica" for the first time described the projection of an image upside down when light falls through a small hole into a dark room. The Greek polymath Aristotle recognized this principle in 400 BC. In the early 17th century, the first earth glass elements were used in telescopes, and the lens was actually born.

In the following centuries, simple, achromatically milled spectacles were used. In order for a photographer to get a sharp image, he must close the aperture. Most early lenses had very small apertures, so there was no need to stop down. Due to the lack of light intensity, the result is a long exposure time to get optimally exposed photos. Further decisive developments did not occur until the second half of the 19th century.

Modern lenses for true-to-life photos: Today, glass elements, also known as lenses, are calculated and manufactured with great effort to produce images that are as close to the original as possible with high light intensities. The special coating process also helps avoid imaging errors.

How do lenses work?

Lenses use a group of lenses to focus light rays to create an image. In order to change the focus area, a movable lens or lens group is attached. Thus, the focus point is adjusted to match the distance of the subject. With an adjustable aperture, you limit the cross-section of the incoming light rays. This leads to a reduction in light intensity, which results in a longer exposure time.

Used properly, a slightly closed aperture allows you to increase image sharpness. The depth of field expansion range is increased by stopping. You can use this property, for example, to take sharp photos of several people standing behind each other. Very strong stop-downs can cause diffraction blurring, the best details can appear blurry in photos.

The basic characteristics of a lens are its focal length and aperture. The focal length determines the image scale for a given object distance. The width of the aperture determines the greatest light intensity. The longer the focal length in millimeters, the closer the person and object are lifted. The short focal length provides a wide viewing angle, allowing you to capture much of your surroundings. Note that a longer focal length reduces the depth of field range. To separate people and objects from the background, use a long focal length. Distance also plays a role.

The following applies: The closer the subject to be photographed, the smaller the area of ​​sharpness. All three factors—aperture, focal length, and distance affect depth of field. Keep this in mind and try in practice to get a feel for the settings and achieve the desired result.

Which lens characteristics should I consider before buying?

The best camera lenses with large apertures collect a lot of light. In difficult lighting situations, this property is especially useful for avoiding blur caused by motion or shock. Small light intensity numbers indicate high light transmission. Values ​​from 1:1.4 to 1:2.8 are considered fast. The specs of around 1:4.0 prove mediocre light output. A maximum aperture of f/5.6 or greater indicates a dim lens.

Fixed focal lengths usually have high light intensity. Lenses with adjustable focal lengths or zooms are usually seen with sometimes major flaws. However, there are zoom lenses with relatively good light intensity. It has the disadvantage of being heavy and expensive to buy.

What you should know: In most cases, photographers just fade away subtly. Completely closed openings are usually not used. Today's lenses provide optimal sharpness from a fully open aperture - Caution: Smallest F-number.

Before making a purchase, you should know your future goals. If you want to take pictures in nature , a lens with a high light intensity is not required. This is similar to the choice of focal length and whether it is a zoom lens or a fixed focal length. If you want flexibility, a zoom lens with the widest possible focal length range is a good choice. Modern lenses also transmit a lot of data electronically to the camera, which is stored in the image as additional information. The relevant values ​​below are:
  • Focal length
  • Maximum aperture and minimum aperture
  • F-number used
  • Distance to the object being photographed
  • Focus set type
In which area is the lens used?

There are various areas where lenses are used. The best known and most widespread is its use in photography and filmography. The best lenses enable the taking of countless photos and videos every day - both professional and amateur, whether it's smartphone snapshots or Hollywood cinema productions. Without a lens, today's world of entertainment and social media would be very bleak. They make our lives more colorful and show us interesting perspectives. These are further application areas:
  1. In order for you to enjoy the latest movies in theaters, projectors need lenses. The principle is the opposite of a camera lens, but the optical structure is very similar. The projector functions follow the same logic.
  2. Binoculars and survey instruments require a ground lens and lens group to produce images similar to photography. This image is projected onto a screen for the eyes to see clearly. Here the focal length plays the most important role, with a long focal length the viewer can observe distant events. No openings.
  3. On the other hand, there are optics for microscopes. The special cutouts of each lens element allow for high magnification. Since the beam of light is spread over the entire width, the object to be observed must be brightly lit in order to see it properly.
  4. Telescopes are used in astronomy. In earlier centuries, these were used purely with glass lenses, then mirrors were used for longer focal lengths with relatively compact designs. In today's telescopes, the lens is only used to adjust the sharpness of the eyepiece.
Permanently Mounted: Lenses are not only available for replacement for single-lens reflex or system cameras. You'll find these permanently installed in compact cameras, smartphones and action cameras, among others.

What types of lenses are available and in which areas can I use them?

In photography, you can find the best types of lenses for your camera. Below we describe the most important features of each type to help you with your purchasing decision.

Ordinary lens

A lens with a focal length of 50 millimeters is called a normal lens. The point of view is almost the same as the human eye. That's why you find the photos taken with it fun. The reference is a full-frame sensor with 36 x 24 millimeters, also called the 35mm format. To get an angle of view that suits a camera with a smaller sensor, a lens with a shorter focal length is required.

For an APS-C camera that has a sensor of approx. 24 x 16 millimeters, there are lenses that match a focal length of 35 millimeters. Since the crop factor is around 1.5, this results in a 50mm equivalent focal length. Normal lenses are fixed focal lengths, they can achieve low prices in the market due to low production costs. This lens is very popular in portrait photography. The person being photographed is reproduced true to the original and is plastically separated from the background.

Wide angle lens

To get as much as possible in a single image, it is best to use a wide-angle lens. Its ultra-wide viewing angle catches more than the human eye, and above all, the room makes it appear larger than it really is. A wide-angle lens is a full-format lens with a focal length of 40 millimeters or less. The almost surreal-looking width is created with a focal length of 24 to 12 millimeters. Wide-angle lenses are used in landscape and city photography. They also offer good use for indoor shots. You get this as a fixed focal length and as a zoom.

For crop cameras with APS-C sensors, there are lenses with focal length values ​​ranging from 10 millimeters to create a similar effect. Due to the short focal length, high depth of field, foreground and background blend into each other. Wide-angle lenses with high light intensity are very popular with photographers, they offer creative freedom to emphasize the main subject with minimal cropping. If you want to use a wide-angle lens, careful composition and the choice of the main subject are important for good results. Such lenses are also expensive and you should consider your investment carefully.

Telephoto lens

Telephoto lenses are very popular with both hobby and professional photographers. You can use it to capture distant scenes without much effort. Typical focal lengths are 100 to 300 millimeters, with longer focal lengths there is talk of super telephoto. Telephoto lenses compress the focus area and part of the image. The resulting effect effectively separates your subject from the background. In addition, the background becomes very blurred, this property is called bokeh. A typical side effect of shooting with long focal lengths is compression of the space. The individual elements of the motif get closer and appear flat.

Telephoto lenses have a general drawback. Even the slightest movement can blur the image due to the high magnification of the subject during recording. Therefore, you should use a stable tripod for recording. If your lens or camera has an image stabilizer, this can help you reduce unwanted effects.

There are different telephoto lenses on the market. Starting with different focal lengths and focal length ranges, light intensity plays a major role. You can also get a telephoto lens as a zoom and a fixed focal length. The large number of choices and the high price range do not make it easy to make a decision when buying. Therefore, make sure you know which subject you want to capture and whether to buy a lens with the longest possible focal length. The most common telephoto zoom lenses have a focal length range of 70 to 300 millimeters. This is sufficient for most purposes.

Popular for photographing animals: telephoto lenses are mainly used in animal photography. Photographers have a hobby of photographing animals in zoos, for example. A professional uses a telephoto lens, for example, to document photos of wild animals.

Macro lens

To get the subject as close as possible, you need a macro lens. It was specially designed for close range. These lenses usually have a fixed focal length with a magnification of 1:1 or 1:2. With a value of 1:1, the subject can be displayed at its original size on the camera's image sensor. In macro photography, high light intensity is not always useful. With the aperture open, the depth of field is only a few millimeters. If you want to display the subject sharply over the widest possible area, stopping down is inevitable. F-numbers from 8 to 16 are common for larger depths of field.

This is how professionals do it: Experienced photographers use another technique to sharpen overall subjects: they take individual shots with different focus areas and combine them on a computer with the help of a program to form a single image. This approach is known as focus stacking.

The common focal length for macro lenses is 105 millimeters, which does not require much effort in production. There are other common focal lengths from 40 to 60 millimeters, longer focal lengths up to 200 millimeters are less common. You usually get macro lenses as fixed focal lengths, with zooms you can hardly find them on the market.

If you want to get into macro photography, it is advisable to start with an inexpensive lens. Expensive macro lenses provide virtually no gain in imaging performance, but have other strengths such as extremely short or long focal lengths. We recommend using a tripod. For example, you can use a macro lens to photograph flowers and insects. You can also use it to capture the details of larger motifs very well in images.

Fish eye lens

A very special lens is the everyday fisheye. The highly curved front lens, which resembles a dome, is striking. The fisheye lens lets you take spherical shots of 180-degree environments - far more than wide angles produce.

Unlike wide-angle lenses, which take in the environment in a linear fashion, fisheyes bend light in a circular way. Objects become more distorted the closer to the edge. In the most extreme cases, circular images are created that do not conform to the format. Until a few years ago, fisheye lenses were only available as fixed focal lengths, but now they are also available as zoom lenses. Before you buy a fisheye lens, you should know and consider these properties.

What do I use fish-eye lenses for? This type of lens is mainly used in panoramic photography. By combining multiple shots, you create a 360-degree panoramic image.

Tilt and slide the lens

If the subject is large buildings and structures with well-defined edges, you face perspective problems when shooting. The falling lines make the motif look slanted. Angled and sliding lenses prevent this through their special construction. You can move the entire lens system up or down parallel to its axis (shift), and it can also be rotated sideways in a kind of kink. Use the shift motion to correct for converging lines. This adjusts the perspective of the front of the building. With tilt swing, you have the option to tilt the focus level to suit the subject.

Due to the design, there is no autofocus motor and you only adjust the focus manually. This best lens is also only available as a fixed focal length. With tilt and shift lenses, you can change focus and perspective to create landscape-like miniature photos. This effect is often used as a stylistic device. If you are interested in this type of lens, consider the high acquisition cost. Current image processing programs can further correct perspective errors and are therefore a better choice.

Photographing architecture and products: Tilt-shift lenses are mainly used in architectural photography. They also have a place in product photography to present products effectively.

Focal length or fixed zoom - which is better?

The focal length of the fixed focal length cannot be changed, but it offers high light output and usually better image quality. With a zoom lens, you can change the focal length to fit part of the image to the subject.

Fixed focal length - a classic for creative people

Ambitious photographers who want to achieve a certain quality in their footage use a fixed focal length. Optical errors such as color fringing, distortion, and vignetting are less pronounced than with zoom lenses. A large 1:1.8 or even 1:1.4 aperture provides a fixed focal length of high light intensity. This lens is ideal for separating the subject from the background or for recording in difficult lighting situations.

Compared to zoom, fixed focal length has a compact and lightweight design. Frequently changing lenses to achieve the correct part of the image for a given situation can be detrimental.

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Zoom - for more flexibility

The zoom lens allows you a lot of flexibility for a variety of applications thanks to the adjustable focal length. By rotating the zoom ring or moving the tube marked for this purpose, you move a particular group of lenses forward or backward to achieve a focal length change. The overall length of the lens changes frequently when zooming as the tube lengthens. Expensive zooms are usually more complex in construction, with this the tube does not extend.

Most zoom lenses have low light and heavy optical performance. However, zoom can be a good compromise when a quick change in focal length is required. You save most of the time-consuming task of changing lenses.

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Bayonet connection and equipment

best camera lenses

Each brand has its own connector, also called a bayonet. This makes it difficult to know if the lens you want will work with your camera. So pay attention to the designation and look at the technical data for the bayonet type. Lens fittings can also be different and specific. Below you will find a list of the most famous brands with suitable bayonet.

  • EF : Full-frame SLR camera
  • EF-S : Modified EF mount on APS-C crop cameras, compatible with EF . lenses
  • RF : Mirrorless system camera with full-frame sensor
  • EF-M : Mirrorless system camera with APS-C sensor
  • F : Full-frame SLR camera, also found on APS-C crop cameras
  • Z : Mirrorless system camera with full-frame sensor and APS-C
  • G : Mirrorless system camera with full-frame sensor and APS-C
  • A : Full-frame SLR cameras, also for APS-C crop cameras
Olympus and Panasonic
  • Micro Four Thirds: For all cameras and image sensors with the Micro Four Thirds standard
  • SA : APS-C full frame and crop camera
Tip: The Sigma and Tamron companies manufacture their lenses with different bayonets. Therefore, you can install this model on cameras from other manufacturers. When buying, pay attention to the right bayonet.

Lens accessories

best camera lenses

The autofocus motor is part of the kit of most lenses. In very inexpensive models, manufacturers often install simple micro-motors, which are neither fast nor completely precise. The ultrasonic motor operates almost silently, ensuring extremely fast and precise focusing. Stepper motors are even quieter and faster. Due to its nature, it is increasingly being mounted on lenses.

The image stabilizer is helpful so you can take low-shake pictures in poor light conditions. It makes sense in low light and the resulting long exposure times. Image stabilizers are often used in telephoto and low-light zoom lenses. With a very long focal length, it is very useful and almost irreplaceable.

If you use lenses often, you should pay attention to the material of the bayonet. Wear and tear on plastic bayonets is significantly higher than on models with metal bayonets and can negatively impact the fit of the lens on the camera over time.

A lens hood or lens hood helps you reduce unnecessary grazing or backlighting to avoid light reflections. These are not always included in the shipping coverage and you have to buy them quite expensively. As an alternative, it is worth looking at cheap covers from other manufacturers, which are often not inferior to the original in terms of functionality.

maintenance and storage

Dirt on the glass impairs lens performance at best and in the worst case, causes blurry images. It is recommended that you regularly check the lens for dust, dirt and fingerprints. These contaminants can invade and damage the coating over time.

First, remove dust and dirt carefully with a soft brush. You can get cleaning brushes specially designed for this purpose in stores. Alternatively, this can be done with compressed air, but please be careful. You can take good care of the lens surface with glass cleaner or camera lens cleaner and soften and remove smudges. Using a soft lens cleaning tissue, treat the surface and gently wipe from the edges to the center in a smooth motion.

Warning! You should completely avoid treatment with harsh cleaning agents and scrubbing with cleaning cloths. If you don't feel confident about cleaning it, you can ask for lens cleaning at many specialist stores.

You should also store the best lenses properly. Avoid keeping it on its side and place it vertically on the back or front cover. When lying down, the aperture may become deformed and adversely affect the recording. Also make sure the lens doesn't fall off.

Which lens accessories make sense?

Various screw filters are common lens accessories. UV filters block light in the ultra-violet range, potentially reducing recording quality. Polarizing filters reduce reflections on smooth surfaces and bodies of water. Gray filters are very popular among ambitious photographers. This allows you to have very long exposure times, even in bright light. The rushing water is rendered gently, people and moving objects are not visible in the photo due to the long recording time, the crowded square looks lonely in the photo.

You will receive a quiver for protected transport and storage. These are special bags that conform to the shape of the lens, often including the case. The tripod collar makes sense with the hefty telephoto lens on top. Mounted directly to the lens, it ensures balance and is easy to attach to a tripod and bayonet.


Those are some lens recommendations that you can take into consideration. In determining the choice of lens, adjust it to the needs of shooting and video that you want. In addition to the quality of the best camera lens, good results are determined by your technique in shooting. For that, a lot of practice in taking pictures.

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