Many people learn to use the various setting on their digital cameras and think that they can now take the best possible pictures. They forget that a digital camera can only apply the settings on the image it receives and the quality of the image depends on the lens used. A vast variety of lenses are available, all with specific functions; but there are 4 basic lens types that you need to get great photos â€“ as your skill levels improve you can go on to more advanced lens options.
Most cameras come with general purpose lenses fitted to them â€“ those with a focal length in the range of 35 – 70 mm. This is a point and shoot lens and will produce good photos in any conditions â€“ but usually not great ones.
For photos of distant objects and for nature and sporting photos where you want to appear to be near the action, you will need a medium telephoto lens. These lenses are also very good for taking portraits and close ups because the object you are focusing on will seem to stand out from the background and create a more dramatic image. This is a very flexible lens and experimenting with it will show the results that can be achieved with changing perspectives â€“ the way an image is presented can be completely changed. These lenses normally have a focal length of 85 â€“ 135 mm.
For real long distance photography you will need a long telephoto lens. These lenses have a focal length in from 135 mm onwards, although 300 mm is the common maximum, and are your only option when you want to photograph distant objects and get a clear and sharp image. Long telephoto lens can also be used for medium range work when you need to highlight a part of a distant object and the point of focus will make that aspect of the composition stand out.
The last of the four basic digital photography lenses is the wide angle lens with a focal length of less than 50 mm. This is the only lens to use if you want to capture wide sweeping landscapes or get panoramic views. Using this lens when taking pictures of a person or a group in an outdoor setting will make the object of focus stand out from the background and create a more dramatic effect.