Article ID : 00007588 / Last Modified : 03/25/2016

What type of lens is best to use for taking pictures?

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To take great pictures, you need to choose the right type of lens. There are various types of lenses available, each best suited for different shooting situations. Below are some examples of shooting situations and the recommended type of lens to use.

IMPORTANT: Using a lens designed for a full-frame camera  on a camera with an APS-C image sensor reduces the angle of view.

NOTES:

Snapshots A zoom lens that is light, compact, and easy to carry is recommended for general snapshots. Compact zoom lenses offer fast zooming and focusing that let you respond quickly to spontaneous photo opportunities.
Portraits When shooting portraits, you normally should use a lens with a large aperture  to ensure a shallow depth of field. This allows background details to be blurred and focuses attention on the main subject. For these types of shots a medium telephoto lens is often used, but a prime lens  with a large aperture is also very sufficient; macro lenses also can be used.
Landscapes A video about how to shoot indoor portrait pictures is available for viewing. Landscape photos can be taken with a variety of lenses, but super wide and wide-angle lenses are often chosen for their ability to capture scenic vistas on a grand scale. Using an F11 aperture setting or above helps ensure crisp imaging across the entire scene. However, since smaller apertures may require the use of slower shutter speeds, a tripod is also recommended for this type of shooting to prevent motion blur  from possible camera shake.
Close-ups Many mid-range zoom lenses are adequate for taking close-up shots. But, for optimum performance, a macro lens is recommended. Macro lenses are available at different focal lengths. A 100mm macro provides a good working distance and makes it easier for shooting subjects like butterflies and insects that may take off if you get too close. Whereas, a 50mm macro is lighter and more compact for easy handling. It is easier to hold the camera steady and maintain focus under conditions of high magnification and extremely shallow depth of field .
Sports Telephoto and zoom lenses with a focal length of 200mm or more are great to use where it is difficult to get close to sports action. Using a lens with a large aperture is recommended to allow more light into the camera and use higher shutter speeds for capturing fast-moving action shots.
Wildlife It can be very difficult getting close to your subjects when photographing wildlife. In these situations, it is important to use a super telephoto lens. Super telephoto lenses offer exceptional brightness and fast, quiet autofocusing. Also, you can increase the focal length by 1.4x or 2x by using an optional teleconverter.
Pets Pet photos are similar to Portrait photography. But, with pet photos you want to use a smaller aperture to gain enough depth of field to keep the nose, tail, and other parts of the body in focus too. Use a standard or telephoto zoom lens that lets you vary the framing as your pet moves around.