What lens is needed for and what to choose

With lenses, everything is somewhat simpler than withcameras, there are much fewer parameters and everything is much simpler. There is a focal length, measured in millimeters, aperture ratio, and the presence / absence of a stabilizer. I will tell about everything in more detail.

The content of the article

All parts of my FAQ for beginner photographers

1. Which camera to choose a novice photographer
2. What lens is needed for and what to choose
3. Basic digital camera settings
4. How to take pictures while traveling
5. How to process photos in Lightroom and how to store them
6. Sample photo bag and fotoryukzaka for traveler
7. How to photograph the starry sky
0. What I photograph in travels

Focal length

In fact, you don't really need to know that itmeans physically. It is easier to remember that the larger the millimeter, the closer the object will be to you, or it is often said that the angle will be narrower. This is true, when zooming in on an object, as if you were cutting a frame around the edges and it doesn’t have something that could fit into the field of view of a wide-angle lens. Using a little of your first lens, you will immediately understand what focal length you need to use. Therefore, at first, do not buy a lot of lenses, one is enough to tune in, for example, a cheap whale Canon EF-S 18-55mm f / 3.5-5.6 IS II, which comes with many budget Canon cameras.

There are fixed lenses (they are called fixes),But there are zoom. In the first - the focal length does not change in any way, in the second - it can be changed manually by turning the ring on the lens. If you are just starting, then most likely you do not need fixes, because they are bought for maximum quality and good aperture, and the price will be appropriate. Moreover, when you take pictures, it is much more convenient to be able to quickly zoom in or out the object, otherwise you will need to change one lens to another, which is much longer, and even if it happens often, then you really get tired.

What lens is needed for

What lens is needed for

Crop factor

Then I just have to tell you what elsesuch a thing as a cropping factor, which in some way tells us about the size of the matrix of our camera compared to others. The matrix of a full-frame camera is taken as a unit (the cheapest full-frame ones are Canon 6d and Nikon d600), and the rest of the cameras have crop factors that mean how many times the matrix diagonal is smaller than the full frame. For example, in 1.6 (Canon 650d, Canon 60d, Canon 7d), in 1.5 (Nikon d300, d7000), in 2.5 and more in different soap dishes. These figures (1.6, 1.5, 2.5, etc.) are the crop factor. I think it is clear that the larger the matrix, the better the quality of the resulting image, and if the price of the carcass did not increase dramatically from this, then everyone would only go with full-frame cameras and it would be possible not to write about the crop factor.

Ok, figs with her diagonal, more importantly, thatThe crop factor conditionally increases the focal length, that is, the larger the crop factor, the more the object will be approached. For example, for a Canon 5d mark (crop factor 1) the standard lens will be 24-70 mm, and for a Canon 60d (crop factor 1.6) - 17-55 mm. That is, looking into the viewfinder of both cameras with the above-named lenses, the objects will be visually at equal distances, although the millimeters are different. Crop factor is sometimes called a focal length multiplier. For crooked carcasses, you need to recalculate the focal length to get real numbers. That is, take the lens 17-55 mounted on the sprinkled camera and multiply it by the crop factor 1.6 (for all amateur DSLRs) and get 27-88 mm (17 * 1.6 = 27 and 55 * 1.6 = 88), that is, almost the same as the lens 24-70 for a full frame. That is why we see equally close objects on these two cameras with these lenses. Remember that millimeters on all lenses are always indicated for a full frame, no matter for which camera the lens is intended.

Most popular crop factors

Most popular crop factors

If the above said you found it difficult, then notget discouraged, by and large it is not so important. You put one or another lens on your crooked camera and get used to those millimeters that will be indicated on the lens housing and will be operating with these numbers without any recalculation. And only if you suddenly move to a full frame, then only you will have to get used again to the "new" millimeters.


It is denoted as 1: 4 or 1: 1.2 and is indicated on the facets around the front of the lens. In fact, the aperture is how weak the light is when passing through the lens, the magnitude of the aperture depends only on the lens itself and nothing else. But in common people aperture is called the maximum open aperture, which we can put on the camera with this lens. That is, if you don’t go into theory and talk about practical application, then the figure after one is just important for us (in this example, f4 and f1.2). The smaller the number, the more bright the lens. Usually those are considered to be lenses with a value somewhere 1.2-2.8, and they are very convenient for shooting at night or for photographing the starry sky. But not only in this is their plus, but also in a small DOF(depth of field). Surely, you have seen photos, where a clear person is in the foreground, and the background is beautifully blurred, so these things are done by means of open diaphragms and, accordingly, high-aperture lenses. Of course, it is possible to do this with a normal diaphragm (for example, f5.6), but I'll write about this in the next article.

Some nuances

  • If you buy a lens for Canon, then it’s notfits on bayonet (connector) for Nikon, and vice versa. There are also other companies that make lenses (as a rule, they are cheaper) for all cameras and bayonet - Tokina, Sigma, Tamron. Separately, I want to mention the cheap aperture fixes Samyang, they are very praised, but they do not have autofocus, which is not for everyone.
  • There are adapter rings to mount lenses not on my bayonet, but I have never used them.
  • Each lens has a glass diameter (alsomeasured in millimeters), you will need to know if you buy a light filter. From the really necessary is the polarization filter CIR-PL. It is also possible to purchase ultraviolet UV, which is essentially ordinary transparent glass and is needed only to protect expensive optics from scratches and bumps. But there are different opinions on this score, and someone says that there is no point in him.
  • The larger zoom (focal length range),the worse the image quality. Usually this is really noticeable on large zooms, like 18-135 mm or 18-200 mm, and manifests itself as distortion, poor sharpness, aberration, and so on. It is necessary to look at the pictures of a particular lens for these distortions and decide whether they are satisfied or not.
  • A wide-angle lens (shirik) is about 10-15mm for crop, and 15-20 for the full frame. There is also a lens called a fish eye. Despite the over-wide angle, it is not an analogue of width, because they peculiarly break out the picture, stick it out.
  • A typical lens (portrait) is usually called 85 mm for a full frame and 50 mm for cropping.
  • Before buying a lens, always read reviews about it and see pictures already taken by other people, all this is on the Internet.
  • Once again, the Canon EF-S whale lens18-55 is a good thing and you’ll have enough of it for the first time if you don’t know anything yet. When you buy a camera with this lens right away, you overpay literally 1-2 thousand rubles, that is, you get it almost for nothing (if taken separately, it is more expensive). True, there are other sets, where there will be another lens.

What lens is needed for

  • For shooting landscapes, architecture, you need a zoom, whose focal lengths start from 17-18 mm (for crop) and from 24-25 mm (for a full frame).
  • For shooting in narrow space or the starry sky, a wide-angle lens, 10-15 mm (crop) and 15-20 (full frame) is useful.
  • For reportage photography it is convenient to be able tobring a person closer, which means you need a zoom with a far end of about 100-150 mm. There are more (70-200 or 70-300), but then the near end will be too narrow and not very suitable for anything other than reportage from afar.
  • Lens types 70-200 and 70-300 are usually used in landscape photography to approximate a piece of nature or to shoot animals and birds. You can also use it for macro.
  • For shooting flowers and flies, there are special macro lenses. But, if you really need a strong approximation, you do not need zooms, as I already wrote above.
  • For portraits, it's best to buy a fix 50mm(crop) or 85 (full frame), then you and the bokeh will be beautiful and the background is perfectly blurred, and the luminosity is good. But this is all the case if you want to shoot portraits directly, often with a pretense of professionalism. Otherwise, the usual zoom will do. By the way, fixes are of different aperture speeds, and at first do not chase the most expensive ones. For example, Canon 50 f1.8 is enough for you, instead of Canon 50 f1.4 (twice as expensive). And about the Canon 50 f1.2, I generally keep quiet, it is clearly not for beginners.
  • If you are not picky about image quality,then for travel photography you would be best to take a big zoom (18-135 or 18-200), then you will cover all the focal lengths and you don’t have to constantly change lenses. A sort of universal lens. In addition, the photo bag with you will be quite small from such a set, which is important in those travels where weight is important.

If somehow summarize the choice of lens fortravel, in most cases you will need a line of lenses, or one universal with focal lengths somewhere from 17 to 100 mm, they are most often used, we are talking about crop. Naturally, this is in my opinion. When traveling (and at home too), the range of two lenses and total focal lengths of 11-105 are enough for me (Shirik Tokina 11-16 f / 2.8 + standard zoom Canon EF 24-105 f / 4). Moreover, if I didn’t like wide-width photos, I could have done without width, after all, 11 mm is rarely needed in everyday life. True, then 24 mm would be too narrow in tight spaces. That is why I wrote that it is best to have a ruler starting from ~ 17-18 mm (for crop).

Life hacking 1 - how to buy a good insurance

Choosing insurance is now unrealistically difficult, so to help all travelers, I compile a rating. To do this, I constantly monitor forums, study insurance contracts and use insurance by myself.

Insurance Rating

Life hacking 2 - how to find a hotel 20% cheaper

First, choose a hotel on Booking. They have a good offer base, but the prices are NOT the best! The same hotel can often be found 20% cheaper in other systems through the RoomGuru service.

Discount hotels

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