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Digital Camera Lens Reviews

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Tips for Buying Digital Camera Lenses

Now that you have made up your mind to buy a digital SLR camera with interchangeable lenses, you need to make sure you have taken a good look at the different digital camera lens options before you spend your money. Although you are not likely to buy a huge selection of lenses at the outset, you do need to be sure that there are plenty of lenses available for the brand and body you select.

No matter which interchangeable lens camera you buy, chances are good that you will be marrying the company based on the hardware (lenses) they offer. Each brand has its own style of lens mounts and in most cases they are not interchangeable.


The Most Common Camera Mounts Used by Top Manufactures

  • Nikon: Nikon 1 and F mounts
  • Canon: EF and EF-S mounts and occasionally the EF-M mount on the EOS M mirrorless cameras
  • Sony: A and E mounts
  • Panasonic: Micro Four Thirds mount
  • Olympus: Micro Four Thirds mount
  • Pentax: K mount
  • Leica: M mount

A Game of Numbers

Despite the fact a particular lens you are interested in might say it has a particular focal range, the actual angle of view you can capture will be determined by the size of your camera body’s imaging sensor. This difference is referred to as the “crop factor” and is the multiplier used to convert the stated lens numbers to the 35 mm equivalent. Thus a digital SLR lens size of 18.5 to 55 mm on cameras that use the APS-C sensor would have a crop factor of 1.5 or 1.6 leaving you with a 35 mm equivalent lens of 27 to 82.5 mm.

Each different manufacturer has a different crop factor that should also be taken into consideration when buying a camera and lenses. This is important since knowing the crop factor allows you to calculate the actual angle of view, which can be very important depending on the types of photography you plan to do with your new camera.


Prime and Zoom Lenses

Prime lenses are those that feature fixed focal lengths and are typically used by those who are experienced photographers or casual photographers who are ready to move up. For example the 50 mm lens or as it is often referred to in the photography world the “nifty fifty” is ideal for use with an APS-C sensor for portraits. There are in fact a wealth of these types of lenses available, each with their own specific purposes.

Zoom lenses are perhaps the most common interchangeable lens sold. Nothing else on the market can beat their convenience as one single lens offers an amazing range of focal lengths. The most basic zoom lens offers 3x magnification, but you can also buy 7x and 12x magnification lenses that are commonly referred to as telephoto or superzoom lenses. When purchasing these lenses you need to keep the crop factor in mind and match the lens to the size of the sensor in your camera for optimum results.

There are a number of lens styles that are not available as zoom lenses. These include both fisheye and macro lenses, as well as certain types of exceptionally long telephoto lenses. One reason many photographers tend to choose prime lenses is that along with offers specific styles, they also deliver superior quality images. Most have larger apertures that help to blur the background, which is ideal for certain types of photography (portraits for instance) and allow for faster shutter speeds.


Here are Five Popular Lenses for You to Consider

This Nikon 50 mm f/1.8AF Nikkor lens is designed for use with a wide range of Nikon digital SLR camera bodies and features a D type lens system that provides you with accurate distance information. This information is used to adjust light exposure and flash settings. The multilayer coating serves to reduce ghosting and flare. Kit comes with lens, a 52 mm front lens cap, a slip on rear lens cap and a full 5 year warranty. It is ideal for those who are interested in portrait and travel photography.

The Sigma 18-250 mm lens uses Sigma’s unique anti-shake technology and a 13.8x zoom feature to ensure maximum clarity on all shots. Using the Hybrid Optical Stabilizer not only reduces shaking in the final image but also in the viewfinder, making it easier for you to take that perfect shot. It features three Aspherical lens elements and four Special Low Dispersion glass elements that combine to provide you with outstanding image quality throughout the full zoom range.

The Tamron AF 18200 mm lens features Tamron’s original Aspherical elements Multiple Cam Mechanism, and Integrated Focus Cam design. These combine to provide you with one of the most compact and lightweight 11x zoom lenses on the market. Tamron lenses are designed specifically to work with digital cameras that have smaller sensors and yet still be able to deliver outstanding photo quality. Using Extra Refractive Glass Index technology, Tamron lenses are able to bend the light at sharper angles, allowing for shorter lenses and higher performance.

The Canon EF 50 mm f/1.4 USM is a standard and medium length telephoto lens that is designed specifically to work with Canon digital SLR cameras. It features two high-refractive lens elements along with all-new Gaussian optics to help reduce both astigmatic difference and astigmatism. Thus the lens allows the photographer to capture ultra-sharp images that are free of flare even when using the maximum aperture setting. It is the only lens in the EF series to feature the super small Micro Ultra Sonic Motor that powers the autofocus and still allows for full manual focus.

The Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 II camera lens is what many photographers consider to be a “nifty fifty” lens is that it is a fixed focal length general purpose lens. It offers a maximum aperture setting of f/1.8 and a minimum of f/22. Autofocus is managed using an AF type micro motor and no manual focus is offered. Designed to fit all Canon digital SLR camera bodies with an EF mount and APS-H or APS-C. It offers sharp photos under a range of conditions and practically zero lateral chromatic aberration.

Lens Comparison Chart
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens
Tamron AF 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF) Macro Zoom Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras (Model A14E)
Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM IF Lens for Canon AF Digital SLR Cameras
Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
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