Which Lens Do I Need? From Fisheye to Super Telephoto

There are quite a few different types of lenses, and our article here will guide you through all of them, looking at why and when you would use them.

Before we get into the realm of lens types, we first need to look at the difference between prime and zoom lenses and also other attributes that affect the lenses.

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Full-Frame Vs. Cropped Sensors

A full frame DSLR or mirrorless camera has a sensor the same size as the 35mm format (36mm x 24mm). 35mm was always considered small format, compared to medium and large format cameras.

These sensors will give you the highest resolution and image quality unless you move to a larger format camera.

Cropped sensors are smaller than the 35mm format. They include APS-C (Nikon, Sony), APS-H (Canon) and four thirds (Olympus, Panasonic).

The APS-C has a sensor size of 23.6mm x 15.7mm, APS-H has 28.7mm x 19mm and the four-thirds system has 17.3mm x 13mm. These are generally cheaper to manufacture and buy.

These affect your lens’ abilities. A full frame-lens working with a cropped sensor will multiply the focal length by x1.6 (APS-C),  x1.5 (APS-H) and x2.08 (four-thirds).

So, a 50mm full-frame lens will effectively become a 75mm lens on a Nikon DX camera, an 80mm on a Canon 7D and a 104mm on an Olympus camera.

This is great for getting closer to a subject without buying an extra lens. The 50mm turns into a telephoto lens on the Olympus, or a macro lens if you turn it around using adapters.

The only problem is that you are cropping into the image, so the resolution will never be the same as the full frame version.

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