Choosing a lens with 42nd St Photo

The basic point-and-shoot camera does not give you the option of changing lenses. It is a good starter camera for exploring the universe of photography but can only take you so far…to the point where you want more control over the pictures you take and decide you need a DSLR camera that has the ability to change the lens (and a lot more!). When you go onto the site at 42nd St Photo, there are a lot of lenses to choose from. How do you decide what you need? Here are a few simple guidelines:

The numbers on the lenses, 35mm, 70mm, etc., indicate the ‘focal length’. Focal length is the angle of view, the area you see in your picture. A larger number means the angle is narrow, as in a telephoto lens able to get a closeup for a portrait. Lower numbers are wider angles, needed for things like landscapes.

A ‘prime’ or ‘fixed’ lens does not change. It is usually a smaller lens with a specific number indicating the focal length.

A ‘zoom’ lens is able to change the focal length by adjusting or twisting the barrel of the lens.

‘Telephoto’ lenses can be fixed or zoom. They are great for a long distance shot at a sporting event, for instance.

A ‘wide angle’ lens has a short focus length, can also be fixed or zoom, and allows you to include a broad sweep of area in your photograph.

‘Fish eye’ lenses are a specialized form of wide angle, that are so wide in scope that they can distort on the edges. They are useful for getting the entire room in the shot.

‘Macro’ lenses are the opposite…they get incredibly close and magnify details that you ordinarily don’t see.

Think about the pictures you want to take. Which lens would help you take it? Then go browse the site at 42nd St Photo to see which lens is going to be best for you.



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