Types of lenses for SLR cameras

Find out what are the basis for the types of lenses for DSLRs and decide which is best for you.


Good photographic equipment is the basis for every photography lover. A good camera, however, is not everything. Very important is the lens and types of lenses for SLR cameras that we will use in specific tasks. SLR cameras, both film and digital, are a sensational and universal tool, but only if you can freely exchange optics in them. The ability to replace lenses is the main advantage of SLR cameras. And a good lens, well suited to the needs of a particular photo, is the basis. This is best evidenced by the fact that many professionals buy cheaper cameras to spend the money saved in this way on the purchase of professional lenses.

Types of digital SLR lenses

What is worth knowing about lenses?

Each lens must have a strictly defined focal length (distance) and a maximum aperture, i.e. the largest aperture through which light is let into the camera. The smaller the aperture (the larger the aperture, such as f /1.4), the brighter the lens. It is always a good idea to check if the selected lens has a useful (especially on the go) image stabilization function. This technology works great for those people who do not have a tripod or due to the circumstances of taking photos most often shoot from the hand.

What lenses are worth having in your photographic equipment?

Most SLR cameras are equipped with a standard lens. They usually have a focal length of 50 mm, although you can also find other types of lenses for DSLRs such as 55mm. The angle of view of such a lens is similar to the angle of the human eye. Such lenses perform very well even in those conditions where there are problems with lighting.

Wide angle

Many possibilities are offered by the use of super-wide-angle lenses. Such lenses have a focal length from 6 to 24 mm. They are great for landscape photography and interior photography. The wide angle of view works great in such situations, but in other cases it is practically useless. The only exception may be a lens with a focal length of 24 mm, which can be successfully used to take portraits against the background of landscapes.

Sigma 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye
Sigma 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye

Wide-angle lenses are often used in photography, with focal lengths usually 28 mm and 35 mm. The latter is much more universal. Photos taken with such a lens are distinguished by a natural perspective and a wide viewing angle.

Sigma Art 35mm f 1.4 Nikon
Sigma Art 35mm f 1.4 Nikon

My favorite lens of this type is the Sigma ART 35mm 1.4 which is very sharp and versatile for most tasks. Other types of lenses for DSLRs are often too wide for me, or too narrow in small rooms.

Telephoto lenses

A more demanding photographer should also have a telephoto lens in his collection. The focal length of telephoto lenses is from 65 to 250 mm, which gives many opportunities to a person professionally engaged in photography. The telephoto lens can be used in both portrait photography and landscape photography. Photojournalists are eager to use this type of lenses, who appreciate them for the possibilities associated with photographing crowds of people and separating individual characters from such a larger group. The telephoto lens also gives a wide range of possibilities related to framing the image, especially when the photo is taken from a considerable distance.

Sigma Art 85mm f 1.4 Nikon
Sigma Art 85mm f 1.4 Nikon


A convenient and universal solution are also lenses with variable focal length, i.e. popular zooms. Thanks to them, you can choose the right focal length according to the capabilities of a particular model. Usually, such lenses allow you to choose focal lengths from 28 mm to 135 mm, so that in one lens you can find functions of up to three: wide-angle, standard and telephoto. This allows the photographer to experiment with the frame without having to constantly replace the optics. Unfortunately, a certain disadvantage of such lenses is their lower brightness, which can adversely affect the sharpness of the photo.

A lens of this type that I can honestly recommend to Nikon owners is the Nikkor 24-70mm with 2.8 light that came out quite a long time ago, but is still a great glass for special tasks.


A photographer who wants to focus on capturing the richness of nature or architectural details in photos should also buy a macro lens. Single flowers or insects as the main subject of the photo – this is the most common way to use this type of lens. In addition to macro lenses, there are also special macro rings or macro caps on the market that allow you to take a photo of fine details with a standard lens.

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Fotograf eventowy - Marcin Krokowski