Camera Lens Guide for Beginners

Camera Lens Guide for Beginners

Last Updated on June 13, 2021 | In Photography Equipment by Stefano Caioni Leave a Comment

This camera lens guide for beginners will be very useful to help you choose your first lenses carefully.

You can also read Types of Camera Lenses which is the first part of our lens buying guide here. And if you are looking to buy your first camera read also what is the best camera for beginners.

Camera Lens Guide for Beginners

In this article, you’re going to learn the main aspects of a camera lens. It’s important to understand these lens features so that you can make an informed decision when you buy a lens. In addition, you will also learn some of the most important technical terms that will accompany you in your photography journey.

Let’s begin.

Camera Lens Guide for Beginners: Main Terms

Focal Length

As you pick the best camera lens in the market is imperative to consider the focal length.

Camera Lens Guide for Beginners

The focal length is an important specification that defines the distance from your camera sensor to the center of the lens, and this is when the lens is focused at infinity. Even though focal length is illustrated in millimeters (mm), don’t consider it as the measurement of the actual length of your lens.

The focal length of your lens tells more about the kind of pictures you will take. You will know whether the photos have been zoomed in or out, and how they differ in quality.


Aperture is an essential pillar of photography, and you should know how it works and its benefits.


It is simply the opening in a lens that allows light to pass through and then enters your camera. Aperture is the eye of your lens, and it is easy to enlarge or shrink when shooting. It means you will allow more or less light to reach your camera sensor effectually.

Aperture affects the quality of your pictures as it can add dimension to your images. It can give you sharp photos from a nearby foreground and blurred images with a shallow focus effect. Hence, it can make your photos darker or brighter.

Prime Lens vs Zoom Lens

The key difference between the zoom lens and the prime lens is the fact that zoom lenses have a variable focal length while prime lenses have a fixed focal length.

Camera Lens Guide for Beginners

You use a prime lens if you want to have more brightness in your shots. These lenses make it easy to correct your shooting mistakes. But then again, if you are working on an object that is close enough, you need a zoom lens to get the best images.

In terms of portability, you don’t have to bring with you additional lenses like when shooting with prime lenses if you plan to use the zoom lens. Just one zoom lens can serve and meet all your shooting needs as you can to cover the full range of focal lengths stress-free. Price matters when choosing between the zoom lens and prime lens. But you will spend more to buy one zoom lens.

Compatibility with Your Camera’s Sensor

Better technological innovations have graced the photography industry, and better cameras are available these days. One vital area camera makers have focused on is the compatibility of a camera sensor. It is the part that records the subject when you press on the shutter, a feature common in digital cameras.

camera body

Sensors in digital or DSLR cameras are bigger than those found in compact cameras or point-and-shoot cameras. Hence, the images produced by DSLR cameras are realistic and more precise. Widely used camera sensors in the market are Full-Frame, APS-C, and Micro Four Thirds.

Full-Frame sensors are larger and easily capture more light. You will produce higher-quality photos in low light conditions using a Full-Frame sensor than using one of the other formats. As you buy your camera lens, make sure they are compatible with the size of your camera sensor and model.

Lens Image Quality

Image quality helps determine the kind of lenses to go for in the market. The best lenses come with unmatched specifications, but also a higher price.

Portrait of Girl

You have to make comparison depending on the type of lenses you choose, types of apertures, and other factors that affect the quality of images.

The lens you buy has to also be adaptRead the article Types of Camera Lenses for all the

Modern pro camera lenses are sharper than their entry-level counterparts. .

Third-Party vs Name Brand Lenses

With the high demand for the latest camera models, the number of camera brands has surged rapidly over the years. You may be well-acquainted with brands like Sony, Nikon, and Canon, but there are other third-party brands you should know.

Camera Lens Guide for Beginners

Some of the third-party companies make outstanding lenses, and it’s great to give them a second thought as you buy lenses. Their camera lenses may be similar in terms of aperture and focal length, but they are a bit cheap. It’s upon you to decide whether to go for cheap lenses from third-party brands or top-quality lenses from reputed camera lens brands.


You have to be considerate when buying your camera lenses. It’s advisable to narrow your choices to the right brands to go for and available models. Consider the type of lens to use and what to photograph.

Go on and compare the cost of available models from one shop to another, and pick a design that meets your preferences. It’s advisable to seek recommendations from photography experts. Significantly, don’t fail to try out your camera lenses before you make payment.


This Camera lens guide for beginners is going to be useful if you are buying a new lens. But these topics will serve you throughout your entire career as a photographer. In the article Types of Camera Lenses we’ve seen all the different lenses and their uses, so don’t forget to read part 1 of this lens guide here.

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