In years past, cameras came equipped with a set of lenses, each with a different focal length. Every time a close-up or different angle was needed for a subject, the photographer had to select the right lens and make the change to gain a desired result. This was very time-consuming. Any minor error in judgment in that selection could easily produce a distorted picture.
With the rapid improvement in photography technology, a single integrated lens was introduced. This lens allowed a photographer to instantaneously zoom in from different ranges. With each zoom range there was a new focal length to the camera lens.
Three common types of zoom lens include mid-range, telephoto and long zoom. A single mid-range zoom lens can easily cover telephoto, normal and wide-angle focal lengths. To capture wildlife or any sports-related moment, typically long zooms are used. Portrait, sports, scenic and candid pictures are commonly taken using a telephoto lens.
Common Features of a Zoom Lens
- Taking a close-up of a subject is achieved with the help of the macro focus option. The reproduction ratio of the lens helps determine the range of a close-up focus. For example, a 1:4 means that if diameter of the subject is 4 inches, the outcome in the final picture will be 1 inch.
- Most cameras come with one-touch zoom control which allows you to focus and zoom simultaneously.
Important Considerations Buying a Lens
The most important feature to assess is range of focal length. If you plan to use a camera mostly for vacation or travel purposes, buy a mid-range zoom lens. On the other hand, if you are buying for sports or portrait photography, choose a telephoto zoom lens.
Consider the weight and size of the lens. Generally, the heavier and larger the lens, the greater its speed.
And speaking of speed, if you plan to use your camera indoors, buy a faster lens since it allows more exposure time, which is useful in low light locations.
Also, allow your budget to weigh in on the matter as well. More features almost always mean a higher expense lens.
Having a zoom lens allows you to take some stunning pictures. Before making an expensive purchase, decide where you mostly plan to use the camera, and let that heavily influence your decision making. Over time you can always purchase other types of zoom lenses to carry along with your other equipment.