What Camera Lens Should You Use? A Complete Guide

What Camera Lens Should You Use? A Complete Guide | Crew Mama - What that glass do?! While some people believe the camera body is the most important part of a shoot, we argue that the glass on the camera should be the main concern. Why is this? Because they make or break your pictures or video footage. So, what kind of lens should you use for each type of shot? First off, you should understand how lenses are labeled. At first glance, it might feel like the lens world has its own language, but with a simple break down you will be speaking fluently in no time!

The Basics:

A camera lens is labeled by focal length, which is determined in millimeters (mm). The higher the number in front of the “mm” the bigger the zoom, and the smaller the number the wider the shot you can take. As a reference point, the human eye sees the equivalent of a full-frame lens (30-50mm). To put this into perspective - if the number on the lens is smaller than 30-50mm, you will have a wider shot than the naked eye can see. A number higher than 30-50mm will show a zoomed-in aspect that the naked eye can see.

How do I accomplish a portrait mode?

Before moving on to your lens options, you should learn about the 50mm lens. This is known as a “prime lens”. Prime lenses are very popular for a focus on one object with a blurred out background. Another name for the 50mm lens is "portrait mode", for all our smartphone users. If you are taking headshots or updating product images, a 50mm lens will be your best bet!

Ultra-Wide Lens:

Have you ever looked at a home website and wondered how they are able to capture an entire house without being in an airplane? They use what is called an ultra-wide lens. These lenses are typically under 24mm (remember, the lower the number the wider the angle). If you are capturing a lot of wide shots, you will possibly want to invest in an ultra-wide lens. These lenses might distort certain aspects of the image (think fish-eye lens), so make sure you go through all the options!

Telephoto Lens:

Are you more of an outdoors person? Want to get a picture of that leopard in the wild but don’t want to get eaten? The telephoto lens will be your best friend. A lens is classified as telephoto once it passes 135mm, and allows you to capture details from a distance.

The Macro Lens:

Macro lenses capture extreme close up details of subjects. Have you ever seen a picture of a bee on a flower and you can see the detail in their eyeball? These images are captured with a Macro lens. These typically have a focal range of 40-200mm, which gives the photographer a pretty great range to capture all the details. Are you ready to book a camera crew for a specific project? Have a specific lens in mind that you’d like for them to use? Give our team a call! We are happy to help!