A Guide to Lenses for Your DSLR

StockSnap_9AXI43044HIf you want to improve your photography skills, you will want to make the most out of your equipment. This includes knowing the right lens for your photos! A good camera lens can make a big difference in the look of your photos. There is no one right answer to which lens you should buy for your camera but it’s important to understand the difference between different lenses. Always try and use the best lens for the job at hand. Here are the most common lenses and how you should use them:

Standard Lenses –

If you recently purchased a DSLR, it might have come with a starter or kit lens. These are typically standard lenses. Standard lenses have an angle of view that is similar to a human eye so they take photos that appear natural. Standard lenses can be used for many different types of photos, from street photography to landscape or portrait.

Macro Lenses –

Macro lenses were designed for close-up photography. Many macro lenses produce a 1:1 image, which means the subject is reproduced on the camera sensor at life-size, providing plenty of detail for the photo. They that give great image sharpness and contrast and create eye-catching photos. Macro lenses are ideal for shooting smaller subjects like flowers or insects.

Telephoto and Super Telephoto Lenses –

Telephoto lenses have long local lengths over 70 mm. They help you photograph subjects that are farther away. Telephoto lenses focus on a narrower field of view and can bring far away subjects much closer. Telephoto lenses are often bigger and heavier than other lenses and are most frequently used for shooting wildlife or sporting events.

Wide Angle Lenses –

Wide angle lenses have shorter focal lengths, between 24mm and 35 mm. They provide an angle of view that is beyond a standard lenses so they can capture more of a scene in a single shot. Wide angles magnify the perceived distance between subjects in the foreground and background and can give an exaggeration of lines and curves in photos. Many people use wide angle lenses for landscape photos or when they are trying to get a large subject into a frame, like photographing a large group of people.

We also want you to know the difference between prime lenses and zoom lenses, just to help make your shopping easier!

Prime Lenses vs. Zoom Lenses-

A prime lens is one with a fixed focal length. You can get prime lenses in various focal lengths, from wide-angle to telephoto. A zoom lens is one that can be zoomed in or out providing different focal lengths. Prime lenses typically have wider apertures, which gives them better low-light performance and they have a better optical quality than zooms. But zoom lenses provide more flexibility in their ability to shoot at different focal lengths but at slower apertures.

The right lens depends on your photography subjects and your level of experience. You should shop around to find the right lens for your photos.

You can find any of these lenses at your local camera store or Amazon.

Interested in learning more about cameras and camera equipment! Check out these posts:
So You Got a Fancy New DSLR Camera… Now What?!
How to Get Started Using your DSLR Camera Settings
Using Wide Angle Lenses in Sports Photography
How to Find the Best Camera Equipment for Sports Photography

 

6 Tips for Taking Better Photos of Your Kid’s Sports

There’s nothing quite as fun as watching your child enjoy learning and playing sports. As a sideline parent, you have the important job of supporting them, no matter what goes on in the game. In addition to cheering on your kids, you may want to capture some photos of them so you and your child can remember their sports days for years to come!

But sports photos are tough to catch! How many times have you tried to photograph your child mid-shot only to wind up with a blurry photo? It happens to the best of us but there are a few simple tricks you can learn to decrease the chances of blurry or low quality photos of kid’s sports.

  1. Increase your shutter speed and use wide aperture

Women's Basketball vs DaytonIncreasing your shutter speed is one of the best things to do if you want to decrease the risk of blurriness in your photo. Fast shutter speeds help you freeze the action. Selecting a wider aperture will allow for a faster shutter speed and it also creates a more shallow depth of field, which is critical when you are focusing on your player.

2. Pay attention to your surroundings

When you are framing your shot, you want to take the background into consideration. You don’t want anything distracting in the background that could distract from the subject of the photo. You may want to invest in a zoom lens to help you zoom in or you can experiment with different angles to get the best shot.

3. Get on their level

When shooting kids sports, you may need to get down on their level. After all, you want to capture their expressions and the experience as closely as possible. That can mean kneeling or crouching down to capture the photos.

4. Pay attention to light youth sports photos

Good or bad lighting can make your photos look spectacular or turn them a terrible mess. If shooting outdoors on a bright sunny day, always try to shoot with the sun at your back to avoid being backlit. Cloudy days are by far the best for outdoor sports. The soft nature of the light coming through the clouds means you can shoot in any direction with no issues, but remember to raise your ISO to keep your shutter speed high. Indoor lighting can be poor and can make even the best composed photos look awful. The only solution is to use a lens with a big aperture and to increase your ISO even if it ends up higher that you’d like.

5. Don’t stop shooting

Even if you’ve think you have caught the perfect shot, it might not mean that you have! Keep pressing the shutter button to try to capture as many photos as possible. You never know what you will catch! And don’t miss out on the action because you’ve taken the time to look down at your photo after you’ve taken it. You can review your photos after the game but for now, keep shooting!

Men's Basketball vs Fordham

6. The photos don’t have to stop when the action does.

There is more to the game then when your kid is at bat or kicking the ball. Look for moments when they are laughing with their teammate or talking to the coach or high fiving another player. Those moments are magical in sports as well and sometimes, they are even more memorable than those action photos!

Finally, perhaps more important than anything, don’t be so focused on the photos that you miss the game. Sports can be an extremely special times in a child’s life and you don’t want to miss out on the moments because you’re trying to find the right angle for the shot! Every now and then, it’s ok to put down the camera and enjoy!

Want to improve your sports photography skills? Learn about our customized packages!