11 Things To Look Out For When Buying Camera Lenses

The lens acts as the eye of your camera — without it, your camera won’t be able to capture images at all. Depending on the kind of lens you will buy, the quality of the photos you will produce will also vary. Hence, it’s only important to be meticulous when you’re buying your first (or new) lens.
From knowing what MTF Measurement is to identifying which focal length best suits your needs, this article gathers 11 things to look out for when choosing camera lenses.
Determine what fits your budget. Buying camera equipment can be considered an investment. If you want to have lenses on the higher end, you have to shell out more money.
Know the different types of camera lenses. Standard camera lenses mimic how our naked eyes see. If you want to take greater, crisper images, you should opt for a prime lens. If you need a lens that allows you to zoom in and out as needed, you should go for a zoom lens.
Take into account the subject you are frequently taking photos of. Certain types of lenses are designed to capture certain subjects better. Prime lenses are great for portraits, telephotos are apt for wildlife and sports photography, macro lenses are recommended for close-up shots, while wide-angle zoom lenses are suitable for landscape photography.
Choose the focal length that best suits your needs. Focal length refers to how wide is the field of view of your lens. Smaller focal lengths help you capture more of the scene close to you; longer ones are needed for subjects located farther away.
Decide on the aperture. One of the most commonly used camera jargon, aperture refers to the “opening” or hole in your lens. It is measured as a fraction of the focal length (e.g. F/2, f/4). The lower the f-stops or the denominator, the larger the aperture is, and the larger the amount of light that can get into your lens. This is ideal if you’re shooting in low-light conditions.
Check out the MTF measurement. Modulation Transfer Function or MTF Testing measures a lens’ optical performance potential. An MTF chart has two groups of plotted data, and the higher and flatter the lines produced are, the better the lens is — it indicates that lens has better contrast or resolution.
Buy a lens that’s compatible with your camera body. Not all cameras are compatible with all types of lenses. Hence, it’s advisable to get lenses from the same manufacturer of your camera body.
Consider the lens’ weight and size. Though a more minor concern, you should still factor in weight and size when buying a lens. You have to be able to shoot properly and comfortably in order to produce great images.
Inspect build quality and weather proofing. A lens’ build quality and weather proofing feature can help preserve its life, and allow it to be able to withstand bad weather and dusty conditions.
Look for credible reviews about the lens. Look for reviews and testimonials from photographers or hobbyists who shoot the same subject as yours. These people can give insightful words about how advantageous a certain type of camera lens is.
Try out the lens in person. While statistics like aperture, focal length, and MTF measurement help you assess if the lens you’re eyeing suits your needs, nothing is more advantageous than trying out the lens yourself. This will help you personally see if the lens meets your expectations.

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