Camera lens manufactures often will have over 50 different lenses to choose from. The reason is this: If you know what type of photography you are going to specialize in, then you will need a lens that will work better for you. And I think this is the fun part of having different lenses available to you.

Lenses for Sports photographers:

If you are going to become a sports photographer, for example, you would want to get photos of the sports players up close. In which you need a big, big lens.

A real good sports photographer will have a lens like that shown above. Note that a Tripod is part of the equation.

Sports photographers, you will usually see along the sidelines of football games, basketball games, etc. Here’s one thing about being on the sidelines of these type of games: Be aware that the athletes are possibly going to run out of bounds and smash into you and all your camera equipment. These lenses are really ruggedly built, and are designed to be roughed up a little bit. But, when the lens is close to $10,000, you will want to watch out for this lens.

People and events lenses:

Taking casual photos of people and events, will usually be the lenses that are just a slight telephoto lens, easy to hold, and yet designed to give you sharp photos of your family and friends. I personally like the variable lenses, so if you have a group of people you can turn the ring on your lens and get the wide angle shot, that will get everyone in the picture.

Cerys & Cody’s River, field and woods engagement shoot | Candace Berry Photography

The portrait photographer likes this type of lens as well, so that they can either zoom in to the person to get a special expression, or zoom back to get the whole person.

Travel and landscape photos:

This type of photographer will generally shoot most of their photos with a wide angle lens. This lens is designed to give you a wide picture of the area that you are shooting.

The wide angle lens is designed to get it all. The perfect lens for landscapes and travel.

This is not a set rule, it is just the lens you will find you will use most of the time. I just recently read article about how to use your telephoto lens for landscapes. If that is the case, it would be a minimal amount of use, I think.

Nature and Wildlife photos:

I love the wildlife photographers. To be a good photographer of wildlife photos, you will need a big lens again. If you could ask the animals to allow you to get up close, that would be different, but they won’t, so the next best thing is to bring them to you, with a big telephoto lens.

As you can see, the best wildlife photos are captured from a distance. If you were close to the lion, after he got through drinking, he might think you look pretty tasty.

Macro and close-up photography:

This type of photography is a little less dangerous ( unless you are taking photos of bees). But, getting so close, that you would never see this type of photo with the naked eye, is amazing photography.

Photo of bee on flower done by : Lanny Cottrell photography.

Macro photography is an amazingly fun process. It does take special lenses to do this. All lens manufactures have specific “macro (or micro) lenses”. They are just designed to focus much closer than a normal lens. Sometimes you have to experiment with the depth of field. That was always something to be aware of as you shoot with macro.

Specialty lenses:

Of course there has to be the one photographer, who is going to take pictures of bizarre angles, or do architecture photos, that will need a special type of lens. Those lenses include: fisheye lenses, tilt and shift lenses.

fisheye photography examples

The interesting thing about fish-eye lenses is that you need to realize with some of them that you could get a whole 180 degree view of your photo. Watch your toes!! As shown in the picture above, this is what they call a full frame fish-eye lens. It gets the full 180 degrees, but fits the photo into a standard size photo frame.

This tilt-shift lens was made for photographers who do architectural photos. With wide angle lenses, the building tend to tip to a side. But, with the tilt-shift lens, you can make the building stand up straight. You can see with the Canon Lens on the side there, that this is a bizarre lens. Fun, though.


In order to know what lens you should buy next, think of what type of photography you want to do. Then go find the lens for your camera, and happy shooting.

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