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Lenses for Portraits, Travel, Landscapes and More:
Which Do You Choose?
Artistic Effects A fish-eye lens offers the ultimate in special effects on your subjects. Take a group of bridesmaids on a balcony and use a fish-eye; the edges will converge and curve to give the photo a creative effect.
A variety of lenses work well for this type of photo. Outdoor daytime shots and pictures of kids at play need a faster shutter speed. A moderate zoom lens will be helpful in case you are not close to the subject, e.g. shooting from the stands at a football game.
A macro lens allows you to get extremely close to the subject you are shooting. They are ideal for flowers, insects and details on just about anything. True macro lenses produce images that are life-size with impeccable details no other lens can capture.
Wide-angle and superwide-angle lenses are ideal for landscape shots. You certainly don't want half of the Golden Gate Bridge cut out of the picture! A wide-angle lets you get it all in one shot. Great for large groups of people and buildings, too.
One of the biggest challenges in photography is shooting in low light. Low-light lenses allow in more light than a lot of other lenses. This is necessary to get a properly-exposed shot with fast shutter speed. Therefore, these lenses are typically larger and more expensive. Low-light lenses are perfect for indoor sports and nighttime shooting.
Portrait Shorter telephoto lenses with focal lengths between 85mm and 100mm are great for portraits because you are closer to the subject, and he or she is usually sitting or standing still. Fixed lenses are also good for portraits because you are often shooting from the same focal length.
A zoom lens covering a range of focal lengths is an ideal lens to take on a trip because even though it's just one lens, it gives you many options. Get close or stay a bit farther back. Zoom lenses can work for practically any photographic situation from Spanish dancers to the Great Pyramids.
Zooms and large telephotos are ideal for wildlife photos as they allow you to get closer without physically being close. They focus on details, offer an enlarged, cropped view and lend a creative, blurred background effect for a dramatic shot of that cardinal on a branch or wolf on a hill.