Choose the right lens for your camera
To take great pictures, you need to choose the right type of lens. There are various types of lenses available, each best suited for different shooting situations. Below are some examples of shooting situations and the recommended type of lens to use.
- The Lens compatibility guide is available to help you choose an appropriate lens. E-mount lenses will work on A-mount cameras with a lens mount adapter with some limitations.
- Refer to the What is the difference between the LA-EA1, LA-EA2, LA-EA3, and LA-EA4 lens mount adapters? article for more details.
- Using a lens designed for a full-frame camera on a camera with an APS-C image sensor reduces the angle of view.
A zoom lens that's light, compact, and easy to carry is recommended for general snapshots. Compact zoom lenses offer fast zooming and focusing that let you respond quickly to spontaneous photo opportunities.
When shooting portraits, it's recommended to use a lens with a large aperture to ensure a shallow depth of field. This allows the blurring of background details to focus attention on your main subject. A medium telephoto lens is often used, but a prime lens with a large aperture is also sufficient. Macro lenses can also be used.
Landscape photos can be taken with a variety of lenses, but super wide and wide-angle lenses are often chosen for their ability to capture scenic vistas on a grand scale. Using an aperture setting of F11 or higher helps ensure crisp imaging across the entire scene. Since smaller apertures may require the use of slower shutter speeds, a tripod is also recommended to prevent motion blur from possible camera shake.
Many mid-range zoom lenses are adequate for taking close-up shots. A macro lens is recommended for optimum performance, and is available at different focal lengths.
- A macro lens with a focal length of 90mm or 100mm provides a good working distance and makes it easier for shooting subjects like butterflies, and insects that may take off if you get too close.
- A 50mm macro is lighter and more compact for easy handling. It's easier to hold the camera steady and maintain focus under conditions of high magnification and extremely shallow depth of field.
Telephoto and zoom lenses with a focal length of 200mm or higher are great to use when it's difficult to get close to sports action. A lens with a large aperture is recommended to allow more light into the camera and allow higher shutter speeds to capture fast-moving action shots.
It can be very difficult getting close to your subjects when photographing wildlife. In these situations, it is important to use a super-telephoto lens. Super telephoto lenses offer exceptional brightness and fast, quiet autofocusing. You can also use an optional 1.4x or 2x teleconverter to increase the focal length.
Pet photos are similar to portrait photography, but you want to use a smaller aperture to gain enough depth of field to keep the nose, tail, and other parts of the body in focus. Use a standard or telephoto zoom lens that lets you vary the framing as your pet moves around.