What is a Zoom lens (Things you want to know)

In the world of photography, we all heard the name “Zoom lens”. But there are many things to know about this kind of lens to get better in photography. Today in this article, we will learn everything about what is a zoom lens and why you should go for the zoom lens, and whether is it worth the money or not.

“The less gear you use, the more you grow as a photographer. Although there are fewer options available, you’ll find more creative ways to capture what you feel. In a way, all your technical options before turn into creative solutions that improve your photography even more.”

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What is the definition of zoom lens?

zoom lens

Basically, Zoom Lens is a lens that covers a range of focal lengths. Firstly we have to understand the focal length, its range.

The focal length determines the point of view of the camera, the amount of your sense captured. 

It is measured in millimeters (mm). Generally, the range of Focal lengths is between 8mm to more than 300 mm. 

This measurement is just the distance between the center of the lens and the sensor. 

So it doesn’t meet with how much of the scene the camera will be able to capture. 

Zoom lenses offer to adjust the focal length of the Lens within a specific range. 

On the other hand, the angle of view can be changed and narrower (zoom in) or wider (zoom out) in zoom range capability. 

For example, A 50mm focal length (in a full-frame camera) meets near the human eyes’ point of view. 

If a photo is taken with a 50mm lens, the scene will look superb as we see it without the camera. 

Shorter focal lengths will amplify the point of view. A person will see a broader frame in the camera than with his/her eyes. 

On the other hand, longer focal lengths will confine the angle of view. There will be A smaller part of the scene in the frame.

A-Zoom Lens is an instrumental assemblage of the materials of a lens that can be varied from the focal length instead of fixed focal length. 

A real zoom lens, another name “parfocal lens,” controls focus when its focal length switches. 

Most consumers don’t using a zoom lens properly for perfect focus but are parfocal designs yet. 

A greater portion of camera phones advertised as having optical zoom use a little camera of different but fixed focal length, combined with digital zoom to make a hybrid system. 

While staying in the same physical position, Photographers and cinematographers use zoom lenses for swift and simple re-framing of a scene.

What is the difference between a prime lens and a zoom lens?

prime lens vs zoom lens

The basic characteristic of a Prime lens has a fixed focal length. 

The focal length always remains the same because of having no zoom lens.

If anyone wants to get closer to or further away from the subject, he/she will physically have to do so. 

Prime lenses have a spacious range like wide-angle prime lenses (20mm & 14mm), medium- and long-range telephoto prime lenses (a 300mm or 600mm Lens).

On the other hand, the Zoom lens has focal lengths which are available to the photographer. 

It has an optical zoom ring so that the photographer could adjust his angle of view without any physical movement. 

Many zoom lenses have a broad range available like wide lens ( 12-24mm or 16-35mm), telephoto zoom lens (70-200mm, 100-400mm & 150-600mm) or multi-purpose zoom lens ( 18-300mm & 24-105mm). 

One of the biggest benefits of using a prime lens is that anyone generally gets to use a wider aperture (smaller f-number). 

Zoom lenses are not able to go as wide an aperture as prime lenses.

Types of Zoom lens

types of zoom lens

There are several types of Zoom lenses with various specific characteristics or features. Basically, there are four types of zoom lenses. such as : 

  1. Wide-angle zoom lenses: It is suitable to capture a wide area of the scene.
  2. Standard zoom lenses and superzoom lenses: It covers a wide range of focal lengths, including telephoto ranges. 
  3. Telephoto zoom lenses: It enables to capture of close-up images of faraway subjects.

Besides these lenses, there are many lenses for photography. Now let’s see details :

  1. Kit Lens: the focal length range of this Lens is 18-55mm. It’s eligible for landscapes, architecture, portraits, events photography.
  2. Fisheye Lens: this is an 8-24mm Ultra wide-angle lens suitable for Panoramic shots, cityscapes, landscape, real estate, abstract.
  3. Wide Angle Lens: Its range is 24-35mm focal length. This type of Lens is good at Interiors, landscapes, architecture, forest photography.
  4. Standard Prime Lenses: It has various focal lengths like 35, 50, 85, 135mm and capturing Portraits, weddings, street photography, or documentary photography.
  5. Normal Lens: Focal length range is 50mm. It uses for Portraits, Landscapes, Street Photography, and even sports photography.
  6. Zoom Lens: It has 55-200mm focal length and uses for Portraits, weddings, wildlife photography
  7. Macro Lens: It gives 50-200mm focal length and ultra-detailed photography (rings, nature.).
  8. Telephoto Lens: It can capture sports, wildlife, astronomy by its 100-600mm focal length.
  9. Infrared Lens: the focal length is 35-80mm and gives Black and white infrared photography.
  10. Tilt-Shift Lens: This Lens can capture Architecture, fine art photography by 17-35mm focal length.

How to pick the right camera according to budget

right lens for you
  1. Fix your range: Focal length naturally rely on the photography you like. Portrait photographers generally remain in a range between 35mm to 200mm. Landscape photographers extent between 14mm and 35mm. Wildlife photographers with over 300mm use Telelenses. These can be an excellent solution to choose.
  2. Full-frame or Cropped sensor: If you need a full-frame sensor, you can skip this step. The point of view of an individual focal length will be the same in the final image as indicated. If you need a cropped sensor camera, the apparent focal length angle will be smaller in the final image. You need to attach a conversion step to trace the equivalent focal length for your final image.

3. Settle upon a maximum aperture: Now you have to know the range you want; it is time to decide on the maximum aperture. Do you agree to use a slow or fast lens? ? Fast lenses are helpful in low light conditions because of allowing more light to go into the camera. They are also magnificent if you need to blur the backgrounds. You can get illiberal depths of field by its low aperture numbers. But they are usually more costly. If you don’t blueprint on taking photos in low light conditions or are not a fan of blurry backgrounds, in that time, a slow camera lens could come to help your needs.

4. Budget: Lenses are an actual enticement for photographers, but they are expensive. If you have a limited budget, you will need to make some compromises. When you choose a brand, you need to make sure that the Lens is competent with your camera model. The image quality should also be excellent enough for your objective. You have to check if the Lens gives autofocus. To maintain your budget, you might need to recognize the zoom range or the maximum aperture values you wanted a little.

Some FAQs Over the Internet


So the topic “What is a Zoom lens” comes to an end.

There are plenty of zoom lens types in the market.

Now it’s your turn to decide which one to buy. Before you have to consider your budget and the style of photography you like.

Zoom lenses are a massive choice when you need to switch the focal length quickly or when you don’t want to bear a lot of weight.

The main speech is that lenses can provide you with many more years of photography than a digital body. Depending on the model, a newer version of a camera body can be released every year.

Lenses, because the technology does not change as repeatedly, have much longer shelf lives than cameras.

Although camera bodies cost more than lenses in some cases, the glass is where you see your kit develop due to its lifetime.

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