A Quick Guide on How to Use Interchangeable Camera Lenses

When you take the plunge to upgrade your camera from a point-and-shoot to an interchangeable lens model, you are looking forward to doing a lot more than just photography. Whether it’s about your dream vacation or any other special occasion that demands to capture the experience in all its glory, the new DSLR camera that you recently purchased is the first thing to cross your mind. Since it’s all about creating visual memories, you wouldn’t want to stick with standard kit lens but rather go for an interchangeable camera lens that promises versatility and great pictures. 

Lenses can be divided into 6 categories: standard or regular zoom, wide-angle, telephoto zoom, prime, macro, and specialty. Once you have decided which lens to add to your arsenal, here are a few more details to help you get started:

Note: Not all lenses are interchangeable with any camera. The canon camera lenses, for instance, would suit canon cameras and not Nikon or Sony. However, with the help of third-party mounting adapters, an interchangeable lens can be made to work with any model. 


If you prefer natural images, this is an ideal choice. These feature an angle of view that is approximately the same as the human eye. They possess a mid-range focal length, typically between 35mm to 85mm and are the most common lens type. Decent snapshots, landscapes, and portraits can be captured using these. 


These long-focus lenses are aimed at bringing far objects closer. Typically, they are 100 mm or larger. These are ideal for nature photographers. Unlike a point and shoot zoom, the telephoto lens focuses on magnifying the image instead of enlarging a portion of it. The longer the lens is, the greater will be the magnification on offer. 

Wide Angle

Offering the maximum field of view, wide-angle lenses usually have focal lengths between 10-35mm. These possess the ability to capture the maximum scene in a single shot and are ideal for landscape and architecture photography. 


Favorite among photographers, macro lenses allow one to take extremely close up images. They are celebrated for exposing every tiny detail of objects being captured. Available in fixed focal lengths, they suit other types of photography as well. 


Specialty lenses are of two types: fisheye and tilt-shift. Although not meant for daily use, fisheye lenses help create highly distorted circular images from a wide-angle field of view. With basic knowledge, some very interesting images can be shot using these lenses. 

Tilt-shift lenses, on the other hand, are some of the most unique lenses with a selective focus. They allow the photographer to let a specific part of the image be in focus. These are most commonly used in ‘miniature faking’ i.e making life-sized scenes appear like miniature models. 


These have fixed focal lengths and restricted zooming capabilities. They offer the highest image quality and require one to physically reposition in order to recompose the pictures.             

Deciding to go for an interchangeable lens camera is no small feat. Between mirrorless and DSLR, it’s all about what you want. When it comes to interchangeable lenses, we suggest starting with the basics before branching out. Canon India has a lot of options to help you turn professional from an amateur.