A Short Guide on Camera Lenses

What Is a Camera Lens?

A lens is a tool used to bring light to a fixed focal point. In a film camera, the lens sends the light to the film strip, while in a digital camera (like DSLRs or mirrorless cameras), the lens directs light to a digital sensor. Camera lenses are made up of a series of glass plates that are convex (curved outward) or concave (curved inward).


Camera Lens Characteristics

All lenses filter and focus light so that it hits the sensor or film strip correctly. However, there are a variety of other factors that determine how a camera lens affects the look and quality of the final photo.


5 Basic Types of Camera Lenses

There are two basic categories of camera lenses:


Within both prime and zoom types of lenses, there are a variety of lenses, all with different focal lengths.