In a previous article, I covered the three major types of lenses that can be used with a SLR camera. In this article, we are going to cover the more advanced lenses, their uses, and why they are not for everyone. Remember that once you start using specialty lenses you are increasing not only the amount of money into your hobby or career, but also the amount of equipment that must be carried around.
Mirror Lenses -These very long-range lenses offer great zooms. They are much shorter than typically telephoto lenses, and are much lighter weight. They do not offer as clear a picture as a telephoto lens however, so there are some drawbacks. In addition, the f-stop is not adjustable on these types of lenses, but if you are more interested in the lightweight factor this can be a relatively small drawback. These lenses are also called “reflex” and “catadioptric” as the other popular terms.
Teleconverters -These lenses are very special, they are typically made in 1.4x and 2x sizes. These lenses are very small are powerful. While the zoom on this lens by itself is poor, it is capable of taking other lenses and magnifying their zoom power. For example, if you use a teleconverter that is 2x with a 100mm lens, the lens will now zoom to 200mm. This is the great advantage of these lenses because they enable you to zoom much further without buying the much more expensive lenses that would otherwise be required.
Macro -This is something very different than the others. While most lenses zoom on the object or person being photographed, a macro lens will simply take a life-sized picture. This enables the photographer to take a picture of an item and have it by the true size of the item. A macro lens is only able to magnify 1x while most magnify 0.5x. Macro lenses are able to bring amazing clarity to pictures if used appropriately.
Fish-Eye -These lenses are very short range, they are only able available from 6mm up to a maximum of 16mm. These lenses cause the edges of the frame to have a curved appearance, thus creating a dimensional image. Within the fish-eye, series there are three variations. The first is the full-frame lens that produces an image with curved lines. The second is a circular lens, this produces a rounded image. The final lens is rectilinear lens this produced an image with straight lines and a very natural look.
As you can see, the specialty lenses provide a great assortment of additional features that can really expand your ability as a photographer. I do not recommend using these lenses until you find a good use for them, as they are a bit more expensive than a normal lens. Shop around carefully for a good deal on a quality product for any lenses that you choose to purchase. Also, ensure you keep your lenses well protected to ensure they last a long time as well as continue taking great pictures.