Learning About Mirrorless Camera Lenses
Mirrorless camera lenses are interchangeable units for mirrorless cameras. Photographers with these cameras can easily upgrade their kit lenses and switch between lenses with different capabilities. Besides compatibility and type, the key factors to consider when shopping for interchangeable lenses are focal length and aperture range (f-stop number).
Types of Mirrorless Lenses
Mirrorless cameras use zoom and prime lenses. A zoom lens has a range of focal lengths. Sony's versatile G OSS lens series falls into this category. Prime lenses have fixed focal lengths and wider apertures. A zoom or prime lens can also be a standard, macro, wide-angle, telephoto, or fisheye lens.
A standard mirrorless lens captures images just as the eyes see them. A macro lens takes extreme close-up shots, and is suitable for taking photos of flowers, insects, and small items. Wide-angle lenses capture panoramic views. They're ideal for landscape photography and taking group pictures. Fisheye lenses produce extreme panoramic shots with curved edges. Telephotos lenses have long zoom capabilities.
Manufacturers offer camera lenses with varying capabilities and at multiple price points. Sigma, for example, has an Art series for high-end units and a Sport series with telephoto capabilities.
What Are Specialty Lenses?
These units are suitable for less common mirrorless cameras, or those that distort images in creative ways. In this category, you'll find rangefinder lenses. Rangefinder cameras are retro mirrorless systems that predate SLRs and DSLRs. Their standout feature is a rotating focusing ring for bringing objects into sharp focus. Lenses for these cameras have designs that accommodate this range-finding mechanism.
To add some creative touches to your shots, consider getting special effects lenses. The most popular examples are tilt-shift styles. They add optical distortion to shots to make images look symmetrical and pleasing to the eyes. Others let you adjust focus to add bokeh effects.
Can I Use Any Mirrorless Camera Lens with My Mirrorless Camera?
First, you need to match lens and camera sensor sizes. Compatible lenses are bigger or the same size as image sensors. Use full-frame lenses with full-frame cameras. Full-frame and APS-C lenses are compatible with APS-C sensors. Medium and large format lenses are larger than these are, but usable on mirrorless cameras.
Also consider lens mount. Manufacturers make lenses that are compatible with specific mounts. For example, E-mount and A-mount Sony mirrorless lenses are specifically for Sony cameras. Third-party lens makers may offer products that support OEM lens mounts. For example, you can find a Tamron lens for Sony E-mount mirrorless cameras. Some camera manufacturers produce lenses that are compatible with mounts found on other camera brands. Sigma's HSM Art lens series is a good example. Its lenses work with Sony, Sigma, Canon, and Nikon cameras.
Browse the wide selection of interchangeable camera lenses, zoom lenses, and accessories at B&H Photo and Video to expand your collection.