The quality of the lens that you put on your camera will have a direct effect on the quality of your final image. If you strive for higher quality, you will soon find that all lenses are really not equal. A higher end lens will not only give you better image quality but open the doors of greater creative possibility. But what makes a good lens good? People spend thousands of dollars on a good camera lens. Here are a few reasons why it’s so important.
All lenses have some kind of distortion. This tends to be manifested most in ultra-wide angle lenses, particularly at very wide angles. Better quality lenses have less distortion through the use of a greater number of lens elements. Sigma has an excellent 14-24mm Ultra-Wide Angle Nikon F Mount Lens from Beachcamera.com with very little distortion. The lens has 17 lens elements and weighs a full 1kg. Clearly not a lens to take lightly.
The camera lens is responsible for capturing and focusing light onto the camera sensor. Better quality lenses tend to have a larger aperture, allowing more light to pass through to the sensor. The aperture size is measured as an f-stop. The larger the maximum aperture of the lens, the smaller the f-stop. Faster lenses are key to capturing sporting events and wildlife. They are also very handy to have for low light photographs and allow you to rely less on the ISO ability of the camera.
There is chromatic aberration and spherical aberration. Chromatic aberration is a type of distortion in which the lens fails to focus all colors to the same convergence point. This shows up as a discolored edge to objects in a picture. Spherical aberration is distortion caused by the spherical lens shape and occurs when light hits near the edge of the lens instead of the center resulting in some resolution and clarity issues. This occurs more when the aperture of the lens is completely open. High quality lenses from Beachcamera.com have numerous technologies built into them to reduce aberration through a number of means including lens coatings, advanced construction methods and floating elements.
Many lenses have vibration reduction built into the lens. Vibration reduction helps to stabilize the lens during hand held photography allowing the photographer to take a clear picture at a slower shutter speed.
Most lenses that you can purchase today are consistently very good, but many times some extra investment into lenses will yield even better results. You might think that it is not worth the expense of buying a better lens but think of it this way. Lenses are on a much slower technological timeline. Your camera might be obsolete in two years. A good quality lens will last twenty years or more.