Camera technology has changed dramatically since the early days of photovoltaics. Cameras have changed in size, shape, speed, price and many other factors.
One technology that hasn’t changed too much is the camera lens. A camera lens is a series of pieces of glass or plastic that try to capture your subject (what you’re taking a picture of) so it can be accurately saved to the camera’s film or digital card.
Comparing a Camera Lens to the Human Body
To understand the idea lens let’s compare a lens to the human body. When you open your eyes in the morning and get out of bed, you look around and see things such as the bed, the alarm clock, the door, windows, dressers or anything else in the room.
Your Eyes view the images, then your brain translates those lights into understood objects, then stores those objects in your memory.
In the world of the camera, the Lens is like your eye, looking around and bringing objects in the room into focus, so that your brain, can process and store those.
The Camera Body that captures the image and the SDHC Card that is in your camera is like your brain, processing images into known object and storing those objects into your memory.
Trying to use a camera without any lens is a bit like someone trying to see the room without eyes. If you just had an optical nerve and no eyes to see you would never have a clear picture of the room.
To take the analogy further, if you wear glasses or contacts, then they would act as a lens filter, changing the shape and perspective of what you see (hopefully) improving your vision.
Camera lenses come in all shapes and sizes. A wide-angle lens is a lens that has a very short focal length and really tries to get a perspective of your subject and everything around it.
Wide angle lenses are available for a huge variety of devices. You can even buy inexpensive wide-angle lenses for your cell phone.
A Telephoto lens by contrast is very long and typically is designed to help take a photo from a very long distance away, focusing in on one very specific object.
A good example of a telephoto lens is one used by photographers on the sidelines of football games. Lens prices can be as inexpensive as a $10 wide-angle lens for your cell phone, all the way up to the top of the line $12,000+ canon 600 mm telephoto lens.
No matter what camera you’re using, you need a lens, and if you’re considering upgrading lenses it’s important to know what you will be using the camera for. For more back to basics Lessons visit the Back to Basics Tutorials Section on Camcorderchris.com