Tech

Guide: Fixed focal lengths for APS-C cameras at a glance

The first lens most photographers use is a zoom. This covers many different motifs and makes handling easy. This convenience comes at the price of numerous compromises: Often the zoom lenses are not particularly bright and are not really “crisp” with any focal length. It looks different with fixed focal lengths. Here the engineers can optimize the lens to a focal length, and there is usually one or two f-stops more light, which means creative leeway for the photographer. Last but not least, fixed focal lengths educate people to take more conscious photos and thus ensure better composed images. If you want a different section of the picture, you have to move, take a different position. Working with only one focal length trains the eye and opens up new perspectives.

When it comes to full-frame cameras, the range of fixed focal lengths is almost unmanageable. There is a specialized optic for every conceivable application. This ranges from the extreme wide angle with a focal length of just a few millimeters to the extreme telephoto with 800 and more millimeters, plus macro lenses that offer up to 5: 1 times the image scale. The range looks much clearer on the smaller APS-C sensor. We looked at the lenses for cameras from Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Pentax and Sony. We also take a look at the lenses from third-party manufacturers such as Laowa, Tamron, Tokina, Samyang, Sigma and Zeiss.

The portfolio of the manufacturers is significantly different. While the number of lenses at Canon and Nikon with a total of ten lenses is clear (Canon six, Nikon four), Fujifilm and Pentax offer a significantly larger selection. Both manufacturers rely or rely on the APS-C sensor for their cameras and have accordingly developed a large number of lenses for this purpose. Sony offers a range of fixed focal lengths for its E-mount and also has three optics for the outdated A-mount on offer. The pricing of the lenses for APS-C is, on average, somewhat cheaper than comparable full-frame lenses, but particularly high-quality and bright optics also have their price on the smaller sensor. You will find an overview on the following pages. All focal lengths refer to the equivalent 35mm focal length.

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