Mirrorless Camera Lenses

Mirrorless camera lenses come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Each lens has two purposes:

  1. It focuses a clear image onto the camera's sensor
  2. It determine the "angle of view"

The lens that you pair with your mirrorless camera can have a huge impact on the way your photos look, so it's important to find the right one.


The big advantage that mirrorless cameras have over digital SLRs is that they are significantly smaller and lighter.

While most mirrorless camera won't quite slip inside a pants pocket, they can be carried around for an entire day with ease.

However, the size of the camera can change dramatically depending on the lens that you decide to attach to it.

For example, the Sony line of NEX mirrorless cameras are especially slim and light. Without a lens, they can be mistaken for compact digital cameras. The minute you connect an 18-55mm lens, the ultra-compact form factor is lost.

For those who desire maximum portability, the answer is a simple one: a pancake lens. These lenses have acquired their funny name due to their flat nature. A pancake lens will add very little depth to your mirrorless camera, allowing you to carry the camera at all times.

The main drawback of pancake lenses is that they aren't zoom lenses: instead, they are fixed or "prime". If you want your zoom to have greater range, then you'll need to figure out what focal length you need.

Focal Length

The focal length of a lens is measured in millimeters, and it tells you how much of the scene in front of you the lens will capture.

Short focal lengths (14 to 18mm) capture almost everything you can see while long focal lengths (200 to 400mm) isolate a portion of it.

  • Lenses with short focal lengths are best for landscape and interior photography
  • Lenses with medium focal lengths are best for portraits
  • Lenses with long focal lengths are best for sports and wildlife

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