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Need advice...how to chose the right lens

Travel Forums Travel Photography Need advice...how to chose the right lens

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1. Posted by tamales22 (Budding Member 4 posts) 11y

Hi there,

I am new to photography...I recently bought my first SLR camera and I am looking for a quality lens that is resonably priced. I have gone onto websites to read reviews and found that some lenses have terrible reviews.....as being cheaply made, with bad foces, with flare problems, etc...while others have better reviews. I really don't know much about brands so can anyone give me general information on quality lenses, brands, series, etc that have good focus and produce sharp images as desired. I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks

2. Posted by Daver141 (Respected Member 117 posts) 11y

First, it depends on what kind of camera body you have. Some lenses wont fit. Next, the question is what you want to use the lens for? Do you plan on shooting portraits? Panoramas? Action shots of sport or animals? How far away from these things do you wish to be?
Next, how much do you want to spend? The number that will most affect price is the F-stop (i.e. the number following
"f" in the lens description). The smaller the number the more it costs. Thus an 100-300 mm f1.4-2.8 will cost a hell of a lot more than the same lens at f4-8.

What kind of lens did the kit come with? I would start with that one to get the feel of it. Feel free to drop me a message if I can help you further. I am not really an expert, and my experience is limited to Nikons, but I certainly can give you the basics.

3. Posted by Q' (Travel Guru 1987 posts) 11y

Quoting Daver141

Thus an 100-300 mm f1.4-2.8

Is there such a beast ?

tamales22,
Generally the lenses made by the camera manufacturer are considered to be the best. There are a few exceptions to the rule, but that's a good guideline. Obviously factors such as whether you have direct access to the guys who designed the camera body will affect such things as compatibility of the components and control software. Also, you'll also find that the camera manufacturer's lenses are better built mechanically.

As for manufacturers like Sigma & Tamron, their "pro" lines are considered to be excellent as well. But of course the discount you enjoyed by going with a third party manufacturer is much reduced if you start buying the "pro" stuff. In the end, you get what you pay for in lenses.

4. Posted by bibs (Full Member 89 posts) 11y

Hi Dave
I am also just thinking about buying a camera but not able to decide whether to go for amanual SLR or a digital one. I had a Minlota 7000 SLR sometime back but I lost it in a trip. So please give me a some advice. I will be doing mainly travel photography.
bibs

5. Posted by Daver141 (Respected Member 117 posts) 11y

Bibs: I personally like digital. I know some people almost consider it cheating, as you can do lots of post shooting editing, but I find that it beats lugging around a ton of film. That being said I am planning on hauling a 30GB storage device and a portable DVD-CD-R stand alone burner with me.

One byproduct of digital that I have found is that you get trigger happy-you take lots of pictures of a thing or event rather than the one or two that you might have if you were shooting film. I got back from alaska recently, I was there for 2 weeks, and I took over 1000 pics. Of those, I have perhaps 2-300 worth anything.

The other problem with digital is that it adds a new factor to consider. With film SLRs, the body was basically only used to hold, advance and expose film. Thus, one could consider getting a cheaper body and spending the extra $ on better lenses. Now, in the age of digital, resolution (i.e. megapixels) becomes a consideration.

As for you QZhang: Likely not. I was just trying to give a clear example, and it was late here.

Hope that helped.

6. Posted by bibs (Full Member 89 posts) 11y

Thanks Dave,
but now which camera to buy, how much megapixels and how much optical zoom to go for. Sony, Nikkon or Cannon; 3 or more megapixels.
BTW is there any camera which has both the film and digital combined.(sounds absurd!!!).
bibs

7. Posted by Daver141 (Respected Member 117 posts) 11y

Thats an awfully personal choice I am afraid. I looked at two models primarily when I bought. It came down to the Canon rebel xt and the Nikon D70S. Ultimately I chose the Nikon for a variety of reasons, and I am very pleased. I guess, the first thing is price. How much do you want to spend? After that, like any other purchase, figure out what features you absolutely need.

As for a digital/Film combo, I am not familiar with such a thing.

8. Posted by Q' (Travel Guru 1987 posts) 11y

You can get digital backs. Never played with one. The idea is you replace the flip out part of the back of your film camera with a CCD sensor. However, it means you can only shoot either film or digital and I'm not sure what the conversion process is, but I can't imagine it's something you easily and quickly. People also had problems with dust on the CCD I believe. Not very popular. Except of course the really nice digital backs made by guys like Phase One. Got $40,000 USD ???

That probably wasn't what you had in mind. I'm just in a goofball mood today. You're better off carrying two bodies with the same lens mount. Cheers.

9. Posted by Q' (Travel Guru 1987 posts) 11y

Quoting Daver141

One byproduct of digital that I have found is that you get trigger happy-you take lots of pictures of a thing or event......

Now, in the age of digital, resolution (i.e. megapixels) becomes a consideration.

As for you QZhang: Likely not. I was just trying to give a clear example, and it was late here.

Hope that helped.

Dave, shoot RAW files. That'll slow you down. The megapixels aren't really as much of a factor as people think. If you do the math, it takes AT LEAST a doubling of megapixels before one should get excited. One thing I do like is being able to carry around several speeds of film with me at once. The other really really big factor that I think people forget about is the post-processing. Going to digital means you make a lot of compromises on the shooting end. But being able to Photoshop stuff afterwards opens up all kinds of fantastic possibilities.

You picked some funny numbers. I've not seen a zoom f1.4 before. Nor a 300mm f2.8 zoom either. That would be one hell of a lens though.

10. Posted by tamales22 (Budding Member 4 posts) 11y

Thanks everybody for your advise