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Thought I had posted this question a few mins ago, but it hasn't appeared so here goes again, please delete if double post.
Another basic question from me I am afraid, but I would appreciate a definitve answer, which I know you experienced people will easily be able to supply.
I have a Canon 55-200, which has almost 4x optical zoom. Would a lens like the 28-135 with almost 5x optical zoom get me closer to a subject, even though it is smaller than the 200 at the narrow end? I realise it's normally the optical zoom which dictates the proximity of a subject and also that this is a kindergarden type question, but I really am not sure, so hope it's ok to ask!
Thanks in advance, Paul
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I'm a bit tired and fuddled for technical accuracy, but roughly, 200mm focal length will give greater magnification and narrower field of view.
You could say that 200 is the short end of wildlife photography, and 135 is the long end of portrait.
I think you've misunderstood the use of the 4x and 5x stuff, though I never use that terminology myself.
Sense of humour and the Dartmoor ale suggests that only your feet get you closer and dictate proximity, but I think I understood really.
I'd prefer to get away from 'optical zoom' and think in terms of focal length. You can get 135mm with the 55-200, I suppose when the lens is wound out about 2 thirds.
Quote: get me closer to a subject
not sure if you mean zoom in closer to focus closer.
sorry, I meant zoom in closer OR focus closer.
I think he means, he wants the subject looking bigger in the viewfinder, without moving his feet.
If you want to zoom in closer, of course 55 - 200 will get you closer compared to 28-135
But if you want to focus closer, you might need to read the specs of each lens or do a test to see how close they can focus. And if you want to be able to focus closer, then macro lens is your choice.
In basic terms:
Focal length (e.g. 135mm v.s. 200mm) indicate how large your subject will appear. For now think of this is an absolute value.
Optical zoom is relative. i.e. The range of small end v.s. large end.
10mm-100mm is a 10X zoom.
20mm-200m is also a 10X zoom.
50mm-500mm is also a 10X zoom.
The 500mm end will make the subject very large.
The 10mm end will allow you to see a vast amount of background.
So when you look at a camera with 5x or 10x optical zoom, it really isnt saying anything specific about how close the subject will appear.
A simple rule to remember if the focal length is a higher number, It takes you closer to the subject.
Therefore the lens with 200 at one end is going to get closer than the one with 135 on the end.
Stands to reason when you think about it, As the lens themselves get longer the higher the numbers go, ie 500mm starts to look a bit like a telescope..............///// Thud......zzzzzz
Quote: Optical zoom is relative. i.e. The range of small end v.s. large end.
So it doesn't tell you anything really useful about the lens.
Except usually a bigger number will be a worse lens.
Thanks for the responses!
So for DSLR photograpghy, the higher the focal length, the larger your subject will appear
Is this the same with compacts, or are there other factors? Reason I ask is that my Olympus C765 zooms in a lot closer than my 55-200 on myu DSLR but is only 6.3-63mm. This is where my confusion has occurred regarding optical zoom!
This makes matters even more confusing to people - thats F6.3 at 63mm, making it very slow compared to a SLR lens [for example Sigmas 50-500 hits F6.3 at 500mm].
The Oly has a smaller sensor, and the lens is much closer to it.
Comparing lenses on different format cameras can get technically very confusing.
Typically a 35mm slr, or an equivalent dslr, will have a lens to film/sensor distance of about 50mm.
Compact digital camera design is quite different, and the lenses sometimes are only a few mm from the sensor.
(Olympus website says the C-765 Ultrazoom is equiv. 38-380mm on a 35mm camera.)
Quote: thats F6.3 at 63mm
I think he means a zoom with 6.3mm to 63mm focal length, which seems quite sensible - and as per the x explanation earlier, makes it a 10x zoom.
Olympus describe it as "Bright 10x optical zoom lens
I once taped a cheap compact sensor into an old slr with a 55mm lens and plugged into the PC.
The result was like a very poor quality very long zoom, with a very small field of view.
Quote: the C-765 Ultrazoom is equiv. 38-380mm on a 35mm camera
Quote: my Olympus C765 zooms in a lot closer than my 55-200 on my DSLR
That is because the Oly lens is effectively almost twice the focal length of that on the DSLR
Quote: I have a Canon 55-200, which has almost 4x optical zoom. Would a lens like the 28-135 with almost 5x optical zoom get me closer to a subject
While a longer zoomed lens [ longer focal length] may get you a tighter framing there is another parameter which comes into effect. Usually the longer the focal length the less close the lens is able to focus becuase the makers do not provide enough extension in the construction of the lens mounting.
I struck this when I bought my Panasonic FZ20 after using the Nikon 5700 for a couple of years.
Generally speaking the x12 zoom lens cannot focus as close as the x8 zoom lens. A compromise which all the designers seem to have accepted.
It also doesn't really matter very much just how close a lens will focus, advertising bollocks, becuase while the latest close focusing lens will focus very close that is only at their wide angle settings. So it is all a bit of a con.
The reason to 'go close' is to get a 'tight framing'. If we accept the later the first becomes unimportant except from a perspective point of view ... there is little or no difference with depth of field how you achieve the tight framing.
It can be advantageous to keep back from the subject while getting the tight framing to give plenty of room for light to get at the subject, you can use a 'regular flash' instead of buying a ring flash, safety from vemonous creatures etc.
So withing limitations the x12 zoom pro-sumer with a close-up lens does a good job of getting tight framings, can be better than the APS DSLR with a 'macro' lens working to only 1:1.
We are not talking about magnifiaction here but rather the subject size filling the sensor. The DSLR's 1:1 macro is only about 24mm across while I would expect a digicam x12 zoom with a 4 dioptre CU lens to get around an 18mm across subject filling the sensor.
The DSLR comes into it's own when instead of bothering about a 'macro' lens you insert extension tubes or bellows between lens and body .. with posssibly the compromise you come in rather close ... but with plenty of extension [ I had a total of 230mm last time I played] you can use a longer focal length lens [a 135mm] to fill the sensor with just part of a clothespeg spring.
The above can be seen in my portfolio .. set-up and result
The 'macro lens is a modern convienience tool ... very conveinient but maybe not really neccessary if you know the other ways of going about it. Certasinly I have no need to splurge on one as yet
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