Take your photography to the next level and beyond...

  • NEWS
  • REVIEWS
  • INSPIRATION
  • COMMUNITY
  • COMPETITIONS

Why not join for free today?

Join for Free

Your total photography experience starts here


PRIZES GALORE! Enter The ePHOTOzine Exclusive Christmas Prize Draw; Over £10,000 Worth of Prizes! Plus A Gift For Everybody On Christmas Day!

Zoom Lens Close ups


I am new to owning a decent camera, Nikon d3200. I have bought a zoom 55-300mm lens and found that my photos are never as close as me friends who has a ( Canon 26?) today i took it to a camera shop and was told it was a film lens and as such my shots are half of that(150mm) and what i needed was a digital lens. I'm confused. 55-300 af-s compatible for my camera says my booklet. How do i know which is digital and film help please so as i can get the right one. Jenny

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

Railcam 8 482 Scotland
29 Apr 2013 9:57PM
Firstly, avoid that camera shop in future as they are talking rubbish.

Your Nikon has a crop sensor with a factor of 1.5x. This means that using the 55-300 lens on your camera body is the equivalent of using an 82.5 - 450 lens on a 35mm film camera.

Crop sensor Canons have a factor of 1.6x (which is the equivalent of an 88 - 480 on a 35 mm film camera).

In other words, the Canon sensor is slightly smaller than the Nikon so has a narrower angle of view which makes it appear that the Canon is closer to the subject.

Don't worry, the lens will work fine on the camera. Just enjoy using it.
Hi railcam
thank you for reply and so quick.
On the camera it has a digital zoom when i zoom in on my 55-300mm zoom lens as far as i can i can still zoom in on my digital zoom buttons but it does hold the size that i see when i come to take the photo. Do i need another lens to hold that size or am i talking silly. If i seem to be asking silly questions its because this is completely new to all of this, and as such need someone with experience to guide me.
Pete e2
13 18.7k 96 England
29 Apr 2013 10:49PM
gonewiththewind please turn off caps lock when typing in our forums. It's easy to read in normal sentence case
ok sorry
Pete e2
13 18.7k 96 England
29 Apr 2013 11:36PM
no problem Smile
Sooty_1 4 1.3k 203 United Kingdom
30 Apr 2013 1:30AM
Avoid that camera shop like the plague. They are trying to get you to buy something you don't need.

Forget about digital zoom. Your lens has a focal length of 55-300mm, whether on film or digital camera and is fine for use on yours. The difference is that a lot of digital cameras sensors (including yours) are smaller than standard film size. What this means is that only the central part of the image is captured on the sensor.

Imagine a projector showing an image on a wall. You hold a piece of A3 paper up against the wall and see how much of the image you can see on the paper. That is the 35mm analogy. Now hold up a piece of A4 instead - the image is still the same, but less of it is shown on the smaller paper. This is now a digital sensor like yours and you only capture the middle part of the original.

If you now make the pictures the same dimensions, either you make the larger one small, or vice versa. Whichever way you do it, it seems like the digital sensor enlarges the image more than the 35mm one. This is why there is an apparent crop factor, because a sensor like yours will appear to magnify by 1.5 times relative to a 35mm frame, which is why your lens behaves like a 82.5-450mm.

You could buy any 300mm lens you like, it would still have the same focal length effect on your camera. Stick with what you have and use it as it is, but I'd avoid using any in-camera digital zoom, as all it does is enlarge the centre of the image and lose quality the same way you can if you crop in processing.

Nick
30 Apr 2013 8:19AM
Maybe the question is a little different, and you are asking about image magnification.
The 55-300 focuses as close (at 200mm) as a 3.6 inch wide subject on a Nikon DX body.
Some specialist lenses like a macro will give you more "magnification" and can cover a 1 inch wide subject, but generally they are not zooms and cost a lot more than the 55-300.
Some compact cameras (without an interchangeable lens) also focus closer and give a more magnification, but not as much image quality, as your lens on your body.
Your camera booklet is accurate.
You have no need to be confused.
Being diplomatic the person you spoke to in the camera shop is a complete photographic idiot who (using a polite northern expression) spouts but knows nowt.
Pete e2
13 18.7k 96 England
30 Apr 2013 8:41AM
If the lens isn't getting close enough and you have used it correctly to obtain its closest focus (some have a macro setting, others are best at one extreme of the zoom range) you need to either convert it using either an extension tube or close up filter, or swap it for something more suitable. Some zooms do have good close up settings, but a macro lens is the best.
Well you all have been really helpful, I'm not as confused. Went out this morning with my friend who has a digital camera and I took some pics and he took that same pics and we compared them, using the knowledge that I gain from you helpful people and now everything makes complete sense and I understand my camera much better. My friend has learnt something also about the dereference between our cameras.
Thank you all for you help.
Jenny. Now a happy snapper.
30 Apr 2013 12:55PM

Quote:
On the camera it has a digital zoom when i zoom in on my 55-300mm zoom lens as far as i can i can still zoom in on my digital zoom buttons but it does hold the size that i see when i come to take the photo. Do i need another lens to hold that size or am i talking silly. If i seem to be asking silly questions its because this is completely new to all of this, and as such need someone with experience to guide me.



doesn't the ability to use this extra zoom only apply to viewing the subject in live view when using manual focus?

i'm pretty sure my D5100 allows me to magnify the view by 10X to allow for more accurate focusing.
3 May 2013 7:33AM

Quote:
i'm pretty sure my D5100 allows me to magnify the view by 10X to allow for more accurate focusing.


Most modern DSLR's allow to to magnify a crop of the image, either in LiveView before taking a picture, or after taking a photo. You can then check likely quality in extra magnified detail either before after taking a picture.
This aside the image taken by the camera does not change. All that changes is what percentage of the whole picture is displayed on the rear screen.
4 May 2013 9:10PM

Quote:Most modern DSLR's allow to to magnify a crop of the image, either in LiveView before taking a picture, or after taking a photo. You can then check likely quality in extra magnified detail either before after taking a picture.


that's what i thought the OP was referring to Smile
peterjones 12 4.0k 1 United Kingdom
6 May 2013 8:55AM
Jenny I suggest keep it simple as possible (photographers love making the basics as complex as possible), I was about to type then I re-read "Railcam's" post: bang on and relevant to your question.

Did the camera shop sell you the 55-300 zoom lens as a first lens or is it in addition to another lens you have maybe the one that came with the camera? I only ask as IMO it is not a lens that would be suitable for beginners more one you look forward to getting once you have got used to your existing lens.

Peter.
Hi Petejones
Thank you for your advice. I got the 55-300 in January as a birthday present, now I'm out using it a lot now with having advice from all you folks. I think it was just having confidence in what I was doing. I now use the eye view on my camera instead of the lv and I tend to use manually focus. I love it more now. thank all once again. I just wish I knew what photo paper is best to print my photos out on.
Jenny

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.