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Lenses - Any thoughts on this article?

17 Mar 2011 11:54AM
Buying a lense for a camera can be an expensive purchase, so you want to buy what you need... Where to start?
Start by asking yourself "what type of photography will you specialize in".
Will you be doing portraits, wildlife, landscapes, macro photography primarily?
Is there a lense that is useful for those who are undecided or plan to do general photography as compared to specialization?
The good news is that a wide ranging lense can be useful for a wide range of types of shots, allow me to state that now before we go further.
Let's get started.
Depending on who you ask, a standard lense for the 35mm format is either 50 or 55 mm, this lense most closely sees as the eyes see.
Some say the normal lense is 35 to 70mm and best used for street or documentary photography.
Wide angle lenses could be less than 21 mm, best used for architectural photography while wide angle lenses of 21 to 35 mm are typically used for landscapes.
Telephoto lenses range from 70 to 135mm for portraiture photography, some people say 90 to 250mm is most popular for telephoto lenses.
135mm and up are typically used for sports photography, birds and wildlife photography also.
90mm is good for full face portraits.
Some say 50mm or less is good for macro photography if that is your specialty.
Many who photograph birds prefer 500mm or higher.
A good range, sometimes called muli purpose lense, could be a 18 to 270mm lense or a 28 to 300mm lense.
My favorite lense for wildlife is a 70 to 300mm lense, sometimes attached to a teleconverter that multiplies it 3x it's strength.
It's not as important what range constitutes what type of lense as much as what you will use your lense or lenses for most, you tell a sales person in a good photography supply store and they'll help you get the right lenses.
They don't come cheap though. Take your camera with you when you go to puchase and try it on your camera in the store to get a feel for it before you pay for it.
Do your research before you go to the store to buy and get a few different opinions from professional photographers if possible.
Last but not least, don't rush into a lense purchase, you don't want a camera bag full of lenses you'll not get much use out of.
Big lenses may need a stand to hold them and definitely a built in stabilizer.
This article isn't in depth not heavily technical, there are great websites that go into greater depth, well worth checking out.

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SteveCharles 15 2.3k 18 England
17 Mar 2011 11:59AM
My first thought is that it's spelt 'lens', for the singular.
strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
17 Mar 2011 12:07PM
Too many confusing not quite correct statements in there so does it help. for example macro 50mm lenses, lots of people prefer 100mm, there are reasons for choosing different focal lengths....
Excessive use of some say.....
Teleconverter that multiplies 3x its strength???? I thought they were 1.4x and 2x mainly with a few @ 1.7x.
17 Mar 2011 12:33PM
Spelling errors aside, the opinions in the article come from a number of professional photographers who didn't fully agree with each other but were in the same ball park.
Anyways, thanks for the feedback.
(the 3x is great, I get a lot of use out of it when I don't want to get too close to wild animals)
Martin54 12 542 United Kingdom
17 Mar 2011 12:37PM
Full frame or crop sesor is also a significant factor in lens choice.
Overread 9 4.1k 19 England
17 Mar 2011 3:57PM
This article has the feel of saying a lot of words but not actually saying anything much for all its length. The quoted rough uses of different focal lengths are about the only info contained within the article, but even they have some confusion and strangeness (eg the mentioned reference to 50mm macro lenses or less - far as I know there is only one macro lens less than 50mm which is the tokina 35mm macro which is probably less used than the MPE 65mm).

It just seems to say - there's lots of lenses out there - go read some web articles and talk to a shop sales worker and you'll get the advice you need on what to choose.

Granted the article mentions that its not gone into any depth, but its skimmed so far over the top that it contains nothing really of much worth to anyone either new or old hand to the photography game.
MikeRC Plus
12 3.6k United Kingdom
17 Mar 2011 4:42PM

Quote:My favorite lense for wildlife is a 70 to 300mm lense, sometimes attached to a teleconverter that multiplies it 3x it's strength.

Who makes the 70-300 lens that can take a 3x converter ? ....or even any converter ?

17 Mar 2011 5:49PM
Kenko used to produce a pro 3x converter a few years ago, and many lenses that won't work with their own manufacturers tc will work with the kenko versions
Paul Morgan 16 19.1k 6 England
17 Mar 2011 6:03PM
No, not with my eyes, gaps between paragraphs come in handy Smile
Overread 9 4.1k 19 England
17 Mar 2011 6:07PM
Aye kenko will fit to many lenses since they don't have the front element protrusion that others do. However even if you can get a 3*TC that will fit a 70-300mm lens the loss of light (3 stops) on a lens likely to be already f5.6 at the long end leaves you with:
210-900mm f16 lens

which has just almost crippled your light gathering, save nothing of the fact that even with a 1.4TC on a top end 70-300mm the image quality will already be noticeably affected (though a top range L 70-300mm should be ok) - but by the time you've tripped the focal range the image will have dulled and softened a lot - to say nothing of increased lens aberrations.

In short you end up with a lens that needs a lot of light just to expose a shot normally (let alone going for exposures with motion stopping shutter speeds of 1/500sec) and which is also suffering a significant degree of image degradation. That is all before the almost essential raising of the ISO of the camera for shutter speed (flash is of course an option, but not always possible - esp at 900mm distances where a speedlite with better beamer will already be having less effect).

It sounds like a combo that would "work" but would be very hard indeed to get any real quality shots with.
meercat 9 278 United Kingdom
17 Mar 2011 8:17PM
If you want an honest critique of the article, it doesn't work as one, the sentences don't really flow from one to another but are almost bullet points. As Brian points out gaps between paragraphs help, but then there don't appear to be paragraphs to speak of just broken sentences. I would suggest reading some articles on anything and seeing how they will construct the articles with a clear introduction, stating the purpose, a middle with details and a conclusion summarising your findings.

Sorry if this comes across as harsh.
keithh Plus
14 25.4k 33 Wallis And Futuna
17 Mar 2011 11:06PM
The biggest problem the article has apart from it's poor structure is that it tells you nothing. It has no usable content. I'm sure Google will love it.
SiPat 9 4 United Kingdom
23 Mar 2011 1:23AM
@BadSoulPhotography: "Depending on who you ask, a standard lense for the 35mm format is either 50 or 55 mm, this lense most closely sees as the eyes see."

No, it's not. On full frame, the ideal is 42mm, on crop sensor (DX) it is 28mm.

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