Digital Zoom vs DSLR 17mm - 40mm

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Jimmy Smith, Nov 8, 2003.

  1. Jimmy Smith

    Jimmy Smith Guest

    OK...... Enthusiastic beginners question. I understand when I see a point
    and shoot digital camera advertize an optical zoom number, say 5X or 3X
    optical zoom (forget the digital here), but how does that compare when I see
    DSLR saying things like 17mm - 40mm? How can I figure out what the optical
    zoom equivalent is from these other lens?

    Also, why would someone buy a 50mm fixed lens for the DSLR (say a 10D) in
    addition to some zoom lens that would move right through that 50mm number?
    It seems to me like the 50mm would be redundent and not as flexible.

    Jimmy
    Jimmy Smith, Nov 8, 2003
    #1
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  2. Jimmy Smith

    Tom Thackrey Guest

    On 8-Nov-2003, "Jimmy Smith" <> wrote:

    > OK...... Enthusiastic beginners question. I understand when I see a point
    > and shoot digital camera advertize an optical zoom number, say 5X or 3X
    > optical zoom (forget the digital here), but how does that compare when I
    > see
    > DSLR saying things like 17mm - 40mm? How can I figure out what the
    > optical
    > zoom equivalent is from these other lens?


    divide the big number by the small one 40/17 = 2.4x

    >
    > Also, why would someone buy a 50mm fixed lens for the DSLR (say a 10D) in
    > addition to some zoom lens that would move right through that 50mm number?
    > It seems to me like the 50mm would be redundent and not as flexible.


    In most cases the fixed focal length lens (AKA prime lens) will have a
    larger aperture, lighter weight, shorter barrel, less distortion, less
    flare, and produce a better image than the zoom lens.


    --
    Tom Thackrey
    www.creative-light.com
    tom (at) creative (dash) light (dot) com
    do NOT send email to (it's reserved for spammers)
    Tom Thackrey, Nov 8, 2003
    #2
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  3. Jimmy Smith

    Guest

    In message <jd9rb.46777$>,
    "Jimmy Smith" <> wrote:

    >Also, why would someone buy a 50mm fixed lens for the DSLR (say a 10D) in
    >addition to some zoom lens that would move right through that 50mm number?
    >It seems to me like the 50mm would be redundent and not as flexible.


    50mm prime lenses have larger apertures than zooms, and can be used in
    darker places, or for less depth-of-field. They also tend to be much
    sharper than zooms.
    --

    <>>< ><<> ><<> <>>< ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<>
    John P Sheehy <>
    ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<> <>>< ><<> ><<> <>><
    , Nov 8, 2003
    #3
  4. Jimmy Smith

    Sloopy Guest

    In article <>,
    wrote:

    > 50mm prime lenses have larger apertures than zooms,


    Some do. Some don't.

    -Sloopy
    Sloopy, Nov 8, 2003
    #4
  5. Jimmy Smith

    Don Coon Guest

    "Jimmy Smith" <> wrote in message
    news:jd9rb.46777$...
    > OK...... Enthusiastic beginners question. I understand when I see a point
    > and shoot digital camera advertize an optical zoom number, say 5X or 3X
    > optical zoom (forget the digital here), but how does that compare when I

    see
    > DSLR saying things like 17mm - 40mm? How can I figure out what the

    optical
    > zoom equivalent is from these other lens?


    Simple: 40/17 = 2.35X. You're smart to ignore digital zoom. It's an almost
    useless gimmick.

    >
    > Also, why would someone buy a 50mm fixed lens for the DSLR (say a 10D) in
    > addition to some zoom lens that would move right through that 50mm number?
    > It seems to me like the 50mm would be redundent and not as flexible.


    50mm on Canon Digicams like the 10D/D30/D60/300D performs as an 80mm lens
    which is close to the range considered ideal for portraits. The Canon 50mm
    f/1.8 II is much sharper than a typical zoom set to 50mm. Primes are almost
    always sharper than zooms -- not always. The fact that the 50 f/1.8 II
    costs about $70 make it almost a "no brainer" for knowledgeable users. Of
    course, Canon has far better 50mm lenses at a far higher prices.
    Don Coon, Nov 8, 2003
    #5
  6. Jimmy Smith

    Guest

    In message <>,
    Sloopy <> wrote:

    >
    >In article <>,
    >wrote:
    >
    >> 50mm prime lenses have larger apertures than zooms,

    >
    >Some do. Some don't.


    The smallest aperture for a 50mm lens for a 35mm SLR camera mount that I
    ever recall seeing was f2.
    --

    <>>< ><<> ><<> <>>< ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<>
    John P Sheehy <>
    ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<> <>>< ><<> ><<> <>><
    , Nov 8, 2003
    #6
  7. Jimmy Smith

    sjs031 Guest

    In article <>, <>
    wrote:

    > In message <>,
    > Sloopy <> wrote:
    >
    > >
    > >In article <>,
    > >wrote:
    > >
    > >> 50mm prime lenses have larger apertures than zooms,

    > >
    > >Some do. Some don't.

    >
    > The smallest aperture for a 50mm lens for a 35mm SLR camera mount that I
    > ever recall seeing was f2.


    Dude.

    You're counting backwards. f2 is larger than f3.5 or f8. Most lens will
    stop down to as far as f22 or some a little further.

    The largest aperture 50mm prime lens for 35mm cameras ever made was
    probably the Canon 50mm F1.0. Canon still sells many of their 50mm f1.4
    and f1.8 lenses, both of which have LARGER apertures than the f2 size
    you mention.

    -Steve
    sjs031, Nov 8, 2003
    #7
  8. Jimmy Smith

    Tom Thackrey Guest

    On 8-Nov-2003, wrote:

    > The smallest aperture for a 50mm lens for a 35mm SLR camera mount that I
    > ever recall seeing was f2.


    f/1.4 is common. I remember an f/1.2.

    --
    Tom Thackrey
    www.creative-light.com
    tom (at) creative (dash) light (dot) com
    do NOT send email to (it's reserved for spammers)
    Tom Thackrey, Nov 8, 2003
    #8
  9. Jimmy Smith

    Guest

    In message <081120031024068919%>,
    sjs031 <> wrote:

    >In article <>, <>
    >wrote:
    >
    >> In message <>,
    >> Sloopy <> wrote:
    >>
    >> >
    >> >In article <>,
    >> >wrote:
    >> >
    >> >> 50mm prime lenses have larger apertures than zooms,
    >> >
    >> >Some do. Some don't.

    >>
    >> The smallest aperture for a 50mm lens for a 35mm SLR camera mount that I
    >> ever recall seeing was f2.

    >
    >Dude.
    >
    >You're counting backwards. f2 is larger than f3.5 or f8. Most lens will
    >stop down to as far as f22 or some a little further.
    >
    >The largest aperture 50mm prime lens for 35mm cameras ever made was
    >probably the Canon 50mm F1.0. Canon still sells many of their 50mm f1.4
    >and f1.8 lenses, both of which have LARGER apertures than the f2 size
    >you mention.


    You really need to learn how to read in *context*. We were talking
    about maximum aperture. The smallest maximum aperture for an
    interchangeable 50mm prime that I've seen is about f2.

    --

    <>>< ><<> ><<> <>>< ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<>
    John P Sheehy <>
    ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<> <>>< ><<> ><<> <>><
    , Nov 8, 2003
    #9
  10. Jimmy Smith

    Guest

    In message <Bxarb.347$>,
    "Tom Thackrey" <> wrote:

    >On 8-Nov-2003, wrote:
    >
    >> The smallest aperture for a 50mm lens for a 35mm SLR camera mount that I
    >> ever recall seeing was f2.

    >
    >f/1.4 is common. I remember an f/1.2.


    Yes, but those would be LARGER.
    --

    <>>< ><<> ><<> <>>< ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<>
    John P Sheehy <>
    ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<> <>>< ><<> ><<> <>><
    , Nov 8, 2003
    #10
  11. Jimmy Smith

    George Kerby Guest

    On 11/8/03 12:06 PM, in article ,
    "" <> wrote:

    > In message <>,
    > Sloopy <> wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> In article <>,
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >>> 50mm prime lenses have larger apertures than zooms,

    >>
    >> Some do. Some don't.

    >
    > The smallest aperture for a 50mm lens for a 35mm SLR camera mount that I
    > ever recall seeing was f2.

    Canon has a f2.5 50mm EF that is in production today.


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    George Kerby, Nov 8, 2003
    #11
  12. Jimmy Smith

    PhotoMan Guest

    "Don Coon" <coondw_nospam@hotmail_dot_.com> wrote in message
    news:z2arb.107326$ao4.325071@attbi_s51...
    >
    > "Jimmy Smith" <> wrote in message
    > news:jd9rb.46777$...
    > > OK...... Enthusiastic beginners question. I understand when I see a

    point
    > > and shoot digital camera advertize an optical zoom number, say 5X or 3X
    > > optical zoom (forget the digital here), but how does that compare when I

    > see
    > > DSLR saying things like 17mm - 40mm? How can I figure out what the

    > optical
    > > zoom equivalent is from these other lens?

    >
    > Simple: 40/17 = 2.35X. You're smart to ignore digital zoom. It's an almost
    > useless gimmick.
    >
    > >
    > > Also, why would someone buy a 50mm fixed lens for the DSLR (say a 10D)

    in
    > > addition to some zoom lens that would move right through that 50mm

    number?
    > > It seems to me like the 50mm would be redundent and not as flexible.

    >
    > 50mm on Canon Digicams like the 10D/D30/D60/300D performs as an 80mm lens
    > which is close to the range considered ideal for portraits. The Canon

    50mm
    > f/1.8 II is much sharper than a typical zoom set to 50mm. Primes are

    almost
    > always sharper than zooms -- not always. The fact that the 50 f/1.8 II
    > costs about $70 make it almost a "no brainer" for knowledgeable users. Of
    > course, Canon has far better 50mm lenses at a far higher prices.
    >

    Just an FYI - In the 60's Canon made an ƒ 0.95 / 50mm lens for their
    rangefinder models, and currently sell an ƒ 1.0 / 50mm EF lens for the EOS
    line (film & digital).
    PhotoMan, Nov 8, 2003
    #12
  13. Jimmy Smith

    Tom Thackrey Guest

    On 8-Nov-2003, wrote:

    > In message <Bxarb.347$>,
    > "Tom Thackrey" <> wrote:
    >
    > >On 8-Nov-2003, wrote:
    > >
    > >> The smallest aperture for a 50mm lens for a 35mm SLR camera mount that
    > >> I
    > >> ever recall seeing was f2.

    > >
    > >f/1.4 is common. I remember an f/1.2.

    >
    > Yes, but those would be LARGER.
    > --


    Your post would have been clearer if you had said "The smallest MAXIMUM
    aperture" or had quoted more of the preceeding post.

    Several manufacturers make a 50mm f/2.8 macro lens.

    http://www.photo.net/ezshop/product?product_id=1278

    --
    Tom Thackrey
    www.creative-light.com
    tom (at) creative (dash) light (dot) com
    do NOT send email to (it's reserved for spammers)
    Tom Thackrey, Nov 8, 2003
    #13
  14. <quote who= Tom Thackrey email=/>:

    > In most cases the fixed focal length lens (AKA prime lens) will have a
    > larger aperture, lighter weight, shorter barrel, less distortion, less
    > flare, and produce a better image than the zoom lens.


    ..and the 50mm F1.8 is uber cheap. You can normally score a second hand one
    for $70.

    I just got one on ebay and love it. Great learning lens also because
    WYSIWYG. I can look at a subject without using the view finder and have an
    excellent idea of what it will look like through the view finder. Its not
    dramatic, but cheap, fast and a good learning tool.

    J

    --
    Justin F. Knotzke

    http://www.shampoo.ca PGP: http://www.shampoo.ca/pubkey.txt
    "Oh honey, Canadians don't matter" - Mrs Forman.
    Justin F. Knotzke, Nov 8, 2003
    #14
  15. Jimmy Smith

    MarkH Guest

    "Jimmy Smith" <> wrote in
    news:jd9rb.46777$:

    > OK...... Enthusiastic beginners question. I understand when I see a
    > point and shoot digital camera advertize an optical zoom number, say
    > 5X or 3X optical zoom (forget the digital here), but how does that
    > compare when I see DSLR saying things like 17mm - 40mm? How can I
    > figure out what the optical zoom equivalent is from these other lens?


    You should really ignore the zoom number.

    The Canon G5 has a 4x zoom, but you should check the specs to find that the
    zoom gives the equivalent of 35-140mm

    The Sony F717 5x zoom gives the equivalent of 38-190mm

    The Nikon Coolpix 5700 8x zoom gives the equivalent of 35-280mm

    If one 10x zoom offers 28-280 and another offers 35-350 then there is a
    noticeable difference between the two. It is more useful to look at the
    more accurate description of minimum-maximum zoom to easily understand what
    the lens will do.

    Compare the 28-135 lens with the 70-200, you could call them a 4.82x and a
    2.86x zoom, but the lens with lens range of zoom actually has more
    magnification.



    --
    Mark Heyes (New Zealand)
    See my pics at http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~markh/
    "There are 10 types of people, those that
    understand binary and those that don't"
    MarkH, Nov 9, 2003
    #15
  16. Jimmy Smith

    Ray Fischer Guest

    Justin F. Knotzke <> wrote:
    ><quote who= Tom Thackrey email=/>:
    >
    >> In most cases the fixed focal length lens (AKA prime lens) will have a
    >> larger aperture, lighter weight, shorter barrel, less distortion, less
    >> flare, and produce a better image than the zoom lens.

    >
    > ..and the 50mm F1.8 is uber cheap. You can normally score a second hand one
    >for $70.


    You can even get a brand new one for $70.

    --
    Ray Fischer
    Ray Fischer, Nov 9, 2003
    #16
  17. Jimmy Smith

    Eric Witte Guest

    "Tom Thackrey" <> wrote in message news:<in9rb.1384$>...
    > On 8-Nov-2003, "Jimmy Smith" <> wrote:
    >
    > > OK...... Enthusiastic beginners question. I understand when I see a point
    > > and shoot digital camera advertize an optical zoom number, say 5X or 3X
    > > optical zoom (forget the digital here), but how does that compare when I
    > > see
    > > DSLR saying things like 17mm - 40mm? How can I figure out what the
    > > optical
    > > zoom equivalent is from these other lens?

    >
    > divide the big number by the small one 40/17 = 2.4x
    >


    How do you get that number for a prime lens? I'm looking at the Canon
    50mm f/1.8 which would be about equal to 80mm on a film camera. Would
    objects be comparable to 50mm on the kit lens (do the EF-S ones have
    the 1.6 multiplier?)?

    Eric
    Eric Witte, Nov 13, 2003
    #17
  18. Jimmy Smith

    Don Coon Guest

    "Eric Witte" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "Tom Thackrey" <> wrote in message

    news:<in9rb.1384$>...
    > > On 8-Nov-2003, "Jimmy Smith" <> wrote:
    > >
    > > > OK...... Enthusiastic beginners question. I understand when I see a

    point
    > > > and shoot digital camera advertize an optical zoom number, say 5X or

    3X
    > > > optical zoom (forget the digital here), but how does that compare when

    I
    > > > see
    > > > DSLR saying things like 17mm - 40mm? How can I figure out what the
    > > > optical
    > > > zoom equivalent is from these other lens?

    > >
    > > divide the big number by the small one 40/17 = 2.4x
    > >

    >
    > How do you get that number for a prime lens? I'm looking at the Canon
    > 50mm f/1.8 which would be about equal to 80mm on a film camera. Would
    > objects be comparable to 50mm on the kit lens (do the EF-S ones have
    > the 1.6 multiplier?)?


    Yes. The "multiplier" is derived from the ratio of the DSLRs sensor size to
    35mm film size. The 10D/300D for example have 22.7mm x 15.1mm sensors. The
    "full frame" 1D/1Ds have sensors 35.8mmx 23.8mm. The ratio is approximately
    1:1.6. The lens make no difference. A prime's "x" ration is 1x as in
    50mm/50mm = 1x.
    Don Coon, Nov 13, 2003
    #18
  19. Jimmy Smith

    Eric Witte Guest

    > > How do you get that number for a prime lens? I'm looking at the Canon
    > > 50mm f/1.8 which would be about equal to 80mm on a film camera. Would
    > > objects be comparable to 50mm on the kit lens (do the EF-S ones have
    > > the 1.6 multiplier?)?

    >
    > Yes. The "multiplier" is derived from the ratio of the DSLRs sensor size to
    > 35mm film size. The 10D/300D for example have 22.7mm x 15.1mm sensors. The
    > "full frame" 1D/1Ds have sensors 35.8mmx 23.8mm. The ratio is approximately
    > 1:1.6. The lens make no difference. A prime's "x" ration is 1x as in
    > 50mm/50mm = 1x.


    Ok. I was hearing the EF-S lenses (lens since there is only 1) were
    specifically designed for the CMOS size on the 300d.

    Eric
    Eric Witte, Nov 14, 2003
    #19
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