Lens recommendation please

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by peweg, Dec 13, 2003.

  1. peweg

    peweg Guest

    I like to shoot outdoors - sunrises, sunsets, mountains. I'm looking
    for a good tele lens, but I'm not sure what focal length I should be
    looking at. Considering what I like to shoot, should I be shopping for
    a 70-200, 100-300, a good prime or what?
    Any advice appreciated.
    Paul
     
    peweg, Dec 13, 2003
    #1
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  2. peweg

    NJH Guest

    <peweg> wrote in message news:...
    > I like to shoot outdoors - sunrises, sunsets, mountains. I'm looking
    > for a good tele lens, but I'm not sure what focal length I should be
    > looking at. Considering what I like to shoot, should I be shopping for
    > a 70-200, 100-300, a good prime or what?


    A good prime zoom lens will be fine. (Despite what you may have been led to
    believe, "prime" does NOT mean "single focal length." It means the primary
    camera lens as opposed to some supplementary lens or converter used with
    it.)

    The range of focal lengths depends on what exactly you want to do. For the
    subjects you mention, most people wouldn't want a very long tele lens. What
    sort of camera and lens are you using now?

    Neil


    > Any advice appreciated.
    > Paul
    >
     
    NJH, Dec 13, 2003
    #2
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  3. peweg

    peweg Guest

    Neil, I just purchased a Digital Rebel kit with the 18-55. It's an ok
    lens but seems very limiting for the kind of shots I'm interested in
    taking. Since I only have the cash for one really good lens right now,
    I'd to make sure I purchase the right one.
    Thanks,
    Paul
    On Sat, 13 Dec 2003 18:57:11 GMT, "NJH" <> wrote:

    >
    ><peweg> wrote in message news:...
    >> I like to shoot outdoors - sunrises, sunsets, mountains. I'm looking
    >> for a good tele lens, but I'm not sure what focal length I should be
    >> looking at. Considering what I like to shoot, should I be shopping for
    >> a 70-200, 100-300, a good prime or what?

    >
    >A good prime zoom lens will be fine. (Despite what you may have been led to
    >believe, "prime" does NOT mean "single focal length." It means the primary
    >camera lens as opposed to some supplementary lens or converter used with
    >it.)
    >
    >The range of focal lengths depends on what exactly you want to do. For the
    >subjects you mention, most people wouldn't want a very long tele lens. What
    >sort of camera and lens are you using now?
    >
    >Neil
    >
    >
    >> Any advice appreciated.
    >> Paul
    >>

    >
    >
     
    peweg, Dec 13, 2003
    #3
  4. peweg

    Seneca Guest

    Okay. I'm assuming the Rebel has something close to a 1.6 x multiplier, so
    your 18-55 is equivalent to roughly a 28-85mm on a regular 35. That's a good
    all-around range for general use, but I can see you would want something a
    bit longer. I would be leery of getting anything *too* long, though. If
    Canon (or anyone) makes a lens of say 55-125mm or thereabouts that will fit
    your Rebel, that would start where your present lens leaves off and take you
    up to the equivalent of a 200mm lens on a regular 35. I would think
    something like that would be just about ideal for you. Anything much longer
    than 200mm equivalent can be difficult to hand hold unless you're well
    braced against something, and in fact many people cannot hand hold even a
    200mm lens (on a 35) steady enough to get sharp pictures.

    So that's what I would look for, a Canon zoom starting at around 55mm on the
    short end and not going too wild on the long end. I'm not at all familiar
    with the Canon line but I should think they'd have something like that for
    your Rebel.

    Neil



    <peweg> wrote in message news:...
    > Neil, I just purchased a Digital Rebel kit with the 18-55. It's an ok
    > lens but seems very limiting for the kind of shots I'm interested in
    > taking. Since I only have the cash for one really good lens right now,
    > I'd to make sure I purchase the right one.
    > Thanks,
    > Paul
    > On Sat, 13 Dec 2003 18:57:11 GMT, "NJH" <> wrote:
    >
    > >
    > ><peweg> wrote in message news:...
    > >> I like to shoot outdoors - sunrises, sunsets, mountains. I'm looking
    > >> for a good tele lens, but I'm not sure what focal length I should be
    > >> looking at. Considering what I like to shoot, should I be shopping for
    > >> a 70-200, 100-300, a good prime or what?

    > >
    > >A good prime zoom lens will be fine. (Despite what you may have been led

    to
    > >believe, "prime" does NOT mean "single focal length." It means the

    primary
    > >camera lens as opposed to some supplementary lens or converter used with
    > >it.)
    > >
    > >The range of focal lengths depends on what exactly you want to do. For

    the
    > >subjects you mention, most people wouldn't want a very long tele lens.

    What
    > >sort of camera and lens are you using now?
    > >
    > >Neil
    > >
    > >
    > >> Any advice appreciated.
    > >> Paul
    > >>

    > >
    > >

    >
     
    Seneca, Dec 13, 2003
    #4
  5. peweg

    Paolo Pizzi Guest

    Seneca wrote:

    > Anything much longer than 200mm equivalent can be
    > difficult to hand hold unless you're well braced against
    > something


    Well, DSLR's handle high ISO much better than
    film cameras (especially considering that nowadays
    noise-reduction software is getting really good...)
    Not to mention he can buy an image-stabilized
    lens.
     
    Paolo Pizzi, Dec 14, 2003
    #5
  6. peweg

    NJH Guest

    "Paolo Pizzi" <> wrote in message
    news:JbOCb.71139$...
    > Seneca wrote:
    >
    > > Anything much longer than 200mm equivalent can be
    > > difficult to hand hold unless you're well braced against
    > > something

    >
    > Well, DSLR's handle high ISO much better than
    > film cameras (especially considering that nowadays
    > noise-reduction software is getting really good...)


    Yes, that's a point.



    > Not to mention he can buy an image-stabilized
    > lens.


    True, but they're pretty expensive the last I looked, and his opening
    comment suggested he doesn't have tons of money to spend on glass.

    Neil
     
    NJH, Dec 14, 2003
    #6
  7. peweg writes:

    > I like to shoot outdoors - sunrises, sunsets, mountains. I'm looking
    > for a good tele lens, but I'm not sure what focal length I should be
    > looking at. Considering what I like to shoot, should I be shopping for
    > a 70-200, 100-300, a good prime or what?
    > Any advice appreciated.


    I tend to shoot most of my sunrises and sunsets wide angle (equivalent to
    38mm). Wildlife, etc. I use the zoom end of the range.

    --
    Michael Meissner
    email:
    http://www.the-meissners.org
     
    Michael Meissner, Dec 14, 2003
    #7
  8. peweg

    Drifter Guest


    >A good prime zoom lens will be fine. (Despite what you may have been led to
    >believe, "prime" does NOT mean "single focal length." It means the primary
    >camera lens as opposed to some supplementary lens or converter used with
    >it.)


    Now where did you get that from? Admittedly I'm not photo guru, but
    everything I have ever read agrees that a "Prime lens" is one with a
    single focal length. I'd be interested to read your corroborating
    evidence.

    trying to learn more
    Drifter
     
    Drifter, Dec 14, 2003
    #8
  9. peweg

    NJH Guest

    "Drifter" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > >A good prime zoom lens will be fine. (Despite what you may have been led

    to
    > >believe, "prime" does NOT mean "single focal length." It means the

    primary
    > >camera lens as opposed to some supplementary lens or converter used with
    > >it.)

    >
    > Now where did you get that from? Admittedly I'm not photo guru, but
    > everything I have ever read agrees that a "Prime lens" is one with a
    > single focal length. I'd be interested to read your corroborating
    > evidence.


    Glad to provide it.

    The misuse of the term "prime lens" started some years ago (on the old
    Fidonet was where I first saw it) and through the magic of the Internet has
    unfortunately spread rapidly. Evidently someone saw the term and
    misunderstood it, used it incorrectly, and others seeing the misusage
    assumed that's what it meant and used it that way themselves, and so on.

    The term simply means the camera lens itself as distinct from any
    supplementary lens or other optical device. That's all it means and all it
    ever meant. It was in use long, long before zoom lenses were generally
    available, so obviously there was no need to use any modifier before "lens"
    to indicate single focal length. It was used for example in close-up lens
    instructions (e.g., "with a +2 close-up lens, a subject 19.7 inches in front
    of the lens will be in focus when the prime lens is set at infinity") and
    also instructions for some front-mounted wide-angle and tele converters
    which changed the focus distance.

    "Prime" is used here in the sense of the dictionary definitions "first in
    order of degree or rank; chief" or "first or early in time, order or
    sequence; original." There is nothing in the word "prime" to suggest single
    focal length or single anything else.

    As I recall, Encyclopedia Britannica and Focal Encyclopedia (which is a
    photography-centered encyclopedia) have both defined "prime lens" correctly.
    I don't have their definitions on this computer but should have them
    somewhere and will post 'em if I can find 'em.

    My brochure for Kenko teleconverters uses "prime lens" correctly, and in
    that brochure about half of the prime lenses shown are in fact zoom lenses.

    Manufacturers of lenses for cine and video cameras, such as Zeiss, Schneider
    and Century, catalog "variable prime" lenses in just that way--meaning prime
    lenses of variable focal length.

    Finally, NO major lens manufacturer that I know of has ever used "prime
    lens" in its literature to mean single-focal-length lens. Definitely Minolta
    never has; I have loads of Minolta lens catalogues. I have looked over a lot
    of lens literature from Canon, Fuji, Nikon and other makers as well and have
    NEVER seen the term misused in this way.

    Nevertheless, the misuse is now commonplace on the Internet, has
    unfortunately even spread into print to a small degree, and will continue,
    I'm sure.


    >
    > trying to learn more
    > Drifter


    I hope this has helped a little. I know you'll continue to see "prime lens"
    misused; I just want to make sure you know that it's technically incorrect,
    has caused a lot of confusion, and makes no sense whatever in light of
    dictionary definitions of "prime."

    Neil
     
    NJH, Dec 14, 2003
    #9
  10. peweg

    Drifter Guest

    ---->snip<----
    >I hope this has helped a little. I know you'll continue to see "prime lens"
    >misused; I just want to make sure you know that it's technically incorrect,
    >has caused a lot of confusion, and makes no sense whatever in light of
    >dictionary definitions of "prime."
    >
    >Neil


    Neil:
    That's really interesting, thanks. I wonder though if this is going
    to be another case of the meaning of a term changing due to popular
    use.

    Drifter
     
    Drifter, Dec 14, 2003
    #10
  11. peweg

    Don Coon Guest

    "Drifter" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > ---->snip<----
    > >I hope this has helped a little. I know you'll continue to see "prime

    lens"
    > >misused; I just want to make sure you know that it's technically

    incorrect,
    > >has caused a lot of confusion, and makes no sense whatever in light of
    > >dictionary definitions of "prime."
    > >
    > >Neil

    >
    > Neil:
    > That's really interesting, thanks. I wonder though if this is going
    > to be another case of the meaning of a term changing due to popular
    > use.
    >
    > Drifter


    Don't know what dictionary you're using but Kodak defines a Prime lens as
    one "limited to a single focal length" but what the hell do they know : )
     
    Don Coon, Dec 14, 2003
    #11
  12. peweg

    NJH Guest

    "Drifter" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > ---->snip<----
    > >I hope this has helped a little. I know you'll continue to see "prime

    lens"
    > >misused; I just want to make sure you know that it's technically

    incorrect,
    > >has caused a lot of confusion, and makes no sense whatever in light of
    > >dictionary definitions of "prime."
    > >
    > >Neil

    >
    > Neil:
    > That's really interesting, thanks. I wonder though if this is going
    > to be another case of the meaning of a term changing due to popular
    > use.


    Yes, to a large extent that's already the case, and has been for a few
    years.

    It would not be a problem if it were not for the fact that "prime lens" is
    still used in its original and correct meaning. It isn't used correctly
    nearly as *often* as it's used incorrectly, because there isn't much real
    need for it to be used that way. And of course it's much easier to say or
    write "prime" than "single focal length," which further encourages the
    misuse. Also, it's become fashionable jargon so that many use it when
    there's no need for the distinction in the first place, e.g. when someone
    writes "50mm prime." Obviously if a lens is designated 50mm that's a single
    focal length, and the use of "prime" conveys nothing more than "see, I know
    the jargon just like you guys." ;-)

    Usually when you see "prime lens" the meaning is clear from the context, but
    not always. So sometimes you're not sure whether it really means a prime
    lens or a single-focal-length lens; worse, many readers will *think* it
    means the latter whether it does or not, since that's the only way they've
    seen it used.

    My own opinion is that "SFL lens" would be the best solution. That's just as
    easy to write as "prime lens" and presents no confusion as to
    meaning--except that no one uses it. :-/

    Neil
     
    NJH, Dec 14, 2003
    #12
  13. peweg

    NJH Guest

    "Don Coon" <coondw_nospam@hotmail_dot_.com> wrote in message
    news:8N0Db.543728$Tr4.1476552@attbi_s03...
    >
    > "Drifter" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > > ---->snip<----
    > > >I hope this has helped a little. I know you'll continue to see "prime

    > lens"
    > > >misused; I just want to make sure you know that it's technically

    > incorrect,
    > > >has caused a lot of confusion, and makes no sense whatever in light of
    > > >dictionary definitions of "prime."
    > > >
    > > >Neil

    > >
    > > Neil:
    > > That's really interesting, thanks. I wonder though if this is going
    > > to be another case of the meaning of a term changing due to popular
    > > use.
    > >
    > > Drifter

    >
    > Don't know what dictionary you're using but Kodak defines a Prime lens as
    > one "limited to a single focal length" but what the hell do they know : )


    Where does Kodak do this?

    In Kodak's Glossary of Photographic Terms, "prime lens" does not appear at
    all.
    http://www.kodak.com/global/en/consumer/glossary/termsO_P.shtml

    Neither can I find "prime lens" in any Kodak glossary of digital or cine
    terms.

    Neil
     
    NJH, Dec 14, 2003
    #13
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