Lens advice

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Kamerynn, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. Kamerynn macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    County Durham, UK
    #1
    Hi,

    I'm after just a quick bit of advice. I would like to get a VR lens ready for a trip to Turkey. My handholding skills leave a lot to be desired so would like a bit of help from a VR unit. I don't have a bit budget, no more than £200ish. I know that leaves me with very few options but hey ho. I'm looking for a general catch all lens so i don't have to carry much with me.

    I have a Nikon D70 with the kit lens, a Nikon 50mm and a Sigma 70 - 300, non of them are stabilized.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Kam
     
  2. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #2
    Kam - you won't get much for that sort of money.

    Consider getting yourself a really decent monopod. You should be able to use it in places where you wouldn't be able to use a tripod, they're easy to carry (use it as a walking stick) and it'll give you the stability you're looking for.

    I see that you have a 50mm lens. I'd be tempted to add the new 35 1.8 G to your collection. It's less than £200 and would work great as a single walk around lens. As f1.8 you should be able to get the shutter speed up high enough to override camera shake - a more flexible option than a much slower f4+ lens with VR.
     
  3. Kamerynn thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    County Durham, UK
    #3
    Thanks Firestarter.

    What difference would I see between the lens you recommend and the 50mm 1.8 that i already have? Sorry if it's a stupid question I'm a bit green on this side of things.
     
  4. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #4
    It's just a bit wider. On a D70, the 50mm lens acts as a telephoto - it's quite 'zoomed in', and might not be the best thing for general photography.

    The 35mm is more of a 'normal' lens on your camera. Gives a wider angle of view, and is a bit more comfortable to use as a main lens (you don't have to walk backwards quite as far to fit everything in).

    I assume that the kit lens the camera came with is a zoom? Try it on both the 35mm and 50mm settings, walk around the house and outdoors and see how you would feel about walking 'round with just that.

    I have a couple of Canon DSLRs - for my 'travel kit' I generally just pack my 550D and a 24mm lens.
     
  5. cosolin macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #5
    I know it's a bit more, and on paper ever so slightly slower, but I'd buck up for the full frame 35mm f2. The 35mm DX lens has quite a bit of barrel distortion, especially noticeable if you photograph buildings: vertical and horizontal straight lines are the arch enemy of barrel distortion. I just returned from a trip to italy shooting exclusively with the 35 f2 and was extremely pleased with the outcome.

    Good Luck.
     
  6. TheDrift- macrumors 6502a

    TheDrift-

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    #6
    Ok

    VR (or in canon talk IS) helps cut down on camera shake which makes your pictures look blurry.

    In order to prevent camerashake you need to shoot at a fast enough shutter speed.

    The longer the focal length the faster the shutter speed you need to prevent camera shake. A rule of thumb is that you shutter speed should be at least you focal length.

    eg a 50 mm lens you should be at least 1/50 second shutter speed a 100 mm lens 1/100 a 200 mm lens 1/200.

    With me so far....Ok you camera is a 'crop sensor' camera that means that your focal lengths are longer than on a 'full frame camera' probably by roughly 1.5 times.

    SO for your camera a 50mm length is similar to a 75mm length a 100 mm length is similar to 150 mm length etc.

    So if you are shooting a 50 mm lens on a crop sensor you shutter speed needs to be 50 x 1.5 = 1/75 or faster.

    ...

    You can increase shutter speed by increasing the ISO, or the increasing the Aperture, which are why people are reccomending the fast (large aperture) 35mm (less length).

    With a faster shorter lens you may not need VR at all. I'd reccomend you look up the exposure triangle..this will help you understand whats going on (understanding exposure by bryan patterson is well worth a read too!)

    If you are planning on shooting outside during the day (assuming its sunny) VR probably wont be that usefull, indoors maybe, but if you are shooting people VR wont stop them moving, you need a faster lens (wider aperture, weirdly they have a lower f number)

    VR is most usefull shooting non moving things in lowish light.
     
  7. joemod macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2010
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    #7
    I think that he already knew these TheDrift-. But since you wrote them I would like to ask whether the 1/focal length rule applies before or after IS/VR.
     
  8. Kamerynn thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    County Durham, UK
    #8
    Thanks for that TheDrift.

    Seems i need to think a lot more about this and decide if i should go with a monopod and something like the 35mm or just get one of the budget VR lenses.

    Then of course once I decide, i have to get approval from the boss ;)
     
  9. TheDrift- macrumors 6502a

    TheDrift-

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    #9
    before...EG if your focal length is 100 (lets say on a crop sensor) then your looking at 150mm so you need to be shooting at 1/150 s

    IS/VR will then reduce this so if you had a 4 stop IS/VR you could shoot at 150/4 = 1/40ish

    I havnt used nikon VR a whole lot, but cannon 4 stop IS gives me a good two 2 stops after that it gets a bit more hit and miss (mostly hits to be fair but I can still manage to blur the odd shot here and there).

    Dont forget this wont stop your subject moving so if you down at the 1/30s and shooting people unless they are really still they can still look blurry.

    One trick if you find yourself right down here struggling for light is to put you camera on continuos shooting mode and fire out 4/5 shots instead of one. The theory being at least one will turn out ok...I have always found this to work better then it sounds it should.
     
  10. Kamerynn thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    County Durham, UK
    #10
    Sorry to bump this back again.

    I never did get to buy the new lens, but it seems I finally now have the opportunity again.

    One thing has changed since I last asked this question, myself and the Sigma 70-300 came into sharp contact with some some slippy decking at a zoo and while i escaped with a bruise and wounded pride the lens did not fair as well and has since been laid to rest. (Camera seems to be ok though)

    So my question now is, do i still go with the 35mm or should i look to replace the zoom with something. I'm away up to the Hebrides for a week soon and hope to get some decent shots while there.

    The options i have come up with are..

    35mm on your previous recomendations
    55-200 VR to cover a bit of range
    18-55 VR to replace the non VR kit lens
    18-105 VR (this will stretch my budget but may be able to wangle it)

    I'm on a limited budget so no more than £200

    Many thanks,

    Kam
     

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