Please explain me about Lens.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by BlindSoul, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. BlindSoul macrumors 6502

    May 30, 2010

    Photography is a new hobby of me. And i'm very interested to start saving for a good camera which has the option to use in Lens. Since with the camera i got right now i can't change Lens and she's pretty lame for Photographers. ( Fujifilm S2500HD ).
    Now from what i've seen. On the Details of Camera there's not really a big different between them besides the price... There's cameras with the same Megapixel and Zoom Wide, But their price can be different in about $500...
    How can i know what's good and what's not?
    And also, I've been wondering if anyone can explain someone newbie like me about the cameras lens, I never understood how they work and what every lens can do.
    And i've already tried Google for this information but everything there is very hard to understand...

    Thank you very much!
  2. standingquiet macrumors 6502


    Feb 13, 2010
    Birmingham, AL

    I will try and help you,

    First off megapixels mean nothing when it comes to how good a camera is a Nikon D40 with 6mp is far superior to say a fuji compact with 12mp. Megapixels only matter if you are going to be printing huge bill board size images.

    You need to decide what your main uses will be and go from there. DSLR cameras vary a lot you get cropped sensors and full framed sensors, full frame cameras are more expensive this is most like some of the price differences.

    You get cameras that shoot at higher ISO better than others again you'll pay more for.

    As for what is good or not well i'm a Nikon fan and would never buy anything else but Canon are just as good.

    As for lenses, lower f-stop better the lens as it lets more light in but typically the lower the f-stop the more expensive a lens is.

    example 50mm f/1.4 is double the price of the 50mm f/1.8.

    this is me being really basic here but to put it simple what do you want it for?

    If you just want it for family stuff i recommend a nikon 3100 with the kit 18-55mm VR lens. Its a perfect starter SLR with built in guide.

    A good website is this for SLR reviews

  3. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Go and find a camera or photography club in your area. The best way to learn about cameras and photography is to actually "do it", "touch it". Club members can show you about the bits and bobs of a camera, and actually point at what they are talking about. Using your camera will teach you about how things work. Seeing what you can do, and what other people can do with their equipment, will help you choose the best camera for you.

    There is no "best" camera. There are only cameras that are "best" for what you want to do.

    Photography is a visual medium, and the best way to learn to see it happening. Teaching photography with words can be done, but it's a lot of work for both the teacher and the student. What takes 1/2 hour of "words" to explain can often be shown in just a few minutes.

    Good Luck - don't sweat the equipment until you are reaching the limits of what your current camera can do. I just checked the specs on that Fuji Camera, and it's a nice camera.
  4. MSM Hobbes macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2006
    NE Hoosierana
    To add to the above two good replies, I'll just state what I've posted in another thread earlier... there are two main styles of digital cameras:

    1. point and shoots (portable, light weight, can not change lens)
    2. dslr - digital single lens reflex (more sturdy, more choices, heavier, where you change a lens to fit situation and/or desired outcome)

    Both have their own pros / cons, as shared above depending upon what you want to do with the device. Might take a gander here too:
    a bit dated, but relevant / helpful info -
    fill in the blanks, choose a camera -
    click on "featured articles" -

    Some of the highly recommended cameras, different price points, different styles:
    Sony Alpha A55
    Olympus PEN E-PL1
    Nikon D3100
    Panasonic Lumix FH20
    Canon Digital Rebel T2i
    Fuji FinePix F80EXR

    Good luck!
  5. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    First and foremost go try out some cameras. Don't get involved in any "Canon Vs Nikon Vs blah blah" wars. These tend to be from people who don't know too much about photography and think the camera is the most important piece.

    What IS important is that you are comfortable holding and accessing the buttons on your camera, and that the brand you choose has a wide range of lenses available for what you like to shoot.

    I have owned many cameras and my current one is a Canon 5D2. I chose this model because I love the layout of the buttons and the lenses that Canon makes (lots of fast wide primes) are what I prefer to shoot with. If you do not like your gear or find the buttons hard to get to, you will never use it so make sure you get to hold the camera and try it in the store before you buy anything. Ergonomics is important.

    Now, as far as camera differences, as others have stated megapixels really do not matter much. Image sensor size on the other hand is pretty important. More expensive cameras generally have full frame sensors which some people (usually wide angle shooters) prefer. Others who shoot sports often prefer cropped sensors because they like to zoom in more.

    Now as far as lenses go, these are where you want to spend your money. Camera bodies change all the time but lenses will last you for years and years. Invest in good glass, it will save you a ton in the long run.

    As far as lens types, usually lenses from 8mm - 35mm are considered wide angle (8mm is usually fisheye). 35mm - 75mm are considered standard lenses, 75mm - 400m is considered telephoto, and < 400mm is considered super-telephoto.

    If you like shooting landscapes and such wide angle lenses may be more your flavor. If you prefer portraiture then usually a standard lens or telephoto is a good choice, and for nature, sports, or wildlife shots telephotos or even supertelephotos are good choices.

    The best advice I can give for picking a camera is:

    -Go to the store, and hold the different models. Pick the one that feels the best in your hand and grab it.

    -Grab a 50mm 1.8 lens (usually these are around $100) and slap that lens on the camera and use it instead of the kit lens.

    Go take some shots! Learn about aperture, shutter, and ISO. They can be confusing at first but once they click you'll wonder how you ever thought they were difficult.

    By shooting with a 50mm 1.4 lens you will be able to easier see shallow depth of field, plus if you find yourself always having to creep up on your subjects, you know the next lens you buy should probably be a telephoto. If you find yourself always backing away from what you want to shoot, your next lens should be a wide angle.
  6. BlindSoul, Dec 23, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2010

    BlindSoul thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 30, 2010
    So far your information helped me a lot. All the four replies. And of course before i will decide exactly what camera i want i will try it first.
    I more like to focus on objects or to shoot landscapes...
    What is your suggestion for me?
    And where do you suggest me to learn about ISO , Aperture and the other things you've suggested me?

    Thank you! :)
  7. RogersDA macrumors 6502

    Aug 19, 2009
    Before you spend any money on a dSLR you need to make sure you (a) understand shooting terminology and (b) understand what your need to shoot what you want.

    As to (a) above here is a link to a photographer's tutorial on photography terms:

    As to (b) above you must know what you are doing in order to get the appropriate equipment. If you are shooting planned studio shots of static items then there is not much need for a camera that excels in high ISO performance. If you are constantly shooting low light shots; e.g., in a gymnasium, then ISO performance may be a consideration. Shooting landscapes then a wider angle lens may be more helpful than a longer focal length lens.

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