Any good books to learn about lenses?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by MarcusM, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. MarcusM

    MarcusM TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,236
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    St. Paul, MN, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I know there are hundreds of threads about lenses, and I just did some quick searches, and I could read forever and still not really know what I'm looking for.

    I'm wondering if there are any good books on the basics of lenses. I'm starting to research my next lens purchase and want to make sure I get something I'm happy with.

    I was looking on Canon's website and the different variety of lenses can be confusing...for example, what's the difference between an ultra-wide zoom and standard zoom? I didn't know a wide-angle lens could also be a zoom lens!

    So I want a good book on just lenses. Are there any?
     
  2. Stranger

    Stranger TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Messages:
    495
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    As far as i know, any lens that changes focal lengths are called "zooms".

    You have either Fixed focal length or "Prime" and then "Zoom" and ultra-wide zoom would be like the sigma 10-20, mid zoom would be like the tamron 28-75, telephoto zoom would be like the canon 70-200 2.8.

    www.fredmiranda.com is a good place for lens review. I cant say i know of any books though. Hope this helps a bit
     
  3. jwkwd

    jwkwd TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2005
    Messages:
    630
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Western N.Y.
    The best thing to do is just go to a camera store and handle a bunch. Tell them your situation, if they are a good store and not busy, more than likely they will spend the time with you. A store that has employees who wear brightly colored apron's with big name tags is a store that I would avoid.
     
  4. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2003
    Messages:
    9,523
    Likes Received:
    344
    Location:
    North New Jersey, United States of America
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    If you mean a boook on Optics.. hell yah... there are a lot.

    If you mean collectable lenses.. there are a few.

    If you mean a book on how to buy lenses.. .they simply don't exist because its a personal choice with little value to someone else. Specs can be easily looked up...

    My advice is to study exposure and composition... in that process you will naturally gravitate toward the lenses that willl best serve you.


    For me... I found my study through experimentation.. which means buying.. trying it out.. and reselling if necessary.. Not the cheapest route but I've enjoyed it and learned a lot.
     
  5. (Ghastly) Krueger

    (Ghastly) Krueger TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    Messages:
    1,393
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lost between tomorrow and yesterday
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Don't know about books, but a couple of sites that may help you:
    The digital picture... explains a lot about canon lenses, nomenclature, use, build, etc.
    Photozone lens reviews.

    Good luck
     
  6. MarcusM

    MarcusM TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,236
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    St. Paul, MN, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thanks for the link. It looks like there's a lot of useful info.

    Yea, that is a good idea. I go to a local store called National Camera in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. They are pretty busy almost all the time, but most of the sales reps are really friendly and will offer advice and info. And they don't have brightly colored aprons! Yeay!

    Thanks for the tips, yea, I'm talking about a book that would cover the basics of optics - the different types of lenses, what purpose they serve, all the technical info, etc.

    Thanks for the sites, I will check 'em out.

    If anyone knows of a good book on the basics of lenses and the different types, let me know please!
     
  7. nossie

    nossie TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Messages:
    794
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    What do you want to take pictures of?
     
  8. MarcusM

    MarcusM TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,236
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    St. Paul, MN, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Everything and anything.

    I take pictures of everything. I guess specifically right now, I want to get into portraiture more, and also some macro photography. But I also need to get an all-around lens. I'm thinking for my first lens (besides my kit lens) I will get the 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM AF. (Unless I decide to get a Nikon, but that's a different thread, lol)

    But, aside from that, I just really want to learn the basics of lenses. I want to get a solid foundation in lenses so at least know a little when I walk into a camera store. My kit lens doesn't have much to it - an AF/MF switch, the focus ring, etc. All the nice lenses have all kinds of switches and settings that I know nothing about.
     
  9. nossie

    nossie TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Messages:
    794
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Well I have the 24-105 and I have my doubts about it. I do a bit of band photography and I know I'd like an f2.8 (or better) over the f4. I would also like to question the use of the IS on such a short lens. I'm not really feeling it. As an owner of the 24-105 I'm suggesting you go for the 24-70 f2.8 I think you'll be better off and I consider trading in when the timing is right financially.

    The 24-70 will server you well for portraits in most cases.

    All the so called "nice lenses" don't have $h1+. The have a man/auto focus switch. And the IS variety have IS on/off and some models like the 70-200 f2.8 IS have IS mode 1/2, which is X+Y axis or just X axis for panning.

    The more you pay the purer the glass = better colours and better contrast at a purist level.
     
  10. Turn

    Turn TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Funny. I was in Borders last night just generally browsing the photography section (waiting to get a table at the Outback next door) and found myself thinking- "there is nothing here that i can't find on the internet."
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

learn about lenses