Anyone kind enough to explain lenses to a newbie?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Shufflemoomin, May 15, 2010.

  1. Shufflemoomin

    Shufflemoomin TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 15, 2010
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hey everyone,

    I'm not only newbie to photography, but I'm beginning to feel like a moron for not understanding lenses. I've been dabbling in Photography with a point-and-shoot, a Finepix S5800, for a while and I'm interested in making the leap to DSLR.

    I've been looking at lenses, I've read countless articles and even read DSLR for dummies, but I'm still a little confused. One of the reasons I'm unhappy with the Fuji is that it's not a wide enough angled lens for me. I see DSLR lenses that go down to between 10mm and 20mm which is supposed to be good and I see Zoom lenses going up to between 200mm and 300mm which is also supposed to be good. The thing that's confusing me is that I'm comparing this to the lens on my point-and-shoot which is labelled as 6.3mm-63mm (10x Optical Zoom). Where does this leave me with DSLR and how can I make a comparison? I assume I can't make a direct comparison, otherwise my point-and-shoot would be capturing more of a scene that the 10mm-20mm lenses I see listed. I also don't have an idea of how much zoom a 200mm lens will give me. I saw a standard 55mm-200mm lens but I can't find a comparison showing the captured scene at 55mm and then zoomed to 200mm to give me an idea of the difference.

    As you can see, I'm more than a little confused and may be bordering on Rainman levels of misunderstanding. Is there any kind, knowledgeable soul here who is willing to point someone lost and confused in the right direction?

    Many thanks to anyone who can help clear this all up for me.
    Shufflemoomin
     
  2. Speed JUnkyz

    Speed JUnkyz TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 14, 2010
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    East Berlin, PA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    thanks i been wondering this myself lol... Subscribed and awaiting more info :D :D
     
  3. mrpink

    mrpink No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2010
    Messages:
    1,927
    Likes Received:
    268
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
  4. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Messages:
    5,394
    Likes Received:
    405
    Location:
    An American in Europe
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Sometimes, the best way to an answer is the most obvious one :)

    Walk into a camera store and try different lenses.

    By doing that you will kill two birds with one stone btw. Unless you are set on one brand already because of their lenses, it is a good idea to handle different bodies to see how they feel in your hands and, also important, how the controls feel to you. Every brand is slightly different but reading about them is only one step in the process of your choice.
     
  5. Shufflemoomin

    Shufflemoomin TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 15, 2010
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thanks for the info guys. The lens simulator was exactly what I was looking for. I guess I just don't understand why the zoom is so poor on those lenses. I'm used to great zoom on my point-and-shoot and the zoom coverage on these 55mm-200mm lenses just doesn't compare. I guess I'm confused about what I would gain over spending between 500 and 1000 pounds on a DSLR besides slightly better image quality and interchangeable lenses. What am I missing here? Is there another reason why I have to spend so much money to get a DSLR that has the same zoom range as the budget camera I'm using now?

    Shufflemoomin
     
  6. Speed JUnkyz

    Speed JUnkyz TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 14, 2010
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    East Berlin, PA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    yeah that simulator is really cool....
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    38,213
    Likes Received:
    5,000
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    For many P&S cameras the zoom isn't accomplished optically, it is accomplished electronically and image quality is lost in the process.
     
  8. Shufflemoomin

    Shufflemoomin TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 15, 2010
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I understand the difference between optical and digital zoom. The point-and-shoot I'm using now has 10X optical zoom. The lens is rated at 6.3mm-63mm. I understand that I'm likely being hugely ignorant, but I still don't understand why with a DSLR I have to spend 10 times the money to achieve the same basic features. I mean, this point-and-shoot has aperture priority, shutter priority and manual modes. It also has strong zoom. Apart from interchangeable lenses, what else would I gain with a DSLR?

    Shufflemoomin
     
  9. D-B-J

    D-B-J Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    9,027
    Likes Received:
    2,171
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    you gain.. ALOT with a dslr. It makes everything more easy to customize. I can quickly change my aperture, iso, wb, quality, shutter speed, and more, all in a few seconds. However, a dslr is harder to use.
     
  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    35,456
    Likes Received:
    12,794
    Location:
    USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    A d-slr has a much,much larger sensor, in area. Wikipedia has a nice line drawing on sensor size that shows, but let me give you an idea. Your Fuji, if it uses the popular 1/1.7" sensor is a very small sensor, with the surface area of roughly, a pencil eraser top, or 7.6mm x 5.7mm, or 43 square millimeters. Or in other words, only about 2/3 of the area of my pinky fingernail.

    A d-slr, like a Canon Rebel or Nikon D5000 uses the APS-C sized sensor, which is 22.2mm x 14.8mm in a Canon, or 329 square milimeters, or a little bit bigger in a Nikon or Pentax, at 370 square millimeters in area: this is roughly the size of most US postage stamps.

    A d-slr like an "FX" Nikon or a "FF" Canon, will have a sensor roughly 24x36 millimeters, or 864 square millimeters, which is like two old 10 cent USA stamps, side-by-side.

    The lenses "scale" as far as length, relative to the sensor: on a small-sensor compact like your Fuji, 6.3 is wide-angle, and 63mm is a very powerful telephoto. Like water needs for a mouse or water needs for an elephant, the bigger the sensor is, the longer the lens needs to be to make a "telephoto" effect photograph, and inversely, the smaller the sensor is, the shorter the lens must be in order to give wide-angle of view in the picture.

    A d-slr has a HUGE sensor, compared to a compact digicam. A d-slr typically shoots faster,more quickly that is, than a compact camera once the shutter button is pressed--and the d-slr has less lag for focusing, less lag for the shutter to get moving, and so on. With the bigger sensor, the d-slr does not need as much "lens help" when you need to get a close-up,and you can crop the images from a d-slr more so than from the 1/1.7", tiny-sensored compact cameras. With a d-slr, you get more-instantaneous shooting, and usually more snappy focusing,especially in poor light. The d-slr advantage is mostly about overall,total performance, and the advantages of the d-slr come out as conditions go from perfect to less-than-perfect. Under really bad lighting conditions, the big-sensor, pro-level Canon and Nikon cameras are the best tools, with the most "power" in all categories.

    On a bright beach, or a summer's day, with plenty of light and a low ISO setting and a good lens, the small sensors do a very good job.
     
  11. creisinger

    creisinger TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    470
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Miami
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Here a few points:

    P&S (point and shoot) cameras use a relatively small sensor to capture the light. This inevitably leads to a bunch of issues that are less of a problem in DSLR cameras like: noise, sharpness, depth of field, ISO sensitivity etc.

    It's always good to use the biggest sensor available (or affordable) which means getting a DSLR using full frame that compares to a 35mm film for old school cameras.
    Full-frame digital SLR - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    This helps to distribute the light over a bigger area allowing more pixels to pick up all three colors RGB in order to reproduce the image digitally.

    Also this means that a large sensor DSLR with let's say 8 Megapixels can produce a much sharper image than a 12 Megapixel P&S, just because of the different sensor size. So Megapixels don't determine the sharpness of your camera and has been abused to confuse or even blind consumers who just want to get the "Best".

    A DSLR allows you to change lenses which gives you the option to shoot with a huge variety of optics to produce different perspectives or looks.

    A super wide angle or "fish-eye" can produce a circular image with an extremely wide field of view. That means you can use that kind of lens in a small room but still capture most of the people in it. That could be a lens between 8 to 15mm.

    In the same room you can't use a 50mm lens to capture all the people at once. Only a few of the party will fit in the frame. Your field of view narrow the longer the focal length is.

    That leads to you too zoom lenses or super zoom lenses. Since their field of view is very, very narrow they are not used to take pictures on a party but instead used in sports or wildlife photography where the subject is very far away.

    So there is a plethora of different types of lenses and their uses.

    Comparing a P&S camera with a DSLR is like comparing a tricycle with a Rolls Royce limo. Both take you from point A to point B but they do it differently.

    There are plenty of online resources and tutorials or youtube videos about this. It's all stuff we had to learn, it doesn't necessarily come to you over night.

    Just do some more research.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2010
  12. creisinger

    creisinger TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    470
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Miami
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Haha you beat me to it.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
difference between 10-30 mm and 6.3-63mm lens
,

explain 200mm lens

,
explain 55-200mm
,

explain lens mm

,
explain lenses
,
explain photgraphy lenses
,

explain photography lenses

,
what does 200mm lens correlate to zoom
,
what is 55 200 zoom
,
zoom lens focal length 6.3mm 63mm