Difference between..

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by eatkakifry, Oct 27, 2004.

  1. eatkakifry

    eatkakifry TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the tips in my earlier post. Next question. Is there a difference between a telephoto zoom lens and a telephoto lens? I'm looking at the nikon lens..and they are in two different categories. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks again!
     
  2. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My guess is one zooms the other doesnt.

    Check the mm rating on the lens. If it says something like 300mm then it's a fixed lens. A zoom lens will be something like 70-300 or whatever depending on the zoom.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That's right...telephoto just means the lens has a long focal length. It can be a zoom lens or a prime (fixed) lens.

    Because it's much more complicated to design & build a zoom lens, prime lenses usually give better quality for the money. Of course you loose the convenience of the zoom.

    For the average photographer, modern zoom lenses are still quite good. But people who require the very best quality would benefit from prime lenses or really expensive, top of the line zoom lenses.

    Another issue is the maximum aperture. That is the opening in the lens that lets light though. It's represented in F stops (or F Numbers). The actual F number is a ratio of the aperture to the focal length. The important thing to know is that the smaller the F number, the bigger the aperture...which means more light. So a lens that has a maximum aperture of F1.8 can open quite wide while F4.5 is much smaller.

    Zoom lenses, because of their design, typically have smaller maximum apertures. Unless you spend big bucks. This can become an issue when shooting indoors or any situation that is not very bright.

    Have I confused you yet? ;)
     

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