Digital Photography Questions - Please help!

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by jvankampen1, Feb 28, 2004.

  1. jvankampen1

    jvankampen1 TPF Noob!

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    :D For starters, how does a Nikon D100 compare with a D1H or D1X? I would like to purchase one of these bodies to shoot photojournalistic work, sports, and a wide variety of other assignments. I am a young photojournalist, near the beginning of my career, and I am investing in a digital SLR body of my own that I can use for the next couple of years in my career for a wide variety of events and assignments. I would like to take recording speed of images into consideration as well as control of white balance, ISO film speeds, etc. How do these camera bodies compare? Although D1H's and D1Xs are significantly more expensive than D100's, are there obvious advantages and strengths that justify the price differences for a professional photographer?

    Also, how does a compact telephoto lens compare to two separate lenses specializing in different apertures and focal lengths. For example, I am in the market for a telephoto lens as well. I would like a focal length of atleast 200mm or 300mm (especially for sports and entertainment events). I recently found a non-manufacturer lens (Tokina) for Nikon bodies, that offers compact, wide, telephoto abilities. It is a 24-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. Would this telephoto be better than let's say a 80-200mm Tokina lens at the telephoto ranges and a normal lens at shorter distances? I ask this because the differences in price are quite drastic.

    Is an aperture of 2.8, catostrophically different than a 3.0 or 3.5? Is the lens open that much more? Because comparing prices of lenses, the differences are also very obvious.

    Also, what is color abberation and aspherical lens elements when referring to lenses? I am not familiar with these terms and components.

    Thank you very much for reading my posting! I am sorry that I asked so many questions, but there are many things that I would like to learn and I am in the process of learning. Have a wonderful day whenever you read this! Thanks again! :lol:
     
  2. G3

    G3 TPF Noob!

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    I can't answer your first question because I use Canon cameras. I would imagine that you can go to Nikon's website and get all the answers you need.

    In your second question, you are really asking a number of things. First off, a good Prime lens (fixed focal length) is generally going to be a little sharper than a zoom set at the same focal length. In the early days of zoom lenses this was particularly evident, not so much so now with the upper-end zooms. Some of them are very sharp, and the difference is barely noticeable. The primary advantage of a zoom is convenience. Rather than buying multiple prime lenses (expensive) and changing lenses all the time, you just leave the zoom on your camera and adjust the folcal length for whatever you need at the moment. Plus you don't have to carry a bunch of lenses around with you.

    As for your third question:

    Aperture is an expression of the ratio between the width of the lens opening and the focal length of the lens. For an f4 lens, that ratio is 1:4. What that means is that the focal length is 4 times as much as the aperture opening width. So, for a 100mm f4 lens, the aperture would open up to a maximum of 25mm. This is going to be largely dependent on the diameter of the objective (front) element. This is why longer lenses are frequently much slower (larger f-numbers) than shorter lenses. To make a 400 mm f1.0 lens, the objective element would have to be enormous, the lens would be very bulky and heavy and extremely expensive.

    As for the f-numbers...each whole f-stop represents twice the amount of light allowed to pass through the lens as the next larger whole f-number. The whole f-numbers are f1.0 (largest opening), f2.0, f4.0, f8, f16,f32,f64 (smallest opening). So f1.0 would be a ratio of 1:1 meaning that the diameter of the aperture opening is equal to the folcal length of the lens. f64 means the ration is 1:64, or the aperture opening is 1/64th the focal length of the lens. So, you can see from that that the difference between f2.8 and f3.0 is a fraction of a stop...not really that significant. However, that little bit of extra speed can make a difference sometimes. The expense of a lens is directly related to the amount of glass in the lens (and the quality of that glass). You get what you pay for.

    Your fourth question:

    Chromatic and spherical abberation refer to a lenses ability to focus the different colors of the spectrum on exactly the same plane and exactly the same spot laterally. A single lens cannot focus all colors on the same exact point side to side and front to back. Multiple element are used to correct this, as well as different lens grinding or molding techniques and optical coatings.
     
  3. Skyeg

    Skyeg TPF Noob!

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    iv used the D100 and the D1X, i havn't used a D1H. but baisicly the D100 is of lesser quality construction, although still a very solid well built camera. the D1H and the D2H are faster and more aimed at sports and photo journalism. The D1X isn't as fast but is 5.3MP i belve the D1H is around 4. The D100 is 6MP. If you can afford the D1X or D2H i would recomend them. if price is a consideration the D100 is an excelent camera.
     
  4. havoc

    havoc Jedi something or other

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    Not to be mean or anything, but if your a "photojournalist" shouldn't you already know most of these things? The zoom lense you mentioned was consumer brand, not sutible for pro work. The 3.5-5.6 lense means that at 200mm, or 300mm you can't use 3.5 only 5.6. What you suggest in your post is that it can be used at 3.5. So to answer your question, yes there is a big difference in speed between the 2.8 Prime and zoom lenses.
    If your shooting sports then f2.8 is invaluable to have the speed nessesary to capture the pictures you want.
    The best suggestion would be to by Nikons 28-80mm 2.8 lense, and the Nikon 80-200mm 2.8 lense. These are pro lenses and they will serve you much better. They are sharper, sturdier, and mantain a constance minimum aperature of 2.8 across the zoom range. For serious sports photograph you will need the 300mm 2.8 Prime lense. Spendy but nessesary.
    As for the camera, only you can decide what you need. If it comes down to a choice between the best or most expensive body and cheap lenses, then i would buy the "lower" end body and splurge on the better lenses. Because the lense makes the photo.
     
  5. jvankampen1

    jvankampen1 TPF Noob!

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    Thank you very much for all of your responses! They are all extremely helpful and insightful. I have learned a lot from your answers, and I feel empowered with more confidence in the decisions that I plan to make when purchasing digital equipment and lenses in the extremely near future. Thank you for taking the time to write your knowledge and help out a young photographer.

    I have never possessed a technical aspect to my photography, b/c I am not a technical person, but I have learned through various constructive criticisms and advice, to adjust this inclination. I wish all of you the best in your own endeavors! Thanks a lot!
     

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