Lens and other general questions

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by beato, Dec 11, 2007.

  1. beato

    beato TPF Noob!

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    Hey I'm new to the forum but have been taking pictures for about a year now. I have a Canon Film Rebel K2 with the stock lens (28-80mm/3.5-5.6). Over the summer I went out and bought a better zoom lens because I felt like I couldnt zoom at all on the kit lens. I bought a used Tamron 80-200/4.5-5.6 Lens for $110. I thought this would help me acheive what I wanted but that was not the case. I wanted to be able to take pictures in low-light conditions such as concerts, indoors, and such. Basically what I want to know is...

    1. What kind of lens would be good for low-light conditions?

    2. Should I be using a flash?

    3. What speed film would be good for this?

    Any kind of help is appreciated.
     
  2. DSLR noob

    DSLR noob TPF Noob!

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    you have to get something with a fast maximum aperture for low light. Canon zooms get no faster than 2.8, a nice prime would help you out.
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    When talking about lenses...there are a couple main things to consider. First is the focal length...the longer it is, the more magnification you get (to shoot things farther away).

    The next thing to consider is the maximum aperture of the lens. That's the size of the hole, through which the light must travel into the lens. The bigger it is, the more light that can get through the lens, into the camera.

    The maximum aperture is listed in the name of the lens. It's a ratio, so the smaller the number, the bigger the aperture. Your kit lens, for example has a variable max of F3.5 to F5.6 (depending on zoom position of the lens). Your new lens has a max of F4.5 to F5.6...so it is pretty close to the same as your kit lens.

    The maximum aperture of lens is important because a bigger aperture will let in more light, as mentioned. More light is important because it lets you use a faster shutter speed. A faster shutter speed is good because it lets you freeze movement better and lets you shoot in lower light situations without having to add light.

    An example would be the 70-200 F2.8 L. The zoom is about the same, but the max aperture of F2.8 is quite a bit larger...which lets you get faster shutter speeds. However, this lens is big and very heavy...and it costs an arm and a leg.

    When shooting concerts...even F2.8 may not be big enough...so many concert photographers will use lenses with max apertures of F1.8 or F1.4. These are not zoom lenses...they have a fixed focal length like 50mm, for example.

    My suggestion would be to get a 50mm F1.8 lens. It's not very expensive and the large max aperture is great. Also, the quality of the images from this lens...will be much better than either of the lenses you have now.
     
  4. beato

    beato TPF Noob!

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    I'm not worried about the zoom that much anymore because I figure thats what will jack up the price.
     
  5. beato

    beato TPF Noob!

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    Wow thank you Mike. That 50mm/1.8 sounds like the one the guy at New York Camera was talking about. Any idea why that one was $300?
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    Lenses are like a lot of other things...cars for example. They all get you from point A to Point B...but some are built better and some perform better than others...and they certainly don't all cost the same.

    The 50mm F1.8 is $70-$100...which is why it gets recommended a lot. However, it's made with a lot of plastic rather than metal and it doesn't focus as fast as better lenses.

    Canon also has a 50mm F1.4 lens, which is closer to $300. It's max aperture is a little bigger, but it's built much better.

    Canon also has a 50mm F1.2 L. It's max aperture is a little bigger yet...and it's built much, much better than the F1.8 model. Also 'L' is Canon designation for their top of the line lenses. This one is close to $2000, I think.
     
  7. beato

    beato TPF Noob!

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    Wow ok thanks again. Also, is it worth upgrading to a better film camera?
     
  8. Big Mike

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

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    Only if you have a specific purpose, which your current camera is not suited for. For example, a higher level camera body may shoot at a faster speed (for sports etc). Or a higher level body may have a better autofocus system (good for sports or maybe concerts). A higher level body may be built much tougher, to stand up to the abuse of a photo journalist, for example.

    But in the end, the camera is just a light-tight box that attaches to the lens and holds the film. If you camera does that, then your money would be better spent on lenses. (or save it up for a digital SLR camera ;) )
     
  9. Sideburns

    Sideburns TPF Noob!

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    if all you want is pictures in the dark at concerts..there's no reason to upgrade your camera, no.

    Just grab some nice 200 or 400 ISO film, and a fast lens...and you'll be fine.
     
  10. beato

    beato TPF Noob!

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    Thank you gentlemen.
     
  11. beato

    beato TPF Noob!

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  12. DSLR noob

    DSLR noob TPF Noob!

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    well, its been sold but even still tha is an FD mount, you want Canon's EF mount, for the EOS line
     

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