Lens comparison question

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Belvedere, Feb 11, 2005.

  1. Belvedere

    Belvedere TPF Noob!

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    I am just beggining in photography and am buying my first camera. So, after a search of the archives I am still left with these questions: What difference in preformance does a lens with f/1.7 have with a lens with f/3.4, and is it generaly considered better to start out with a fixed or variable focal length lens? Thank you for answering.

    Noah
     
  2. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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    :It is great to start out with a fixed focal length lens. 50mm is usually a great choice.

    :f1.7 helps you in low-light shooting, since it lets in more light.
    :f1.7 gives you a shallow Depth of Field (DOF).
     
  3. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    Alot of times, the fixed focal length lenses and lenses that are a faster f-stop are sharper (glass quality) overall.
     
  4. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    What camera are you getting?
     
  5. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    If you're just starting in photography, then it's probably better to start with a fixed lens, as it's one less thing to worry about and you're likely to get more light for your money. Also there's a more robust second-hand market for fixed low f-number lenses than there is for entry-level zooms.

    Incidentally, 1.7 is a slightly less common length seen with Contax, Vivitar, Centon and some others. 1.8 is more common especially with Nikon, Canon, Olympus etc.

    Generally, the lower the number the lower the light conditions possible to expose a shot. Also the lower the number, the lower the possible depth-of-field.

    The FAQ's at the top are well worth a read.

    Rob
     

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