Lens types?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by demonsmasher, Dec 11, 2006.

  1. demonsmasher

    demonsmasher TPF Noob!

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    Hi guys I am new here and new to the hobby. I have a Sony A100 DSLR with the kit lens. I am look at getting a few different types of lens. ONe I am looking at is a Sigma 28-300mm 1:3.5-6.3. What all could I use this lens for? After doing alot of reading I see people talking about the f# number for indoor shots. What is good? Dose anyone have a list of what type of lens are ood for the differnet types of shooting? I want to get lens for indoor, out door fast sport shots, and general wildlife and family shots around anywhere. Any help would be great.
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    A lens like the Sigma 28-300...in my mind, I would consider it a convenience or compromise 'type' lens. It would be convenient because it's got a very wide range of focal length. However, it's a compromise because the image quality and speed can't be a good as a lens with less zoom range. The maximum aperture is only 3.5-6.3...which is considered 'slow'. For some people, this could be a great lens...but for a lot of us...image quality and a wide aperture are more important.

    When we talk about F numbers...lower is bigger...so lower is better. A bigger aperture will allow you to shoot (hand held) is situations with less light (indoors). A bigger aperture will allow you to use a faster shutter speed, which is good for sports and wildlife.

    So my suggestion would be to get a 'fast' lens...which is a lens with a big maximum aperture. Unfortunately...that usually makes them expensive....especially when it's a zoom lens. For this reason, many people like to buy prime lenses (non zoom). The design of prime lenses is fairly simple...so the optical quality and 'speed' of the lens is usually pretty good for the price. Of course you loose the convenience of the zoom.

    What's your budget? We can give you better suggestions if we know what you are willing to spend. As with most things...the better ones cost more.
     
  3. demonsmasher

    demonsmasher TPF Noob!

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    Well price really isn't that important to me right now. I do how ever like to save money. And just starting out I don't want to rush out and buy everything right away. I will build my lens collection over time. I found this Sigma 28-300mm 1:3.5-6.3 on ebay, it comes off of a film camera but it sould fit my dslr. THe price on it is around 15 bucks so I'm looking at it to get a better zoom. I mainly want to know when looking at ebay what types of lens will be good. I have ready on another forum. That a 250mm zoom with a f4 would be the best for this one persons situation indoors. So right now starting out I would rather spend 15 bucks on one lens and find out it sucks vesus spending 300 bucks and up finding out I got the wrong lens. That is until I learn and know what all the lens numbers mean. What lens do you thing would be good for my situation right now. I mainly want to get good family shots and do some stuff outdoors.
     
  4. becmaclean

    becmaclean TPF Noob!

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    I was considering the 28-300 (I too have an A100) and out of sheer laziness thought that would be a great deal. Why change lenses more than you have to right?? I borrowed one last weekend from a friend of mine....Yes, it was conveinent but, I paid the price in quality.

    I was able to get nice shots at all ranges but the definition I love so much was not there...Do yourself a favor and buy "shot specific" lenses.

    My best advice would be until you know what you need, don't buy it!!

    Go buy yourself a nice flash though... the on-camera flash is useless imho
     
  5. demonsmasher

    demonsmasher TPF Noob!

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    Is there a place on the web with a list of what shot specific lens are good? Or is this just something you learn along the way?
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    I think that you should stick with the kit lens you have now. You probably won't find anything better...for less than $300.

    $15? :scratch: Is that auction even close to ending? I would think that it would go for at least 10 times that amount.
     
  7. Big Mike

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

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    It really depends on what you shoot...and your style.

    Practice with your kit lens...after a while...you will have a better idea of what lens would benefit you most. If anything, I'd suggest getting a 35mm or 50mm F1.8 lens.
     
  8. demonsmasher

    demonsmasher TPF Noob!

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    As of right now it is going for 4.50 with 10.00 shipping. I think the main price thing is it comes off of a minolta camera, and the sony a100 can use minolta lenes and the A lens.
     
  9. becmaclean

    becmaclean TPF Noob!

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    Both!!

    You need to know what you need and what result you'll get from different lenses. Alot of what I learned was from taking a picture and saying "wow, that's nice but I wanted it to look "this" way....then having someone say...you could achieve that by using such and such lens.

    Here's a great site....I refer to it alot. http://photo.net/learn/making-photographs/lens

    I like his viewpoint of starting with light and then considering all other aspects
     
  10. Philly

    Philly TPF Noob!

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    Try this site it tells you the sort of lens collection you might like to build up for different situations. In fact there is a lot of advice all over the site. I very much enjoy this site.

    http://www.all-things-photography.com/camera-lenses.html
     
  11. Mad_Gnome

    Mad_Gnome TPF Noob!

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    In general, I'd recommend that you look for lenses with fast apertures. f/3.5 or faster should work well for the range of shooting you're looking to do. My recommendations after that are:

    An f/2.8 short zoom for most general-duty shooting. This will most likely be your most commonly used lens.

    An f/2.8 70-200mm zoom lens. This will be used mostly for sports and wildlife shooting.

    A 50mm f/1.8 or (even better) f/1.4 prime. This will be for serious low-light conditions, and will also be a great "learner" lens that will teach you a great deal about composing a good photograph.

    A word to the wise: stay away from the all-purpose 28-300mm zoom. As previously stated, they are generally of poor quality and have slow apertures. The photos also will often not be up to the quality you would wish for. Remember, a good lens isn't cheap, and a cheap lens isn't good. If it's only $15, it's probably that cheap for a reason.
     
  12. demonsmasher

    demonsmasher TPF Noob!

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    OK thanks guys I see what you are all saying. Now since everyone as of right now is playing down apertures with high numbers. When would you want a lens with a high apertures number?
     

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