possible stupid question: why zoom lens?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Kofman13, Nov 14, 2009.

  1. Kofman13

    Kofman13 TPF Noob!

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    So i just got my first dSLR and it came with ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens. I also played around with my friend's pancake lens. This is probably an uninformed question, but whats the point of a zoom lens like the one that came with my camera?
    To get a shot as close to the subject as my own human eye sees it, I have to zoom all the way in. Whats the point of a zoom lens if you cant zoom in closer than your eye sees. And pancake lens already is pretty much as your eye sees. Is zoom lens perhaps for situations when you cant get far enough away from a subject (small room) so you zoom out and seem farther away than you are?
     
  2. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    So you can capture more of the scene. There are much larger zooms out there - all a zoom lens does is give you more options than using your feet.

    Let's say you want to photograph the Grand Canyon, well you can only move back so far... a wide angle zoom allows you to capture more of the scene. Same holds true with 'zooming in', you can only move forward so far...

    I dunno... weak example but hopefully you got the idea.
     
  3. lbridges

    lbridges TPF Noob!

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    Comparing camera captured images to how the eye "sees" is an apples to oranges kind of thing. With the brain integrating information and minor eye movements, we can "see almost 180 degrees in width (ultra wide-angle to a camera), and then when we want to focus on something in the far field the brain "cuts away" the side data and "zooms in" (telephoto lens to a camera) effect.
     
  4. Kofman13

    Kofman13 TPF Noob!

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    I get it. So or my medium zoom lens it's mostly so you don't have to move away physically for ladscapes etc
     
  5. DennyCrane

    DennyCrane No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    50mm (in either a full-frame or 35mm film camera) is generally accepted to be equivalent to what the human eye sees insofar as magnification. So, a 50-250mm telephoto zoom lens would simply give you a variable magnification beyond that.
     
  6. Hardrock

    Hardrock TPF Noob!

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    So you can take a picture of a rattle snake without holding it.
     
  7. DScience

    DScience No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ultra fast Primes all the way!!!
     
  8. DennyCrane

    DennyCrane No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It's highly unrealistic to be carrying every prime lens made to avoid a single zoom.
     
  9. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Zoom lenses provide convenience. There is nothing they can do that an extensive set of fixed focus lenses cannot do just as well. As you've guessed from the last sentence, one zoom lens is cheaper than a set of fixed focus lenses.

    Due to optical compromises, zoom lenses will not be as sharp at some focal lengths as comparable fixed focus lenses.
     
  10. Rifleman1776

    Rifleman1776 TPF Noob!

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    You are right. It is an uninformed question.
    Try the zoomer once. You will then understand why they exist.
     
  11. DennyCrane

    DennyCrane No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Having a good sensor with plenty of megapixels can compensate for a lack of zoom somewhat, considering you can crop to your needs, but a zoom is great for any kind of distance... zoom to the desired size and shoot away. On the small end, though, I'd agree a prime would be better as long as you have room to move yourself to the correct distance.
     
  12. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    What is a pancake lens?
     

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