Question about (super)Zoom Lenses.

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Trevor Weaver, Apr 2, 2008.

  1. Trevor Weaver

    Trevor Weaver TPF Noob!

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    So I just got started on photography, and I use a nikon FM. I really like the camera, and I have a few lenses that are nice. However, I'm noticing that its kind of a pain in the ass to change lenses really fast so I'm thinking of buying a zoom lens. I got to play around with a friend's and I took a few pictures, and they're all pretty nice. But my question is: I can get a zuper zoom lens 28-200 on ebay for about $90USD, but I read somewhere that superzoom lenses have relatively poor picture quality and are relatively slow compared to their fixed focal length brethren. Should I just buy a 28-70mm and a 70-200, or should I buy a 28-200 super zoom? I'm really trying to weigh the pros and cons, and don't know if I should stay away from superzoom lenses. :confused: I could save money, but I might end up wasting money in the end if it's a crappy lens.
     
  2. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What you heard about super zoom lenses is basically correct... it is a general rule of thumb. I wouldn't say all result in poor picture quality but definitely less than their counterparts. This is even more apparent in older zoom lenses of yesteryears... optics has made and continues to make progress.

    As for pros/cons, you basically already mentioned it... its is between packability, no need to swap lenses, lighter weight versus better image quality. Only you can decide.

    As for those specific lenses, I am unfamiliar with them. Perhaps one of the nikon shooters here will comment further.


    If I had to make the decision for yah.. I'd take the two zooms and maintain better image quality. Get another camera body and keep the zooms mated to both... that way you don't need to switch lenses. Of course, if you are planning to go on a long hiking trip through the mountains.. then you should reconsider the superzoom for sheer less weight and space.
     
  3. Trevor Weaver

    Trevor Weaver TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the quick reply!

    If I'm buying a 3rd party 28~80 zoom lens how much would one expect to pay? The one I'm looking at is about $50
     
  4. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    My dad told me many years ago "There ain't no free lunch." EVERY zoom is, almost by definition, a compromise. EVERY zoom has poor quality when compared to prime lenses with focal lengths within the range of the zoom. It also stands to reason that the greater the zoom range, the greater the compromise. That being said, you need to decide how much compromise is worth the obvious convenience. Will you be taking shots with vertical and horizontal straight lines (e.g., buildings) or will you be taking shots of humans?

    I have Nikon's 18-200 VR and I'm very pleased with it. For the pictures that I use it for, it's ideal and, of course, it's the perfect "walk-around" lens. Granted, if I had the money as well as the time and willingness to change lenses frequently, I would have purchased eight prime lenses instead. Of course, the need to frequently change lenses also means more missed shots but, again, there ain't no free lunch!
     
  5. Trevor Weaver

    Trevor Weaver TPF Noob!

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    I plan to be taking photos of humans mostly (I'd like to try street photography)

    I'm willing to take some compromise, and if I really need the extra quality, I have a a 28mm and 50mm primes just for that.
     
  6. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    Go for the super zoom and don't worry about it.
     
  7. Trevor Weaver

    Trevor Weaver TPF Noob!

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    Are there any particular brands that I should stay away from when purchasing lenses? Also about how much should I pay for a used, 3rd party 28~80, 28~200, and 80~200?
     
  8. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    Well, I use Nikon bodies because I want to use Nikon lenses so I'm not going to be much help here.
     
  9. davebmck

    davebmck TPF Noob!

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    $50-90 seems way to cheap even for a third party lens. I bought a Sigma 18-200 OS lens and like Socrates said, it is a great walk around lens and I get good results with it. However, I paid $500 for it and that was a discounted price.

    I would look for some reviews on the lens you are considering. Just google the model and you should be able plenty of sites with reviews.
     

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