Understanding different lens

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by mitsugirly, Jan 25, 2009.

  1. mitsugirly

    mitsugirly TPF Noob!

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    Does anyone have a site that I can go to in order to learn and read up on the different kinds of lens that you can buy and what they all do as far as function/models.

    I need something that is going to explain what an APO is, what a G lens is and so forth.

    There has to be something out there that gives a break down of lens with a description.

    I know what lens are considered telephoto, macro etc. But there are different kinds of those types and I don't know what they mean.

    I've done search after search and can only come up with what is considered a macro, telephoto, wide angle etc. That's not what I'm looking for. Hopefully that makes sense.
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I don't know about G - but APO is a glass coating - from what I know it leads to improvements in lens sharpness and clarity.
    As for working out the differences between lenses if you have a specific few that you are a debating between ask - chances are there is a pecking order for them. Also its often the case that the name of lens will be different in different shops - sometimes bits of the name get left off which can lead to some confusion
     
  3. Blank

    Blank TPF Noob!

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  4. Early

    Early TPF Noob!

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    D,G,S, etc. designations mean different things to different lens makers, and I'm just as confused as you are.

    APO is a rare glass that helps eliminate imperfections.
     
  5. Kegger

    Kegger TPF Noob!

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    Overread, you're spot on with APO.

    As for G, G is a Nikon thing and refers to their newer lenses without the aperture ring. So they call them Gelded, or G.
     
  6. potownrob

    potownrob TPF Noob!

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    There probably are sites that compare all (or many) of the lenses out there and explain things but what I usually do is google "g lens" for example, and i get results, the first is probably kenrockwell who gives a good explanation of what a G or gelded lens is. I'm pretty sure that's a Nikon term though, even though other brands make gelded lenses (which have no aperture ring since the camera sets the aperture and it costs less to make G lenses). I just searched APO and got Sigma's site. I saw an icon for one of the lenses that said APO and when I clicked on it, it explained what it means:
    "APO (APO Lens)
    In order to attain the highest quality images, the APO lens has been made using special low-dispersion (SLD) glass and is designed to minimize color aberration."
    (Source: Sigma - Lenses )
    Another site I use a lot is amazon.com. I'll search for whatever I want to read reviews about, such as Tamron 17-50, it pulls up different versions of that lens for different lens mounts, and then I click on the model of that lens I am interested in (Nikon w/ built-in motor) and read the reviews and review their prices too. The reviewers often give tips about shopping for lenses on that site. Many items also let you see pictures taken with that lens or camera. Other sites like dpreview, fredmiranda and dcresource are pretty good for reviews, pricing and overall information. Since you have Sony dSLR, this site might be good for you. At the bottom find the lens choice tutorial but keep in mind there might be a Sigma or Tamron model that's as good or almost as good as the Sony lens for less:
    Backstage 101 - Digital Photography 101
     
  7. potownrob

    potownrob TPF Noob!

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    Last edited: Jan 25, 2009
  8. mitsugirly

    mitsugirly TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the advice and links. Now I know that the APO is a better lens.

    I have a Sony a300 and have been looking for a 100-300mm Minolta Maxxum. I posted a wanted link and that's when someone responded with all the different "types" which confused me and got me to thinking...which am I really looking for because I don't know what type does what.

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/buy-sell/153850-wtb-minolta-100-300mm.html This is what started my confusion. Maybe if you read this, you will understand better. I really didn't know how to explain it, but figured I'd better post it in a different area so that more people would see it (as opposed to just the for sale/wanted section).

    I have found sites that do the reviews and have been reading up on them. But there are so many different types of the same lens...it's just confusing (not to mention the same lens with a different manufacturing number-which I assume this just means an upgrade to the last or year model of the same lens made).

    So...what I'm looking for is a 100-300mm. I was thinking I had my heart set on a minolta instead of the Sigma or Tamron. Does it really matter the brand? The other person in my wanted thread mentioned the xi...after reading the reviews on it...I'm thinking maybe no on this because it doesn't allow you to manual focus??? Anyone ever have one of these lens and any experience with them?

    Thanks so much for your help. :D

    potownrob-it went ok. I posted about 10 or so pictures that I took. It was really really windy out that night and I'm still trying to learn my camera settings...so I know a lot of the pictures had a lot of noise in them.
    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...-photo-gallery/153710-so-how-do-you-do-2.html
     
  9. mitsugirly

    mitsugirly TPF Noob!

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    Ok I was thumbing threw some of the advertisements and brochures that came with my camera and found a "lenses" brochure.

    It has a Carl Zeiss Lens-the description says "Incredible quality, made possible by the highest level of optical technology" I just did a search on these...they are EXPENSIVE!!!

    Then there is a G Lens-the description says "Capture images with wonderfully sharp and detailed expressiveness" Looks like this was is too. (Maybe this is the reason that I was looking for a Minolta???)

    I dont know...maybe these are Sony lens only. It doesn't say.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2009
  10. Mgw189

    Mgw189 TPF Noob!

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    Sonys G series lenses are like a Canon L series lens. They are a higher quality lens. Better glass elements better build generally larger f stops.

    You should be able to pick up a 70-300mm lens for your Sony for about $200 or so. Really nice lens for the price. It is slow glass but you can take some really nice shots with it.

    This shot was taken with that lens Flickr Photo Download: lionesssony

    I did do a little saturation boost and unsharp mask but that was it.
     
  11. Dagwood56

    Dagwood56 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  12. mitsugirly

    mitsugirly TPF Noob!

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    Are you saying pick up a 70-300mm for $200 that's an actual Sony or Minolta? Tamron? Which kind should I be looking for?

    That picture is amazing..but I don't know which lens you were talking about that took it.
     

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