zoom lenses (alittle advice please)

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Rob A, Dec 28, 2004.

  1. Rob A

    Rob A TPF Noob!

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    hey guys. i have been doin photography for just a few months now, and im really enjoying it! i was thinking of getting a zoom lense but im not sure about the 50 - 200 or 70 - 300 etc... so i was hoping you could help me.

    i have an olympus OM40 and i mainly take black and white landscape. basically, i would like a good zoom on the camera. i dont know to much about how the numbers work, (ino it may sound stupid)

    thanks for any help!! :D
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Zoom lenses are called 'zoom' lenses because they can change their focal length. Changing the focal length changes the angle of view that you will capture on the film. The focal length is measured in millimeters. So a 70-300 can change it's focal length from 70mm to 300mm or anywhere in between.

    The other important numbers on a zoom lens are the maximum aperture or maximum F stop. On many zoom lenses, the maximum F-stop will change as the lens is zoomed out. For example, the lens might read...70-300 F4 - 5.6. At 70mm, the maximum aperture is F4 and when zoomed to 300, the maximum aperture is 5.6. (lower F stop number means bigger aperture)

    There are more expensive zoom lenses that have much wider apertures but they are large, heavy & expensive. These are useful for fast action sports and such.

    For landscape photography, maximum aperture is usually not an issue. With most landscape photography, you want to stop down the lens to a smaller aperture (higher F number) to get more depth of field.

    What lens do you have now? Do you find that you want to get a wider view (short lens) or a narrow view (longer view)?
     
  3. ferny

    ferny TPF Noob!

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  4. Rob A

    Rob A TPF Noob!

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    at the moment i just have a standard 50mm lense. i was hoping for a longer view so when i take a shot of a landscape with lots of mountains in the distance, instead of them looking like lots of tiny bumps in the distance, i wanted like maybe just a few of them in the picture to look more significant.

    i understand now what the numbers mean! thanks very much! there is a sale down near me so i am going to go there. :D
     

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