Basic len question

escapea

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Hi I hope someone can help me out.

I've been offered a deal on a D5100 with the following lenses:

AF-S 18-55mm VR (I assume its the basic kit lens)
AF-S 55-200mm f4-5.6 VR
AF-S 35mm f1.8

My question is what are these lenses used for? In layman's terms? I'm guessing that 18-55 is general purpose, 55-200mm for close up pics but I'm a bit confused by the 35mm.

This will be my first DSLR so I'm excited but confused:confused:

Thanks for any help guys.
 

ShooterJ

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It's just a range of focal lengths which you could apply to a variety of things, depending on the need. You've got two zoom lenses and a fast prime lens in the 35mm.. "fast" meaning it's f1.8 aperture is very wide and let's in more light.

And yes the telephoto gives you more reach.. the 18-55 has a wide angle end on it (say if you wanted to take in a large scene from close up)

As for the 35mm... it's a close lens (or again, could be used for wider shots)... and the difference between it and the others is that it's a fixed focal length (prime lens) with a wider maximum aperture.

How you use any of them would just depend on your needs.

What kind of deal were you offered?
 
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escapea

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Thanks for the reply!
So if I were at home taking pics of a new born, I'd use the 35mm?
If I were snapping panoramic landscape, the 18-55 would suffice?
The 55-200mm for ........?
If I wanted to take pics of insects and small animals, which would be best?

Again, thanks for the help!
 

ShooterJ

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Insects.. no.. a macro lens would do that better. Closeups would be a bit different... the telephoto lens just gives you reach.. say you're trying to get a photo of a cat across the street? You'd have a zoom lens for that.

There's not going to be one specific use for those lenses... they'll do a variety of things.

Your best bet is to tell people here what price you were quoted and then get feedback on how good the deal really is.

You can learn the camera later.
 
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escapea

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I think what's confusing me is the "variety".

Basically, the deal I've been offered is the d5100, those three lenses, tripod, bag, 32g memory card, remote, cleaning kit and a few other bits and pieces for 950,000W (roughly $950). From looking on Amazon etc. it looks ok, but I'm just confused by how/when to use the 35mm.
 

ShooterJ

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To answer that for yourself, you need to start learning about photography. Once you understand the camera, lenses, how to shoot and what elements go into a good photo, you won't have trouble deciding which lens to use in a given situation.

If you feel that the deal is a good one, then get the camera and start learning how to use it.

Read the owners manual thoroughly.. get advice on the forum ... watch some YouTube videos ..
 

MOREGONE

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Optically, the 35mm would be the sharpest of the group. It will also have the fastest aperture, meaning the opening in the middle of the lens opens wide more allowing more light in. This helps in poor lighting conditions and allows some creative control with the ability to separate the subject from the background. That would be a pretty solid kit to start off with having the standard zoom (18-55) telephoto (55-200) and a prime (35)
 

amolitor

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A "zoom" lens lets you change the angle of view. If you stand in one spot, you can "zoom" in to your mom's face, or "zoom" out to take a picture of her head-to-toe.

The 18-55 zoom lets you zoom from:

- a moderately wide angle view: a small group of people standing together in a room
- to a moderately narrow view, a head and shoulders portrait of a person, perhaps

The 55-200 lets you zoom from:

- a moderately narrow view, a head and shoulders portrait of a person, perhaps (55mm is the LOW end of this and the HIGH end of the other)
- to a quite narrow view, perhaps a tree in a field a couple hundred feet away

The 35mm lens DOES NOT ZOOM.

It will make slightly sharper pictures than either of the zoom lenses, probably. It will give you an angle of view more or less in the middle of what the 18-55 gives you. It also has a bigger "maximum aperture" which means simply that you can make it take in more light than either of the other lenses, which will allow you to take pictures in darker conditions. Using the lens set to that maximum aperture has consequences, though, look up "Depth of Field" for all the details.

The angle of view through the 35mm is an excellent general purpose angle of view. It is the so-called "normal length" for this sort of camera, and it gives you a normal field of view, pretty much like what you see with your eyes. Using it will not feel like you're looking through a telescope or binoculars, and it will not feel "wide angle". It will feel "normal". It's an excellent general purpose lens for everyday use.
 

hirejn

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Hi I hope someone can help me out.

I've been offered a deal on a D5100 with the following lenses:

AF-S 18-55mm VR (I assume its the basic kit lens)
AF-S 55-200mm f4-5.6 VR
AF-S 35mm f1.8

My question is what are these lenses used for? In layman's terms? I'm guessing that 18-55 is general purpose, 55-200mm for close up pics but I'm a bit confused by the 35mm.

The main reason to get a 1.8 lens is to use it at 1.8. It's for throwing backgrounds way out of focus and creating soft portraits, but you have to use it carefully because the depth of field can be less than an inch. You can use it for anything but then that defeats having 1.8. Then you're better off with a true general purpose lens like the 18-55 that gives you more flexibility. I recommend beginners start with a general purpose lens to practice the fundamentals and experiment. Then build from it.

The 18-55 is general purpose. The main purpose of a 200 is to get a narrow field of view and separate subjects from backgrounds, or create the illusion of compression.
 

Low_Sky

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The 35mm is probably going to be most useful (when compared to the other lenses) indoors. The bigger aperture will let you use lower ISO and faster shutter speeds in low light.

Sent from my XT907 using Tapatalk 2
 

480sparky

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The main reason to get a 1.8 lens is to use it at 1.8. It's for throwing backgrounds way out of focus and creating soft portraits,......

If I wanted a nice, soft background, I certainly wouldn't choose a 35mm focal length for a portrait.
 
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escapea

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Thanks very much guys, you've been very helpful.
I think I'm going to bite the bullet and go and pick it up in the next couple of days.
 

radiorickm

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You've been given some good things here, and a couple of goofy things. Here is how I would explain it. (Since you're really new)

A 50mm lens lets you see at about the same level as the human eye. If you put a 50mm lens on the camera (either of the zoom's set to the 55mm setting) and hold the camera up to one eye, open the other eye and look through both, you will see approximately the "same thing" out of both eyes; Camera View = Eye view.

The 200mm TELEPHOTO setting is like looking through a pair of 4x binoculars. It will bring things in closer to you; but in doing so, you can see LESS of the scene.

The wide angle setting 18mm, does just the opposite; pushes close things farther away, but you can include more of the scene in the picture this way.

The 35mm lens is a mild-wild angle lens for the most part. In the day's before "ZOOM" lenses were good, photographers carried 4 lenses usually. 135mm telephoto, 50mm normal, 35mm, and 28mm wide.

The 35mm in your case, is a PRIME lens, or it doesn't ZOOM. It's always at 35mm. Because of no zoom, they can make the glass a little bigger, and in this case, it allows MORE LIGHT to enter the camera in the same amount of time. So, if for instance you were shooting in a not-so-bright room, you can get more light in the camera without having to "slow" down the shutter where you might move the camera in the picture and make them fuzzy (out of focus).

Each of the lenses, and then at each different focal length, have some uniqueness about them. You will in time learn about bokeh, depth of field, compression, and all of the neat things we can use to our advantage to "make" the camera do what we want.
 

480sparky

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..........The 35mm lens is a mild-wild angle lens for the most part. ........

35mm = wide isn't always true. "Wide" depends on image format. 35mm might well be a super-telephoto for a P&S, and 'ultra-wide' for a large format camera.
 

KmH

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The main reason to get a 1.8 lens is to use it at 1.8.
Few consumer grade f/1.8 prime lenses focus sharply at f/1.8, and have to be 'stopped down' to a smaller lens aperture (usually 2 stops minimum) to achieve their sharpest focus.
Note that Nikon's AF-S 35 mm f/1.8 lens not only delivers soft focus at f/1.8 it also loses contrast, and even stepped down some it has lateral chromatic aberration that is particularly noticeable in out-of-focus backgrounds, and purple fringing.

The main advantage of a f/1.8 lens is that it is usually sharper stopped down to f/3.5 (2 stops smaller than f/1.8), than a kit lens at f/3.5.

Note that when the 18-55 mm kit lens is zoomed to 35 mm the max (largest) aperture is limited to about f/4.5 beacause it is a variable aperture zoom lens.

This might be helpful as far as focla length goes- Nikon | Imaging Products | NIKKOR Lenses Simulator
 
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