Cameras forum

General discussion

DLSR Lenses

by mvenkat23 / October 18, 2007 2:59 AM PDT

I want to buy an entry level DLSR, probably Nikon D40x or Canon Rebel Xti. I have no knowledge on the lenses. Can someone please help me in clarifying few things
1) What exactly a 18-55mm or 55-200 or 18-135 mm lens mean.
2) Is it good to have one 18-135 mm or (18-55mm & 55-200 mm) together?
3) If I buy 18-55 mm & 55-200mm, will I be using one at a time on my camera..or 55-200mm should be inserted only after 18-55mm?
4) If the lenses are only measured by the factor of 55/18 or 200/55 or 135/18 , 135/18 would be the ultimate choice..right?? why shld a person go for 18-55 mm & 55-200/300mm??
Please educate me..
Thanks in advance.

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wow ...
by rambler1277 / October 18, 2007 6:15 AM PDT
In reply to: DLSR Lenses

...and I thought I was new to this.
#1. You can only attach one lens at a time. Please don't ever ask that question again, for your sake.
#2. Get whatever the salesperson tells you to, you won't know the difference.
#3. the numbers indicate how wide of an angle the lense can view. 18-55 indicates it has a range from 18mm (wide angle) to 55mm (longer, but not that long). If you want to get in everything you can see, get the smallest number you can afford (14mm, $2000k). If you want to look into outer space, get the biggest number (600mm, $3000k). Different lenses cover various ranges and are built to various quality standards and are priced accordingly. A lense that covers a wide range (18-200) will cost more than one that only covers one range, like an old fixed lense point and shoot (35mm, no zoom at all).

Most of lenses that come with the cameras are average quality, but that 18-55 on the Nikon D40x is supposed to be better than average.

I've been looking into this for a while and will probably drop a couple of grand when I finally pull the trigger, but the bottom line is you're going to be stoked on whatever you get.

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All About DSLR Lenses
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / October 18, 2007 7:04 AM PDT
In reply to: DLSR Lenses
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Lens basics
by hjfok / October 19, 2007 10:12 AM PDT
In reply to: DLSR Lenses

You have a lot to read and learn about lenses. As always, snapshot2 has some excellent links and advice. Here are some pointers for lenses:
1. Prime lenses usually have better optical quality than zoom lenses. But zoom lenses are more convenient and fun to use.
2. For zoom lenses, the ultra-zooms (eg. 18-200mm) usually have lower quality than separate lenses, eg. 17-55mm and 70-200mm. But this depends a lot on which one you buy.
3. Image stabilization (IS for Canon, and VR for Nikon) is a very useful feature, but it costs a bit more.
4. One important feature of the lens is the "speed" of the lens. Faster lens has wider aperture (opening of the lens) and can capture better photos in low light condition without flash. Slower lens will more likely get blurry or out-of-focus photos in low light. You can tell by looking at the f/number. A smaller number like f/2.8 denotes a wide aperture and a fast lens. A larger number like f/5.6 denotes a smaller aperture and a slow lens. Fast lenses are much more expensive and larger, but they also take much better low light photos than the slow lenses.
5. If after reading the above link and you still do not have a clear idea, then just buy the kit lens that comes with the camera. Practice with it and learn more about what the lens can and cannot do. Then you will have a better idea what other lenses you may need. The kit lens is usually the 18-55mm one. The 18-135mm lens is more versatile but is a slow lens and falls short for wild life photos (usually need 200mm or much longer).

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