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An optical 'zoom' or 'variable focal length' lens is one that has a range of focal lengths at which it can operate. "Digital zoom" is a technology which simulates optical zoom by cropping the image.

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10
votes
5answers
818 views

Why do fixed lens cameras have a motorized zoom while interchangeable lens cameras don't?

I would like to know why motorized zoom (controlled by a W/T lever) is always on fixed-lens cameras and never on interchangeable lens cameras.
1
vote
1answer
358 views

What is behind the mechanical issue with my Canon 70-300 lens? [closed]

Today I've realized my 70-300 zoom does not rotate fully. In fact, it stops just before the 300 sign is reached in the ring. There's some metallic noise inside the lens when I move it, which let me ...
0
votes
1answer
949 views

What is the EF 28 - 105 mm 1: 3.5-4.5 lens best for?

I've been shooting for about a year now and am slowly acquiring lenses. I just bought two used on craigslist from someone who was getting rid of equipment. Canon EF 28 - 105 mm 1: 3.5-4.5 Canon EF ...
0
votes
2answers
622 views

How do I choose a telephoto zoom lens? [closed]

I have a Canon 1100D kit (18-55mm IS II) and a 50mm f1.8 lens. Now I'm looking for a zoom lens. What do you think about the following: Tamron 18-200mm f3.5-6.3 Tamron 70-300mm f4-f5.6 DI LD Tamron ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Why does the maximum aperture change with focal length? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why do zoom lenses and compact cameras have varied maximum aperture across the zoom range? It is rather common with zooms that the maximum aperture changes (in fact, ...
3
votes
2answers
199 views

What should I look for in a second-hand DSLR with a nice long zoom lens?

I am considering buying a cheap second-hand DSLR with a nice long zoom lens (at least up to 200mm) for photographing nature in particular. I have a lovely Panasonic LX5 which takes great macro ...
2
votes
1answer
457 views

How much difference is there between the Pentax DA 55-300 and FA 80-320?

I currently have a Pentax FA 80-320, and it's very nice to have a long zoom available. Lately, I've been considering "updating" to the DA 55-300. I also have the DA 50-200, so the lower end of the ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Between Nikon 18-55mm II and 50mm f/1.8, which suits my needs better?

I am an absolute beginner in serious photography. I'm a position to get a Nikon D70 body for $100 or so. I've been researching lenses and I'm debating if I should get the one that originally came ...
3
votes
3answers
495 views

Which would be more suitable lens in terms of utility, weight, price: 18-135 or 18-55 + 55-200?

Is it better to invest in one 18-135mm lens or have a standard 18-55mm lens and another 55-250mm lens for occasional need?
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do zoom lenses and compact cameras have varied maximum aperture across the zoom range?

Why does a camera's maximum (allowed) aperture get smaller when you increase its zoom?
4
votes
4answers
3k views

Best all-around ~$600 standard zoom lens for Canon?

I have a Rebel T2i, I was wondering what standard zoom lens is the best around $600. I'm mainly shooting landscapes / cities / peoples. I've done some research and came up with 17-50, 18-55 from ...
28
votes
5answers
61k views

How do I convert lens focal length (mm) to x-times optical zoom?

What is the rule to convert the 'mm' notation to the 'optical zoom' notation? I searched a bit and found this one: optical zoom = maximum focal length / minimum focal length For example a 18-55mm ...
3
votes
4answers
997 views

Why does the quality of my pictures lower the more I zoom in?

I have a Canon 60D with the 18-200mm kit Lens. I was at the beach not too long ago, I took some pics of my son in the sand, from a very close distance and they came out great. Picture quality was top ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a Tamron 70-200mm lens which is optically superior to the Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS?

In the June 2011's Popular Photography magazine (Canada, hard copy, pg. 90) in an article titled "Star Power", on a one page overview of the Canon 70-200mm f2.8L IS II USM, the author (Julia Silber) ...
37
votes
12answers
3k views

Is digital zoom really useful?

I've always wondered what is the use of digital zoom, apart from viewing the subject clearly on the LCD display. We can take a photo with the optical zoom and crop the photo to the desired region of ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

How to take sharp photos while using maximum optical zoom?

When I shoot with high zoom (above 3X on my point-and-shoot camera), the sharpness of the picture seems to come down. Is it a feature of all cameras or is it due to higher sensitivity to camera shakes ...
3
votes
1answer
86 views

Is there a way to digitally zoom a Nikon D-90 recording video in 720p?

While using the Nikon D-90 Live-View mode to record video in 720p, is there a way to pick the pixels from the center of the sensor? In other words, the sensor on the D-90 is way more than 720 lines ...
2
votes
1answer
454 views

Which 70-300mm f4-5.6 lens is “better?” [duplicate]

I'm looking for a budget telephoto lens and I'm wondering which of these two is the better option. They have very similar specs: Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro Zoom Lens for Canon Digital ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

How do the Pentax 18-55mm and 18-135mm compare in image quality?

I've been reading a lot about the Pentax DA 18-135mm lens and its performance compared to other lenses. I've heard that this lens is very soft at 135mm regardless of aperture. However, I've also ...
15
votes
8answers
818 views

Would a prime be redundant with a fast zoom?

Now that I am finally getting a fast zoom (Tamron 17-50mm 2.8) I've been considering a fast prime to go with it, specifically a Sigma 50mm 1.4. Despite its shortcomings, it still does really nice ...
9
votes
4answers
412 views

Why are some zoom lenses “soft” at either end of the focal length range?

As one reads about zoom lenses, a relatively common comment that comes up in reviews of some lenses (especially lower-priced lenses) is that the lens is not as sharp ("soft") at one or both ends of ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

Why choose an 80-200mm over an 18-200mm lens?

Being a beginner, I can't see why I must choose an 80-200 over an 18-200. Are there scenarios where an 80-200 would be preferable over an 18-200? I will be buying a D7000 soon and am looking at ...
9
votes
4answers
5k views

What is the difference between a telephoto lens and a zoom lens?

Looking at the product page for Nikon lenses, I notice a distinction between telephoto lens and zoom lens. What is the difference between the two? Why would I want one over the other? I wiki'd ...
6
votes
2answers
488 views

Are reverse mounts only for use with prime lenses?

Are reverse lens mounts only for use with prime lenses? I was wondering if I could use my zoom lens with a reverse mount.
3
votes
3answers
527 views

How do I choose a zoom lens to replace the kit lens?

I have a Canon 1000D with a 50mm f/1.8. I also have the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens, but I am not very satisfied with its performance. I'm looking for a better zoom lens. I have a budget of around ...
6
votes
6answers
4k views

Would the Tamron 18- 270 mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD make a good choice as my second lens?

I have a Canon 50/f1.8. I am looking for a zoom lens. After much research, I have zeroed in two lenses as my second lens: either Tamron 18-270 mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD or Canon EF75-300mm f/4-5.6 III ...
2
votes
0answers
725 views

Where can I compare telephoto zooms? 200 vs 300 vs 500 mm?

I have a 200mm telephoto zoom lens. I would like to see the zoom distance between the 200mm compared to 300mm and 500mm. Are there any sample comparison images anywhere I can look at?
1
vote
3answers
597 views

Recommendations for zoom lenses for an iPhone 3GS

I enjoy taking pictures for fun with my iPhone 3GS, but I've now reached a point where I would like to be able to zoom in a bit on my motives, and I don't like the digital zoom. Now I've seen that it ...
8
votes
4answers
5k views

What does 'how much zoom' mean?

I have Canon 18-135 and 70-300 zoom lenses. People ask me how much zoom my camera supports. What am I supposed to tell them? "135 ÷ 18 = 7.5" and "300 ÷ 70 = 4.2"?
1
vote
2answers
3k views

How do I get highly detailed iris photos?

I've found the following two pictures (particularly the first) that have a very high level of detail in the iris: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stockrdb/2848444141/ ...
8
votes
7answers
7k views

How do I get the best results for sports with a 70-200mm f/2.8?

Can anyone help? I am using a nikon d7000 for sports photography. My husband kindly bought me a sigma 70-200mm telephoto lens 2.8 as I shoot a lot of low light indoor sports. I have only just started ...
5
votes
7answers
4k views

How can I visualize or simulate the effect of different focal lengths?

I have seen many camera review sites illustrate the effect of using different focal lengths on the same photograph using frames. There are also similar illustrations to compare different sensors (full ...
5
votes
2answers
874 views

Can't auto-focus at full zoom

I have a Canon 1000d, and the standard lens EF-S 18-55mm. Recently I was out taking photos and I've noticed that if I zoom in fully, the lens can't auto focus. I can still take shots using manual ...
7
votes
6answers
298 views

Digital zoom versus optical zoom for minimising camera shake

Here's the scenario: every so often our garden plays host to some small deer. Naturally, I try to take pictures of them. From inside the house, I can get a decent shot with full zoom on my camera. ...
15
votes
6answers
540 views

Overlapping vs. Complementary lenses

I'd like to know if anyone has any advice or experience they can share about using a pair of zoom lenses that have overlapping focal lengths; or a pair of zoom lenses that have adjacent focal lengths. ...
6
votes
4answers
632 views

Is depth of field and bokeh influenced by distance to the subject?

I know that the aperture size has a direct effect on the depth of field. However, what about distance to the subject? Let's say I took two pictures, one at 24mm and one at 70mm, using the same lens ...
10
votes
6answers
280 views

On smaller prints, will a high-quality zoom lens provide near equal image quality compared to primes?

Let's say I shoot with Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L, Canon EF 50mm f/1.4, and a Canon EF 85mm f/1.8. Can these 3 primes be replaced with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 for the convenience of not needing to change ...
17
votes
11answers
6k views

What is the best lens for taking photos of birds?

I was using a Panasonic Lumix, now I finally got a Canon EOS 60D, but I was used to that 18x zoom that my old camera has, because you can't get too close from the birds to take pictures, since they ...
4
votes
3answers
380 views

What factors to consider in choosing between large sensor and good zoom?

I’m looking for information on what factors to consider in deciding between a camera with a large sensor and low light sensitivity (for example, the Canon S95) and a camera with a good zoom (for ...
2
votes
3answers
327 views

Cameras with the most possible zoom?

Which camera(s)/lens to buy if you want the most extreme possible zoom factor? Some variables for me: Do not need ultimate quality, Do not need video, Do not take photos in darkness, Do not take ...
6
votes
4answers
823 views

Should I get a kit or separate lens for my D7000?

I am set on getting a D7000 and am drooling already to get one. My only hurdle left is to determine whether the kit lens is good or if i should get the body only and put the 300$ difference between ...
5
votes
2answers
926 views

Tethering to Control Zoom on Nikon DSLR

Most Nikon DSLR have a tethered capture option, however I haven't come across any of them that controls the zoom of the DSLR. I guess the zoom is controlled manually by rotating the ring on the lens. ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

What differences between point and shoot zoom versus DSLR zoom cause the price disparity?

I'm just getting into the world of photography, stepping up from a point-and-shoot. I've just purchased a Nikon D3100 and it should be here in a couple of days. I've done lots of research, but ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Is it problematic to mount a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L lens on Rebel XSi (450D) body?

I have a Canon Rebel XSi (450D) and I'm going on a two week trip to Argentina and Patagonia where I want to try some wildlife photography. I have the kit 55-250 f/4.5-5.6 lens which I like, but I ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

Fast prime vs. expensive zoom for indoor sports photograhy?

I plan to try shooting my kids' indoor activities (Tae Kwon Do and Figure Skating). I can get pretty close to the action for TKD, and I have access to ice/board level positions for shooting at the ...
6
votes
4answers
7k views

Canon kit with standard EF-S 18-55mm IS or 18-135mm IS?

I'm going to order a new Canon 550d in a kit with a lens. I'm fairly new to SLR photography which means I have not much knowledge about the difference between lenses. There is an offer for a Canon ...
10
votes
5answers
836 views

What are the pros and cons of non-extending zoom lenses?

Apart from the obvious benefit of not changing the center of gravity, what are the technical pros and cons of zoom lenses that do not change "physical length" when changing the focal length? For ...
7
votes
7answers
2k views

Which lenses are best for macro and for birdwatching (both Canon and Nikon)?

Now I have old Sony A100 DSLR + Minolta AF 24-50/4, Minolta AF 50/1.6, Tokina ATX 80-400/4.5-5.6, ... My camera is old. In near future I am going to buy new DSLR. I think it will be Canon or Nikon. I ...
6
votes
5answers
348 views

Alternative/third-party superzoom for Nikon?

I have a Nikon 18-200 VR which I think is great. I often use the 200mm part of it so I'm thinking of an even more extreme superzoom, but I'm not familiar with other lenses than Nikon, but I have been ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

Why do we talk about focal-length when frame sizes are different?

I keep seeing people talking about focal-length of lenses without saying how large the frame is. Is there a more sensible way to talk about how much a lens “zooms”? (I have seen so many adverts ...