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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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3
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4answers
4k views

Why am I getting soft images with my Sigma 24-70 f2.8?

I recently purchased a Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 lens which I am using on a Canon 40D body. Around 8 of 10 shots were soft, regardless of subject matter. Exposure, white balance etc. all looks fine. I only ...
7
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
366 views

Does image quality on compact cameras degrade when zooming in?

I have a Panasonic Lumix LX5 which I find generally produces good photos. However I have noticed on numerous occasions that the image quality when at the limit of the optical zoom (not using the ...
0
votes
1answer
317 views

How does the Tamron 55-200mm LD macro lens compare to the Canon 55-250mm IS?

I have a Canon 1100d, the standard 18-55mm lens kit, and the 50mm f1.8 lens. I want to buy a zoom lens as I would like to be able to get closer to far away subjects. I have been looking at both the ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Are prime lenses sharper than normal or telephoto zoom lenses?

Example: The prime lens Nikon 1.4F G is said to be very sharp at F3.5. So, if I compare that with the normal or telephoto zoom lens's F3.5, will the level of sharpness be same? If no, then will the ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

How much different are the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 stabilized (VC) and non-stabilized versions?

I have seen these 2 lenses being suggested by many people across the site as general purpose zooms and an upgrade to the typical 18-55mm kit lenses. The price difference seems to be around $200 (~INR ...
2
votes
1answer
556 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

How important is optical zoom in snapshot cameras?

I want to buy a new snapshot camera. Because i want a new one with geo-tagging, I haven't such a great choice. So the following three cameras are my favorites: ...
1
vote
2answers
391 views

Is the used Nikon Nikkor 18-200mm lens I bought broken?

I bought the 18-200mm Nikon lens used through a reputable vendor through the mail. I purchased insurance just in case the lens did not work or was damaged in shipping. I'm not a professional but I ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Will a prime lens help me get better portraits at a wedding?

I have a Canon 600D with the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens. I have a friend's wedding coming soon, and I'm not sure if my zoom lens will do a good job or not. I was thinking of buying a prime lens so ...
16
votes
2answers
3k 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?
1
vote
3answers
277 views

What are particular potential problems to watch for when using a telephoto zoom?

I recently got the Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS II lens as a complement to my 18-55mm kit lens for my 550D. I was looking for some advice\best practices for using a telephoto zoom, any associated ...
8
votes
3answers
490 views

Would a fixed or zoom telephoto lens be better for learning?

My daughter has a Nikon D-90 camera body and two prime f1.4 lenses 50mm and 35mm. She is interested in learning more, and I am curious which of a zoom or fixed telephoto lens would help her best? Is ...
12
votes
4answers
4k views

How can a lens like a 18-55mm have more than one focal length?

How can a lens have a range of focal lengths? Shouldn't it be a single number? Isn't focal length supposed to be fixed for a lens of a particular shape and geometry? What am I missing? How many ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

What features really matter in a point and shoot camera?

I am planning to buy my first new digital camera. Now I am too confused for more than 20 days about how I can choose a camera. I want to use the camera for domestic purpose. The Canon IXUS 220 HS ...
2
votes
1answer
463 views

How does Sunset Mode affect exposure on Canon A800?

I was puzzled recently when I did some test shots with my Canon A800 by shooting the same (landscape) scene with and without full optical zoom and with the camera program set to SCN - Sunset. (Sunset ...
4
votes
1answer
931 views

Is it normal for a Nikon lens to make noise when zooming in or out?

I read a lot of reviews when buying Nikon D5100 but no where did I hear this. Check this video on youtube. When you zoom in/out you can clearly hear the lens itself. This is highly undesirable. Is it ...
12
votes
4answers
16k views

What's the advantage of buying a fixed 50mm f/1.8 lens when my camera has an 18-55mm zoom lens?

I've got a Nikon D3100 with an 18-55mm zoom lens. I'm keen to experiment with some other lenses and a friend of mine recently reccommended I purchase a fixed 50mm f/1.8 lens as he said it's good for ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

How does Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM lens perform, and what are the alternatives?

Could you give me some insight about this lens? Canon EF Telephoto zoom lens - 70 mm - 300 mm - F/4.5-5.6 - Canon EF I find its size very appealing, but I'm not sure of the performance or any ...
8
votes
4answers
7k 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"?
6
votes
4answers
852 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
4answers
4k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
361 views

What camera is very similar to the Canon G11/G12, but with greater optical zoom and shooting speed?

I will be taking wildlife and scenery photos demanding a much greater zoom than the 5X that the canon G11/G12 has. The rest of the features (except the shooting speed) are very nice as is the price ...
10
votes
5answers
1k 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
483 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
2answers
719 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
2k 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
220 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
650 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?
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) ...
15
votes
8answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
532 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
94 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 ...
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
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 ...
6
votes
5answers
411 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
295 views

What are important considerations when purchasing a zoom lens?

What should I be aware of when buying a zoom lens (other than that it will fit my camera)? What specs should I pay close attention to?
6
votes
2answers
637 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
557 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
397 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
869 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?
6
votes
7answers
6k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
660 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 ...
15
votes
6answers
692 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
834 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
423 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
345 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
1k 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. ...
14
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
260 views

Compact camera with good zoom range and wide angle

I use to have Ricoh Caplio R7, I loved it’s zoon range and wide angle lens. However its lens kept sticking that will have a few weeks to get fixed under the warranty each time. Also it’s zoom ...