Which lenses are essential?

Discussion in 'Photography' started by adam sors, May 23, 2004.

  1. adam sors

    adam sors Guest

    Hi all. Newbie here. Still debating between the 300d and d70. I'm also
    overwhelmed with the diversity of lenses available. I've read a good 50mm is
    essential... any others you wouldn't leave home without? I know different
    lenses are meant for different situations... just wondering which ones are
    considered as "staples" by seasoned photographers. Thanks for your time.
    adam sors, May 23, 2004
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  2. Whatever ones you decide on, make sure you allow for the multiplying effect
    on digital cameras. On my Fuji S2 (multiplier effect=1.5) a 50mm lens has
    the same field of view as a 75mm lens on a conventional 35mm film camera.

    Dennis Bradley, May 23, 2004
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  3. adam sors

    dadiOH Guest

    A fairly wide one - say 28mm - and a tele, maybe 100 or 150mm.


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  4. adam sors

    Edward Bray Guest


    I have a D100 with 4 lenses, 15-30 Sigma (22-36 equiv), 28 - 70 Sigma (42 -
    105 equiv), Sigma 70 -300 APO (105 - 450 equiv) and 60mm Micro Nikkor ( 90mm
    equiv). This covers just about every eventuality for me, if I was purchasing
    all from new I would probably go with 18-50/70 standard digital zoom and
    70-300 telephoto (easilt found secondhand), this would probably cover most
    of your needs 18 - 300 ( 27-450 equiv). I had already purchased 2 of my
    lenses prior to going digital and as they were all D specified I was able to
    transpose them to digital and keep all exposure options.

    I purchased the 15 -30 only last week and so far have been extremely
    impressed with the results. I have not yet tried it on my film camera

    FWIW, Eddie.
    Edward Bray, May 23, 2004
  5. adam sors

    Chris Guest

    The 50mm is generally considered to be the most resembling human vision, so
    it's always a good idea to have a 50. I'd say second in importance is
    somewhere in the 20-35mm range, for wider angle shots.

    Lastly, I'd say atleast a 100mm, with a zoom being ideal for most any
    situation. If you want close-in, a good zoom macro lens is a must.

    There is no real rule, but it'll depend alot on what kinds of shots you'll
    be taking, and at what range.

    Although it can be considered "cheating", I like 3 lenses best....

    1) 50mm fixed
    2) 35-70mm zoom (macro if possible)
    3) 75-210mm zoom

    That setup gives you a great range of distance and versatility. About the
    only thing I'd add to that, is a good solid telephoto of about 300-400mm,
    just in case.
    Chris, May 23, 2004
  6. Well, either camera will have a magnification factor (1.6 for the 300D,
    1.5 for the D70), so a 50 mm lens becomes 75 or 80mm lens. That said,
    75-85 mm is a good focal length for portraiture, but if you want a 50 mm
    equivalent (approximate view of human vision) you'll want something
    between 28-35 mm.

    Most people seem to like the following setup, but depending on what kind
    of photography you shoot will change your lens choices:

    On the wide end, either a 15-35 or 17-40 zoom or a 20 mm prime lens.
    Nikon has some nice wide zooms that are nice.

    A 50 mm lens is really inexpensive (they make a bunch), so many people
    have at least one of these lenses in their bags, if you've got the cash
    go for a faster lens (f/1.4), otherwise f/1.8-f/2.0 will suit you fine.

    After this the choices get confusing. On the Canon side, a lot of
    people like the 28-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 USM IS for an all-purpose zoom. The
    image stabilization is a handy feature that helps make up for the fairly
    small maximum aperture. A lot of people also chose zooms in the 24-70

    For telephoto work, you can't beat the Canon 70-200 mm f/4 L USM. For
    under $600 it provides some outstanding results.

    A good resource to check would be pbase. You can browse the galleries
    of different photographers and see what they are shooting with. If you
    type in a general description of the lens in the search, you'll come up
    with a multitude of shots from lenses you're considering. www.pbase.com
    Brian C. Baird, May 23, 2004
  7. I currently only use 2 lenses; I'm looking at getting a few more, but for
    now these are pretty much "mandatory"

    28mm - 80mm f/4-5.6
    75mm-300mm f/5.6

    These are the lenses that I'll be getting in the near future:

    500mm f/5.6
    50mm ~f/2

    I think that a wide aperture can be useful in some situations, so I want
    that ~f/2 lens, and I think sometimes even my 300mm lens doesn't get in far
    enough, so I would like a 500mm one. Of course, by increasing the length,
    you'll always have to get faster film. With a 500mm lens, I'll be careful
    never to go below 1/300 second.

    -- Matt
    Matthew Del Buono, May 24, 2004
  8. adam sors

    adam sors Guest

    You guys have been really helpful. Thanks!

    adam sors, May 24, 2004
  9. What makes this lens so special? How would you compare it to
    the Nikon 70-300mm ED? (it goes for around 350 US$). The
    Canon wins in aperture (this one is f/4-5.6, and as I understand,
    the Canon is f/4 throughout all the zoom range?), but not by
    much (at f=200, the Nikon probably gives you a max aperture
    of f/4.2 or f/4.5). And it has ED glass, so I think this is
    a pretty damn good lens.

    Carlos Moreno, May 24, 2004
  10. I've even read that as a rule of thumb, you should shoot
    at no less than 1/f seconds (e.g., with a 500mm, you
    should set the shutter to at least 1/500 sec).

    But I think it depends on the situations. I have taken
    some decent shots at 1/30sec with a 300mm lens (most of
    the time -- when I'm forced to go to such extremes -- they
    come out showing motion-blur, but on a couple of occasions,
    the shots have come up pretty good).

    Carlos Moreno, May 24, 2004
  11. adam sors

    Slingblade Guest

    Assuming you are speakin about fixed focal length lenses...

    Generally a 28mm, a 50mm and 135mm are considered to be a fairly good
    lens kit.
    Slingblade, May 24, 2004
  12. I've never used the 70-300 ED, but Canon's 'L' lines of lenses are more
    comparable to a higher end Nikon lens than they would be to a variable
    aperture zoom like you describe. The beauty of the 70-200mm f/4 is that
    it provides optical results very similar to Canon's 70-200mm f/2.8L
    ($1300) lens at about half the cost. Sure, you're a little slower, but
    with a 70-200mm lens, f/2.8 is of limited use due to the tiny depth of
    Brian C. Baird, May 24, 2004
  13. Of course the f2.8 will have a brighter image and in the case of my 70-200
    Sigma, the autofocus is much more reliable.
    I am happy to have paid the additional cost for that, but I can understand
    that others won't. Horses for courses :)

    Dennis Bradley, May 24, 2004
  14. How is the build/performance on the Sigma? I wouldn't expect it to
    match the L lenses, but in terms of price/performance is it a worthy
    Brian C. Baird, May 24, 2004
  15. Why is that? Canon's L models seem to be comparable to Nikon's
    ED models (they use extra-low dispersion glass). Both being
    zoom lenses, I wouldn't think offhand that one is superior.

    The price being higher could make me suspect that perhaps the
    quality of the image is indeed superior. But on paper (i.e.,
    looking at both lenses specs), the Nikon seems to win hands
    down: 300mm instead of 200mm for around half the price -- the
    Canon wins in aperture, but you seem to put little importance
    there, which kind of attenuates your argument.

    Carlos Moreno, May 24, 2004
  16. Well, to start, the Nikon lens you mention only has one ED element, the
    Canon lens (being an L series) has two low-dispersion elements and one
    fluorite element. Not to mention excellent weather sealing all around.

    Not to say the Nikon is a bad lens by any stretch of the word, but
    Canon's 70-200mm f/4L strikes an amazing balance between a $400 consumer
    zoom and a $1200 pro zoom.
    Brian C. Baird, May 24, 2004
  17. adam sors

    Fitpix Guest

    Hey Ed, how is that 15-30? I have a Sigma 28-80 and the 70-200 2.8.
    Fitpix, May 26, 2004
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