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Thread: Wanted: Idiots Guide to Camera Lenses!

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  1. #1

    Wanted: Idiots Guide to Camera Lenses!

    I'm really struggling to get to grips with my camera lenses. Does anyone have any information or know of any guide that explains things in really (and I mean really!) simple terms?

    For instance, there's a whole bunch of figures on my lenses... what does it all mean?

    And how do I know when to use each one?

    I know a lot of you indicate in your 'signature' which lenses you have... I've just put my camera details as I'm at a loss re my lenses! (In my defence, I didn't buy them, I was given them).

    Up until recently I've been shooting in auto but really want to get to grips with manual mode.

    Any help/tips/suggestions/advice would be most appreciated!
    Liz

    My gear: Nikon D5000
    Software: PSE 7


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Tampa Bay, Florida
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    11,376
    Hi Liz - what lenses do you have? What are the markings on the side? You should have a mm reading, which tells you the focal length (or range) of your lens. If there's only one number, like a 50mm lens has, that means it's a prime - it only shoots at one focal length. Lenses with a range can zoom.

    The F number indicates the width of the aperture. The smaller the number, the wider the aperture will open. So for example, my 24-70 f2.8 lens shoots wide (to 24 mm), and can zoom in to 70 mm. I can open the aperture up all the way to 2.8, which will let much more light in.

    That's really just a start, but it gives you the basics. Hope it helps! Would love to hear what you're shooting with and we could talk more about their best uses.

  3. #3
    DPS is a great resource. http://digital-photography-school.co...of-dlsr-lenses . Check Pinterest too There are tons of blogs that go through and explain in detail what each lens is best suited for.


    My Camera - 5D Mark III and Canon 50D
    My Lenses - 50mm 1.2, 70-200mm 2.8, 24-70mm 2.8, 100mm 2.8
    My Software - Photoshop CS5, Lightroom 3


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  4. #4
    Liz, I see you have a Nikon camera. I always check out Ken Rockwell's site for information: http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/nikkor.htm
    Amy

    my gallery

    My stuff: Nikon D700; Nikkor f2.8 24-70mm, f2.8 105mm, and f1.4 50 mm lenses; Tamron f2.8 70-200; Photoshop CC, Lightroom, iMac, MacBook


  5. #5
    Thanks Myra, Jen and Amy! I've had a bit of a hectic few days hence my delay in getting back to this thread.

    Myra, my lenses which I've acquired over time from different acquaintances/sources are (and I don't really know what I'm talking about here!):

    Nikon AF Nikkor 70-300mm 1:4-5.6G
    Tamron AF 70-300mm 1:4-5.6 Tele-Macro (1:2)
    Nikon (this one's a funny one) o with a slash through it 8(rotated 90 degrees!) - 0.35m/1.15ft
    Tamron AF 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 (IF) Macro o with a slash though it 62 A14 - this is the lens that I have been using

    Perhaps you can shed some light on them for me!

    Jen & Amy - I'll certainly check out the links you have suggested!

    Thanks so much!
    Liz

    My gear: Nikon D5000
    Software: PSE 7


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Tampa Bay, Florida
    Posts
    11,376
    Quote Originally Posted by lizziet5 View Post
    Thanks Myra, Jen and Amy! I've had a bit of a hectic few days hence my delay in getting back to this thread.

    Myra, my lenses which I've acquired over time from different acquaintances/sources are (and I don't really know what I'm talking about here!):

    Nikon AF Nikkor 70-300mm 1:4-5.6G
    Tamron AF 70-300mm 1:4-5.6 Tele-Macro (1:2)
    Nikon (this one's a funny one) o with a slash through it 8(rotated 90 degrees!) - 0.35m/1.15ft
    Tamron AF 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 (IF) Macro o with a slash though it 62 A14 - this is the lens that I have been using

    Perhaps you can shed some light on them for me!

    Jen & Amy - I'll certainly check out the links you have suggested!

    Thanks so much!

    You have a nice collection! You have some overlap with range with the 70-300 and the 18-200. The first two lenses look like the same.
    I'm not certain about the third one - although the sideways 8 is the symbol for infinity. Maybe a Nikon shooter can jump in here.
    The 4th Tamron lens goes the widest, but doesn't zoom as close in as the first two. So if you want to get a landscape, or a horizon, I'd use the Tamron 18-200. I'll bet it will be your best "walk around lens" for shooting every day moments.

    If you want to zoom close from a long distance away, and you have good light, I'd go for the 70-300.

    Does that help?

  7. #7
    I have learned SO much at the Digital Photography School site!! I also get their e-mail news letter every week.
    Brenda - wife, mother, animal lover!
    Canon Rebel T3i
    Windows 7 & PSE 11

  8. #8
    Thanks Myra... it's starting to make some sense! I've still to check out the links too and I'm determined to get to grips with this so it's all good

    Thanks again everyone for the help!
    Liz

    My gear: Nikon D5000
    Software: PSE 7


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