Lens confusing

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by willykatie, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. willykatie

    willykatie
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    I was looking at different lens for my Nikon D40x i saw a few Macro lens but they're zoom lens :confused: One of them for example 70-200mm F2.8 II EX DG MACRO HSM from Sigma.
    My question is, i thought Macro lens for close up photograph and why there's 70-200mm lens for Macro or 70-300mm Macro? And also, on my D40x there's Macro option, can i use this option to do close up/macro with my 18-135mm lens?
    And thinking about 50mm f/1.8D AF NIKKOR, is this lens any good? Is the f no in this lens means give great depth/details as lower f no? And what is Micro lens from Nikkon, is it same as Macro?

    Thanks a lot for this guys :smashin:
     
  2. Pirate!!

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    Ahoy!

    In short, you can get dedicated macro lenses AND zooms with macro functionality. Most non-dedicated zooms have something like a 1:4 (quarter life size) macro function. Better than nothing, but that's about all.

    I have a Sigma 70-300mm APO DG Macro lens. The macro is half life size 1:2 . . BUT because it's a medium/long zoom, I have to be further away from the subject in order to get focus.

    A nice feature to have. But if you want real close-up close and personal shots, then look for a lens that is true macro @ 1:1 (life size). There is likely to be a price tag to match unless you can find one used on eBay or in your local area online freeads.
     
  3. dazza74

    dazza74
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    The 50mm F1.8 is an excellent lens, as far as Nikon is concerned I don't believe it can be bettered for the money.
     
  4. willykatie

    willykatie
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    So is this lens only fixed distance 50mm? And is it true that F1.8 give great detail than my 18-135mm then :) Yeah, found 1 only for £78 new
     
  5. tontoshorse

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  6. NathanJT

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    f1.8 basically means it's a fast lens allowing you to take photo's in low light conditions at relatively high shutter speeds.

    It also means that you'll obtain a VERY narrow depth of field, allowing you to get creative and use this to have JUST the required subject in focus (think of all those lovely portrait photos with out of focus backgrounds etc).

    * Must type faster LOL! *
     
  7. Liquid101

    Liquid101
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    You might find this lens a touch sharper than your zoom lens, but the real advantage is the wider aperture, allowing you to make photographs in lower light and giving you more control over the Depth of Field.

    Don't forget though that this lens will not Autofocus on the D40x - It has no built in motor and requires a camera body motor that the D40x lacks.

    This goes for many other lenses as well. Be sure top check before you buy.

    AF-S and AF-I lenses will autofocus and meter
    G or D AF lenes will meter only
    Non CPU lenses (AI AIS etc.) will not meter or autofocus
     
  8. Brammers

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    Time for a basic introduction to lens terminology :)

    Most important is the focal length. This is displayed in mm. At the moment you have an 18-135mm lens. This focal length must then be multiplied by 1.5 due to the size of your camera's sensor to give an effective focal length of approx 28-200mm.

    A 50mm lens has a focal length of 50mm, effective 75mm. This cannot change - it is a fixed focal length, not a fixed distance.

    A 70-300 lens can change its focal length between 70 and 300mm, effective 105-450mm.

    Next is the aperture. This is displayed by a f-number, or several. This f-number only represents the widest aperture, the lens will be able to use a smaller aperture should you wish (with rare exceptions which you shouldn't worry about). Some lenses display 2 f-numbers in their title, for example your 18-135mm lens is (at a guess) f3.5-5.6. This means that the widest aperture decreases as the lens zooms in. Some lenses have only one f-number in their title; this means either that they do not change focal length (50mm f1.8) or that they are able to maintain a constant aperture (24-70 f2.8). Maximum apererture has no direct relationship with lens quality. It only represents the amount of light that a lens lets in.

    Maximum magnification is another property of lenses. This shows how close-up you can photograph things and is a combination of minimum focus distance and focal length. A true macro lens is a lens that will give a magnification of 1:1 (lifesize). Many lenses put macro in their title, but are unable to produce lifesize images - an example of this is the sigma you quoted above. The sigma will only produce 1:2 images (half life size). Nikon calls their macro lenses micro.

    HSM, USM, SSM, SWM are all acronyms for the fact that the autofocus motor is located in the body of the lens and uses piezo-electric technology rather than a screw-drive in the body of the camera. This does not produce faster autofocus, nor does it produce slower autofocus. Autofocus speed depends on many things, including maximum aperture, focus design (front, floating, rear etc), the bodies focusing algorithms, lens gearing amongst others.

    However, piezo-electric technology is generally considered to be more advanced than screw drive because:

    It is almost silent.
    It 'feels' faster.
    It allows manual override at any time without having to disengage the screw drive.
    It potentially allows for finer control when dealing with very small movements.

    Your D40 does not have an autofocus motor in it. Therefore, if you want a lens that autofocuses you will need to buy a lens with the motor in the body. Otherwise you will have to turn the focus ring to focus the lens.

    The final property of lenses, which you did not mention, is image stabilisation. Your D40 does not have image stabilisation built into its body, so if you want to stabilise your lens you must either buy a lens with stabilisation built in, or buy a tripod/monopod/beanbag. Each of these methods obviously has its own pros and cons, for example a tripod is the most effective form of image stabilisation, but is considerably bulkier than stabilisation built into the lens, which is bulkier than stabilisation built into the body.

    If I didn't answer anything, feel free to ask :)
     
  9. U'R'ss

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    Can i have my ball back Mister :devil:
     
  10. Boldonion

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    The Nikorr 50mm 1.8 is an excellent lens and superb value for money. It won't auto focus on a D40/X but don't let this put you off. I have one which I use on my D40 and the manual focussing can be fun and still yield some stunning results. For the money it's a must have lens.
     
  11. willykatie

    willykatie
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    Thanks guys for the explanation, so basically this 50mm f1.8 lens is better for low light and indoor than my 18-135 lens?
    I might get it as i don't really like using flash and also sometime don't have time to set up tripod for it as well :)
     
  12. willykatie

    willykatie
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    Anyone know where the cheapest to get this? I know from HK you can get this for around £65-£70 delivered but not sure about the warranty if valid in UK?
     
  13. Yandros

    Yandros
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    Yes. Btw there are some superb answers in this thread :thumbsup:

    Your 18-135 kit lens has a maximum aperture (only possible at or near the 18mm end) of f3.5 The little 50mm is f1.8 which is two 'stops' faster (faster really means brighter btw - nothing to do with the physical speed). Now for each stop you go down, you double the shutter speed you can use (the lens gathers more light so the shutter doesn't need to be open as long). This +/- 1 stop = half/double shutter speed relationship is one of the fundamentals of photography incidentally.

    So....in practical terms, lets say you took your camera+kit lens indoors, and at f3.5 your metering tells the camera to set the shutter to 1/16th of a second - too slow for handholding or stopping any movement of the subject. You then swap to a 50mm f1.8, and shoot 'wide open' ie at f1.8. Since this is 2 stops faster than f3.5, the shutter speed doubles to 1/32, then again to 1/64th of a second - a much more useable speed.
     
  14. julian_fraser

    julian_fraser
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    Great thread - answers some questions of my own too as a newcomer.
     
  15. Brammers

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    I'm going to remind you one more time that the 50 1.8 won't autofocus on a D40x. You will have to turn the focus ring to focus. No worries for static subjects, but definately not for everyone for everything else.

    Put your D40 in manual focus mode for a couple of days and make sure you're ok with that before you buy.
     
  16. dazza74

    dazza74
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    Who exactly are you trying to remind, school teacher talking to pupil springs to mind given the wording of your post I have to say :nono:
     
  17. Yandros

    Yandros
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    Heh, yeah I though that as well... "I'M GOING TO REMIND YOU ONE MORE TIME....!"

    Just as a side note, although it's a LOT more expensive, there is a lens that DOES autofocus on the D40(x) and is much closer to the 'normal' lens. Just to clarify things for non-SLR geeks, old film SLRS came with a 50mm lens as standard - it's close to the perspective of the human eye, and a very good walkaround prime (most 'street' photography is taken with this sort of lens). These days everyone wants zooms, so kit primes have not out of favour. Also, with the dawn of the 1.5x cropped sensor cameras, these 50mm lenses becomes effectively 75mm, so more like a short portrait lens. These Nikon and Canon lenses were made in vast numbers, so I assume that the development and tooling costs were written off years ago and they were made to be low cost - hence the dirt cheap prices to this day.
    I digress though - if you want the modern equivalent of the normal prime, then it's going to be about 30-35mm. The best one for D40(x) owners will be the Sigma 30mm f1.4 HSM. Note that although this is £230, it's f1.4 vs 1.8 and DOES autofocus for you.
     
  18. willykatie

    willykatie
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    Ehm.... Wish you never told me that Sigma :). So wanting it now, but the price too expensive for me just now as just bought the camera+lens+bags, etc as well.
    Nikon ones might be ok for me for a while as the price a lot cheaper as only around £70 from HK i think. Is it Int'l warranty for Nikon lens?
     
  19. PoisonJam

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    I love my Nifty Fifty 1.8/f but I've had my eye on that Sigma for a while... I want faster and the 50mm can be a little too close at times.
     
  20. Brammers

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    Utter nonsense, 100% codswallop, entirely missed the point and mis-read the tone. You are completely wrong. I wrote a long, helpful reply, see an OP who obviously has very little experience miss a fairly major point, and stick in a helpful reminder. And get that.

    I'm seriously unimpressed with you two, Dazza and Yandos.
     
  21. Yandros

    Yandros
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    Steady on old chap, no need to start a flame war :)

    If you really are unimpressed, I should point out that on reflection a ":rotfl:" rather than a "heh" might've indicated that I was pulling your leg, so my bad there. Honestly though, that first line of yours is just begging to be misinterpreted. I just thought it was funny in this context, but I reckon if I wrote that in an email to a client I'd have a 50/50 chance of sparking a MAJOR incident...some people just love to get worked up over stuff.
     
  22. willykatie

    willykatie
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    Right then, back to topic now :) Is manual focus really hard to use it?
     
  23. Brammers

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    Moving swiftly on...

    Try it! There's a switch on the lens itself, switch it from AF to M and see how you do.
     
  24. willykatie

    willykatie
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    Yeah, tried it a few times yesterday and today, sometimes i can get the right focus i think as i can control the object clear and the background blurry or sometimes the other way around.
    Oh well for the money, i might just get it and try how to use manual focus actually.

    Thanks a lot for the input guys, have better understanding now :)
     
  25. Spooky

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    Guys that have the Nikon 50mm 1.8 could you post some links to some pics taken with it, starting to enjoy taking potraits with my ole D50 and for the money I think this could be good or would I be better saving and buying a Nikkor 28-70 F2.8.
    Also how sharp a lens is this?
     
  26. willykatie

    willykatie
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    HERE HERE, they both from Flickr. You can search there and put 50mm f1.8 in the search box and there's a few more pics there.
     
  27. Yandros

    Yandros
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    Good thinking. Less talk more pics :D

    Regarding sharpness, it's significantly better than my 18-200VR isn't that far behind the 105VR macro.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The bees are heavily cropped, as I didn't have a macro lens at the time. Here's the original (unprocessed), which gives a pretty good idea of how close you can focus.

    [​IMG]

    You'll notice in some of these shots that when stopped down, the cheapo 7 bladed diaphragm makes itself obvious, but it's not too horrendous.
     
  28. Spooky

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    Sorry but unsure what ya mean with regards the cheaper diaphragm design making itself obvious? Care to enlighten me?
    Great shots BTW
     
  29. Yandros

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    Thanks :) If you look at the 4th pic, in the top right quadrant, you'll notice the cluster of 7 sided bright spots. This is basically the shape of the 50mm iris when closed up a bit. More expensive lenses have more blades, so form pretty much a perfect circle. I actually quite like the effect, but not everyone does.
     
  30. dazza74

    dazza74
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    I'd have a play "willykatie" with your kit lens, I took this last years using I think the "flower" auto mode (F8 :rolleyes:) probably would have been better if I'd discovered Apperture priority by then, taken at 18mm with my 18-70mm DX lens :

    [​IMG]

    Nice pics "Yandros" :thumbsup:
     

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