Posts Tagged ‘Lenses’

Who needs fast glass when you have high ISO?

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I've seen a few comments from some photographers stating that with the good high ISO performance from current cameras, there's no need to spend money on fast glass anymore. (If you're wondering what fast glass means, it means lenses with a large maximum aperture like f/1.4 or f/2.8, you can read more here: What does Lens Speed mean?)

In this article I want to take a look at this argument, and see if there is any truth in the statement.

Who needs fast glass when you have high ISO?

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Written by Discover Digital Photography

March 1st, 2015 at 3:14 pm

What would be a good basic lens kit?

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What lens should I buy? is probably one of the most commonly asked photography questions by those with interchangeable lens cameras. Unlike cameras, where differences between different models tend to be fairly minor, the differences between lenses can be quite large.

Lenses can be quite expensive as well, sometimes you may pay more for a new lens than you do for the camera itself. While you may replace your camera body in the future, lenses don't often get outdated, and so should be considered more of a long term investment in your photography. So it is a good idea to think about whether you really need a particular lens before splashing out on it.

Camera and two lens kit
Camera and two lens kit

Ultimately, what lens to buy can only be decided by you. A good lens kit depends on the kind of subjects you like photographing, your budget, and even your style of photography. However, there are a number of things you can think about to help you in making a decision that will provide the most Bang for your buck.

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Written by Discover Digital Photography

April 24th, 2013 at 9:51 am

What is Crop Factor?

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Sometimes when reading photography articles or camera reviews, you may find that they refer to 'crop factor'. Crop factor is only really relevant to interchangeable lens cameras, but it is worth understanding what crop factor means.

Crop factor all comes down to the fact that most digital cameras use a smaller image sensor size than a frame of 35mm film. Where this comes into play is (primarily) when looking at lens focal lengths.

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The 5 piece “ready for anything” camera kit

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Sometimes when we take our camera out with us, we have in mind quite specifically what we want to capture, and so can plan the kit we take accordingly. But other times we might just go out on a walk with the intent to take photos of anything we find interesting.

Similarly, when packing for a holiday, we need to take the equipment that will be most useful in the majority of situations. There is no point in carrying heavy gear around with you if it's not going to get much use.

So, here is my suggestion for the 5 piece "ready for anything" camera kit. With this kit you should be able to get pretty good photos of almost anything you come across, and be ready for the large majority of photographic situations. Other than the tripod, it won't take up too much room or weigh you down too much as well.

The 5 piece "ready for anything" camera kit - tripod, flash, camera, general zoom lens, fast prime lens

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Written by Discover Digital Photography

July 29th, 2012 at 9:29 am

Will better gear make you a better photographer?

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You may have heard the phrase It's The Photographer, Not the Camera, or maybe the more generic A bad workman always blames his tools. These phrases are often used to indicate that buying a new camera (or other related gear) won't make you any better a photographer.

While this is true in many cases, there are also plenty of cases where buying better gear does result in better photos. In some cases buying new gear may be the only way to get a certain type of photo.

An extreme example of this is where professional photographer Chase Jarvis was asked to photograph a couple of shoots using a lego camera. Even though he cheated somewhat by also using a speedlight and a variable neutral density filter, you can see that the camera was definitely the weak link.

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About Zoom Lenses

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Most compact cameras come fitted with built-in zoom lenses, and interchangeable lens cameras often come with a zoom lens bundled as part of the package. So what are the advantages of zoom lenses, and are there any potential problems to look out for?

Zoom Lenses Explained

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Written by Discover Digital Photography

April 27th, 2012 at 8:28 am

Digital Camera Types Explained – Mirrorless

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In recent years, the choice in camera models has become much greater, with some completely new types of camera being released. With all the different types of camera, and the different names used to describe them, it can be a bit confusing. In the next series of articles I'll try and clear this up a bit, as well as listing the advantages and disadvantages of each type.

Photo of top-down view of DSLR, MILC, and Compact cameras showing size differences
This composite photo shows the relative scale of a Nikon D3100 DSLR (left), Panasonic GX1 MILC (bottom right), and Panasonic ZS9 Compact camera (top right).

MILCs

MILC stands for Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera, and they are a cross between a compact camera and an SLR. MILCs (with the exception of the Pentax Q and Nikon 1 models) feature the large sensor and ability to change lenses of a DSLR camera, while lacking the DSLR's mirror, which allows a much smaller body size.

They are also known as Mirrorless cameras, ILCs (Interchangeable Lens Compacts), EVIL (Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens) and CSCs (Compact System Cameras). As these types of cameras are relatively new, a standard name has not yet won out in terms of usage.

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Photography Basics – Focal length

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Lenses, both those available separately for DSLR cameras, and those built into compact and bridge cameras, come in a wide variety of focal lengths. This article discusses the different focal lengths, what they are suitable for, and the different trade-offs.

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Written by Discover Digital Photography

May 15th, 2011 at 5:00 am

Photography Basics – Aperture

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Aperture is one of 3 settings, along with shutter speed and ISO, that can be used to affect the brightness (exposure) of an image. It also affects how much of the image is in focus (DoF), and how out of focus areas appear (bokeh). This article covers how the aperture setting affects exposure, DoF and bokeh, and what aperture settings to use for certain effects.

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Written by Discover Digital Photography

May 6th, 2011 at 5:00 am

Photographic Filters – The Ins and Outs

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In the good old days of film photography the only way to achieve many effects on your photos was with the use of specialized glass (or plastic) filters, fitted to the front (or in some cases slotted into the rear) of camera lenses prior to taking the photo. Fortunately in the modern digital world some of these filters are still used and while many of the old effects can be reproduced in a digital darkroom, others still require the photographer to do the work prior to post processing.

Photographic Filters – The Ins and Outs

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