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35 mm or 50 mm or 85mm Confuse in lenses

Vinod Pawar , Jan 24, 2010; 03:00 p.m.

Hi all Friends
I am Vinod from India ,i have some doubts in my mind,i hope on photo.net people will clear my doubt.
1) Can we take kit lense which shops provide us for example 18-55 along with camera
2) what is usage of 35 mm /50mm/and 85 mm lense.
3)why nikons 50mm f/1.4G lense is expensive then 50mm f/1.4D and 50mm f1.8 D(NIKON)
4) can beginers shoot with 18-200 lense?
Regards
Vinod

Responses

Andy L , Jan 24, 2010; 04:13 p.m.

So there are a few variables with lenses:

-How "long" is it? The lower the number in mm's, the wider-angle the lens; the larger the number, the more more telephoto it is. On a consumer DSLR, for example a Nikon DX type camera (as your questions seem to imply you are looking at) a 35mm lens is "normal", 50mm is a bit long - you take a few steps back before taking a photo of a person. 85mm is longer than that, and many people consider it a great length for taking portrait shots of people.
-How "fast" is it? The smaller the f/number, the wider the aperture can open. Wider apertures allow more light in, letting you shoot in low light, with a faster shutter, lower ISO, etc., and also blur the background more which is good for some types of shots. Faster lenses are usually more expensive, and may be made with better parts as they are usually higher grade lenses - which is why the 50/1.4D is more expensive than the 50/1.8D.
-How "well made" is it? Higher end lenses usually include more metal and less plastic, and are made with higher grades of glass. This makes them longer lasting and improves the image quality in certain ways.
-Does it have any "special" features? An AF-S lens is usually more expensive than a similar D lens, because an AF-S lens has a built in motor. (Lower end Nikon DSLRs will not autofocus with a lens that is not AF-S because these cameras don't have built in motors.) VR also adds to the cost.

The 18-55 VR lens is not fast and is not as well made as higher end lenses (it's not bad - it's just not as good) but the image quality isn't bad, it has AF-S and VR and it's inexpensive, so it's not a bad starter lens.

Beginners can use 18-200 lenses. The Nikon 18-200 is versatile in that it cover a very large focal range (so if you want only one lens, it can do a lot), has AF-S and VR and is fairly well made, but is not fast.

BTW, the singular of "lenses" is "lens".

Alan Marcus , Jan 24, 2010; 07:20 p.m.

Cameras are generally fitted with a lens that is considered normal. Normal means the view will not be wide-angle or telephoto. For your camera, this will be a focal length that is about the middle of the range of the kit lens you have. So for your camera normal is 30mm. Technically normal is a lens with a focal length about equal to the diagonal measure of the imaging chip.

Now most photographers want a wide-angle for scenic pictures and when working in close quarters. This range starts at about 70% of normal. The shorter the lens the wider the angle of view. For your camera wide-angle starts at 20mm. Now telephoto is considered to be a lens 200% of normal or longer. For your camera this range starts at 60mm and goes longer. For portrait work, a lens 250% of normal is considered best. For your camera, that's about 75mm.

As you can see the kit lens supplied covers the beginnings of wide-angle and extents through normal to the beginnings telephoto. Beginners would be happy with a 18-200. It provided more magnification than the kit lens i.e. it is a stronger telephoto.

The price of a lens is based more on how much it costs to make and how many will be sold. In business, this is called economy of scale.

John Bernard , Jan 24, 2010; 08:12 p.m.

Let's consider two of those mentioned for comparison. A 50mm F1.8 and 18-55 F3.5 VR Zoom. This sort of comparison may help your learning, and ultimately, your decision.

The difference in sharpness between a fixed focal length (50mm F1.8) and the 50mm length of a 18-55mm zoom may be noticeably different to you. As you view an image from each lens, the 50mm will appear more crisp, or sharp as compared with shots with the zoom extended to the 50mm length using similar F stops. Keeping in mind that the aperture will not open as wide on the zoom.

Let's say that both lenses cost you about $100 (each) and may be a kit lens. You will benefit from both lenses, the fixed 50mm for the sharpness and low light capability without flash, and the zoom for the flexibility with some soft results depending on which settings are selected, and certain settings being more desirable to you with practice and experience.

50mm F1.8 (one length at 50mm-some call this a big compromise). 1 1/2 stops faster (available wider aperture of F1.8, F.2.8 or up to F3.5) and working without a flash and some noticeably sharper results than the zoom. A fixed lens that many of us consider handy, and indispensable. Why not acquire two or more lenses?

18-55mm VR F3.5 zoom (offers multiple focal lengths) while sometimes appearing soft, or not as sharp in the resulting images. This lens offers more flexibility with some compromise as well.

Hope this helps!

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