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Cameras, Lenses and Accessories: Discuss Confused! about lenses...I put a post up in General questions forum about lenses etc and from reading the replies am totally confused ...
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Old 20-04-2008, 04:59   #1 (permalink)
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Confused! about lenses

I put a post up in General questions forum about lenses etc and from reading the replies am totally confused and realise I have no idea about lenses!
Because I try to photograph in natural light rather than use flash I think i need a lens with a fairly wide aperture? I have two lenses for my Canon 400d. One is an EFS18-55mm the other is a 75-300mm zoom lens. It seems from the replies that the 18-55mm lens is going to give me the widest aperture at f3 (?) as opposed to the 75-300mm with a max of f4? I prefer to use the 75-300mm lens as I find I can get a nicer blurred background and I like the fact I can zoom in without being in a subjects face.
Now.....if I want to take portraits of children in natural light, I want the maximum amount of light going into the camera with the fastest shutter speed possible (they never stay still enough) so what lens is the best to use.
Would I be better to buy another lens for better results - say the one recommended in my previous post (I think it was a 55mm one) - but I'm guessing this one doesn't allow me to zoom in /out.
I hope this all makes sense and someone can explain the different lenses to me. Or point me in the right direction.
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Old 20-04-2008, 08:48   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Confused! about lenses

I think you have grasped the general issues here

Something to bear in mind - as you have already found - is that wider lenses have a greater depth of field than long ones.

Although zoom lenses make framing much easier, there is a school of thought that zooms also make you very lazy and more mobility with the camera will result in better pictures as you are forced to move for each group of shots and so get varied viewpoints rather than stay static and just zoom in and out.

Take a look at the 50mm f1.8. this is a cracking lens and can be had from places like One-Stop Digital for around 60. It will allow you to control the depth of field, use candlelight (almost) and is a bargain to boot!
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Old 21-04-2008, 01:54   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Confused! about lenses

Thanks Graham I'll check it out and do some more research.
Cheers
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Old 21-04-2008, 23:15   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Confused! about lenses

As Graham says ,it,s a cracking lens, and for portraits it,s superb, and if you want blurred backgrounds at 1.8 you can blur the ears and have the eyes in focus.
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Old 22-04-2008, 01:09   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Confused! about lenses

Yep, the nifty fifty (for Canon OR Nikon) is a popular lens for kiddy portraits, as you can get some smashing indoor (low light) shots with it

No, you can't zoom a prime (fixed focal length) lens. Generally speaking, zooms are good for convenience, while primes are valued for higher quality. It's good to have one or two of each type, then you can have a play + see where each lens fits in with your preferences, as you gain more experience
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Old 22-04-2008, 09:18   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Confused! about lenses

Thanks again everyone - I don't suppose anyone knows a good source for these in Australia? Am a bit dubious about buying from ebay but I guess if its cheap enough then the gamble might be worth it.
Sounds like its worth getting for the shots I want to take anyway.
Charlotte, you've been quiet this past week, wondered what had happened to you. Good to see you are 'back'

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Old 22-04-2008, 10:05   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Confused! about lenses

Forget e-bay. One-stop digital will be as cheap and is a reliable seller. Lots of members have used them with no problems - i got my 50mm f1.8 from there in less than a week.
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Old 22-04-2008, 10:36   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Confused! about lenses

Rachel, there is one Ebay seller I regard as 100% trustworthy + reliable, and they have this Canon 50mm 1.8 lens for sale here. The cost including delivery by courier (FedEx) (2-3 days) is 56.95. Onestop (who are also excellent) have the same lens here for 55.99 including delivery, but delivery might take longer via Hong Kong Airmail (1-2 weeks). For the difference of 0.96 I'd take the former option Both of them accept payment by credit card, Paypal etc. Both of these sellers are safe as houses, no gamble involved. BUT these are UK-related sales that I've found, so you'd have to see if you can find Kea Photo on Aussie Ebay, and also contact Onestop to confirm re: shipping to Australia.

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