September 2009
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5 tips on buying a camera lens

Tip 321 (Zoom lens and apertures): A zoom lens may seem great, since you can get different focal lengths in the same lens. So, if you have a lens that covers say from 70-300, that lens should supposedly be great. Unfortunately, there are some problems that start coming up. For example, most zoom lens don’t have a constant maximum aperture, and you may find that you are not able to shoot at the maximum largest aperture, and hence start finding inadequate light in some cases. For zoom lens that have constant maximum aperture, the cost can be much higher.

Tip 322 (Difference in magnification power between digital camera and film camera): If you have a film camera, or a digital camera, the magnification power varies, and is generally higher on the same lens fitted digital camera.

Tip 323 (Aperture and maximum apertures): You would have heard of aperture many times, so what is it ? Aperture essentially defines the size of the opening on top of a lens that lets in the light, and as you might imagine, a larger opening lets in more light. Apertures are defined in terms of f-stops, and confusingly, is in reverse, so a larger opening has a smaller value, and hence f/1.4 lets in much more light than f/2.8, which lets in much more light than f/22.

Tip 324 (Fast lens and slow lens): Sometimes you hear about fast lens, and slow lens, and you must be wondering about these terms. A fast lens lets in much more light than a slow lens, and is essentially related to the aperture of the lens. A fast lens allows for better photography when the light is less.

Tip 325 (Keeping a grip on prices): Lens can increasingly get very expensive, so super-zoom lens are very expensive, and also fairly heavy, needing their own tripod support. Further, fixed aperture zoom lens are much more expensive than lens on which the aperture is not constant, and you should evaluate as to whether the need for constant aperture is important to you.

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