Cameras & Lenses

  podlod 10:15 06 Oct 05
Locked

Hi, Firstly I would like to ask someone if there is a website that will explain shutter speeds, lenses, aperatures etc; for SLR digital cameras.
Secondly could you tell me what telephoto lens I need to buy to take photos of a subject approx 100ft-200ft away and the subject being a bird approx 1ft-1 1/2 ft in height, and how does one evaluate the distance and what lens to buy? Thanks for all your help!

  SANTOS7 10:21 06 Oct 05

click here
click here
click here
these will help, but sensibly the best thing you can do is go to a highstreet camera shop tell them what you want to do and they will advise and more importantly let you use a set-up that meets your requirements so you can see for yourself exactly what it does,good luck...

  MAJ 10:27 06 Oct 05

Try this one for starters, podlod, click here. A good telephoto lens to start off with is a 200mm lens. For wildlife photography a 300mm lens (for your bird) is useful, you can even get attachments that will couple your SLR to a spotting scope, I used to attach mine to a telescope for astromical photograhy. For portraits, try a 135mm lens, it's much better than the standard 50mm lens supplied with the camera. Photography is something you have to get a feel for, so practise is best.

  Stuartli 10:35 06 Oct 05

If you are using a standard SLR then the zoom lenses produced by Tamron and similar manufacturers for a wide range of camera models are excellent buys.

I have a Nikon F401 with a Tamron 28-200mm zoom lens - this covers from wide angle to telephoto and produces first class images throughout the focal lengths. In addition, when not being used, it is only very slightly larger than a standard 50 or 55mm lens.

There are different Tamron zoom lenses which cover a higher telephone range, but you will most likely need to use them with a tripod or similar support.

If you go to Jessops (which has a price match policy) you will be able to try out various lenses and camera bodies combinations for yourself.

  Batch 11:28 06 Oct 05

If you don't realy need an SLR, but just a good zoom / telephoto lens, you could consider one a non-SLR digital camera with a high optical magnification level (ignore the digital zoom).

I have an Olympus C-765 with a 10x optical zoom (currently available for around £175 - see click here). The lens equates to approximately 38-380mm.

  podlod 13:33 07 Oct 05

Hi again, I want to thank all of you for all the info and help,so I will get going and have a read, but I would still like to leave this response open as someone might come up with more camera info,so please dont stop, but still thanks to everybody!!

  hssutton 14:47 07 Oct 05

This will explain what you need to know click here.


At 50ft using my Canon 10D with a Sigma 50-500mm lens attached, an object approx 16" high will fill the frame when zoomed out to 500mm, with the camera in landscape orientation. Due to the canon having a 1.6 crop factor this is like having an 800mm lens attached to a 35mm camera.

To put this another way, to take a decent photo of a robin I would have to be within 20ft, preferably 10-15ft click here

  Pidder 15:24 07 Oct 05

Presume you know that at this range a tripod would be pretty well essential.

  hssutton 15:59 07 Oct 05

I do not disagree with you, as many bird photographs are spoilt due to camera shake, but like many bird photographers I find more often than not to be shooting without one, due to shooting birds in flight. Obviously if you are going to use an "Hide" then a tripod is very useful

The essentials are a good fast lens f/2.8 (which means expensive)good light + highish ISO which = an high shutter speed. Plus a certain amount of camera technique.

  Pidder 18:34 07 Oct 05

I see that you are probably more experienced than me. Should be interested to hear what you use as an optimum shutter speed/aperture/ISO.

  Stuartli 19:36 07 Oct 05

There is no optimum shutter speed/aperture/ISO combination - it depends on too many circumstances, in particular the amount of light available.

The more light available the better as a slower film (ISO/ASA) film can be used offering superior grain and resolution abilities.

In general, the doubling of an ISO/ASA film speed number equals twice the film speed i.e. a 100ASA film is half the speed of a 200ASA film, whilst a 400ASA film is twice the speed of the 200ASA version.

It's worth remembering that small apertures provide a greater depth of field and, obviously, larger apertures a narrower depth of field; this also varies according to whether the subject is close or some distance away.

To work out small and large apertures, it's most convenient to realise that small apertures are represented by larger number including 8, 11, 16 and 22; the large the number the smaller the aperture and the greater the depth of field.

Larger apertures are shown by small numbers such as 1.4, 1.8, 2, 3.5 and 4.5 for example.

Linking this with shutter speeds and apertures, if the correct exposure is for instance 1/25th of a second at f16, it will be 1/50th at f11 and 1/100th at f8; this, of course, is because f11 lets in twice as much light as f16 and f8 four times as much as f16.

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