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V...
09-06-2007, 01:52 PM
I should start off by saying that I have never owed a digital reflex camera before, or even a traditional one. I have never taken photography lessons, and I am not even sure I could be considered an amateur. I don't know anything about lenses, ISO and all that stuff. Not that I wouldn't be interested ; I just never got the chance. For now, I just like taking pictures, sometimes artsy ones, I guess, and I am getting quite sick of being at the mercy of my camera. Seems to me like *I* should be allowed to decide what the focus is on... I also know that a digital reflex will take the picture "right away" (quick shutter speed ?), and that's something I want. A moment only lasts for so long.


So, here goes :


General information :

Budget : Preferably under 1000$

Size : I do have small hands... I have used (borrowed) a Nikon D80 with a 200mm lens and although the grip felt okay, I must admit that after a while my wrists felt quite tired.

Features : Image stabilisation. I have shaky hands and often, if I want to take a photo without the flash, it will turn out blurry. Quick shutter speed.

How many megapixels will suffice for you? : Honestly... not sure.

What optical zoom will you need? : Advice on that would be nice.

How important is “image quality” to you? : 9. I love images to be crisp, and well saturated.

Do you care for manual controls? : I do ! But I'd also like to be able to use it straight out of the box, while I learn how to use those manual controls.


General Usage

What will you generally use the camera for? : I'm actually pretty random. I'd like to be able to take anything from a closeup of a bug to a landscape, to a picture of a cat that won't stand still or a person who doesn't know it. Nightscenes would be nice, too.

Will you be making big prints of your photos or not? : It's not something I would commonly do. Might be nice eventually.

Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos? : Yes. As I said, I'm pretty random.

Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos? : See above.


Thanks in advance for the help !

coldrain
09-06-2007, 02:30 PM
Smaller and lighter than a D80, with IS.

Options:

Canon XTi with new to be introduced in november 18-55 f3.5-5.6 IS lens, and 55-250mm IS lens.

Canon XTi with Sigma 18-200mm OS lens.

Nikon D40 with Nikon 18-200 VR lens.

Nikon D40 with 18-55 lens WITHOUT is, + 55-200 VR lens.

Olympus E-510 with 14-42 and 40-150mm 2 kitlens set.

Those are the options that will be lighter than the D80. I don't know what lens you used on the D80, maybe the 18-200 VR. So that D40 combination might still be a bit too heavy to be comfortable with you, hard to tell.

DonSchap
09-06-2007, 03:05 PM
Take a quick look at the SONY A100 ... the price has really come down and all Minolta AF lenses will mount right on it and provide even more savings.

Just a thought.

coldrain
09-06-2007, 03:11 PM
The Sony A100 will be the same weight on his/her wrist...

timmciglobal
09-06-2007, 03:37 PM
the 510 from minolta is quite small, might be good for you/ Two kit lens is only 899 online. Downside is dimmer viewfinder and only 3 AF points but does have IS in body.

Tim

DonSchap
09-06-2007, 05:29 PM
the 510 from minolta is quite small, might be good for you/ Two kit lens is only 899 online. Downside is dimmer viewfinder and only 3 AF points but does have IS in body.

Tim

Tim, did you mean ... Olympus? :confused: Minolta has been toast for 2 years now.

V...
09-06-2007, 05:53 PM
Oh, I'm a "her" .. :)

The D80 had quite a large lens. It probably contributed to its weight a lot, actually, but I'd want a lens like that too, so... :rolleyes: It said "200" on it, but since I don't know much on the subject, that's all I noticed. It would also become longer or shorter, depending how I turned it, if that can help get a sense of which type of lens it was. It had a "wave" type end to it, but I don't know if it was added. I do believe it was for the sun, that "wave" thing. (Don't know the name, once again....terribly sorry.)

From what I understand, in some of those suggestions, the IS is in the lenses, and not the body ? Are all these combinations equivalent in price and capabilities ? Also, may I ask what VR and OS mean, as well as the f3.5-5.6 ? As I said, I'm learning... I've already read a lot of the reviews, but I'm still having trouble figuring out what I need beyond the IS, good shutter speed and the ability to take pictures in various contexts. Since I know nothing of the lenses, their characteristics, right now, don't help me a great deal ...

Can a good lens compensate for an average camera ? What is most important, the body or the lens ? Should I just try the bodies in hand, and choose solely according to the "feel" of it ?

coldrain
09-06-2007, 06:02 PM
That was the Nikon 18-200 VR, and the wavy thing is called the sun hood or lens hood.

No Control
09-06-2007, 06:55 PM
That was the Nikon 18-200 VR, and the wavy thing is called the sun hood or lens hood.

...and is a fairly large lens. The D80 body by itself is not at all a heavy-weight.

SpecialK
09-06-2007, 08:30 PM
In the USA the Pentax K100D with kit lens can be had for as low as $409 with rebate (saw it once under $400). It is a good basic camera except perhaps for sports where you want to take many shots in a row ("burst" mode). You might have to wait a few seconds every 5 shots as the camera save the images to the memory card.

AlexMonro
09-07-2007, 04:36 AM
From what I understand, in some of those suggestions, the IS is in the lenses, and not the body ? Are all these combinations equivalent in price and capabilities ? Also, may I ask what VR and OS mean, as well as the f3.5-5.6 ? As I said, I'm learning... I've already read a lot of the reviews, but I'm still having trouble figuring out what I need beyond the IS, good shutter speed and the ability to take pictures in various contexts. Since I know nothing of the lenses, their characteristics, right now, don't help me a great deal ...

VR is Nikon's name for IS, OS is Sigma's. Other manufacturers use other terms, Pentax use SR (Shake Reduction) and Sony say Steady Shot.

Nikon & Canon do the IS in the lens, where it works best for long telephoto. Pentax, Olympus & Sony have it in the body, so it works for all lenses (and the lenses might be slightly cheaper than ones with IS), but it might not work quite so well for long telephoto shots (but N & C don't let you have it at all on shorter lenses).


Can a good lens compensate for an average camera ? What is most important, the body or the lens ? Should I just try the bodies in hand, and choose solely according to the "feel" of it ?

The lens is by far the most important part. A good lens can get you good pictures on almost any body, a mediocre lens will always be limited. The more expensive bodies tend to have things like more AF points, weather sealing and faster multi shot frame rates, as well as more robust build.

The feel of the camera is important, together with the ease of use of controls and menus, and the look through the viewfinder. Since the technical specifications of most DSLRs these days are fairly comparable, your personal choice of look and feel is probably the most important disctinction between them.

DonSchap
09-07-2007, 09:13 AM
Most camera bodies, these days, will provide almost everything you could need to take a decent image. Basically, it will cover all bases in your shooting needs. That wasn't always the case, a few years ago ... there were some major differences. Todays's new cameras are the tightest group of flavors ever produced. It is becoming actually hard to tell them apart. So ... if you buy a new Canon, Nikon, SONY, Pentax, Samsung (A Pentax in Samsung-clothing) or an Olympus ... you'll be getting pretty much the same result from the body.

So .. what will really make the difference, you've asked?

And as you have nearly answered for yourself, it is the lenses you mount on the DSLR. The lens is the most critical part of the type of photography you are doing. It is important to buy a lens with the following aspects in mind:

Focal length?
Aperture?
Zoom or PRIME?
Does the camera body need to have Image Stability provided by the lens?
Weight


FOCAL LENGTH: Obviously, you want to have a lens that can reach your subject and fill the frame properly. If you buy a lens that has a short focal length, distant subjects are going to appear too small to see properly. Sure you can "crop" the image down with software in the computer, but you begin to destroy the sharpness of the image by forcing the resolution (number of dots that describe the image) of the photograph to provide more than it actually could. The subject becomes larger, but it also becomes pixelated (larger blocks begin to describe the image) and eventually looks about worthless.

SO ... you need to have the reach. What is that reach? In the days of 35mm-film bodies, the "normal" focal length lens was 50mm ... but with the APS-C sensor-based digitals (with have a "cropping factor" that effectively lengthens the focal length of the lens by a measured factor - for Canon=1.6x, Nikon, SONY, SAMSUNG, Pentax=1.5x, and Olympus=2x) to get that "normal" look ... you have to go back to a 35mm focal length to get roughly the same framing of the 50mm image on the film camera.

I know this sounds a little complicated ... and the effect is best seen simply swapping the same lens from a 35mm-film camera body to the APS-C sensor body. Remember where the outside corners lined up (that's your picture frame, if you will) ... and the subject is going to look 50% BIGGER when viewed through the digital viewfinder.

Here's a quick chart for focal length

Full Frame or
35mm-film . . . . . . ~APS-C sensor (non-Olympus)
10mm . . . . . . . . . . . . 16mm
14mm . . . . . . . . . . . . 22mm
17mm . . . . . . . . . . . . 28mm
20mm . . . . . . . . . . . . 32mm
24mm . . . . . . . . . . . . 38mm
28mm . . . . . . . . . . . . 44mm
35mm . . . . . . . . . . . . 56mm
50mm . . . . . . . . . . . . 80mm
70mm . . . . . . . . . . . .112mm
85mm . . . . . . . . . . . .136mm
100mm. . . . . . . . . . . .160mm
135mm. . . . . . . . . . . .216mm
200mm. . . . . . . . . . . .320mm

SO ... focal length ... it's a very important choice. What are you planning to shoot?

APERTURE: Each lens has a maximum aperture to it. That is, the design of the lens allows a certain measured amount of light into the camera as it passes through the control blades of the aperture orifice. These are measured in f/stops … which a method you will have to use to get along with everyone else in the free world. The f/stops of aperture range from f/1.0 through f/64. Most lenses stop closing down the aperture around f/22 or 32. You simply dial this setting in on the lens itself or into the camera body controls ... and the lens closes these aperture blades to a preset level. When these blades are as open as they can get, this is called "maximum aperture", but it also has the smallest number.

Remember: Tight hole … big number … wide hole … little number.

Apertures go in steps … roughly of 1.4x the number before it. So, starting with f/1 … the next step would be f/1.4. That one step REDUCES BY ½ the amount of light going through the lens. The next step would 1.4 x 1.4 or f/2.8. The original light is cut by half, again. The next step is 2.8 x 1.4 or f/4. The next step is 4 x 1.4 or f/5.6.

I hope you are beginning to see the trend.

A quick aperture Chart:
f/1 – 1:1 light – Image is as bright as the source
f/1.4 – 1:2 – Image is half as bright as the source
f/2.8 – 1:4 – Image is quarter as bright as the source
f/4 – 1:8 – Image is one/eighth as bright as the source
f/5.6 – 1:16 – Image is one/sixteenth as bright as the source
f/8 – 1:32 - Image is one/thirty-second as bright as the source
f/11 – 1:64 - Image is one/sixty-fourth as bright as the source
f/16 – 1:128 - Image is one/one hundred and twenty-eighth as bright as the source
f/22 – 1:256 - Image is one/two hundred and fifty-sixth as bright as the source
f/32 – 1:512 - Image is one/five hundred and twelfth as bright as the source
f/44 – 1:1024 - Image is one/one thousand and twenty-fourth as bright as the source
f/64 – 1:2048 - Image is one/two thousand and forty-eighth as bright as the source

As you can see … it’s getting a little dark in here.

One of the widest apertures ever produced was an f/0.95 lens. While this is a fantastic amount of light for any camera, there are side effects with wide aperture that need to be addressed.

The more common apertures of beginning lenses that we find today hover around f/4 … and it becomes a challenge to work with lenses rated any darker than f/5.6, because most camera’s autofocus systems needs a certain level of light to properly operate … when that light is reduced too far …the camera will lose focus. If you place a lens on the camera where the light is restricted to less than 6.3 … either by an additional filter placed on the front of the lens or the addition of a tele-converter (which optically extends the focal length of the length) … the AF system will fail to operate.

So, what is the better choice in lenses? Once again, that depends on what you want to shoot. If you are shooting outdoors … almost any lens will accommodate you. You can easily get away with f/4 and higher lenses. But, when you step inside and no longer have the sun as a light source … the fun begins. If you plan on going without a flash … f/2.8 should be your maximum lens aperture. If you can get f/1.8, all the better.

Side Effects of wider Apertures:

One of the strange effects you get with using a wider aperture is the term bokeh. Basically, this is where the subject you focus on is properly in focus, but everything in front of or behind the subject is not. Those areas are reduced to a soft blur. The wider the aperture, the more pronounced this effect. If you need to know more about this, consult reference material on the subject of DEPTH OF FIELD and BOKEH. For the sake of brevity, we will not discuss it, here.

Zoom or PRIME lens

Okay … basically a “PRIME” lens is a fixed-focal length lens. That means it cannot change focal length and unless you add a teleconverter to it … it is what it is. They come in assorted sizes, most commonly 14mm, 20mm, 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 100mm,, 135mm and 200mm.

A “Zoom” lens is one which can vary focal length between to set values … 10-22mm, 17-55mm, 28-105mm, 70-200mm … etc. The minimum length is the first number, the maximum … the second.

PRIME lens are considered to be much sharper and usually “brighter” (better maximum aperture) than most zoom lenses, because they are set solid … and the only moving parts are the focus barrel and the aperture blades.

ZOOM lenses are a bit of a compromise, as when you change the “zoom’ from one length to another, you are actually changing the way the light moves through the lens tube. This light redirection can be a bit sloppier from lens to lens, resulting in not as sharp an image on the other end. They tend to be “darker” as they move from short focal length to the longer one.

So, if you are shooting where you need to have absolute focused crispness to your image … a good set of PRIMES would be advised. If you are out and about, just snapping whatever … a good “utility zoom” (18-200mm) is perhaps a good choice. Then, of course, there are the professional Zooms, which use a much higher degree of precision in the lens tube and are a whole lot “brighter”… and, as one would expect, there is a price that goes right along with that.

Does the camera body need to have Image Stability provided by the lens?

Image stability in a lens has one major drawback … you remove that lens, the Image Stability you had goes right away with it. That means to maintain constantly available Image Stability (IS), every single lens you have would have to have IS. That represents a serious investment in high end glass, usually. There are currently no PRIME lenses under 200mm that have it, either. That is, unless you have in-the-body Anti-shake technology in your camera. Having in-the-body IS allows you to mount any regular lens and get the benefit of IS for it, for no added cost. Every lens gets it. Having IS in-the-lens, increases its weight … and once again, once the lens is removed … so is the beneficial IS.

Weight

Everything weighs something. Most new lenses weigh considerably less than the equivalent lens of pre-2000, unless you start desiring those lower maximum apertures.

To get that extra amount of light to pass through the lens and into the camera body, larger diameter lenses are required. As you can imagine, the bigger it gets, the more it weighs.

The average weight of a 28-105mm f/2.8 zoom w/o IS weighs around 32oz.

The average weight of a 70-300mm f/4-5.6 w/ IS lens is 25 oz.

The average weight of 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 w/o IS lens is 18 ounces.

Now … where things start to get serious, is when you opt to use a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens … which hover around 50 ounces, all by themselves. That is three pounds of lens and can be a real drag to tote. Excellent images ... over other lenses, but still ... not a great lens when you are on the run.

How big can they get? Well, the Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM (which is a PRIME), weighs 12 lbs. … a lightweight bowling ball, to be sure. Try hand holding that in front of your face. You would probably wind up knocking your nose off.


Anyway, I hope this has answered some of your more obvious questions. Further information should be on a case-by-case basis, when it comes to lenses.

Rex914
09-07-2007, 10:12 AM
If you can hold off until October, you could consider buying a Rebel XTi along with the 18-55 IS lens ($200). That would be a very light combo to have.

- Jon

Riley
09-07-2007, 12:38 PM
Olympus E-510 is listing at $782, but twin kit can be had for $899 and weighs 490 grams, thats just about 1 lb

SONY A100 its listing at $644, weigh 690 grams
the Pentax's exceed 650 grams too

i dont think you will get a lighter camera than 510 with IS
the twin lens kit is very good value, and are optically the best kit lenses
the 510 is the camera you need

i cant see where people consider old OIS lens technology a light weight solution

go to a camera store and have a feel of a 510,
no doubt the store will offer you other cameras
you will see they feel heavier

V...
09-08-2007, 08:06 AM
Okay. More thoughts :

I know that my current camera has a 3X zoom (with 4X digital, but I blocked that : that thing ruined my pictures). How does that relate in lens zooms ? I found a review which says it would be 35-105mm equivalent in 35mm photography, but then you say 35mm would be 50mm digital (at least in aperture), so I'm a little confused there... I usully take most picture in full zoom, as everything does seem far away whenever I look on the screen. That, and I like closeups. I understand now this must mean the focal lenght is not ideal, at least for me. I don't know what that number would be on my current camera (http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_reviews/stylus410.html), so I don't really have a point of reference.

I know I need good aperture, for a simple reason : I don't like using the flash. It always ends up reflecting off something and looking off... or I try to take a picture of something far away, and then the flash simply doesn't reach. In the odd times the flash does "work" (usually outside : trees aren't very reflective), then I find it will remove shadows and make the image look fake. Maybe I'm just using it wrong, but still : a flash doesn't work well for me, and I'd much prefer having sufficient apperture to take pictures without it.

I think I'll need IS in body because of that : I've noticed blurr occurs usually when I don't want to use the flash and the light is low. It can be far or close, it doesn't matter : I'm a shaky person. Since I can't much control the light, I'd best control the shake. And if IS is usually in the longer lenses, I'll be in trouble when/if I want to use shorter lense that don't have it.

So... I get :
Good aperture : I like shadows
Good zoom : I like closeups, and I do go out and about a lot
IS in body : Better be safe than sorry
Lightweight : Because I'm a lightweight myself

I should add I'm in no rush to buy : I'd rather wait and have better value for my money then find out in two months that I could have gotten much better for the same price.

So, which lenses are better quality, for the price, and considering I'm far from a pro ? Olympus ? I do lean towards that one right now, as I expect it might feel more familiar to me than other. I probably wouldn't want more than one or two lenses : I don't see myself lugging around a bunch of lenses with me. As much as possible, I'd like this camera to be able to come on trips with me. (Not that I travel all the time - I wish, though - just that, well, I'd feel dumb bringing my old camera with me and leaving a better one at home...) Not only would too many lenses be heavy, but I'd worry someone might try to steal them...:eek:
Oh, I also read about those extender lenses (In the link about lenses in Rex's signature - thanks !) : would that be an option ?



Thanks all, obviously. :) I'm saving all this for reference.

DonSchap
09-08-2007, 08:21 AM
Okay. More thoughts :

I know that my current camera has a 3X zoom (with 4X digital, but I blocked that : that thing ruined my pictures). How does that relate in lens zooms ? I found a review which says it would be 35-105mm equivalent in 35mm photography, but then you say 35mm would be 50mm digital (at least in aperture), so I'm a little confused there... I usully take most picture in full zoom, as everything does seem far away whenever I look on the screen. That, and I like closeups. I understand now this must mean the focal lenght is not ideal, at least for me. I don't know what that number would be on my current camera (http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_reviews/stylus410.html), so I don't really have a point of reference.

Aperture is unaffected by using either a 35mm-film camera or an APS-C sensor digital. ONLY FOCAL LENGTH is affected. It gets effective extended, because the APS-C sensor is smaller than the 35mm-film footprint ... and winds up looking like you had zoomed in on your subject. Hence the above chart.

If the lens you use is an f/2.8 lens on the 35mm-film camera ... it is still going to be an f/2.8 aperture lens on the APS-C digital camera. Nothing changes in that regard. Okay? :confused:

If the lens is a 28mm focal length on the 35mm-film camera ... it will be effectively a 44mm focal length when you place it on the APS-C camera. The image looks closer. Same lens ... but looks magnified by a factor of 1.6x

Maybe this illustration will help a little.

28411

The FF image circle is the same on both cameras, but as you can see ... the 35mm or Full-Frame sensor ssstretches from side to side in it ... the APS-C only gets a smaller part of the image circle ... so when you print it ... it appears to be "zoomed in" or "Cropped", compared to the 35mm or FF image.

It takes a little getting used to ... but once you compare the two ... it is pretty clear.

V...
09-08-2007, 10:36 AM
Okay, I think I got it. A lense will show things closer on a digital camera because of focal lenght, which is multiplied on them. Aperture stays the same, zoom too. I don't get what is that APS-C sensor, though... Since I like things close, I guess a big number on focal lenght is what I'd want ?

I feel dumb, but I just realised : I do actually own a real lens. I had actually never realised until now that the thing could come off. :o

See, there was this old-style camera in a junk store, and it just looked so very cool, with the black and silver, and the way it goes "Ch-klik !" when you take a picture, that I got it. It was just a couple of bucks anyway, with even a case that goes with it. It was I guess ten years ago, so I had pretty much forgotten about it until now. It actually still works, too. It says "Praktica super TL" on it, and there's a button that closes the apperture half-way when you push it. It loooks like this, actually : http://blogimages.seniorennet.be/retrocameras/156-bf7ca5060b3b8029ee121b3a455d109c.jpg

The lens is different than in that picture, though. It says "Meyer - Optik Görlitz" and "1.8 / 50" on the front of it, and there's a rubber attachement at the end (A sun hood ? It's not wavy though, it's full.). Could that old thing actually be attached to a new camera ? From what I seem to understand, that would mean a 1.8 aperture, which is, I believe, what I want, and 55 mm ? :confused:

I know not all lenses go on all cameras, but since it doesn't say Canon or Olympus or anything like that, I don't know....

DonSchap
09-08-2007, 02:49 PM
The lens is different than in that picture, though. It says "Meyer - Optik Görlitz" and "1.8 / 50" on the front of it, and there's a rubber attachement at the end (A sun hood ? It's not wavy though, it's full.). Could that old thing actually be attached to a new camera ? From what I seem to understand, that would mean a 1.8 aperture, which is, I believe, what I want, and 55 mm ? :confused:

I know not all lenses go on all cameras, but since it doesn't say Canon or Olympus or anything like that, I don't know....

The fact is: That lens is probably going to stay on THAT camera.

Only lenses designed to mount on a particular manufacturer's body will work with it. Without some kind of special adapter, Canon marries up only with Canon ... Nikon with Nikon/Nikkor ... Olympus with Olympus ... SONY with SONY or Minolta AF lenses ... Pentax/Samsung with Pentax ... and here's a twist for you .... Fujifilm with Nikon/Nikkor lenses.

You usually cannot cross them ... unless specifically told you can by the manufacturer of the camera body.

The are three major third party lens manufacturers: TAMRON, SIGMA and TOKINA who make lenses, but you have to specify what manufacturer's body you want to put it on. You cannot even mix or max them, either ... they are built from the factory for the manufacturer you specified. These are called "Mounts"

In other words, if you wanted the TAMRON AF 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) lens ... and were putting on a Canon XTi camera body ... you would specify the "Canon-mount." Then that lens would only work on Canon EF-mount cameras. If it were a Nikon-mount ... yes, it's the same basic lens ... but, it only works with Nikon or Fujifilm cameras.

If you were to want the new Tokina 16-50mm f/2.8 ATX 165 PRO DX AF lens ... and wanted to put it on the SONY A100 or the Pentax K10D camera ... you would specify the SONY-mount or Pentax-mount and ... Tokina most likely would tell you to "pack sand", because they have elected to no longer support the SONY or Pentax-mounts, for the time being. :( You can only get it in Canon or Nikon-mounts.

Olympus is even worse ... presently, there are only very few lenses for the current release of Olympus E-cameras. A couple third-party lens manufacturers are currently trying to offer some, but they are few and far between. Olympus has a pretty tight lock on glass offering, at this time. If you are a serious DSLR user, on a budget ... this could be a real problem without some kind of finance plan.

Anyway, that's how it works, these days. It's a bit of a "sticky-wicket", so you will have to do some more research. You might want to kind of hide that Praktica when you go shopping, too. Like it or not, the Age of the Ultra-modern Camera is entirely here ... and most people (under 25) would not understand what they were looking at.

V...
09-09-2007, 10:49 AM
Well, I'm actually 24 years old. ;)
I will say, though, that I never claimed I wasn't an odd person : I'm a history student, and I've always been drawn to old or quircky objects... like that cute Praktica ten years ago.

Back to the subject of those lenses : I have seen that the Olympus can come in a kit with two lenses. As I said before, I'm more than happy with one or two versatile lenses. The lack of lens variety for the Olympus would therefore not affect me a great deal, if those two are any good. I saw in the review that they are decent quality, and one is a 14-42mm / f.3.5-5.6, the other a 40-150mm / f4.0-5.6 which, if I understand that 2x thing well, would be almost equivalent to the 200mm in zooming capability to the D80 I tried previously, only shorter and lighter ? (That almost sounds too good...)

If that is the case, that Olympus does seem to be the one for me. (Though I still need to test it in hand...)

Two things I am curious about :

Why is it that the longer the zoom, the smaller the aperture ? Won't images turn out dark, with those numbers ?
Also, what is ISO for ?

Riley
09-09-2007, 11:34 AM
Back to the subject of those lenses : I have seen that the Olympus can come in a kit with two lenses. As I said before, I'm more than happy with one or two versatile lenses. The lack of lens variety for the Olympus would therefore not affect me a great deal, if those two are any good. I saw in the review that they are decent quality, and one is a 14-42mm / f.3.5-5.6, the other a 40-150mm / f4.0-5.6 which, if I understand that 2x thing well, would be almost equivalent to the 200mm in zooming capability to the D80 I tried previously, only shorter and lighter ? (That almost sounds too good...)

40-150mm / f4.0-5.6 would be 80-300 in 35mm equivalence, the Nikon with a 200mm would be 300mm as well. Olympus have the advantage in tele lenses because of the crop factor, meaning they are usually faster (lower numeric F stop) shorter and lighter; and their kit lenses are some of the best around. For a review of the 14-42mm kit:

http://www.popphoto.com/cameralenses/4383/lens-test-olympus-zuiko-digital-14-42mm-f35-56-ed-af.html

Other lens lists to peruse are:
http://www.4-3system.com/modules/lenses/

http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/oly-e/lenses.html



If that is the case, that Olympus does seem to be the one for me. (Though I still need to test it in hand...)

Two things I am curious about :

Why is it that the longer the zoom, the smaller the aperture ? Won't images turn out dark, with those numbers ?
Also, what is ISO for ?

yes you really should handle the prospective cameras.

longer zooms arnt as big an impost as smaller front glass which pretty well (though not entirely) governs the widest aperture available. Narrower front glass (filter size as a guide) on similar focal lengths means lower F stop. With very long zooms it just becomes unwieldy size wise and heavier to be able to offer fast lenses (not to say they dont exist, but theyre expensive). Exposure if correct should be the same, just the available shutter speeds are less on slower lenses.

iso replaces ASA in film speeds. It is accomplished with amplification of sensor signal in steps of 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600. In lower light the dSLRs in the range you are looking at can get to iso1600 in daylight (to support a faster shutter speed) without much issue, pretty much all of them suffer beyond iso800 in low light. Generally though, the lower the iso the better the image quality.

as an example, an exposure of 1/60th sec at F8 iso100, would equate to
1/60th sec F11 iso200 or even 1/120th sec F8 iso200

V...
09-09-2007, 08:09 PM
I'm not certain I understand the thing with ISO. If the image quality drops when you go up, why not just stay at ISO100 ? What are the advantages of increasing that number ? The shutter speed increases (if I understand well), so... less blurr... ? :confused:


I got the chance to go to the store today, but they didn't have the E-510. Actually, here, we still have the E-410 with the two lenses at the price (or higher) you get the E-510 in the states. I guess I'll have to be patient...

I still played around with what they had, to have a point of reference : the Xti felt fantastic in hand, you'd think they made it for me. According to specs, E-510 should be fairly similar in terms of grip size, so that's encouraging. Honestly, I'd consider that Xti if it had IS in body. Weight didn't feel like an issue at all with that one... and E-510 is supposed to be lighter. I certainly can't wait to see that ! :) I tried the D-80 again, and I can confirm : my hand needs to be in complete stretch to get around that gigantic handgrip. It must have been made with big strong guys in mind : my fingers barely make it around. The Pentax is a brick, it's insanely heavy : that's a big no-no for me. The D40 is a sweet little thing, quite pleasant to hold, but the lack of IS is a big issue and basically a deal breaker. The A100 is good also, in hand, but at the risk of being a complete girl on this, I simply don't find it attractive... Something about it feels...off. :confused: Too square, too smooth ? Maybe i'm just being weird. :p


Hopefully the E-510 kit with the two lenses makes it here soon ! At a good price, anyway...:rolleyes:

David Metsky
09-09-2007, 08:44 PM
I'm not certain I understand the thing with ISO. If the image quality drops when you go up, why not just stay at ISO100 ? What are the advantages of increasing that number ? The shutter speed increases (if I understand well), so... less blurr... ? :confused:
Raising the ISO increased the camera's sensitivity to light. It allows you to take pictures in lower light then you could at a higher ISO. For example, if you have the ISO set at 100 you might need 1/4 sec to take a certain shot in low light. That won't work without a tripod and the subject being perfectly still. If you push the ISO to 1600 you might be able to take the shot handheld at 1/60. The shot will have more noise, but you'll have the shot. It's impossible to take that shot at ISO 100.

Without enough light the shot will be dark. If you keep the shutter open for long and you're not on a tripod or the subject is moving everything will be blurry. Pushing the ISO allows you take pictures in situations where you couldn't otherwise.

You should try to stay at the lowest ISO number that you can, but it's not possible all the time.

TheWengler
09-09-2007, 09:22 PM
A few things...
Elevating the ISO allows you to also shoot with a faster shutter speed at the cost of detail loss in the image. This is helpful in low light situations as is IS.

I don't know if this was mentioned but f-stop (1.4, 4, 5.6, 8 etc) is a ratio of focal length to aperture diameter. f-stop = focal length/aperture diameter. Aperture diameter is the size of the opening in the lens. So to maintain a big aperture (small f-stop) at telephoto focal lengths the aperture diameter has to increase with the focal length. Generally the bigger the aperture the more expensive the lens, especially with telephoto lenses.

I have read that the Olympus kit lenses are the best of the kits but they're probably not suitable for use indoors w/o a flash.

Which Pentax did you try? The K10D is big. The K100D also has IS but is smaller, cheaper and more of an entry level camera. I bought this camera (body only) for $380 after rebate. I also purchased the 50mm f/1.4 prime for indoor shots.

Maybe something like the Pentax K100D body ($380-430), a Pentax 50mm f/1.4 ($155-180) and a convenience lens to use in all well lit situations. A couple of these are the Tamron 18-250 (~$450) and the Sigma 18-125 (~$250). It's worth a look, but go with whatever feels right.

Riley
09-09-2007, 10:47 PM
I have read that the Olympus kit lenses are the best of the kits but they're probably not suitable for use indoors w/o a flash.


at F 3.5....consider 800iso with IS, an easy 6 stops gain and the tripod is still in the kit bag
its a fair bet that in most situations you could get a good exposure with ambient light through windows

TheWengler
09-10-2007, 12:12 AM
at F 3.5....consider 800iso with IS, an easy 6 stops gain and the tripod is still in the kit bag
its a fair bet that in most situations you could get a good exposure with ambient light through windows

Yeah, you're probably right. She could always get the prime later, if 3.5 isn't fast enough. How is lens availability for Olympus? Better or worse than Pentax?

Riley
09-10-2007, 12:24 AM
Yeah, you're probably right. She could always get the prime later, if 3.5 isn't fast enough. How is lens availability for Olympus? Better or worse than Pentax?

that said, primes are a tad scarce, but it depends what you need to do
isnt the largest selection in the world, aptly needs a cheap WA prime. There are 30 with 5 coming sometime soon. There is usually a lens for the job, but not much in the way of choice.

how does it compare with Pentax, not so well i think, this because of the vast array of 35mm K mount glass at good prices

as to new AF stuff though, I havnt a clue, have you got a link to a list like this ?

http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/oly-e/lenses.html

TheWengler
09-10-2007, 01:19 AM
have you got a link to a list like this ?

http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/oly-e/lenses.html

nope. thank you.

V...
09-10-2007, 07:55 AM
Raising the ISO increased the camera's sensitivity to light. It allows you to take pictures in lower light then you could at a higher ISO. For example, if you have the ISO set at 100 you might need 1/4 sec to take a certain shot in low light. That won't work without a tripod and the subject being perfectly still. If you push the ISO to 1600 you might be able to take the shot handheld at 1/60. The shot will have more noise, but you'll have the shot.

Okay, got it : ISO is my friend in low light. Very good thing to know ! :)

About the noise issue... wouldn't it mostly disappear simply by shrinking the image ? For example : when drawing in Photoshop, I'll always work on the biggest possible "canvas" as possible (without crashing my poor computer), knowing that when I'll print it at 50% or even less, all the line wigglies and minor flaws will basically disappear. (And printing it at 100%, anyway, creates a big enough image that you need to take a few step backs to see it all, which is also a pretty effective way to hide flaws... ;))

Wouldn't that be true for photos as well ? After all, I'll usually be happy with a 4x6 print... especially if we're talking about an indoor photo in low light.

Actually... is there a difference between low light indoor and outdoor ? I do like things like shadows, cloudy days, dusk, sunsets and the likes...

David Metsky
09-10-2007, 09:16 AM
Yes, with 4x6" prints all but the worst possible noise will be hard to notice. But you may notice it at 8x10 so the less noise you have the better. You can also run post processing noise cleanup filters (like Noise Ninja) to get rid of the worst of things.