Help Files Camera and Photography Forum

For general camera equipment and photography technique questions. Moderated by another view. Also see the Learn section, Camera Reviews, Photography Lessons, and Glossary of Photo Terms.
Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Syracuse, NY

    Question Question on a camera and some len's

    I want to get a Canon Elan 7 camera to use to take wildlife photos. My question is what lens should I buy to go with this camera? I want 2 different ones, one to take normal everyday photos of my niece, cat, etc. Then I need one to take pictures of birds and bears (I go to the Adirondacks). I'm not too up on what all the different lens numbers mean and I was wondering which lens I would need to take pictures of these subjects. I don't want to spend to much but I want to be able to take nice pictures. I was told the len's that come with the "kit" aren't any good. Can you guys help me?

  2. #2
    Toon Army Foot Soldier straightarm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Exiled from the Toon.

    The numbers on a lens

    Generally the numbers on a lens refer to its focal length and its maximum aperture.

    Focal length. This is usually expressed in millimetres (mm) On a 35mm camera; a lens with a focal length of 50mm gives roughly the same angle of view as the human eye.

    As the focal longer, e.g. 200mm the angle gets narrower or in other words it's like looking through a telescope or a pair of binoculars. In this case using a 200mm lens would be like looking through a 4x pair of binoculars.

    On a 35mm camera, a lens longer than 50 is often referred to as a telephoto lens

    As the focal length gets shorter, the angle taken in gets wider. The lenses are known as wide-angle lenses. Typical wide-angle lenses for 35mm camera would be 35mm, 28mm 24mm and 20mm. 35mm is not much wider than a standard, 20mm is much wider.

    The lenses I've mentioned above are single focal length lenses also some time known as prime lenses.

    Your camera almost certainly came with a lens of variable focal length, probably 28 to 80mm. A lens with a variable focal length is generally known as a zoom lens.

    Aperture. The second number is the maximum aperture of the lens. The smaller the number, the bigger the aperture. The aperture of the lens controls the amount of light passing through the lens. A bigger aperture (i.e. smaller the number) the more light passing through, so the faster the shutter speed you can use. A second benefit is that as the aperture increases, the depth of field decreases. This means you can isolate your subject more. The trade off is that the faster lens will be bigger and more expensive. For example a Canon 300mm f4 lens is costs usd 1,150; the f2.8 version costs usd 3,800 and probably weighs 2 –3 times as much

    Some zoom lenses have a maximum aperture that changes as the lens’s focal length increases. So for example the Canon 20-35mm zoom has a max aperture of f3.5 at 20mm falling to f4.5 at 35mm.

    The description of this lens would be 20-35mm f3.5-4.5

    Some of the kit lenses do have a poor reputation; that’s partly because they are designed down to a price rather than up a higher standard.

    The best way to find out if your lens is good enough is to go out and take pictures and see if they are sharp enough for your standards. If you use a kit lens at medium apertures, say f8, you might be pleasantly surprised.

    The kit lens would be adequate to get you started on taking pictures of your niece and cat and learning about lighting, composition, depth of field etc. When you’ve done that you can move onto a longer lens for the wildlife stuff. There is a danger of trying to run before you can walk.

    Last edited by straightarm; 04-27-2004 at 04:25 PM. Reason: adding name
    Simon, bombadier 1st class

  3. #3
    nature/wildlife co-moderator paulnj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    hillsborough NJ, USA
    what is "too much" ?

    handheld wildlife or tripod wildlife ?

    400mm is the least i WOULD EVER want to shoot birds at from my experience

    not "too much" is a fixed tokina 400f5.6 used, a tokina 80-400, sigma 170-500/ 50-500....BUT NO WAY WOULD I EVER CONSIDER A TAMRON 200-400

    higher budget($1000+)..... 300f4IS w/ 1.4 TCII, 100-400IS, CANON 400F5.6L


    "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both" - Benjamin Franklin

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts