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Thread: Lens Advice for a Dummy

  1. #1
    “He who thinks little, errs much…” L.DV One Click's Avatar
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    Lens Advice for a Dummy

    I have a Nikon DS3100 that came with a twin lens kit, Nikon DX 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6G and Nikon DX 55-300mm 1:4.5-5.6GED

    Can someone please explain these numbers for me, obviously distance and ??? F/Stop??? or something else???

    What would be the next lens up?

    Would photos taken with my basic camera benefit from going to another lens.

    Hope what I am asking makes sense.

    The majority of the pictures I shoot are action shots.

  2. #2
    keen learner of new tricks.
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    congrats on the new kit. I think if I were you I`d stay with what you have until it does not do what you want. If you like action then you need a faster lens. I have the 17-55 f2.8 and it rarely comes off my D7000. Time will dictate what you need. I am sure that others will back up what I have suggested and add too that. Have fun.
    Graeme
    "May the good Lord look down and smile upon your face"......Norman Gunston___________________________________________________
    Nikon: D7000, D80, 12-24 f4, 17-55 f2.8, 18-135, 70-300VR, 35f2, SB 400, SB 600, TC-201 2x converter. Tamron: 90 macro 2.8 Kenko ext. tubes. Photoshop CS2.


  3. #3
    Ausphotography Regular
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    You haven't mentioned how long you have had you camera or if you have been using SLR's for a while and if it is only a shortish time them don't be in too much of a hurry to jump to a more expensive lens.

    Stick with what you have and learn about your camera and you are able to achieve. By keeping a few examples of your first photo's as a reference and comparing them against others later you will see improvements and learn how to improve you shots. In the mean time you can start saving up for and learning about the next lens you may want to purchase.

    Also start posting some of your shots and ask for feed back most members are only to willing to help with information and offer constructive critiquing (CC) regarding your submissions. Also spend time looking at the other photos and ask the member any thing regarding, settings, Post production (PP), and how he got the shot,

    There are also plenty of tutorials on this and other sites listed on the forum.

    PS just get out and start taking photos don't be afraid to try out to manual mode either.

    Milton

  4. #4
    Ausphotography Regular
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    18-55mm and 55-300mm are indeed the focal lengths of these zoom lenses, where 18mm is at the wide angle end and 300mm is at the telephoto end of the scale.
    3.5-5.6 and 4.5-5.6 are the maximum aperture values for these lenses.

    18mm/F3.5 to 55mm/F5.6, and,
    55mm/F4.5 to 300mm/F5.6.

    Just like the iris in your eye, which “shrinks” or “stops down” in very bright sunshine (to limit the intensity of light falling on the retina), and conversely “opens up” or “enlarges” in dim light (to allow you to perceive dimmer details) the lens aperture does the same.

    In the case of your 18-55mm, at the 18mm end it is “wide open” at F3.5 and at the 55mm end it is “wide open” at F5.6.

    Enjoy your new gear!

    Cheers

    Dennis

  5. #5
    Ausphotography Regular
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    Nice answer nardes.

    If I can add 1 more thing. There is a feature, if you can call it that, associated with the f/stop you select. It is that with the lower value f/stop (wider open) the smaller the depth of field in your picture will be. Distance between camera / subject and background also play a part however, the basics are if you shoot at f3.5 you can get a person in focus and the background out of focus (a desired state). Shoot at f22 and pretty much everything will be in focus.

  6. #6
    Fuji Fanatic
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    I too suggest you learn your way around what you have before considering upgrade/replacement. Check out the New to Photography Library section on this forum and learn how aperture (f-stop), shutter speed and ISO all link to determine exposure. Once you know HOW it works and what the 'rules' are you can play with breaking them!

    Good luck! It is an exciting journey, a wonderful past-time, and you will get hours of pleasure.
    Odille

    “Can't keep my eyes from the circling sky”

    My Blog | Canon 1DsMkII | 60D | Tokina 20-35mm f/2.8 AF AT-X PRO | EF50mm f/1.8| Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM | Fujifilm X-T1 & X-M1 | Fujinon XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS | Fujinon XC 50-230mm F3.5-5.6 OIS | Fujinon XF 18-55mm F2.8-4R LM OIS | tripods, flashes, filters etc ||

  7. #7
    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Already explained, but I reckon you probably understand what the numbers mean. This can be a good learning tool though ..... http://dryreading.com/camera/index.html


    Quote Originally Posted by One Click View Post
    .......
    What would be the next lens up?

    Would photos taken with my basic camera benefit from going to another lens.

    Hope what I am asking makes sense.

    The majority of the pictures I shoot are action shots.
    For this part, may be better to search and/or ask here ........ http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...y.php?17-Nikon
    "Enjoy what you can do rather than being frustrated at what you can't." bobt
    60D, Canon 28-105, Sigma 150-600S, Sigma 120-400, a speedlite, a tripod, a monopod, a remote release and a padded bag to carry things in.

  8. #8
    “He who thinks little, errs much…” L.DV
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    Thanks everyone, I have had my camera for a year and a half and although I feel I have learnt a lot about using it I've still a long way to go.

    I struggle most with what settings are right for the situation but I'll keep trying and learning.

    Loved your link Mark. Was good to have a play with the settings to gain a little more understanding.

  9. #9
    Perpetually Bewildered fillum's Avatar
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    If you're interested in those other letters ("ED", "G", etc) have a look here. (While you're there maybe check out the "Learn & Explore" section - looks to be some interesting stuff).



    Cheers.
    Phil.

    Some Nikon stuff. I shoot Mirrorless and Mirrorlessless.


  10. #10
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    I think the best way is to enjoy the camera on full auto for a little while, get some great shots, and become enthused to take it further. Dont move to full manual settings too quickly, it could leave you feeling really dissapointed, because so many of your shots will be terrible. Venture into the picture modes, the modes that do most of the work, but ask that you have some input into settings. Once you start to get good shots in those modes, then it's time to venture into manual. I am a newbie who has just started shooting manual, and processing raw picture files. There is no way that I can justify better gear, I am a long way from getting anywhere near the best that my entry level gear can give me.
    CC allways appreciated!
    My gear Canon 1100D, Tamron SP70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD lens, and Canon 18-55 EFS lens.

  11. #11
    Sir Rattus79 - The Proclaimant
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    If you manage to get through the new to photography section and are still scratching your head (Which I doubt) I suggest having a look at Brian Peterson's "Understanding Exposure" book.

    Within the first couple of pages my understanding of the exposure triangle had bloomed. This book definatley made me a better photographer.
    Greg Bartle,
    I have a Pentax and I'm not afraid to use it.
    Pentax K5
    Sigma 10-20 | Tamron 17-50 F:2.8 | Sigma 50 F:1.4 | Sigma 70-200 F:2.8 Plus a bunch of Ye Olde lenses


    Would you like to see more?
    http://flickr.com/photosbygreg

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