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Old Aug 3, 2005, 10:28 PM   #1
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I'm looking at buying a digital SLR and I'm new to SLR cameras and I don't understand the terminalogy such as 18-70mm and F4 etc. Can someone either explain this to me or provide links to sites talking about this.

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Old Aug 4, 2005, 12:20 AM   #2
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Are you sure you really need an SLR camera?

You'll need to learn a lot (both in theory and in practice) before you'll get your first quality shots with SLR. It really differs from "point &shot"


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Old Aug 4, 2005, 1:48 AM   #3
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In digital terms the lens terminology gets complicated I'm afraid. In the days of film the generally accepted standard was that a 50mm lens was the same as you saw with your eyes, so a 100mm lens doubled the image size, a 25mm lens saw wider but smaller and so on. Now the area that takes the image inside the camera, the sensor, is smaller so you have to multiply for Canon by 1.6 and for Nikon by 1.5, so a 50mm lens now becomes a 75mm lens on a digital camera (Nikon) and 80mm on a Canon. The 18/70 "kit" lens on the D70 and D70s is a very good all round lens, giving you the ability to take indoor shots at wide angle and also to pull in reasonably tight for portraits, being in old film terms a 27/105 lens. If you decide to get into digital SLR photography you'll soon find out what pleases you, whether it be taking general shots or that you need a telephoto for sport or wildlife or whatever. However, Dmitry has perhaps a good point in that there are many cheaper options with superb lenses if you are not sure that an SLR is really what you want; but that is another matter entirely and your choice.
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Old Aug 4, 2005, 5:20 AM   #4
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The F4 you ask about is the maximum aperture of the lens. This determines how much light the lens can let in. This in turn determines how fast a shutter speed you can use in a given situation. Confusingly the F numbers run in the opposite direction to what you might expect. F2 is wider and lets in more light than F2.8 which lets in more light than F4 which lets in more than F5.6 and so on.

Before buying an SLR and lenses a visit to the library to pick up a book on the basics of photography would be a worthwhile investment of your time.

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Old Aug 4, 2005, 7:06 AM   #5
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Why do you think you'll need a dslr?? The terminology you are talking about is basic phototgraphy. At your level, I think a dslr may be more camera than your really need. Sure image quality is great, but most DSLR images need a little more post work to really shine. A dslr is not a point and shoot camera, and one must understand the basics of photography to get satisfactory results. Why not start out with a point and shoot with manual controls and a few resources such as some of the photography magazines or books that are available. A good book is "The Basic Book of Phototgraphy" by Tom and Michele Grimm. Then go out and shoot and learn how things like focal length, aperature, and shutter speed affect the picture. You may find you don't want the hassle of planning all the details, and a point and shoot will satisfy your needs. You can still get great picture quality without the bulk and expense of a DSLR. If you find you enjoy photography and want to expand your horizons, then go ahead and buy a DSLR later. You can still use you P&S as a backup or carry around camera.

Good Luck!!

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Old Aug 5, 2005, 12:38 PM   #6
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Hi, wellery,

where are you?

Do not think we are all that great at photography, and want to frigten you...

If you really want to have great shots - the DSLR is your proper choice.

But just keep in mind that getting really Great Shots is more a hard work, than a joy. The DSLR will make you to learn a lot - other way you'll get worse shots than from point and shot camera.

Make your choice and have a Good Luck!!!

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Old Aug 5, 2005, 9:48 PM   #7
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wellery wrote:
Can someone either explain this to me or provide links to sites talking about this.
See last two items: http://www.photozone.de/3Technology/lenstec3.htm

... and the easy way: http://www.sweeting.org/mark/lenses/nikon.php :-)
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