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Old Aug 7, 2006, 6:26 PM   #1
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im looking into getting a dslr ( most likely the D50) and i want a fair bit of zoom. fact is i prob wont be able to afford a lens with 10X zoom of any quality. i see most lenses are 3x zoom, but where they start and end is the difference, some start at 15 and go up to 50 , some start at 20 and go up ( not exactly sure of the figures but you get the idea) . anyway, would you carry lenses, all of 3x zoom but of different ranges ( one of 20-60, one of 40-120) etc? is that how it works, if you cant afford a fantastic lens that goes from 20 - 300?
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Old Aug 8, 2006, 12:35 AM   #2
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Like I mentioned on the other thread, talking about zooms in terms of x's is pointless. It's not done. Especially in DSLR/SLR world, so forget about it. Pretend you've never heard of it.

You have to think in terms of focal lengths, as in mm's. Nikon has three basic kit lens, an 18-55mm, that originally came with D50, an 18-70 that came with D70/D70s and a cheaper 28-80mm that Nikon package with cheaper D50. Because of the 1.5x crop factor compare to 35mm films, you normally want a walk around lens that starts at 18mm. If you do the math, the 18-55 is basically the DSLR equivalent of 35mm film's 28-80mm range.

Most people want to cover between 18 and 200mm for general usage. Nikon has several budget lens that covers up to 200 and 300mm, a 55-200mm and a 70-300mm. Again, basically the 55-200mm is to DSLR what 70-300 is to film SLRs, if you do the math.

Then comes individual's needs. For shooting birds, you normally want longer lens, something that goes to 400 or 500, or use a teleconverter to reach that range. For wider landscape shooting, you would want a 10-20 or a 12-24 range, which are available from Nikon or 3rd party.

I carry two lenses for everyday use, the 18-55mm kit lens and the 70-300mm for tele.

My suggestion is to checkout Nikon's website and see the range of lenses they have, it'll give you an idea of what it covers.

Also, checkout this site from Canon for focal length comparison:

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Old Aug 8, 2006, 8:28 AM   #3
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The advice to forget zoom in "x" terms is correct. For example, my longest zoom is 2x, a 200mm-400m. My 18-70 is almost 4x. You need to worry about focal length (or more accurately field of view). What lenses and how many you carry dpends on your shooting style. You could get one superzoom, ie an 18-200, and never have to change your lens at all. You'll sacrifice a bit of quality and speed. Or you could have a bunch of prime (single focal length) lenses which give great quality and speed at the sacrifice of convenience. Or you could do a combination of zooms and primes.
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