Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital Cameras (Point and Shoot) > Panasonic / Leica

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Mar 24, 2006, 8:34 AM   #21
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Sensor size impacts DOF because you can use a much shorter focal length lens to get the same framing, and Depth of Field is based on the actual versus 35mm equivalent focal length, aperture and focus distance.

As a result, you'll have much greater depth of field with a non-DSLR model compared to a DSLR using a much larger sensor, for any given 35mm equivalent focal length/angle of view

As for lenses, you really need to take each one on a case by case basis. You'll find poor quality lenses, and good quality lenses from all of the manufacturers (Nikon, Minolta, Canon, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina, Vivitar/Cosina, etc.).

You can find worse, but the Sigma 28-105mm f/2.8-4 you mentioned is below average quality (I'd call it poor), and is likely to be quite soft unless the aperture is stopped down some (and it would still be softer than many other lenses).

JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24, 2006, 8:37 AM   #22
Member
 
dissembled's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 48
Default

Really? Why is it poor quality?
It's pretty 'fast' compared to other more affordable mid-tele ranges..

Is there a chance I'll get a 'lemon'?


dissembled is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24, 2006, 8:50 AM   #23
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

It's a cheap, consumer grade lens. As I mentioned before, go used if budget is a problem. It's better to have a sharp lens that's used, then a new lens that's soft. ;-)

The Minolta 24-85mm I mentioned that was available used for around $100 is sharper wide open that that Sigma is stopped down to f/8. :-)

If you look at the MTF charts for it, it's soft, especially at wide open apertures, and it doesn't improve a lot stopped down to smaller apertures (especially on the long end). You'll find MTF tests for a number of lenses here.

http://www.photodo.com/nav/prodindex.html

User surveys also call it's overall quality "sub average", and rate it as "poor" wide open on the long and wide end the lens (and only "OK" stopped down). It's also got pretty bad barrel and pincushion distortion (not very well corrected at all).

You'll find user surveys for a lot of lenses here:

http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/index.html

Scroll down to the bottom where you'll see "User Performance Surveys" and select a type of lens (for example, Minolta AF).

Then, when you get to the next page, leave everything at defaults and press the "Start Query" button and you'll pull up a list of all lenses in a given camera mount that users have given ratings on. Third Party lenses will show the same results, regardless of camera mount.



JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24, 2006, 9:16 AM   #24
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Quality is very subjective, and how you'll use a lens is also a consideration. The cheaper consumer grade lenses are best used outdoors in good light (or stopped down if indoors using a flash).

Most lenses (even the best ones) are usually softer at wide open apertures. But, if you plan on using a lens wide open, you need to make sure it's up to the task. Primes are best for things like portraits.

Viewing/Print sizes also come into the equation (if you're not going to be viewing or printing images at larger sizes, then you may be perfectly happy with a lower quality lens).

I just hate to see people buy $1000 cameras, put a cheap lens in front of it, and complain about how soft their photos are. ;-)

P.S.

But, at the same time, I often see new DSLR owners go lens crazy, spending a lot more for lenses than they need to.

So, I often suggest going with the manufacturer's "kit lens" (because they're dirt cheap when bundled with a camera, and you'd have a lens that starts out wider than most). Then, after using one for a while, you'll have a better idea of what your real needs are (where the existing lens is a limiting factor).

Of course, adding a 50mm prime is a "no brainer" for a sharp portrait lens, as well as a lens for existing light use. They're small, light, bright, sharp and inexpensive. Every DSLR owner should have one in their bag.




JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24, 2006, 9:25 AM   #25
Member
 
dissembled's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 48
Default

Thanks a lot for the help Jim..

God. So many lenses..
But I'm thinking..an fz30 right now costs the same as a 'cheap' lens.

I dunno..might as well get it right? I think that it's a very useful tool. It'll teach me a lot about the focal ranges I'll find most useable out in the streets.

And then..when I figure them out, I'll probably get a DSLR. Because right now, I'm blind on what lens to buy. Zoom (for greater flexibility) or fast lens (for bokeh/low light)? So many choices. Very overwhelming..:? TOO overwhelming.
dissembled is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24, 2006, 9:29 AM   #26
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

You won't find a single lens solution in a DSLR that's going to give you the kind of quality througout the focal range that you'd get with a model like the Panasonic you're considering.

That's one of the advantages of a fixed lens model. It's easier to make a high quality lens at a lower price point (because it's so much smaller to mate to the smaller sensors).

There are pros and cons to both solutions. The DSLR will give you a lot more flexibility in a greater variety of lighting conditions, because you can get sharp lenses that are more suitable to a given task, with much higher ISO speeds available.

No one choice is right for everyone.

But, most of the Panasonic owners I've seen go to a DSLR like the KM 5D (and I've seen posts from several Panasonic owners that made this switch), report that the DSLR is a better solution for them.

P.S.

If you change your mind, I'd just go with a kit lens to begin with. You could always sell one on Ebay if you decide something else is better later (they're so cheap when bundfled in the manufacturer's kits, you probably wouldn't even take a loss on one selling it). Most of the samples in our reviews here are using the kit lenses, too (so you can see how quality compares between them).




JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24, 2006, 12:23 PM   #27
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 28
Default

Dissembled, I have some older Sigma lens and they are first rate.¬* But, according to a recent test by Pop Photo, the Tokina very wide angle lens gave the highest quality shots for DSLR's.¬* The tests were conducted against the Sigma and Tamron lens.¬*¬*Regarding the FZ 30 versus the XT or Nikon 50, my two cents is that¬* it offers a lot of value.¬* To get the same speed and quality of glass in a Canon or Nikon you would spend more money than the DSLR body cost.¬* The only drawback to the FZ 30 is that you do encounter noise at higher ISO's in dim light.¬* But, I have shot with the flash and taken clean pictures with the FZ 20.¬* Also, I've used Neatimage to clean up noise and it does a spectacular job.¬* To me the FZ 30 with Neatimage is an unbeatable combination versus the Canon XT or Nikon 50.¬* But, if you are going to go the DSLR route I would recommend the XT over the Nikon as the Nikon suffers from noise problems too.¬* You can shoot at 1600 ISO and get usable pics with the XT with noise reduction on.¬* The Nikon suffers deterioration at 400 ISO.Remember, great shots can be taken with almost any camera.¬* It's your eye and being in the right place at the right time that makes all the difference.
Jon_Doh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24, 2006, 1:20 PM   #28
Member
 
dissembled's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 48
Default

My God. ZipZoomFly has a new XT on sale for $679!
A FZ30 costs $500.

My GOD. A$179 difference!

Alright fine. A DSLR and a cheap nifty fifty it is.

CRAP!

They cost almost the same. Might as well get the upgrade I guess.
AWWW.

I'm not sure why I feel bad.
dissembled is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24, 2006, 1:44 PM   #29
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

dissembled wrote:
Quote:
My God. ZipZoomFly has a new XT on sale for $679!
A FZ30 costs $500.

My GOD. A$179 difference!

Alright fine. A DSLR and a cheap nifty fifty it is.

CRAP!

They cost almost the same. Might as well get the upgrade I guess.
Ahttp://WWW.

Or, get a Maxxum 5D with an 18-70mm kit lens with a range that gives you the same angle of view as you'd have on a 35mm camera using a 27-105mm lens forabout $20 more at $699 (giving you both ISO 3200 and Anti-shake with every lens). :-)


Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D with 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 DT Lens for $699.95 at B&H

Quote:
I'm not sure why I feel bad.
Because you'd miss things like Anti-shake and ISO 3200. ;-)

Sorry, I couldn't resist teasing you. The Canon is a good little camera. :blah:

JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24, 2006, 4:34 PM   #30
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 28
Default

There's not much price difference, but I believe you will find a big difference in the quality of lenses.
Jon_Doh is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:57 PM.