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Old Dec 13, 2010, 11:43 AM   #11
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Thank you so much for all of your camera knowledge. I think I am going to go with a DSLR as I have been wanting one for a few years now. I will just have to start saving up for a good zoom lens so I can use it for everything I want. I think it is an investment worth making though.
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Old Dec 13, 2010, 12:24 PM   #12
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You seem to be used to thinking along the lines that a big zoom is a good thing.

Now this is not necessarily true. In optical terms it's certainly not true - the bigger the zoom range the worse quality the lens is.

Zoom is just how much the focal length changes, the ratio from the shortest to the longest focal length of that particular lens. So a 10-30mm lens is a 3x zoom, and a 100-300mm lens is also a 3x zoom. But they are very very different lenses. One is a wide-angle zoom lens and the other is a telephoto zoom lens.

In practical terms what you are used to is a lens that covers from around 28mm equivalent to 300mm equivalent, and this (whilst it can be covered by a single lens like an 18-200mm lens on an entry level DSLR) is usually covered by a two-lens kit. Something like an 18-55 and 50-250 or 300. This will cover the same type of photographic subjects as you are used to with your P&S 10x zoom.

You say you want a zoom lens, but what you really want is a telephoto lens of some sort; something that will allow you to take close-up pictures of things when you are far away.

As the other posters have said, it very much depends on the type of photography you want to do, and indeed the type of photographer you are, as to the kinds of lenses you need.

Some curious folk like myself hardly ever use a zoom lens at all, just using a lens of a single fixed focal length for just about everything they do. Of course this imposes a lot of restrictions on what they can do - but it may not matter for their purposes. I prefer documentary-style photography and portraits, and some landscapes, all of which can be shot with only one or two focal lengths. But trying to shoot small birds with those lenses is a low-percentage proposition - silly actually.

So to start with, you'll be fine just getting the single kit lens. If you are really worried, then get a two-lens kit which will give you the coverage you are used to.
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Old Dec 13, 2010, 9:29 PM   #13
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Thank you peripatetic. I actually just picked up my Rebel T2i today and decided to go with the kit lens 18-55mm and the extra 55-250mm and I think that will be fine for me for a while until I start learning more about photography. I did test both lenses out and am very happy with the ranges they cover. Are there any other differences between the 2 lenses aside from the 55-250mm can zoom farther? I should probably wait to ask these questions until I read the manual but I am just curious as to what I would use the different lenses for aside from the obvious of having to zoom in more. I am very new to DSLR's and know basically nothing about them so I have a lot of reading to do over the next few days. The very few pictures I have taken today were on the automatic setting so I haven't even touched anything else on the camera really. Once again thank you everyone for your help. I am extremely excited to get my hands on this camera and to finally start learning about photography.
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Old Dec 13, 2010, 11:19 PM   #14
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Good luck with it. The T2i is a fine camera with lots of possibilities.
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Old Dec 14, 2010, 9:51 AM   #15
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Grats danij.

You now have a very good camera, with a couple of very respectable lenses. Certainly good enough equipment to take some stunning pictures.

Really you just need to experiment now, read the manuals, and take lots of pictures. Look at what worked and what didn't and figure out where you want to go from there.

I have heard it said, and it was true for me, that you just need to get your first 10,000 pictures out of the way. You might get some good ones along the way, but don't worry too much if you don't. If you devote lots of time to it you can get that stage of the learning curve done in a few months, most take a year or two. But photography is the hobby of a lifetime, so spending a couple of years getting started is not unreasonable.

Don't be afraid to spend a few hundred frames with the 55-250 on ducks, seagulls and squirrels; that way you will learn how to handle your equipment and hopefully get those subjects out of your system. Similarly you may wish to take a few thousand photos of your cat with the 18-55. These are common test subjects, and if you don't own a cat, you may wish to consider getting one for this purpose. :-)

At some point you will find the technical issues are no longer intimidating and you can really start concentrating on the WHY of the images without having to worry about the HOW.

Enjoy!!
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