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Photography Question 

fast versus slow lenses

Good Morning!
i am just getting back into photography after a 10 year lapse. i've been reading a lot on lenses to choose for my Nikon N80. I keep seening comment about "fast lenses". What exactely does this mean? I will be shooting both fast action and still lifes. At this time I have a Nikor 80 - 400 telephoto lense. Any advice and helpful hints would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!!

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3/17/2003 6:28:39 AM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/18/2000
  "fast lenses" refer to lenses with large maximum apertures. For example, typical telephoto zooms have maximum apertures that vary over the zoom range from f/4-5.6 or smaller. "Fast" zooms have maximum aperture of f/4 or f/2.8 over the entire zoom range. The term "fast" is used because the larger aperture allows the use of faster shutter speeds.

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3/17/2003 8:39:14 AM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/27/2001

Jon has given a good description of lens "speed" and what it means.

Whether a lens is "fast" or "slow" is a relative measure, subject to opinion, and affected by film format, focal length, and whether it's a prime or zoom. An 80mm f/2.8 medium format standard lens for a 645 or 6x6 is considered "moderate" in speed, but a 50mm f/2.8 standard lens for 35mm small format would be considered "slow."

Ask 20 photographers what they consider to be "fast" or "slow" lenses and you'll likely get 20 different answers.

-- John

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3/17/2003 9:58:17 AM

shannon    Hi! Thank you for your answers!! It makes sense now!!
If I can bother with one more question. At this time I have a Nikon N80. I am looking for a good telephoto or zoom lense. I will be doing fast action and stills also. I don't like using the autofocus too much... Any suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated!!

Have a GREAT Day! and watch out for the flu, it's not fun!!
Thank you!

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3/25/2003 6:37:28 AM

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