BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: Best Photographic Equipment to Buy : Film-Based Camera Equipment : Other Cameras

Photography Question 
Mike Turner

Zoom Lenses

Currently I have a 28-80 & 75-300 for a Canon Rebel 2000. I bought these lenses when I first got my camera. I thought, then, that it was a good idea because it covered the spectrum very well but now I see the disadvantages. I have to change lenses too often. Anyway, my question is, so far I have bought only Canon lenses. I would like to know who else makes lenses that would fit my camera and which of those companies are good and which I should stay away from.

Also, what does 58mm (52mm, 72mm) mean when it's attached to the description of a lens? I know that mm means millimeter. Does it mean the size of the side that connects to the camera? Or does it mean focal length?


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9/27/2002 5:46:48 PM

Wayne Attridge   Be careful with the one lens does all theory. Have you seen the camera cases with room for two or more cameras and several lenses? There is a good reason for this. Prime lenses, those that are one focal length only, are superior to the ones that change focal length, as does a zoom lens. Canon lenses are generally better quality and usually more expensive than third party lenses.

The focal length is the 28 to 80 number of your zoom lens. The other numbers you mentioned, 52, 55, 58, 72, are numbers generally marked on the open end of the lenses and refers to the diameter of the threads where you would screw on a filter, such as a UV or Haze filter, which you should use on all of your lenses, if only to protect the finely polished surfaces. Good Luck.

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9/27/2002 10:07:20 PM

Ken Pang   I'm not sure I agree with the "Prime Lenses are better than Zoom Lenses" theory anymore.

Yes, I know they definitely are. After shooting with a borrowed 50mm f/1.2, I have to say that a prime is brilliantly sharp - but I often scan a neg at 4000dpi and zoom right in to do editing work. How many people do that? Zooms are getting so good these days, that until you start blowing things up, you can't tell the difference.

How often would you ever get bigger than 5x7 - or even 8x10 for that matter?

You have to pick your lens for your work, and if the extra bit of sharpness isn't necessary, then saving yourself from changing lenses may be more up your alleyway.

Still, I'm somewhat dubious about these super lenses (28-300, 50-500mm etc). They're probably getting too long for good sharp photos.

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9/28/2002 9:22:42 AM

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