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Thread: Fast/Slow Lense question

  1. #1
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    Default Fast/Slow Lense question

    I understand film speed & shutter speed, but what is lense speed?

    My formative understanding is that the max aperature is what determines if it is slow or fast? Ie an f1.8 would be faster than say an F4?

    Am I anywhere in the ballpark on understanding this? Thanx

  2. #2
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    What people meant as fast lenses is actually their max aperture opening. A bigger aperture opening will enable you to shoot at faster shutter speed, hence they're called fast lenses. Yes, f1.8 is faster than f4.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jess
    I understand film speed & shutter speed, but what is lense speed?

    My formative understanding is that the max aperature is what determines if it is slow or fast? Ie an f1.8 would be faster than say an F4?

    Am I anywhere in the ballpark on understanding this? Thanx
    to me its a personal ballpark,

    all zooms (from limited experience) max aperture is F2.8, which is fast by many ppl standards BUT for low/ available light shooters the bigger the better, that is why fast primes still has a market today.

    For my case anything F2 or bigger is considered fast.

    f4 is moderately fast and f5.6 and above are slow lenses.

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    Belle&Sebastain that was very helpful thank you. I'm trying to stick with prime lenses as I'm working on getting accessories here.

    Thank you for confirming what the meant, I've been wondering for some time now and the possible answer occurred to me just as I was posting. I thought for a while maybe the glass used slowed light or something, lol.

    Thanx guys

  5. #5

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    I'm trying to stick with prime lenses as I'm working on getting accessories here.
    what has that got to do with anything? you probably need more prime lens to cover a range than a single flexible zoom (50-500.)
    heh

  6. #6

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    Most people actually do not use the widest aperture for photo taking. WEll, I do, but still mostly not!

    For example, my canon 24mm f1.4. Most of the time I will shooting at f4 or 5.6 or 8. Very occasionally I may use the 1.4. For low light photography where speed is important, a fast lens is of course very useful.

    However, there is another very important reason for me choosing the 24 f1.4 for my canon. It has to do with the viewfinder. The brightness of the viewfinder is dependent on the widest aperture of the lens. So my 24 mm 1.4 gives a much clearer/brighter view than one with a f2.8.

    While a super zoom such as a 50-500mm can do a lot of things, there are also a lot of things it cannot do, apart from generally poorer performance.
    So one has to decide on one's way of photography and choose the right equipment for the right job.

  7. #7

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    as well as the creamy bokeh of a fast lens (generally) with at least 7 aperture blades.

  8. #8
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    Well I don't know what a bokeh is.... Anyway, regarding prime lenses, everything that I have read recommends them over zoom. The only pitfal anyone has mentioned is the possible need to carry multiple lenses. My hope is to get a couple that cover the spectrum pretty evenly. If nothing else, it will be a good start. Who knows, maybe I'll try a zoom lense, but I figure since I know pretty much nothing, I aught to take the expert advice and stick with prime,

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jess
    take the expert advice and stick with prime,
    You are wise.

    Unless you are doing "wierd stuff" (like photographying a bird half a kilometer away), a three lens combination of a "moderate wide" (24-28 mm), a "normal" (50-60mm, maybe a macro to take close up) and a "moderate long" (80-120mm) will take care of most things.

    Have fun!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jess
    Well I don't know what a bokeh is.... Anyway, regarding prime lenses, everything that I have read recommends them over zoom. The only pitfal anyone has mentioned is the possible need to carry multiple lenses. My hope is to get a couple that cover the spectrum pretty evenly. If nothing else, it will be a good start. Who knows, maybe I'll try a zoom lense, but I figure since I know pretty much nothing, I aught to take the expert advice and stick with prime,

    bokeh is the background blur. In a picture the subject usually is the sharpest point, the rest will be blur out, if you use bigger apertures.

    using zooms is akin to be a sniper, you camp at the spot and crop the picture during zooming.

    using primes 'force' you to visualise your space more, and be aware abt your distance to subject. It makes you either walk to find your angles or be creative about your crop/view.

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