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Thread: Ultra Wide Angle vs Zoom Lens

  1. #1

    Default Ultra Wide Angle vs Zoom Lens

    Hi, I'm new to DSLR and just bought 450d with a 50mm lens. But i realised while it's a good and cheap lens, it certainly got limitation. Hence I'm planning to buy a zoom lens so that i can take photos from far. This may be a silly qns, but is UWA same as zoom lens?

    I still cant understand why 10-22mm is considered UWA and its so much more exp than say 55-250mm or 70-300mm.

    I have a budget of $300 and below to purchase a 2nd hand zoom lens. Which range is recommended since i already have 50mm lens? I would like to shoot animals like cats/birds from far.

    Are sigma or tamron lenses good? Or should i stick to canon brand?

    Looking forward to hearing your few cents' worth. Many thanks.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Ultra Wide Angle vs Zoom Lens

    UWA cost more due to more sophisticated design as it require more bending of light.
    2ndly, zoom lens just mean that the lens has more than 1 focal length, 10-20, 50-500 are both zoom lens.
    what you are looking for is actually called tele zoom, both the 55-200 and 70-300 will most probably fit within your budget, the sigma 70-300 is a pretty good choice.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Ultra Wide Angle vs Zoom Lens

    A zoom lens is simply one with variable focal lengths, so a UWA like the 10-22 is also a zoom lenses.

    The 10-22 is UWA, ultra wide angle, cost of lens depends on glass and built, not just on the zoom factor.

    You need a good telephoto lens to do birding, i can't think of any that suits your budget.

  4. #4
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultra Wide Angle vs Zoom Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald Lam CK View Post
    Hi, I'm new to DSLR and just bought 450d with a 50mm lens. But i realised while it's a good and cheap lens, it certainly got limitation. Hence I'm planning to buy a zoom lens so that i can take photos from far. This may be a silly qns, but is UWA same as zoom lens?
    Any lens, regardless of focal length, where the focal length is not fixed but can be changed is a zoom lens.

    I still cant understand why 10-22mm is considered UWA and its so much more exp than say 55-250mm or 70-300mm.
    Your question doesn't make any sense, you mix two different things wildly that don't relate directly. Have a look at the overall lens line-up across all brands. You will notice that there are hardly lenses with a focal length shorter than 10mm for crop sensor or 16mm for full frame. Since 10-22 is for crop sensor I guess that justifies the label "Ultra Wide" perfectly.
    The price is defined by the construction (used elements etc.) and the features (IS, USM). In addition, there is a strategic element of pricing depending on demand. Have a look at the prices for Canon 70-200 lenses. Actually, according your logic they should be cheaper, right? Since it's shorter than the 70-300...

    I have a budget of $300 and below to purchase a 2nd hand zoom lens. Which range is recommended since i already have 50mm lens? I would like to shoot animals like cats/birds from far.
    There is no "the zoom lens" - please specify the focal length you are looking for. For your budget I think a 2nd hand 55-250 should be in. Whether this is sufficient for your purpose also depends on the distance to the animal. For the zoo and birdpark it should be ok, for savanna or Serengeti Park it's too short.

    Are sigma or tamron lenses good? Or should i stick to canon brand?
    Every manufacturer has it's diamonds. Read the reviews (dpreview.com / photozone.de etc) to get more information. But first read up some basics about lenses and focal length and the terms around it. Seem you are lacking some basic understanding. No point discussing this topic if you don't understand the responses.
    EOS

  5. #5

    Default Re: Ultra Wide Angle vs Zoom Lens

    Thx for the info! I researched this online...

    Normal, Wide-Angle, Telephoto, Zoom

    We usually categorize lenses as having a wide-angle, normal or telephoto focal length. A normal 35mm lens covers a 24x36mm film with a field of view that corresponds approximately to our normal vision; a lens with a focal length of 50mm (55mm is also popular) is considered as normal. Any lens with a focal length less than 50mm (or 55mm) can be considered as wide-angle; any lens with a focal length greater than 50mm (or 55mm) can be considered as telephoto. A zoom lens offers a range of focal lengths. The table below lists some of the more popular focal lengths.

    Lens Popular Focal Lengths for 35mm cameras
    Wide-angle 18mm, 20mm, 28mm, 35mm
    Normal 50mm, 55mm
    Telephoto 90mm, 135mm, 200mm, 300mm


    But i still dont understand the point about zoom lens got more than 1 focal length. Does that means the image is much sharper than telephoto lens? But how far can a 10-22mm go? From my layman's view, if i dont know the prices, i would have thought that a 18-55mm is better than 10-22mm coz the former covers between 18 to 55mm whereas the latter covers between 10 to 20mm? Pardon my ignorance pls...thx.

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    Default Re: Ultra Wide Angle vs Zoom Lens

    Simple, your point and shoot (pns) can zoom right? Did you notice there are some numbers there on the lens area?

    You have to read up on focal length.

    Focal length alone does not determine price.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Ultra Wide Angle vs Zoom Lens

    Google Prime lenses and Zoom lenses. Should make things clearer.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Ultra Wide Angle vs Zoom Lens

    I guess its easier for a newbie to answer another newbie heh.

    Ts, there are 2 ways to describe lenses. One type is called fixed-focal-length lens. The other is zoom lens.

    Ur 50mm lens is a fixed focal.

    A lens with a non fixed focal, example 10-20mm, or 70-250 etc etc, these are called zoom lens.

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    Default Re: Ultra Wide Angle vs Zoom Lens

    yup, torak explained it simply and well, getting the point across to TS.

    the 10-22 is a UWA, and hence it's a little more expensive then 55-200 or 70-300.

    you ask why?

    now, firstly, we can count on features it has (USM, IS),

    secondly, the build of the lens (metal for the 10-22 yet plastic for the 55-200).

    of course the lens with the L will cost more as it's a lens meant for the canon pro bodies.

    the zoom lens does not make it any more expensive then any other lenses,

    take for example the 55-200 and the 50mm f/1.2 L.

    the 55-200 is nearly a 4x zoom, while the 50mm f/1.2 is only fixed and can't zoom!

    but the 50mm is the daddy of all low-light primes and it's build quality is WAY superior to the plastic 55-200 which is relatively slow in low-light conditions.

    and not to mention it's a L lens. I feel octarine's explanation is the best, you ought to read it through.
    Pentax K-x

  10. #10

    Default Re: Ultra Wide Angle vs Zoom Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Lomographer View Post
    yup, torak explained it simply and well, getting the point across to TS.

    the 10-22 is a UWA, and hence it's a little more expensive then 55-200 or 70-300.

    you ask why?

    now, firstly, we can count on features it has (USM, IS),

    secondly, the build of the lens (metal for the 10-22 yet plastic for the 55-200).

    of course the lens with the L will cost more as it's a lens meant for the canon pro bodies.

    the zoom lens does not make it any more expensive then any other lenses,

    take for example the 55-200 and the 50mm f/1.2 L.

    the 55-200 is nearly a 4x zoom, while the 50mm f/1.2 is only fixed and can't zoom!

    but the 50mm is the daddy of all low-light primes and it's build quality is WAY superior to the plastic 55-200 which is relatively slow in low-light conditions.

    and not to mention it's a L lens. I feel octarine's explanation is the best, you ought to read it through.
    When you mentioned features (USM, IS), I suppose you are speaking in general terms? Cause 10-22 don't have IS.

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    Senior Member Lomographer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultra Wide Angle vs Zoom Lens

    yup, speaking more of a general term.

    trying to list some features.

    as for nikon it would be, : (AF-S, VR, ED Glass, Super ED Glass)

    yea the 10-22 does not have IS.

    i couldn't think of any more canon terms but those two are the only ones so i wrote it down.
    Pentax K-x

  12. #12

    Default Re: Ultra Wide Angle vs Zoom Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald Lam CK View Post
    But how far can a 10-22mm go? From my layman's view, if i dont know the prices, i would have thought that a 18-55mm is better than 10-22mm coz the former covers between 18 to 55mm whereas the latter covers between 10 to 20mm? Pardon my ignorance pls...thx.
    Regarding distance, i'll use a PnS camera as a guide.

    My Panasonic Lumix fz18 (Bridge camera, it looks like a DSLR but it has a fixed lens and cannot be changed) has 18x zoom. Its equivalent to around 500mm on a traditional film camera (commonly referred as 35mm equivalent).

    So if u have any other digital cameras, u can take a look at the body near the lens. They will say how much zoom it has, and its 35mm equivalent. Use that as ur gauge. For me i use 500mm as 18x zoom to gauge my distance.

    Do note that your DSLR has a crop sensor. U dont hv to understand what a crop sensor is, u just need to know that whatever lens u use, the focal length will be multiplied by 1.6, so a 100mm lens will be equivalent to a 160mm, a 200mm will be 320mm etc etc on ur camera. Different DSLRs have different crop sensor multiplier btw (but its ok, u just need to know urs have a 1.6x).

  13. #13
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultra Wide Angle vs Zoom Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald Lam CK View Post
    But i still dont understand the point about zoom lens got more than 1 focal length. Does that means the image is much sharper than telephoto lens? But how far can a 10-22mm go? From my layman's view, if i dont know the prices, i would have thought that a 18-55mm is better than 10-22mm coz the former covers between 18 to 55mm whereas the latter covers between 10 to 20mm? Pardon my ignorance pls...thx.
    Please stop thinking in laymen terms. Use the proper technical terms here or you won't get far. Terms like "zoom factor" or "how far can one reach" are completely irrelevant.
    As you see from your own quote: the focal length in mm defines the Field of View. Shorter focal length than 50mm define wide angle, your field of view becomes ... wide Focal length of more than 50mm are called telephoto - from greek tele = at a distance. This means the field of view becomes smaller.
    As you see, terms like "better" or "sharpness" or "focusing" doesn't appear here. You may want to look at Tamron's website and the Focal Length Comparison Tool. Hope that helps to showcase focal length. Now look at 18-55 lens or 10-22. By turning the zoom ring you change the focal length between these two values, you change what you see in the viewfinder, you change the field of view. (Stop thinking in terms of "getting the object closer".) Another example: 70-200 is a telephoto AND zoom lens.

    Sharpness is defines by other factors and by no means one can judge sharpness by looking at the focal length. Depending on what you going to shoot you have the possibilities to select the most useful focal length. Telephoto lenses are not just meant to shoot birds high in the trees, wide angle lenses have more purposes than just landscapes. Do read up on the topic "focal length and perspective". Topics as "Which lens is better" you should leave for now. Better ask: which focal length is appropriate?
    EOS

  14. #14
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultra Wide Angle vs Zoom Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by torak View Post
    U dont hv to understand what a crop sensor is, u just need to know that whatever lens u use, the focal length will be multiplied by 1.6, so a 100mm lens will be equivalent to a 160mm, a 200mm will be 320mm etc etc on ur camera.
    Wrong. The focal length of a lens is defined by the glass elements, the crop factor comes from the sensor size used in the camera body. A 50mm lens will always be a 50mm lens, regardless on which camera it is mounted. What changes is the resulting field of view.
    EOS

  15. #15

    Default Re: Ultra Wide Angle vs Zoom Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Octarine View Post
    Wrong. The focal length of a lens is defined by the glass elements, the crop factor comes from the sensor size used in the camera body. A 50mm lens will always be a 50mm lens, regardless on which camera it is mounted. What changes is the resulting field of view.
    I understand that LOL. But i meant it to say that the using a 50mm lens on a camera with a crop sensor of 1.6x will be like using a 80mm on a traditional film camera (thus the word equivalent). I thought my way of explanation will be easier to understand for TS.
    Last edited by torak; 6th September 2009 at 12:47 AM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Ultra Wide Angle vs Zoom Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by torak View Post
    I guess its easier for a newbie to answer another newbie heh.

    Ts, there are 2 ways to describe lenses. One type is called fixed-focal-length lens. The other is zoom lens.

    Ur 50mm lens is a fixed focal.

    A lens with a non fixed focal, example 10-20mm, or 70-250 etc etc, these are called zoom lens.
    Thx Torak! This is easier for me to understand coz im really alien to the technical terms. Am slowly learning.

    Quote Originally Posted by torak View Post
    Regarding distance, i'll use a PnS camera as a guide.

    My Panasonic Lumix fz18 (Bridge camera, it looks like a DSLR but it has a fixed lens and cannot be changed) has 18x zoom. Its equivalent to around 500mm on a traditional film camera (commonly referred as 35mm equivalent).

    So if u have any other digital cameras, u can take a look at the body near the lens. They will say how much zoom it has, and its 35mm equivalent. Use that as ur gauge. For me i use 500mm as 18x zoom to gauge my distance.

    Do note that your DSLR has a crop sensor. U dont hv to understand what a crop sensor is, u just need to know that whatever lens u use, the focal length will be multiplied by 1.6, so a 100mm lens will be equivalent to a 160mm, a 200mm will be 320mm etc etc on ur camera. Different DSLRs have different crop sensor multiplier btw (but its ok, u just need to know urs have a 1.6x).
    [QUOTE=Octarine;5414679]Please stop thinking in laymen terms. Use the proper technical terms here or you won't get far. Terms like "zoom factor" or "how far can one reach" are completely irrelevant.
    As you see from your own quote: the focal length in mm defines the Field of View. Shorter focal length than 50mm define wide angle, your field of view becomes ... wide Focal length of more than 50mm are called telephoto - from greek tele = at a distance. This means the field of view becomes smaller.
    As you see, terms like "better" or "sharpness" or "focusing" doesn't appear here. You may want to look at Tamron's website and the Focal Length Comparison Tool. Hope that helps to showcase focal length. Now look at 18-55 lens or 10-22. By turning the zoom ring you change the focal length between these two values, you change what you see in the viewfinder, you change the field of view. (Stop thinking in terms of "getting the object closer".) Another example: 70-200 is a telephoto AND zoom lens.

    Sharpness is defines by other factors and by no means one can judge sharpness by looking at the focal length. Depending on what you going to shoot you have the possibilities to select the most useful focal length. Telephoto lenses are not just meant to shoot birds high in the trees, wide angle lenses have more purposes than just landscapes. Do read up on the topic "focal length and perspective". Topics as "Which lens is better" you should leave for now. Better ask: which focal length is appropriate?[/QUOTE

    Thx Octarine!

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