newbie buying new lens


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dragonfly

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Dec 28, 2005
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#1
When buying a new lens, do you take anyone off the shelf?? What do you look for? Do you test it? Do you test more than 1 piece?

Sorry for the seemingly dumb question... preparing to spend some $$$ ;)
 

Jun 25, 2008
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Pasir Ris
#2
When buying a new lens, do you take anyone off the shelf?? What do you look for? Do you test it? Do you test more than 1 piece?

Sorry for the seemingly dumb question... preparing to spend some $$$ ;)
No, you don't just take it off the shelf cause its usually in a locked cabinet. you can test it, but please only test if you're planning on getting it, otherwise if everyone just tests it then the lens becomes a used set. and usually people just test one, they don't test multiple ones.
 

dragonfly

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Dec 28, 2005
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#4
Thanks! Just wondering if there was something else I should be looking for...
 

Jun 25, 2008
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Pasir Ris
#5
Thanks! Just wondering if there was something else I should be looking for...
look at the metal contacts of the lens. if there are some scratches there or it looks a little different from the surrouning metal, then its not a new lens.
 

night86mare

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Aug 25, 2006
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#6
look at the metal contacts of the lens. if there are some scratches there or it looks a little different from the surrouning metal, then its not a new lens.
that is true,

even then i would not be too anal about such things. so long as there are no defects and it is overall cosmetically sound, and is a sharp copy.. why care?

is it that important to your photography that the lens you use is in direct factory condition? if it is, then i will not begrudge you, it's your choice. just remember that after you try a lens and reject it for whatever reason (and it's not always sharpness).. it would not be entirely new either. :confused:
 

night86mare

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#7
Thanks! Just wondering if there was something else I should be looking for...
when you buy a lens, there are varying degrees of selectiveness depending on you.

some people like to pixel peep to make sure that the lens is the zomg razor sharp 110% version. they will make the poor shop owner open up many many copies and feel du lan when doing it. the shop owner is after all, obliged to do it if he wants to make the sale.

frankly though, this is what i usually do:

1) i check online to see 100% samples (via google, it's not hard really) from lens tests (official or not) to get a rough idea what degree of sharpness i will be expecting.

2) i call up the shops to make sure that i get a good idea of which one offers a better price (inclusive of gst, so you don't get mixed up)

3) i go to the shop with the best offer, and mount lens, check sharpness at widest end and longest end (for zoom) at wide open, stopped down one stop or so and f/8 and f/11. note that lenses will not be sharpest wide open, but should not be visibly soft either. most lenses will be sharp for sure around f/8 to f/11 - just zoom in about 8x or so to see, it should be not be prick sharp.

getting a relatively sharp (not the sharpest) copy is probably better.
 

#8
Hi..

I'd just bought my DSLR camera last month and I know nothing much about lenses. So for a newbie like me, what type of lens shld I buy? What shld I go for? :embrass: I mainly shoot my kids and occasionally outdoor. My basic lens came with the camera is 18-55mm. :)

As I want to shoot the fireworks for the coming NDP (at the pleasure of my own house) so thought of upgrading the lens and can zoom more.

So, anyone can help or got good recommendation? Thanks in advance. :D
 

obewan

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Feb 11, 2005
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#9
For the time being, the 18-55 kit lens should be sufficient for your needs.
For fireworks, the kit lens should be sufficient. You need a tripod for that.
If you really feel like buying another lens, the Nikkor 50mm f1.8 is a must buy.
It will enable you to shoot beautiful pictures of your kids.
 

phusion

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Apr 19, 2008
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Tampines
#11
Nope. Nikkors made for Nikon mount only. If you're using canon, get the canon 50mm f1.8 is the same just that its for canon DSLRs. It will produce good enough depth of field =)
 

Jun 25, 2008
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Pasir Ris
#13
oo cool. but then how much? This is my most concern. lol.

You got so many lenses. Any websites to view your works?
lol the nikkor one is only $180 or so. second hand can be as cheap as $100. canon i'm not too sure. its a must have basic lens (imho). and if you can afford it, get the 50mm f1.4 instead. haha but it is a bit more ex...
 

dragonfly

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Dec 28, 2005
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#14
check sharpness at widest end and longest end (for zoom) at wide open, stopped down one stop or so and f/8 and f/11. note that lenses will not be sharpest wide open, but should not be visibly soft either. most lenses will be sharp for sure around f/8 to f/11 - just zoom in about 8x or so to see, it should be not be prick sharp.
Thanks nightmare. This was the info I was looking for... Given that it is possible (although unlikely) to get a less than optimal piece that needs to go back to the service centre for re-calibration, I wanted to know what to look out for. THANKS! :)
 

vinvin

New Member
Dec 29, 2004
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#15
when you buy a lens, there are varying degrees of selectiveness depending on you.

some people like to pixel peep to make sure that the lens is the zomg razor sharp 110% version. they will make the poor shop owner open up many many copies and feel du lan when doing it. the shop owner is after all, obliged to do it if he wants to make the sale.

frankly though, this is what i usually do:

1) i check online to see 100% samples (via google, it's not hard really) from lens tests (official or not) to get a rough idea what degree of sharpness i will be expecting.

2) i call up the shops to make sure that i get a good idea of which one offers a better price (inclusive of gst, so you don't get mixed up)

3) i go to the shop with the best offer, and mount lens, check sharpness at widest end and longest end (for zoom) at wide open, stopped down one stop or so and f/8 and f/11. note that lenses will not be sharpest wide open, but should not be visibly soft either. most lenses will be sharp for sure around f/8 to f/11 - just zoom in about 8x or so to see, it should be not be prick sharp.

getting a relatively sharp (not the sharpest) copy is probably better.
Hi all,
I'm reusing this thread to ask about testing lens at the shops. I'm planning to get the Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 HSM lens. So to test for sharpness, we can test at f8 to f11(since F16 will be too dark?). At this fstop, there should be uniform sharpness across the image right?

If I put to F2.8, I should check for sharpness at the focusing point as see if I like the bokeh?

I'm not a yim cheem person but just want to eliminate glaring problems when I test.

Thanks.
 

vinvin

New Member
Dec 29, 2004
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#17
Hi all,
I'm reusing this thread to ask about testing lens at the shops. I'm planning to get the Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 HSM lens. So to test for sharpness, we can test at f8 to f11(since F16 will be too dark?). At this fstop, there should be uniform sharpness across the image right?

If I put to F2.8, I should check for sharpness at the focusing point as see if I like the bokeh?

I'm not a yim cheem person but just want to eliminate glaring problems when I test.

Thanks.
To add to the above. Should I test with A priority or M? For fast lens, I want to be able to use a reasonable handheld shutter speed(1/60 and above) with F2.8 under low light right to avoid a blurry image as much as possible?
 

LifeInMacro

Senior Member
Aug 8, 2008
605
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16
Singapore
#18
oo cool. but then how much? This is my most concern. lol.

You got so many lenses. Any websites to view your works?
Canon 50mm are excellent lenses for kids and portraiture. Some people keep this lens on their camera most of the time. It's a MUST buy. It is so popular that Canon has 3 of these:
EF 50mm USM Mark II f1.8 @ $100-120
EF 50mm USM f1.4 @$580-600
EF 50mm USM f1.2L @ around $2,300.

The price is a good indication of the quality of the lenses. But having said that the first one is really good enough for average use already. You can see the immediate difference in terms of quality as compared to your present EFS 18-55mm. I'm using the second one as I'm investing in a better one (e.g. bigger f-stop and faster focusing) to keep it for a long time.
 

calebk

Senior Member
Jul 25, 2006
10,594
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Clementi
#19
To add to the above. Should I test with A priority or M? For fast lens, I want to be able to use a reasonable handheld shutter speed(1/60 and above) with F2.8 under low light right to avoid a blurry image as much as possible?
Either mode doesn't matter. A lens does not change its performance characteristics with the exposure mode that you select.
 

shunzi

New Member
Nov 14, 2008
925
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#20
Canon 50mm are excellent lenses for kids and portraiture. Some people keep this lens on their camera most of the time. It's a MUST buy. It is so popular that Canon has 3 of these:
EF 50mm USM Mark II f1.8 @ $100-120
EF 50mm USM f1.4 @$580-600
EF 50mm USM f1.2L @ around $2,300.

The price is a good indication of the quality of the lenses. But having said that the first one is really good enough for average use already. You can see the immediate difference in terms of quality as compared to your present EFS 18-55mm. I'm using the second one as I'm investing in a better one (e.g. bigger f-stop and faster focusing) to keep it for a long time.
Reading some of the forum and have decided to get the 50mm f/1.4. getting some good reviews over it including friends using it.
 

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