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08-05-2009, 01:50 PM   #1
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Advice on lenses.

I am fairly new to Digital SLR Photography. I have a ist DS, 18-55 kit lens. I picked up 2 Tokina zoom lenses. One is a 28-80 and the other is 100-300. Is it better to have a selection of good prime lenses or zoom lenses?

08-05-2009, 01:59 PM   #2
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Hi and welcome to the forum.
As you're just starting out, what you have would probably suffice... for now.
You have a good coverage of focal lengths with your zooms to get you experimenting with your shots right away.

Later on, you'll come to figure out WHAT things you mainly like to shoot, and as a result, what FOCAL LENGTHS you mainly shoot with. Then it also matters HOW you shoot what you shoot, which can be assisted with lenses with LARGE MAXIMUM APERTURES (I'm assuming you know what this means). These are the biggest determinants of what LENSES you should have.

In general, if you shoot at specific focal lengths most often you'd benefit from prime lenses, and if you shoot different subjects with all sorts of focal lengths, you'd probably be happier with zooms. Portraiture and low-light shooting, like concerts, indoor events and the like, might demand 'fast' lenses with those large maximum apertures that I mentioned before, in order to create a shallow depth of field, blurring out the distant background in the image.

Hope this helps.
08-05-2009, 02:00 PM   #3
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with what you have you will be able to explore a lot of things, and zooms offer a good range of focal lengths.

Generally speaking primes are faster than zooms, which means the viewfinder is brighter, and you can use them at wider apertures, allowing for some interesting shots with very shallow Depth Of Field. Primes are generally better , sharper lenses than zooms, however this gap is narrowing, and is not as significant as it was in the 1980's for example.

I would recomment playing with the lenses you have, and see where you start hitting limits in what you photograph,

I don't know what you want to photograph, but I can anticipate you will want eventually something much wider, and also something from perhaps 24mm at the wide end to 135-200mm at the long end at F2.8, but how you achieve this will all revolve around the lenses you add to extend your range, and your shooting style.

A good kit generally has in the end, zooms for everyday shooting and travel, and primes for special interests, or specific photographic style that you will develop over time
08-05-2009, 02:37 PM   #4
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You got excellent ad ice so far. I will simply add that primes and zooms are not mutually exclusive. My "main kit" i cludes a 17-70 and a 100-300 zoom but also a fast 50 prime amd a macro prime. I have two other lenses that I use from time to time, both are manual primes.

08-05-2009, 02:47 PM   #5
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I forgot to add that I'm not new to SLR Cameras and lenses themselves. About 10-15 years ago when I was in high school I was a photographer for the yearbook staff. The school had a K1000 and a Ricoh KR5 Super, and a small assortment of lenses that I can't remember. Right now I am trying to get used to taking good shots with the SLRs again. Although right now I have not been very pleased with the built in flash.

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