Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Building The Ultimate Lens Kit
There are so many top-notch, high-tech, affordable lenses available for nature photography, it’s easy to assemble a collection that will give you the right tool for what you love to do
The Basic Three-Lens Set
A wide zoom, a midrange zoom and a tele-zoom will get you going. They’ll cover a wide range of outdoor shooting situations. Why zooms rather than prime lenses? Three main reasons: 1) You get a whole range of focal lengths in a single package for simpler travel; 2) When you can’t easily move closer or farther from a scene, you can control the angle of view by zooming (remember that zooming changes the cropping, but not the perspective; moving closer or farther away changes perspective); 3) A zoom means fewer lens changes, and that means less dust on the filter that covers your D-SLR’s image sensor—and that means fewer dust spots to clone out when you edit your images.
Medium Zoom: A medium zoom includes the format’s “normal” focal length, plus wider and narrower focal lengths, making it a good general-purpose outdoor lens. This focal-length range is good for images that look “normal” rather than providing a wider-than-the-eye-sees or compressed viewpoint.
Long Zoom: A long zoom—one that goes from beyond the format’s “normal” focal length into “telephoto” territory—has an obvious advantage for wildlife photography. These lenses let you get frame-filling shots of shy wildlife you can’t approach closely. But long zooms can be very effective landscape lenses, allowing you to zero in on interesting portions of a scene and to “flatten” perspective in distant vistas. Long zooms also offer compositional flexibility. Let’s look at the lenses you might want to add to your basic kit.
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