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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Building Your Lens Kit For Digital Action

With the autumn migrations and rutting season approaching fast, now is the time to put together a set of lenses to help you capture all the action

Labels: Lenses

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 300mm ƒ/2.8
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Some wildlife photographers work with medium-format film and digital SLRs. These can produce even better image quality due to finer grain (film images don’t need to be blown up as much to obtain a given print size) and more megapixels on larger sensors (while current 35mm-form-factor D-SLRs top out at 24.5 megapixels, medium format goes up to 60.5 megapixels). Medium-format D-SLRs are excellent for wildlife portraits, but not so good for action shots, as the cameras are more awkward to use and the AF systems aren’t as quick.

Because medium-format film frames and image sensors are much larger than 35mm image frames and APS-C sensors, a given focal length doesn’t produce as big an image in the frame with a medium-format camera. And the longest lenses available for medium-format cameras are shorter than the longest lenses available for 35mm-form-factor D-SLRs—about equivalent to a 135mm lens on an APS-C D-SLR or a 200mm lens on a 35mm SLR. So you’ll have to get closer to your subject to get an equivalent framing with a medium-format camera. (Of course, you can blow up the medium-format image more than you can a smaller camera’s image, which helps even things out.)

Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 18-180mm ƒ/3.5-6.3

Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 90-250mm ƒ/2.8
Due to the smaller size of the Four Thirds System’s image sensor, any lens used on a Four Thirds System camera frames like a lens of twice its length on a 35mm SLR. So Olympus’ Zuiko Digital ED 300mm ƒ/2.8 pro supertele produces the same field of view as a 600mm lens on a 35mm camera, but is a stop faster than the 600mm ƒ/4 lenses, costs less, and is lighter and more compact. The Zuiko Digital ED 90-250mm ƒ/2.8 pro zoom is equivalent to a 180-500mm ƒ/2.8 on a 35mm SLR.

For those on tighter budgets, Olympus offers the Zuiko Digital ED 50-200mm ƒ/2.8-3.5 SWD with the Silent Wave Drive AF motor (equivalent to a 100-400mm ƒ/2.8-3.5 zoom on a 35mm SLR), Zuiko Digital ED 70-300mm ƒ/4-5.6 (equivalent to a 140-600mm ƒ/4-5.6 on a 35mm SLR, for $400), Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm ƒ/4-5.6 and long-range Zuiko Digital ED 18-180mm ƒ/3.5-6.3.

As Four Thirds System cameras, Olympus E-system D-SLRs can use all Four Thirds System lenses, including Sigma’s 300-800mm zoom, which is available in a Four Thirds mount (equivalent to a 600-1600mm zoom on a 35mm SLR).


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