Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Choose Your Perfect Zoom
The modern zoom lens is a marvel of technology, and it’s the nature photographer’s best friend
The major zoom advantage is having a broad range of focal lengths in a single lens. That saves a lot of space and weight, especially useful when lugging your gear in the field. Having all those focal lengths in a single lens also means fewer lens changes, which in turn means less dust on your image sensor.
Because zoom focal lengths are continuous, they can provide you with exactly the right focal length for a given photo. If you have a prime 28mm lens and a prime 50mm lens, and 37mm would frame the scene just right, you’ll have to use the 28mm lens and crop the image. But a 28-55mm or 28-70mm or 28-105mm zoom will provide that 37mm focal length. If 500mm is a bit long to catch that moose that just wandered into the nearby clearing, simply zoom your 200-500mm zoom back to 200mm and get the shot. If you had to remove a 500mm prime lens and attach a 200mm prime lens, the moment might be gone—and the noise of changing lenses might make the moose be gone, too (not to ignore the logistics of carting two big super-teles around).
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