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Thread: lens confusion

  1. #1

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    Barry

    lens confusion

    Hello everyone, please forgive me if this an often asked newby question but I am getting bewildered by the array of lenses available and would appreciate some sage advice. I am new to 'proper' photographic equipment having just started this as a serious hobby. I have a Pentax k-r with a 18-55mm lens which came with it and I am already finding that, taking mainly landscapes and some wildlife shots, I want more reach. Reading the tutorials and various posts on here I think that a 70-300mm would fill my needs but having looked on the net I have fallen into confusion, I found what I thought fits the bill in the form of a Sigma 70-300, f4-5.6 Macro DG lens. The word macro in the product title is throwing me, whilst it's reasonably priced, about 130, for a beginner like me, I am worried that I wouldn't be buying what I think I'm buying? Help!

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: lens confusion

    Barry - I suppose the obvious question is - What is it you think you'd be buying?

    What you would be buying is a 70-300mm lens. So, you would fulfill your wish for more reach that your existing 18-55. The word macro being there means that it has the capability to get in close on little things as well. You would need to read reviews of the lens to see exactly what was being said about its performance. A quick search threw up reviews by people using it on Sony cameras and most of them were stating satisfaction.

    Perhaps this is a lens that best suits your budget at the moment. One thing I think you should consider.

    You say you are pretty new to seriously pursuing photography as a hobby. I have no doubt that you have obviously spotted an area of interest that leads you to want an extended focal range available to you. But ............... ! There are two things to think about:

    Firstly have you really learned how to get the best out of the lens you already have? An awful lot of people get their first 'real' camera with its kits lens and the first thing they want to go off an do is get another lens.

    Secondly - Do you think that if you waited a while and saved fro it, you might be able to afford a more expensive lens within that 70-300 range? Although users writing about the lens on review sites seem reasonably pleased with it, it is not anything like a medium to high-end lens. It does come in at the lower end of the price spectrum. It will still capture photographs. But if you see your self really getting very serious about this, you may find that it becomes a bit of a burden when , after some time, you see that you need/want something of a higher quality. You'd be left with it on your hands.

    It is something to consider. If your circumstances are such that this is the lens that is best suited to you, then fine. But don't rush into it if you don't need to.

  3. #3
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: lens confusion

    As a general rule, landscapes are taken with a wide angle (which your kit lens more or less already provides) and for wildlife shots you are looking for a telephoto, which the lens you are looking at will give you. Macro is for extreme closeups, so you would be getting more than you are looking for. It's not a "true" macro as it only goes down to 1:2; (which go down to 1:1), but you are not looking for that functionality.

    Bottom line is that it will likely do what you say you are looking for.

    A couple of words of warning; long telephotos are (like the 300mm end of the lens) are difficult to hand-hold, so you will need some practice (and some luck). With wildlife shooting, even with a longer lens, you will want to get as close as you can to your subject, and that part is always tricky.

  4. #4
    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    Re: lens confusion

    Don't worry about the macro designation for the money this will be fine it isn't a true macro anyway, macro will allow you to do close up work of flowers and insects but the way this lens is made is a bit of a compromise for this area and it won't perform very well at macro work but it will be fine for your nature stuff.

  5. #5

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    Barry

    Re: lens confusion

    Thanks guys, just the advice I was looking for.

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