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Thread: Zoom lens vs Telephoto Zoom lens

  1. #1
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    Zoom lens vs Telephoto Zoom lens

    What is the difference between them?
    I found that zoom lens are mostly shorter than telephoto zoom lens. But what is the main diff ? Anyone help. Thanks.

  2. #2

    Re: Zoom lens vs Telephoto Zoom lens

    Welcome to the forums!

    Prime lenses = fixed focal lengths.
    Zoom lenses = covers a range of focal lengths. Eg. 24-70mm, 70-200mm. Most 'pro' grade glasses have a constant aperture of f/2.8. Others have variable aperture eg. 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6.

    (Ultra) Wide angle = 35mm or shorter (debatable).
    Normal = 50mm
    Telephoto = greater than 50mm (debatable).
    There is also something called a short telephoto, or portrait focal length = 85mm to 135mm

    *please note that these names given to different focal lengths are only true on a 35mm camera.




    You may also come across "fisheye", macro, or tilt-shift lenses. Fisheye lenses have extreme barrel distortion, macro lenses focus close, while tilt-shift lenses allow you to do advance stuff. See these 3 websites:
    Therefore, a zoom lens is a generic term given to a lens which covers a range of focal lengths. A telephoto zoom lens is a type of zoom lens that has a longer focal length (ie. more reach). Eg, 200-400mm f/4.0.

    Does this help?

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    Re: Zoom lens vs Telephoto Zoom lens

    A zoom lens can vary the focal length to get a tighter image optically.

    A telephoto lens is any fixed lens that has a focal length greater than that of the average human eye.

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    Re: Zoom lens vs Telephoto Zoom lens

    I'd say a zoom lens is one that has variable focal length, a telephoto lens has an angle of view less than the human eye (in practice 70+mm on a 35mm or full frame camera) (focal length of the human eye is in the order of 25-30mm iirc...)

    So a zoom telephoto lens would cover a range of focal length starting above 50-70 mm.

    Conclusion: A telephoto zoom lens is a zoom lens, like there are wide angle zoom lenses (e.g. 10-20mm). more specific terms than zoom tell you about the range of focal lengths covered

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    Re: Zoom lens vs Telephoto Zoom lens

    Quote Originally Posted by revi View Post
    Conclusion: A telephoto zoom lens is a zoom lens, like there are wide angle zoom lenses (e.g. 10-20mm). more specific terms than zoom tell you about the range of focal lengths covered
    This gets my vote

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    Re: Zoom lens vs Telephoto Zoom lens

    Thanks all!
    I was doing research on zoom lens as I need one to shoot my son soccer game. Currently, I'm using Nikon 18-55mm (the one that came with D3100 kit) and found that the zoom is not close enough, any recommendation?
    My body is D3100 and budget is less than US$500. Thanks!

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    Re: Zoom lens vs Telephoto Zoom lens

    And let's not forget the super telephoto covering 80-infinitymm.

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    Re: Zoom lens vs Telephoto Zoom lens

    Quote Originally Posted by adrian888 View Post
    Thanks all!
    I was doing research on zoom lens as I need one to shoot my son soccer game. Currently, I'm using Nikon 18-55mm (the one that came with D3100 kit) and found that the zoom is not close enough, any recommendation?
    My body is D3100 and budget is less than US$500. Thanks!
    Hi Adrian,

    Didn't realise you were such a shiny, new member - welcome to the CiC forums from me.

    If for a D3100, you'll need an "AF-S" lens if Nikon, or one that has a USM motor in if third party - I would suggest that manually focusing won't be viable option, so steer clear of Nikon "AF" and "D" lenses, only "AF-S" will do.

    I'd recommend the Nikon 70-300mm VR, that might go a tad over your budget though, not sure about US(?) prices.
    The Nikon 55-200mm is cheaper and lighter, but you obviously lose on 'reach', so might need to crop more.
    Personally, I don't buy 'third party' these days; I had AF compatibility issues, but some swear by them (rather than at them)

    Is the "soccer" indoor or outdoor?
    Daylight or floodlit?

    Cheers,

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    Re: Zoom lens vs Telephoto Zoom lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Hi Adrian,

    Didn't realise you were such a shiny, new member - welcome to the CiC forums from me.

    If for a D3100, you'll need an "AF-S" lens if Nikon, or one that has a USM motor in if third party - I would suggest that manually focusing won't be viable option, so steer clear of Nikon "AF" and "D" lenses, only "AF-S" will do.

    I'd recommend the Nikon 70-300mm VR, that might go a tad over your budget though, not sure about US(?) prices.
    The Nikon 55-200mm is cheaper and lighter, but you obviously lose on 'reach', so might need to crop more.
    Personally, I don't buy 'third party' these days; I had AF compatibility issues, but some swear by them (rather than at them)

    Is the "soccer" indoor or outdoor?
    Daylight or floodlit?

    Cheers,
    The Nikkor 70-300mm AF-S VR 4.0.5.6G sells for less than $200.00 U.S.

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    Re: Zoom lens vs Telephoto Zoom lens

    Which one is good for both indoor and outdoor soccer. Thanks!
    Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G ED VR II DX Telephoto Zoom Lens
    Or
    Nikon AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G IF ED VR Telephoto Zoom Lens

  11. #11
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    Re: Zoom lens vs Telephoto Zoom lens

    Quote Originally Posted by adrian888 View Post
    Which one is good for both indoor and outdoor soccer. Thanks!
    Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G ED VR II DX Telephoto Zoom Lens
    Or
    Nikon AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G IF ED VR Telephoto Zoom Lens
    I would expect that neither of these lenses would be good for indoor soccer because of their slow aperture at longer focal lengths. An f/5.6 aperture probably just isn't fast enough to give you a decent shutter speed in the expected low light level of an indoor soccer field even shooting with a relatively high ISO. Most non-professional indoor sports venues in the USA are not that well lit...

    Either lens would be adequate for outdoor soccer during a decently bright day but, would not make it at night under lights. I don't know about the speed and accuracy of the auto-focus of these lenses on your camera. However, shooting on a bright day using ISO 400 would allow you to shoot at about 1/3200 second under bright sunlight using f/5.6 and at about 1/1600 second using f/11. Most cameras can successfully shoot at ISO 400 without anygreat worries about noise.

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