Folksy Ltd

Lens Advice please

(Joy Salt) #1

I’m not a camera teckie but I’ve always had a pretty good camera and taken lots (and lots of photos).
You know that song “the wheels on the bus…” ? Well our family version has a verse “the Nanas on the bus go Click click Click”.
I now have 2 cameras.
My wonderful Minolta Dynax digital which lets me take as many photos as I want but which has been overworked (had to have a new top last year as I wore the last one out including the shutter button).
My latest Panasonic Lumix G6 - lovely little thing - Micro Four Thirds System / Digital Single Lens Mirrorless (DSLM) that’s half size and weight of the Minolta and 10* the resolution. Colours are better, truer, as well.

I had that for Christmas the idea being to use the Minolta exclusively at home to photograph my glass and the Lumix away from home / for everything else.

I now find I’m using the Lumix nearly all the time as, I hate to admit it, it takes better photos and loves photographing glass…

So that was a lot of background to a simple request for advice.

Bob says I can have a telephoto lens for my birthday but I don’t know which to choose.

  1. 35/100 mm or
  2. 45 /150.
    the 35/100 is £50 more but 3/4 of the size and weight and the beauty of the camera itself is its small size and weight.

So please will the camera experts out there tell me which to get and why.
I want telephoto so I can zoom in on things (eg birds) and get better shots of distant things.

Any advice gladly received. xx

(Sasha Garrett) #2

I put this to my other half who knows far more about cameras that I do. His response was ‘if you are happy with the photos of the glass that you are currently getting with your current lens then go for the lens with the greater telephoto capacity for shooting the birds. That way you can have one lens for photographing the glass and one for photographing birds’. He is going to mull it over further to give you a more considered answer at somepoint. (NB I fell I should add that this is the man who travels with at least one camera body and 3 lenses plus extras like monopods/ tripods/ beanbags, one trip to Kenya we travelled with close on 10kg of camera kit but the photos are stunning and he has now reduced his kit a bit).
Are you shooting birds in the garden or from a hide at a nature reserve?
I would add that jessops or other camera shop will probably have your camera and the lenses in store so you can always go in and have a fondle, try out the weighting of the camera with each lens and see how it feels in your hands and whether you can hold it steady. You don’t have to buy from them or you can try to get them to price match it if you find the lens you want cheaper online but having a fondle in advance is always good.
Will report back when he has thought about it.

(Joy Salt) #3

Thanks Sasha. I have phoned the most local Panasonic shop and they say they don’t keep them in stock so fondling is not an option.
I’m a bit surprised that the 35/100 is more expensive than the 45/150 ie the one with more telephoto capacity but it may be other features of the lens which determine it. I’m going to get a Panasonic lens as I can then be sure it works properly with my camera body and my other lens is superb.
PS:I’m not a twitcher but we do like to “spot”.
PPS these are my options :

(Helen Smith) #4

I know next to nothing about cameras but you caught my interest with the words ‘loves photographing glass…’ - I’m off to read up on it!

(Ronald Koorm) #5

Both cameras you mention are good, the Lumix range are very good for their size, a compromise with four-thirds sensor technology, but great for most things. You have to be careful with lenses, as the four thirds cameras have a lens multiplier of about 2x .
This means that to compare with a full frame camera, you multiply the lens x 2. So a 100mm lens full frame will be a perfect portrait lens at 100mm, but a 100mm lens on a four thirds camera might be 200mm , and more of a telephoto lens.

I would also look at the minimum focussing distance which is important. You may find that the minimum focus distance changes whether you have the lens at the wide end or the tele end. Taking very wide shots close-up can be OK but introduces distortion and can have wierd effects.

I went over to a Fuji system from my big Nikon cameras and never looked back. My sensor chips are called APS-C and I have to use a 1.5 multiplier on the lenses to compare with the Nikon. That means , lens for lens, my Fuji lenses will be wider view than your Panasonics.

The 35/100mm lens is a good compromise as can go wider and I think ends up as a 70mm lens at the widest end. (2 x 35=70). That is nowhere near as wide as I need to have to take building interiors, but you may not need that requirement.

The 45/150mm lens is much more telephoto inspired, and the wide end is even less wide (2 x 45 =90mm) which is great for portraits but not so good to get lots in the picture in a small space.The longer end is the equivalent of a 300mm lens and great for sports and longer distance photography, but the minimum focussing distance may be 5 feet or six feet away.

So, If you want to do more wide-angle photography , look at lenses wider than 35mm which tend to cost a bit more, or compromise at the 35/100mm but accept the limitations at the wide end.

Hope this helps !

(Joy Salt) #6

Thanks Ronald. There’s a 15 /140 but can’t afford that one, shame.

(Ronald Koorm) #7

A polarising filter can be handy when photographing glass, to control the reflections at different angles. You lose a bit of light so have to increase the exposure, but not a problem if camera is on a tripod.

A white opal perspex sheet, or opal white glass sheet which is evenly illuminated from the underside, is also great for illuminating glass objects. A lot of retailers use that trick. It’s a sort of light box and you can buy them from better photo shops or online.

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