Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Time For An Upgrade
With so many recent advancements in optics technology, is now the time to revamp your collection of lenses?
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|Are Faster Lenses Better Lenses?|
|Faster lenses cost more than slower ones. But are they better? |
In one area, they obviously are: They transmit more light. A faster lens provides a brighter viewfinder image for easier composing in dim light and allows you to shoot at a lower ISO for better image quality, or at a faster shutter speed to minimize blur due to camera and subject movement.
And faster lenses often outperform slower ones. For instance, Canon’s EF 300mm ƒ/2.8L IS USM pro telephoto is superior to its EF 300mm ƒ/4L IS USM pro telephoto not only in lens speed, but also in optical performance, AF performance and weatherproofing. But you pay a price for those benefits. That ƒ/2.8 costs more than three times as much as the ƒ/4 and is much bulkier.
Sometimes a slower lens actually performs better. Canon’s EF 70-200mm ƒ/4L IS USM pro telephoto zoom is a much newer design than the esteemed EF 70-200mm ƒ/2.8L IS USM pro tele-zoom, is much lighter and is just half the price. Yet it has a newer and better image-stabilization system, providing four stops of compensation versus the ƒ/2.8’s three stops.
The bottom line: If your photography requires lens speed, a faster lens is better. If you don’t require lens speed, a slower pro lens is probably a better choice.
|Lens For A Special Look|
|For special circumstances, you might have a lens, or you might want to add a lens to your bag, that’s for a specific job. Some of these models, like the Pro-Optic 500mm ƒ/6.3 mirror lens, are well suited to creating a particular look or effect. The mirror lens is a special-purpose, long-telephoto model that hasn’t been updated (it requires a T-mount adapter to connect to a camera and it offers no electronic controls), but lenses like this still can serve a function. This Pro-Optic model is compact (4.6 inches long and 24.9 ounces), focuses down to 6.1 feet and has a price that can’t be beat.|