The biggest hurdle for an aspiring digital photographer’s path is the lens was included in their SLR digital (Single lens reflex camera.)
The market is saturated with digital SLR cameras boasting amazing resolution and a myriad of options, but many first customers don’t realize just how complex these cameras are.
The camera kit they purchase is the Nikon D40x and Canon Rebel XTi with a 18mm-55 mm zoom lens, and either a 1GB or 2GB memory card. It’s even worse when they buy one that has a 28 mm to 135 millimeter lens camera lens cleaning kit.
How complicated are these cameras? In terms of functionality and their operation, they’re all alike. However, in terms of the user-friendly and easy they are, and how you can alter the settings, and so on it’s a completely different game.
- It’s no longer an easy task to change an element that is essentially a setting in the camera.In the film camera analog of the past all you needed to be aware of was how to adjust your ISO (or film speed), aperture and shutter speed, how to examine the exposure meter, what to do when you want the camera loaded or unloaded,, and of course, where is the shutter release lever was in the middle – there were just four settings that you needed to know to operate on any camera. I deliberately left out focusing since I think everybody knows how to gaze through the viewfinder and then turn on the barrel until the picture on the screen of focus appears sharp.
- Nowadays, all these fundamental settings are concealed under many layers of menus.If you want to alter something, let’s say like the ISO you need hold down a button and then rotate one of the two dials. After you’ve done this, you won’t be certain that you’ve changed the right one. You might even believe you’ve changed your ISO because those numbers appear on the LCD shift from 100, then to the 160-200 range. This could represent the speed of shutter you’ve just altered.
If you haven’t read the instruction manual What can you do to be certain? In addition there are cameras that permit the settings to be 1/3 of the stop. The shutter speeds of film cameras were one-thousandth of a second, such as 1/1000. 1/250 etc. There are a variety of settings like 1/1250 1/350, 1/1250, etc. So it’s no wonder that novices are overwhelmed.
Remember, we’ve never even considered the options that are unique for “digital” like choosing compression or quality of files, or the size of files the white balance setting, or formatting the memory card or the auto motordrive and focus sensors to name some.
- I was unaware of how complicated the numbers could be for a beginner until about midway through my teaching an introduction to Digital Photography class.I believe I was instructing the students that they should set their exposure to one-half of a second at the aperture of f11. A student glanced at me and asked if this is the length of focus she was required to determine or if it was the ISO. Maybe it was my lapse as an instructor that made her confused however, boy, did I learn something that day!
There are too many factors that affect digital SLRs available, especially when they are first time users. For those zoom lenses that they purchase along with the cameras I haven’t ever explained to them that the apertures of their zoom lenses is different. It’s f3.5 on the 18mm end, and f5.6 for the 55 millimeter end!
There was plenty of wisdom during the era of film photography, when camera makers would bundle an SLR with the standard 50mm lens. This meant that beginners could focus on getting their exposure correct without having to think about the reason why a lens has an aperture opening at the wide angle and another at the telephoto side.
Moving forward or closer instead of zooming out and in using lenses with variable focal lengths taught novices not to become lazy and discover their subject with movement.
It is because of all of these reasons that I recommend that first buyers should also purchase the 50mm fixed focal length lens, with an aperture that is f1.8 to begin their journey in photography.
Yes, the standard lens will cost more however, over the long term novices will master the basics quicker. A lens such as a 50mm f1.8 is very versatile.It lets you shoot even in low light.It is compact and small and actually an 80 mm lens if you take into account the 1.6x magnification factor, which is perfect for portraits.
The worst lens kit available is that is in the 28 mm to 135mm. If you consider an optical magnification of 1.6 1x, at the longer end, it is actually a 216mm lens.
A lens of 216mm with an aperture of f5.6 is extremely limited. It is only suitable for use for outdoor use in bright light. The typical exposure for an unlit morning at ISO 100 is about 1/500 second in f 5.6. When the sun is behind clouds, they need to boost your camera’s ISO.
If you’re just beginning to learn about photography and are shopping for the best digital SLR, you should consider purchasing a standard lens or what was previously known as the standard lens, which was 50mm. Think about this: is it really true that the lens included with the camera’s body could be of any use?
If you evaluate the same camera with no lens against the entire package (camera with zoom lens) You’ll find that some sellers will even include bags, a lens cleaning kit, and an tripod. Are you sure they’ll make profits if the lens isn’t just an expensive piece of crap with poor optics?