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Camera Zoom Lenses

February 14, 2012 348 No of hits
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Camera Zoom Lenses

A zoom lens on a camera is an essential utility for any kind of photography where you anticipate having to move at least a little bit (which, obviously, is virtually every situation). Sometimes having the ability to crop a picture's frame via zooming in is easier than physically getting closer. Sometimes it's the only option a photographer has. Sometimes the ability to zoom in or out is the difference between capturing a great shot and missing it completely.

Zoom lenses have traditionally been identified according to the focal range of the lens. For instance, a 35mm-80mm zoom lens simply indicates that the shortest focal length is 35mm and the longest focal length is 80mm. In most compact cameras, though, the zoom is described by how many times the image can be magnified, so you may see a camera advertised as having a 12x zoom or a 16x zoom. Still, with a dSLR, the focal length is still how photographers refer to a zoom lenses.

Keep in mind that when you use a zoom lens at its maximum focal length, the maximum aperture opening is reduced as well. Suppose you have a 18mm-55mm zoom lens with a variable aperture of f/3.5-5.6. Zoomed all the way out at 18mm, your maximum aperture opening will be f/3.5. If you zoom in to 55mm, your maximum aperture opening will be f/5.6. The smaller maximum aperture at a zoomed-in length is necessary to prevent any kind of vignetting in your pictures. Since the length of the lens is longer at 55mm, the aperture opening must remain smaller in order to ensure that the rim of the lens does not creep into, or vignette, the corners of your pictures. Additionally, because the aperture opening is smaller when zoomed at 55mm, the camera will need to compensate by using a slower shutter speed. If your subject is in motion, this slower shutter speed may result in some motion blur in your pictures so it may be better for your photography to get physically closer.

There are variable aperture zoom lenses that have a maximum aperture as low as f/2.0, but they are wider and much more expensive. These lenses have a larger lens diameter which allows more light to enter the camera in a shorter amount of time. However, some of these lenses can cost as much as some dSLR bodies themselves.

Tags:   Camera Zoom Lenses   Zoom lens   DSLR   Focal length   Maximum aperture   Variable aperture  

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A zoom lens on a camera is an essential utility for any kind of photography where you anticipate having to move at least a little bit (which, obviously, is virtually every situation). Sometimes having the ability to crop a picture's frame via zooming in is easier than physically getting closer....

By: Richard Martine Created 74 months ago

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