So last week I posted a link to an article on my Facebook page about the acronyms manufacturers use for their camera lenses. It did a pretty good job, but I want to take it one step further for Nikon shooters. In my opinion, there are a WHOLE LOT more letters Nikonians have to decipher. In fact, there’s an entire GLOSSARY on the Nikon site to help you break it down. Did you know, for example, that your lens might be gelded? Yikes!
So check it out for yourself and the next time you get pulled over for DUI and the officer asks you to recite the alphabet backwards, just start with “VR”.
I haven’t done a “Photography News Round-Up” in a while; mostly because I usually post items of interest on my Facebook page which then gets posted on Twitter. So if you are already following me there, the following items won’t be news to you. For everyone else, I wanted to get you up to speed on some things you might have missed last week.
First up: from Nikon Rumors, the Nikon D90 is now officially on the “discontinued” list. It was replaced by the D7000 last year.
Over on the Canon Rumors site, there’s word that there may be updates to both the 1.4 and 1.8 versions of the 50mm lens.
You probably read in a previous post about price increases for camera lenses and bodies most likely due to supply disruptions in Japan. Well, if it’s any consolation, Canon Rumors is also reporting that 3 lenses are part of Canon’s spring rebate program. They are:
- EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 ($150 rebate)
- EF 75-300mm f/4.5.6 ($50 rebate)
- EF-S 55-200mm f/4-5.6 ($100 rebate)
Not exciting enough? Well there are also reports that Best Buy has started a price war on many Nikon and Canon lenses and bodies. I checked the prices against Amazon, and if they are true, then they really look like good deals. The 5D MKII, for example, is listed at $2124 with in-store pick-up only. But when I checked on the Best Buy site for stores in the Orlando area, not only was the price around $2800, but they were out of stock. If you’re interested, click the link and check it out for yourself. Let me know if you have any luck. Happy hunting!
One question I get asked a lot is “which DSLR should I get”. Whether it’s a first purchase or an upgrade, the answer usually depends on what type of shooting you want to do and your budget.
About a year ago, I found a Web site that makes it easier to find what you’re looking for. At Snapsort.com, you can learn about cameras, explore different types or just type in your budget and kind of camera you’re looking for; whether it’s a DSLR or point-and-shoot. But the tool I like and use the most is the compare feature.
[Disclaimer: Snapsort is holding a contest for anyone who blogs about the site, but that is not why I am writing this. I've known about the site for a while and I refer people there often. I just referred someone there a couple of days ago, so I thought I should let other people know]
What I like about the compare feature is being able to compare the specs of two cameras side-by-side. The site used to declare a “winner” which I disagreed with. Now it just gives each camera a score and gives a recommendation. I even take this with a grain of salt. You see, the “winner” or recommendation is based on specs; but your needs may be different. Compare, for example the Canon 5D MKII with the 1D MK IV. The 5D is full frame but shoots just under 4 frames per second. Where the MK IV has an APS-H sensor and shoots 10 frames per second. Which is better? It depends on what you shoot. A sports shooter would love the MK IV where a landscape photographer would choose the 5D. Still, being able to see the specs side-by-side for yourself is a quick and convenient way to decide. The cameras are evaluated on things like resolution, ISO, viewfinder coverage, LCD resolution, video capabilities and more.
Nikon and Canon’s Web sites let you compare its models; but the Snapsort site lets you compare any make with another. So you can compare Nikons with Canons or Sony’s etc. Apples and Apples or Apples and Oranges. Pretty handy if you’re trying to decide which brand to go with.
The comparison gives you reasons to consider each camera and gives you a list of competitors to consider.
To find the right lens, use the tools at LensHero. Simply input your camera, budget and what type of lens you’re looking for and it spits out recommendations complete with specs, prices and reviews.
So if you’re struggling with choosing the right camera or looking to purchase that next lens, these two stops will make researching a lot easier and help you make the right choice.
If you’re looking to save some money on Canon cameras and lenses, the company is offering a “friends and family” deal of 10% off refurbished items in its online store.
I have no idea what quality “refurbished” would be, but I imagine it would meet Canon’s quality standards; and hey, you can save even more with the discount.
Use code “FAM211“. Offer is good through March 14 or while supplies last and looking through the list, some items are already gone.
If you’re a Nikon shooter wondering which lens is best for you, the Nikon site has some cool interactive tools to help you decide.
The lens simulator lets you see the angle of view of different lenses. You can select whether you’re using a DX or FX body or lens. You can even select from a list of lenses to view the attributes of that specific lens.
(Useless sidenote: As you use the slider to zoom in, you’ll see a woman reading a book. If you zoom slow enough, you’ll see different frames as she flips through the book. Hey, I told you it was a useless sidenote!)
Then there’s the Lens Positioning Map. This tool shows you a line-up of Nikkor lenses arranged by focal length and f-stop. Again, you can select DX or FX, manual or auto focus and even features such as vibration reduction (VR) and types of lens coatings.
If you’re a fan of lo-fi images produced by plastic or pinhole camera, you don’t have to carry around multiple cameras or lenses. The “Subjective” lens give you four shooting modes in one lens and is compatible with Nikon and Canon.
The four modes are: Pinhole, Plastic, Zone Plate and Glass and produce images like these:
All lenses have a 65mm focal length. The lens is available at the Photojojo store for $249, but you can get 10% off, courtesy The Digital Photography School if you use the code: photojojodps.
I was watching a recent episode of D-Town TV with Scott Kelby and Matt Kloskowski and they were explaining why you want to use “full frame” lenses on full frame cameras. It’s the difference between DX and FX lenses for Nikon and EF or EF-S lenses for Canon. But they kind of glossed over something for Canon users: EF-S lenses will not fit on a full frame body. So why does any of this matter?
Take a look at the image above. The “Full Frame” line shows a full-sized sensor. Pictures taken with this sensor will give you the equivalent of a standard 35mm film camera. Canon only makes two full frame cameras: The 5D MKII and the 1Ds MKIII. Nikon has four: the D700, D3, D3s and D3x.
The next line is APS-H. Canon’s 1D MKIV and 1D MKIII have this sensor. Here is where the “crop factor” or “focal length multiplier” comes into play. With these cameras any lens you put on, you have to multipy by 1.3 to get the actual focal length. So your 50mm lens on a 1D MKIV would actually be a 65mm.
The next two lines are APS-C. The majority of Nikon and Canon cameras use this type of sensor. Nikon’s APS-C sensors have a crop factor of 1.5 and Canon’s is 1.6. That means a 50mm on most Nikons is 75mm and on most Canons its 80mm.
The only way to get a true 50mm is to use an EF lens on a full frame Canon or an FX lens on a full frame Nikon. Check out this video to see the difference on a 5D MKII and 7D.
As you can see, the difference is pretty telling. This all comes into play depending on the type of photography you do. If you shoot landscapes or interiors, then you want as much information as possible on your sensor. That’s why I use a full frame camera and a wide-angle lens for my interior and architecture images. If you shoot sports, then you might want the benefit of the crop factor. My 70-200, for example, on most Canons is actually, 112 to 320. I can get an extra 120mm on the long end by using a cropped sensor.
I mentioned DX, FX, EF and EF-S lenses. Canon’s EF lenses will fit any Canon camera. The EF-S lenses are made specifically for APS-C sized sensor cameras. On the body, where the lens attaches to the camera, you’ll notice a white or red dot. The white dot is where an EF-S lens attaches. The red dot is where an EF lens attaches. As mentioned earlier an EF-S lens will not fit on a full frame camera. If you try, the rear lens element will break your mirror. So if you have EF-S lenses and you upgrade to a full frame camera, then you’ll need new lenses too! As I understand it, a DX lens will fit on an FX camera but you can’t really use it on the wide end of the focal length without getting some severe vignetting. Also, your image size is decreased. Click the D-Town link above and watch the video for a more detailed explanation on that point.
Well I hope this helps. I’ve found a lot of DSLR owners never know that the lens they’re using isn’t giving them the focal length they think. Some people also ask what camera or lens they should buy. I always say to think about what you want to shoot and then take the sensor size into consideration.