Camera Craniums

General Category => General Photography => Topic started by: Skhilled on July 02, 2011, 09:27:14 AM

Title: Macro or Telephoto or Zoom
Post by: Skhilled on July 02, 2011, 09:27:14 AM
I've been looking at lenses for my Nikon at eBay, B&H, and others. Some say that a lens like the Tamron 70-300mm Di Lens for Nikon Digital D90 D3100 D3x (http://cgi.ebay.com/Tamron-70-300mm-Di-Lens-Nikon-Digital-D90-D3100-D3x-/200618361704?pt=Camera_Lenses&hash=item2eb5c94368) can do all of the above.

The million dollar question is this possible or should one get a lens for macro, one for telephoto, and one for zoom? And is there really a difference between telephoto and zoom?
Title: Re: Macro or Telephoto or Zoom
Post by: Markulous on July 02, 2011, 09:47:15 AM
The million dollar question is this possible or should one get a lens for macro, one for telephoto, and one for zoom? And is there really a difference between telephoto and zoom?

Zooms are always a compromise, albeit some are pretty good! But my Sigma 150-500mm, although outperforming the Canon 100-400mm IMHO, comes nowhere near my Sigma 500mm f/4.5. And I've never seen a zoom do "true" macro @ 1:1, never mind perform as well as my prime macro lens, Sigma 105mm  (though the Canon 70-200 f/2.8 comes pretty close for IQ!)

Tubes on a prime are a pretty good, relatively inexpensive, alternative to a macro lens
Title: Re: Macro or Telephoto or Zoom
Post by: Skhilled on July 02, 2011, 10:25:22 AM
I can't afford a 500mm lens at this time...or maybe never! LMAO

I am considering closeup lenses and extension tubes as an option for macros. I've been reading that some macros can zoom and some zooms can do macro pretty well. but at the prices I'm seeing at ebay and others I might be able to swing both...one at a time, a lot sooner than I expected.

But is there a diff between telephoto and zoom? I am assuming that telephoto has more "zoom" than a regular zoom lens does since I am seeing "telephoto zoom" as opposed to "zoom".
Title: Re: Macro or Telephoto or Zoom
Post by: Markulous on July 02, 2011, 10:34:10 AM
But is there a diff between telephoto and zoom? I am assuming that telephoto has more "zoom" than a regular zoom lens does since I am seeing "telephoto zoom" as opposed to "zoom".

Technically, I don't think there is a difference but telephotos seem to refer to long zooms whereas zooms seem to be shorter focal lengths  :-\
Title: Re: Macro or Telephoto or Zoom
Post by: Skhilled on July 02, 2011, 10:39:01 AM
Good. That is what I was thinking because of how they are worded but couldn't seem to find a definitive answer. 200mm are cheaper but I'm looking or a reasonably priced 300mm...18mm or 55mm-300mm. That would be right up my alley for now.
Title: Re: Macro or Telephoto or Zoom
Post by: Graham on July 02, 2011, 11:43:44 AM
    Are telephotos and zooms the same?

   No.
   A zoom is a lens with a range of focal lengths. It could be a "Wide angle" zoom eg 14-24, a "Standard" zoom eg 24-70, or a "Telephoto" zoom eg 70-200.
   A telephoto lens is a "Fixed focal length" lens, ie it only has one focal length eg 200mm.
   With a  "Zoom" lens you can zoom in and out of the frame, be it wide angle, standard or telephoto. With a fixed focal length lens you can't. (Unless you use your legs!).
                Graham. :tup:
Title: Re: Macro or Telephoto or Zoom
Post by: Markulous on July 02, 2011, 12:25:23 PM
    Are telephotos and zooms the same?

   No.
   A zoom is a lens with a range of focal lengths. It could be a "Wide angle" zoom eg 14-24, a "Standard" zoom eg 24-70, or a "Telephoto" zoom eg 70-200.
   A telephoto lens is a "Fixed focal length" lens, ie it only has one focal length eg 200mm.
   With a  "Zoom" lens you can zoom in and out of the frame, be it wide angle, standard or telephoto. With a fixed focal length lens you can't. (Unless you use your legs!).
                Graham. :tup:


I've always regarded telephotos as fixed focal length - and the industry has rather adopted that definition (but strictly speaking zooms are telephotos  :-\)
Title: Re: Macro or Telephoto or Zoom
Post by: Markulous on July 02, 2011, 12:28:47 PM
Good. That is what I was thinking because of how they are worded but couldn't seem to find a definitive answer. 200mm are cheaper but I'm looking or a reasonably priced 300mm...18mm or 55mm-300mm. That would be right up my alley for now.

As a generalisation, the smaller the difference between the wider end to the narrower end, the better the quality and/or price. Hence the Sigma 50-200mm OS being pretty good (and excellent value) vs the Sigma 50-500mm OS which may be pretty good but is still pretty expensive!
Title: Re: Macro or Telephoto or Zoom
Post by: Oldboy on July 02, 2011, 07:24:22 PM
The million dollar question is this possible or should one get a lens for macro, one for telephoto, and one for zoom? And is there really a difference between telephoto and zoom?

Yes, you can use a zoom or telephoto lens for macro, but it's not true macro or 1:1 or greater. The advantage of a true macro lens is you can get close to the subject whereas, with a zoom/telephoto you have to stand well back. This can cause problems if the subject is very close to plants/trees where you can't get into the right position for the shot. A closeup lens/filter works better with a true macro lens than a zoom.  ;D
Title: Re: Macro or Telephoto or Zoom
Post by: Paul Montgomery on July 02, 2011, 07:35:21 PM
I believe (willing to be proved wrong though) that the strict definition of a telephoto is a lens whose focal length is longer than its true length. Nowadays, most people take telephoto to mean a lens which gives more reach than a 'standard' lens..
Title: Re: Macro or Telephoto or Zoom
Post by: Oldboy on July 02, 2011, 08:12:02 PM
I believe (willing to be proved wrong though) that the strict definition of a telephoto is a lens whose focal length is longer than its true length. Nowadays, most people take telephoto to mean a lens which gives more reach than a 'standard' lens..

According to Wikipedia: In photography and cinematography, a telephoto lens is a specific type of a long-focus lens in which the physical length of the lens is shorter than the focal length.[1] This is achieved by incorporating a special lens group known as a telephoto group that extends the light path to create a long-focus lens in a much shorter overall design. The angle of view and other effects of long-focus lenses are the same for telephoto lenses of the same specified focal length. Long-focal-length lenses are often informally referred to as telephoto lenses although this is technically incorrect: a telephoto lens specifically incorporates the telephoto group.
Title: Re: Macro or Telephoto or Zoom
Post by: spinner on July 02, 2011, 08:22:02 PM
I believe (willing to be proved wrong though) that the strict definition of a telephoto is a lens whose focal length is longer than its true length. Nowadays, most people take telephoto to mean a lens which gives more reach than a 'standard' lens..

According to Wikipedia: In photography and cinematography, a telephoto lens is a specific type of a long-focus lens in which the physical length of the lens is shorter than the focal length.[1] This is achieved by incorporating a special lens group known as a telephoto group that extends the light path to create a long-focus lens in a much shorter overall design. The angle of view and other effects of long-focus lenses are the same for telephoto lenses of the same specified focal length. Long-focal-length lenses are often informally referred to as telephoto lenses although this is technically incorrect: a telephoto lens specifically incorporates the telephoto group.

Well give me a minute and I'll change that.  :2funny:
Title: Re: Macro or Telephoto or Zoom
Post by: Skhilled on July 02, 2011, 10:26:47 PM
LOL! Thanks for the info guys! :)

I knew there had to be a difference as some ads stated "telephoto zoom" but were not fixed lens. This tends to confuse people...probably for marketing purposes. LOL
Title: Re: Macro or Telephoto or Zoom
Post by: Jonathan on July 03, 2011, 08:19:33 AM
Yeah, despite Wikipedia, telephoto usually means "long focal length" usually more than about 100mm on full frame.  Zooms are the ones that go in and out.

You can shoot macro on a bunch of stuff but it's easiest and arguably best on a macro lens.  IIRC Nikon don't strictly speaking make any macro lenses.  They make micro lenses and that's a whole other can of worms.
Title: Re: Macro or Telephoto or Zoom
Post by: Skhilled on July 04, 2011, 09:02:06 AM
Yeah, despite Wikipedia, telephoto usually means "long focal length" usually more than about 100mm on full frame.  Zooms are the ones that go in and out.

I just read almost the same thing on the Nikon site earlier today after doing a bit more searching. Thanks.