lens selection

Darrin Hill

the choice of lenses is actually important, because lenses distort. Whenever someone refers to a normal lens, that lens is one that when mounted on your camera will have an angle of view and compression/expansion that is similar to your field of view using your own eyes...

Normal lenses were 50mm for 35mm cameras, 80 for hasselblad, 150mm for 4x5 and 300 for an 8x10...

however... since the introduction of digital chips, things changed... the size of your sensor determines how your angle of view is... so when they talk about a half frame sensor or full frame, its refering to how much the sensor resembles a 35mm film camera. So full frame is the same size as a 35 mm camera.. not sure how much a half frame is.. never had one.. maybe someone can illuminate.

rule of thumb.. wide angle lenses distort.. some pretty will expand the distance of things... like a big tall building... if you are at the bottom of a building and aim at the top, you get that pyramid effect... the bottom of the building is closer than the top, so it gets all distorted and the bottom is huge and the top shrinks. If you ever want to get your wife mad at you, use a wide angle lens to take her photo.. do a head shot and her nose is huge... full length makes her look fat.. However, they are great landscape lenses cause they have more built in depth of field... ie subjects and backgrounds are more in focus...

Long lenses.. or telephoto (not the same as a zoom lens) will actually compress distance... I call it my 'skinny' lens,... cause they do not make people look fat... problem is they usually are hard to focus on something if you have a small camera room, cause they're best used for non-close things... But they are great for products cause they will let the background go out of focus cause they have less built in depth of field..

The lenses i take to weddings are...

10.5 fisheye
14-18 2.8 zoom
24-70 2.8 zoom
and a 70 -200 2.8

i also have a 400 2.8 (not fun to use cause it weights a lot...) but it is a superb portrait lens... the subject is sharp, but the background is all fuzzy...

john is right... Hand holding the 400 is impossible unless im using a shutter speed that matches the focal length of the lens .... or 1/500th of a second... i usually just use it for a couple of shots IF it's a special session, cause its just not worth lugging around.. so if hand holding a lens, match the focal length to your shutter speed and you wont get motion blurr..

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