• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."

Ask me your photography questions!

Page 8 - Seeking answers? Join the AnandTech community: where nearly half-a-million members share solutions and discuss the latest tech.

Zenmervolt

Elite member
Oct 22, 2000
24,510
12
81
Originally posted by: 6000SUX
Originally posted by: Zenmervolt
Originally posted by: 6000SUX
I understand. I'm just saying that the Canon 400 f/2.8, for instance, is regarded by the whole world as a fast lens-- and that's an f/2.8 prime.
Yes, at F2.8 it's a fast 400mm lens. It's average for a 200mm prime and slow for a 50mm prime. As focal length increases, it becomes harder to have a fast lens because of the giant-size front glass that is required.

ZV
Yep. That's my point. It's fast because it's faster than many other 400mm lenses.
Ah, OK. My mis-understanding. :)
 

6000SUX

Golden Member
May 8, 2005
1,504
0
0
Originally posted by: Zenmervolt
Originally posted by: 6000SUX
Not only does that lens not have USM, but it uses an old-style stepper motor. So even if the speed of AF isn't too slow for the situation, you may miss focus wide open if you get stuck between two of the steps. That's why I don't really consider the 50mm f/1.8 a fast lens unless you manually focus wide open. Sometimes, you get what you pay for.
"Fast" in regard to a lens has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the speed at which it focuses. "Fast" in terms of a lens means that it has a very large maximum aperture (e.g. f1.4 or f1.7 as opposed to f3.5). Any f1.8 lens is fast, regardless of the speed at which it can autofocus.

ZV
It's not fast in actual use-- unless you manually focus. It misses so often as to be unusable at f/1.8 . I know exactly what the term "fast" means; you're not exactly taking me to school, just not taking the time to read what I've written.
 

Madwand1

Diamond Member
Jan 23, 2006
3,309
0
76
Do you think it's a good idea to buy about the cheapest consumer lens, shoot it wide open and then look critically at its focusing accuracy and sharpness?
 

DurocShark

Lifer
Apr 18, 2001
15,708
5
56
Originally posted by: Madwand1
Do you think it's a good idea to buy about the cheapest consumer lens, shoot it wide open and then look critically at its focusing accuracy and sharpness?
Um, no. You can borrow one though. But don't spend money on the cheapest lenses unless someone you know already has it and can vouch for it.
 

DurocShark

Lifer
Apr 18, 2001
15,708
5
56
Originally posted by: Zenmervolt
Originally posted by: ElFenix
Originally posted by: Zenmervolt
Originally posted by: 6000SUX
I understand. I'm just saying that the Canon 400 f/2.8, for instance, is regarded by the whole world as a fast lens-- and that's an f/2.8 prime.
Yes, at F2.8 it's a fast 400mm lens. It's average for a 200mm prime and slow for a 50mm prime. As focal length increases, it becomes harder to have a fast lens because of the giant-size front glass that is required.

ZV
doesn't look like there is currently a faster 200 mm lens for canon. nikon makes a 2.0, and it costs more than my car.
That's why I love my screw-mount lenses. $20 for a 200mm f2.8 prime. :) They're perfect for learning or anything that you don't use often enough to justify the expense. With an adaptor they'll fit just about anything and they were made for decades so there are vast numbers of them out there. The old SMC Takumars are very nice lenses and not too hugely expensive.

ZV
Yep. I love the old SMC's. Bullet proof barrels too.
 

Madwand1

Diamond Member
Jan 23, 2006
3,309
0
76
Originally posted by: DurocShark
Um, no. You can borrow one though. But don't spend money on the cheapest lenses unless someone you know already has it and can vouch for it.
Will someone who has a 50 f/1.8 come and visit me and introduce herself?
 

ElFenix

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Mar 20, 2000
101,682
6,000
126
Originally posted by: yllus
Originally posted by: ElFenix
how is the tokina 12-24? i see that it's actually slightly less expensive than the sigma (though it doesn't get quite as wide, either)
Apparently 10mm is quite a bit better than 12mm. Haven't compared the two myself though.

Sample pics for the Tokina AT-X Pro DX 12-24mm f4 are located here. I can't help but think the photos aren't quite as sharp as those taken with the Sigma (here). Of course, this could be an issue of who's taking the photo.
12 mm is 87 degrees on an APS-C sensor while 10 mm is 97 degrees. pretty decent jump if you ask me.
 

EXman

Lifer
Jul 12, 2001
20,079
15
81
What's a good DSLR to start with I bought a pentax *ist but the pics were so/so
 

voodoojc

Senior member
Apr 29, 2004
298
0
0
How does Leica's Modul R compare to Canon or Nikon's top dSLR cameras? Which would you get?
 

ElFenix

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Mar 20, 2000
101,682
6,000
126
Originally posted by: EXman
What's a good DSLR to start with I bought a pentax *ist but the pics were so/so
the pentax is a good one.

a) were you taking pictures of things that aren't so/so themselves?
b) did you do any post processing?
c) did you read the manual?
d) what lens did you use?
 

Zenmervolt

Elite member
Oct 22, 2000
24,510
12
81
Originally posted by: EXman
What's a good DSLR to start with I bought a pentax *ist but the pics were so/so
From what I've read on the Pentax, you'll want to shoot RAW and then convert to JPG on the computer. The Pentax's in-camera JPG conversion is supposedly not as great as Canon or Nikon's.

ZV

 

kalster

Diamond Member
Jul 23, 2002
7,355
6
81
Originally posted by: Zenmervolt
Originally posted by: EXman
What's a good DSLR to start with I bought a pentax *ist but the pics were so/so
From what I've read on the Pentax, you'll want to shoot RAW and then convert to JPG on the computer. The Pentax's in-camera JPG conversion is supposedly not as great as Canon or Nikon's.

ZV
Thatz what I do, I am very pleased with the camera
 

virtuamike

Diamond Member
Oct 13, 2000
7,845
13
81
Originally posted by: 6000SUX
Originally posted by: Zenmervolt
Originally posted by: 6000SUX
Not only does that lens not have USM, but it uses an old-style stepper motor. So even if the speed of AF isn't too slow for the situation, you may miss focus wide open if you get stuck between two of the steps. That's why I don't really consider the 50mm f/1.8 a fast lens unless you manually focus wide open. Sometimes, you get what you pay for.
"Fast" in regard to a lens has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the speed at which it focuses. "Fast" in terms of a lens means that it has a very large maximum aperture (e.g. f1.4 or f1.7 as opposed to f3.5). Any f1.8 lens is fast, regardless of the speed at which it can autofocus.

ZV
It's not fast in actual use-- unless you manually focus. It misses so often as to be unusable at f/1.8 . I know exactly what the term "fast" means; you're not exactly taking me to school, just not taking the time to read what I've written.
*sigh* with AF, sheer speed in terms of USM/AF-S/whatnot is only part of it. Focus accuracy plays a huge role, and it's both body and user dependent. Some bodies are flat out better at distinguishing what's in or out of focus in different conditions (low light, haze, tracking moving subjects, etc). Even then, AF will function better if the user knows to give it a subject that has some contrast to work with (and if not, then user should have enough knowledge about how focal planes work to give the camera something usable).

A lens doesn't fail at AF for the sheer reason of being f/1.8. Chalk it up to user error/inexperience, considering the camera has an easier time focusing with it because it allows more light through in order to see with. USM doesn't make a lens more precise, and it doesn't make up for user shortcomings.
 

ElFenix

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Mar 20, 2000
101,682
6,000
126
Originally posted by: virtuamike

A lens doesn't fail at AF for the sheer reason of being f/1.8. Chalk it up to user error/inexperience. The camera has an easier time focusing with it because it allows more light through in order to see with. USM doesn't make a lens more precise.
it can if there is a step motor and you're shooting with very small depth of field, where the subject can be between one of the steps.

of course, if you're shooting stuff that small you should move the camera backward and forward to get the proper focus
 

Zenmervolt

Elite member
Oct 22, 2000
24,510
12
81
Originally posted by: ElFenix
Originally posted by: virtuamike

A lens doesn't fail at AF for the sheer reason of being f/1.8. Chalk it up to user error/inexperience. The camera has an easier time focusing with it because it allows more light through in order to see with. USM doesn't make a lens more precise.
it can if there is a step motor and you're shooting with very small depth of field, where the subject can be between one of the steps.

of course, if you're shooting stuff that small you should move the camera backward and forward to get the proper focus
Or, you know, focus manually as God intended. :p (Joking about the "as God intended" part.) I may be the only person left who doesn't give a rat's arse about autofocus. I know AF is convenient, but with a little patience there's not very much that one gives up by going to manual focus and the added control is nice.

ZV
 

6000SUX

Golden Member
May 8, 2005
1,504
0
0
Originally posted by: virtuamike
Originally posted by: 6000SUX
Originally posted by: Zenmervolt
Originally posted by: 6000SUX
Not only does that lens not have USM, but it uses an old-style stepper motor. So even if the speed of AF isn't too slow for the situation, you may miss focus wide open if you get stuck between two of the steps. That's why I don't really consider the 50mm f/1.8 a fast lens unless you manually focus wide open. Sometimes, you get what you pay for.
"Fast" in regard to a lens has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the speed at which it focuses. "Fast" in terms of a lens means that it has a very large maximum aperture (e.g. f1.4 or f1.7 as opposed to f3.5). Any f1.8 lens is fast, regardless of the speed at which it can autofocus.

ZV
It's not fast in actual use-- unless you manually focus. It misses so often as to be unusable at f/1.8 . I know exactly what the term "fast" means; you're not exactly taking me to school, just not taking the time to read what I've written.
*sigh* with AF, sheer speed in terms of USM/AF-S/whatnot is only part of it. Focus accuracy plays a huge role, and it's both body and user dependent. Some bodies are flat out better at distinguishing what's in or out of focus in different conditions (low light, haze, tracking moving subjects, etc). Even then, AF will function better if the user knows to give it a subject that has some contrast to work with (and if not, then user should have enough knowledge about how focal planes work to give the camera something usable).

A lens doesn't fail at AF for the sheer reason of being f/1.8. Chalk it up to user error/inexperience, considering the camera has an easier time focusing with it because it allows more light through in order to see with. USM doesn't make a lens more precise, and it doesn't make up for user shortcomings.

Read what I wrote (again), read what Elfenix wrote, and learn. (sigh)
 

virtuamike

Diamond Member
Oct 13, 2000
7,845
13
81
Originally posted by: ElFenix
Originally posted by: virtuamike

A lens doesn't fail at AF for the sheer reason of being f/1.8. Chalk it up to user error/inexperience. The camera has an easier time focusing with it because it allows more light through in order to see with. USM doesn't make a lens more precise.
it can if there is a step motor and you're shooting with very small depth of field, where the subject can be between one of the steps.

of course, if you're shooting stuff that small you should move the camera backward and forward to get the proper focus
I'm pretty sure the steps on the 50/1.8 aren't big enough that it's an issue in real shooting. If it is, it's news to me. Hell it's not even a macro lens (which is usually the only time you focus by rocking back and forth).
 

Zenmervolt

Elite member
Oct 22, 2000
24,510
12
81
Originally posted by: 6000SUX
Originally posted by: virtuamike
Originally posted by: 6000SUX
Originally posted by: Zenmervolt
Originally posted by: 6000SUX
Not only does that lens not have USM, but it uses an old-style stepper motor. So even if the speed of AF isn't too slow for the situation, you may miss focus wide open if you get stuck between two of the steps. That's why I don't really consider the 50mm f/1.8 a fast lens unless you manually focus wide open. Sometimes, you get what you pay for.
"Fast" in regard to a lens has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the speed at which it focuses. "Fast" in terms of a lens means that it has a very large maximum aperture (e.g. f1.4 or f1.7 as opposed to f3.5). Any f1.8 lens is fast, regardless of the speed at which it can autofocus.

ZV
It's not fast in actual use-- unless you manually focus. It misses so often as to be unusable at f/1.8 . I know exactly what the term "fast" means; you're not exactly taking me to school, just not taking the time to read what I've written.
*sigh* with AF, sheer speed in terms of USM/AF-S/whatnot is only part of it. Focus accuracy plays a huge role, and it's both body and user dependent. Some bodies are flat out better at distinguishing what's in or out of focus in different conditions (low light, haze, tracking moving subjects, etc). Even then, AF will function better if the user knows to give it a subject that has some contrast to work with (and if not, then user should have enough knowledge about how focal planes work to give the camera something usable).

A lens doesn't fail at AF for the sheer reason of being f/1.8. Chalk it up to user error/inexperience, considering the camera has an easier time focusing with it because it allows more light through in order to see with. USM doesn't make a lens more precise, and it doesn't make up for user shortcomings.
Read what I wrote (again), read what Elfenix wrote, and learn. (sigh)
That doesn't change that you're using your own definition of "fast" that doesn't correspond whatsoever with the standard photographic definition. You're saying that it's not a fast lens because you can't use the AF with the smaller depth of field at f1.8. AF functionality is completely un-related to whether the lens is "fast" in the photographic sense. You may not find it useful when wide open, but as long as the lens is capable of passing light to the sesnor at f1.8, it's a "fast" lens as far as the photographic definitions are concerned.

ZV
 

6000SUX

Golden Member
May 8, 2005
1,504
0
0
Originally posted by: Zenmervolt
Originally posted by: 6000SUX
Originally posted by: virtuamike
Originally posted by: 6000SUX
Originally posted by: Zenmervolt
Originally posted by: 6000SUX
Not only does that lens not have USM, but it uses an old-style stepper motor. So even if the speed of AF isn't too slow for the situation, you may miss focus wide open if you get stuck between two of the steps. That's why I don't really consider the 50mm f/1.8 a fast lens unless you manually focus wide open. Sometimes, you get what you pay for.
"Fast" in regard to a lens has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the speed at which it focuses. "Fast" in terms of a lens means that it has a very large maximum aperture (e.g. f1.4 or f1.7 as opposed to f3.5). Any f1.8 lens is fast, regardless of the speed at which it can autofocus.

ZV
It's not fast in actual use-- unless you manually focus. It misses so often as to be unusable at f/1.8 . I know exactly what the term "fast" means; you're not exactly taking me to school, just not taking the time to read what I've written.
*sigh* with AF, sheer speed in terms of USM/AF-S/whatnot is only part of it. Focus accuracy plays a huge role, and it's both body and user dependent. Some bodies are flat out better at distinguishing what's in or out of focus in different conditions (low light, haze, tracking moving subjects, etc). Even then, AF will function better if the user knows to give it a subject that has some contrast to work with (and if not, then user should have enough knowledge about how focal planes work to give the camera something usable).

A lens doesn't fail at AF for the sheer reason of being f/1.8. Chalk it up to user error/inexperience, considering the camera has an easier time focusing with it because it allows more light through in order to see with. USM doesn't make a lens more precise, and it doesn't make up for user shortcomings.
Read what I wrote (again), read what Elfenix wrote, and learn. (sigh)
That doesn't change that you're using your own definition of "fast" that doesn't correspond whatsoever with the standard photographic definition. You're saying that it's not a fast lens because you can't use the AF with the smaller depth of field at f1.8. AF functionality is completely un-related to whether the lens is "fast" in the photographic sense. You may not find it useful when wide open, but as long as the lens is capable of passing light to the sesnor at f1.8, it's a "fast" lens as far as the photographic definitions are concerned.

ZV

You are befuddled. I never said the lens wasn't fast-- I said it wasn't fast in actual use, unless you manually focus. Breaking it down as I would for a small child, this means that you cannot properly take advantage of the maximum aperture unless you manually focus.

You also went off track in other ways, for instance with statements such as "A lens doesn't fail at AF for the sheer reason of being f/1.8". Well, who the hell ever said that? You need to learn a little more courtesy, and a little more about discussion. It seems you also need to learn a little more about photography, if you haven't learned by now that AF can let you get many shots you'd otherwise miss.
 

WENEEDLIGHT

Banned
Aug 9, 2006
231
0
0
How can I take pictures of myself and friend(s) when we're relaxed? I don't like takng pictures when it looks awkward or uncomfortable.
 

Zenmervolt

Elite member
Oct 22, 2000
24,510
12
81
Originally posted by: 6000SUX
You are befuddled. I never said the lens wasn't fast-- I said it wasn't fast in actual use, unless you manually focus. Breaking it down as I would for a small child, this means that you cannot properly take advantage of the maximum aperture unless you manually focus.

You also went off track in other ways, for instance with statements such as "A lens doesn't fail at AF for the sheer reason of being f/1.8". Well, who the hell ever said that? You need to learn a little more courtesy, and a little more about discussion. It seems you also need to learn a little more about photography, if you haven't learned by now that AF can let you get many shots you'd otherwise miss.
I never said "A lens doesn't fail at AF for the sheer reason of being f/1.8". Look at the quotes. Virtuamike said that.

As far as courtesy, I see no instance where I stepped over the line without provocation. If you have a problem with my direct style of speaking, perhaps you'll feel better if you throw your purse at me.

As far as AF, I've never missed a shot when shooting manual focus because of focusing issues. (I've missed shots because I had my telephoto lens and needed my wide or vice versa, but I've never once missed a shot because of focus).

I know exactly what you're saying. That the AF at f1.8 renders f1.8 useless in practice. That doesn't change the fact that the f1.8 setting still passes light to the film. Just because you personally can't manage to use the lens at that aperture doesn't mean that the lens is useless at that aperture. You seem to completely miss the fact that all a lens has to do to be "fast" is to offer a large aperture. The usefulness of a lens at wide aperture has nothing at all to do with whether it is or is not fast.

ZV
 

6000SUX

Golden Member
May 8, 2005
1,504
0
0
Originally posted by: Zenmervolt
Originally posted by: 6000SUX
You are befuddled. I never said the lens wasn't fast-- I said it wasn't fast in actual use, unless you manually focus. Breaking it down as I would for a small child, this means that you cannot properly take advantage of the maximum aperture unless you manually focus.

You also went off track in other ways, for instance with statements such as "A lens doesn't fail at AF for the sheer reason of being f/1.8". Well, who the hell ever said that? You need to learn a little more courtesy, and a little more about discussion. It seems you also need to learn a little more about photography, if you haven't learned by now that AF can let you get many shots you'd otherwise miss.
I never said "A lens doesn't fail at AF for the sheer reason of being f/1.8". Look at the quotes.

As far as courtesy, I see no instance where I stepped over the line. If you have a problem with my direct style of speaking, perhaps you'll feel better if you throw your purse at me.

As far as AF, I've never missed a shot when shooting manual focus because of focusing issues. (I've missed shots because I had my telephoto lens and needed my wide or vice versa, but I've never once missed a shot because of focus).

I know exactly what you're saying. That the AF at f1.8 renders f1.8 useless in practice. That doesn't change the fact that the f1.8 setting still passes light to the film. Just because you personally can't manage to use the lens at that aperture doesn't mean that the lens is useless at that aperture. You seem to completely miss the fact that all a lens has to do to be "fast" is to offer a large aperture. The usefulness of a lens at wide aperture has nothing at all to do with whether it is or is not fast.

ZV
Your argument is stupid and off topic. If you couldn't handle the results of your own confusion, pointed out by others as well as me, you shouldn't post here. If you know now what I'm saying, you could have known then, and you are wrong. You still don't realize what I'm saying. A lens is not fast in practice if it is unusable at wide apertures.

By the way, I don't use film.
 

Zenmervolt

Elite member
Oct 22, 2000
24,510
12
81
Originally posted by: 6000SUX
A lens is not fast in practice if it is unusable at wide apertures.
And I happen to disagree with your definition of "unusable" as well as your playing fast and loose with definitions. By your definition, no manual focus lens ever made is useful. (And yes, that is the logical conclusion of your criticism of the AF on the Canon 1.8.)

Originally posted by: 6000SUX
By the way, I don't use film.
Congratulations. Would you like a cookie?

ZV
 

6000SUX

Golden Member
May 8, 2005
1,504
0
0
Originally posted by: Zenmervolt
Originally posted by: 6000SUX
A lens is not fast in practice if it is unusable at wide apertures.
And I happen to disagree with your definition of "unusable" as well as your playing fast and loose with definitions. By your definition, no manual focus lens ever made is useful. (And yes, that is the logical conclusion of your criticism of the AF on the Canon 1.8.)
Anope. No MF lens is useful when using AF, and that's just what I said about the Canon 50mm f/1.8 when used wide open. You apparently continue to misunderstand what I said. Broken down again in a different way, it is this:

The AF accuracy is so bad as to render the lens unusable at f/1.8 with AF.

I'm not playing fast and loose with definitions. I never redefined "fast". If anything, I defined a new extension term: "fast in actual use" or "practically fast". It was used only in the context of the one lens and AF.

Originally posted by: Zenmervolt
Originally posted by: 6000SUX
By the way, I don't use film.
Congratulations. Would you like a cookie?

ZV
Just as infantile as your purse comment. It's here that your obvious photographic skills and knowledge really shine.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY