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A quick question from a noobie

Discussion in 'Help Team' started by Jrothy, Mar 28, 2017.

  1. Jrothy

    Jrothy New Member

    Hi guys absolute beginner here who just wanted to buy a decent camera for some nice travelling trips I have coming up.

    I have recently purchased a 'Nikon D3300 DSLR Camera with AF-P 18-55mm VR Lens' after reading this is the best beginner DSLR camera.

    My question is, does this lens this have zoom? Or did I need to purchase the same camera with f3.5-5.6 VR lens for a lens with zoom?

    If this is the case, I'll need to get a refund and get the camera with the other lens I guess?

    I keep reading different things! Thanks all in advance.
     
  2. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    You have bought a zoom lens, 18-55mm, :)

    Have fun!
     
    RogerMac and Jrothy like this.
  3. Craig20264

    Craig20264 Well-Known Member

    Yes this is a zoom lens. It has focal lengths of 18mm and 55mm, plus everything in between. Panic over. The f3.5-5.6 refers to the maximum aperture available at both ends of the zoom.
     
    Jrothy likes this.
  4. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    You already have a zoom lens. It will go from 18mm to 55mm focal length. The f/3.5-5.6 numbers on the other lens refer to the lens's max possible aperture settings at each end of that zoom range. Not the same thing at all.
     
    Jrothy likes this.
  5. Jrothy

    Jrothy New Member

    Wow thanks guys! Great help. That's all I needed :D
     
  6. Craig20264

    Craig20264 Well-Known Member

    Don't forget to come back and show us the pics:)
     
    RogerMac and Geren like this.
  7. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    It's a zoom lens, but most non-photographers when asking about "zoom" are really asking about reach - if it's a long focus lens. And in that sense, no, it's not really.
     
  8. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    Yes, there is a chance that if you have been used to the apparent reach gained with a digital zoom, you will be disappointed with the results from the 55mm lens.
     
  9. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    The point of DSLRs and Compact System Cameras is that you can buy different lenses for them. The advantage of having different lenses is that you can have one best suited to a particular purpose. Lenses made to cover all situations don't really exist and the quality suffers. The 18-55 is technically a zoom because it has an adjustable focal length, from a moderate wide angle (18 mm) to a portrait length (55 mm) on your camera. It is suitable for much general purpose photography. As said previously "zooming in" to something is a figure of speech and is not very precise. Long focal length lenses give a narrow field of view and some magnification - like using a not very strong telescope. The most popular of these are "zooms" typically with focal lengths from 70-300 mm. To get good quality at 300 mm is quite demanding of materials and construction so you will find quite some range in prices. A 70-300 mm zoom on a camera like yours is not very good for general purpose shots - you will find that you can't get the subject in the frame at the short end and probably you will be disappointed that far away things don't look all that much bigger at the long end. You really have to buy to meet a specific need. Most people start with a standard kit zoom like yours and then buy extra lenses as they find out what they need. There is a so-called "travel zoom" market for people who want capability but not the weight of carrying several lenses. They are not great. I would guess they have zoom ranges 18-200 mm or so.
     
  10. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    While I totally support this view - I think we have to be careful about classifying travel zooms or super zooms as not great. They are perfectly adequate for their purpose, and if you use them to create 6x4 prints they'll look sharp even at the long end.

    You won't get away with hanging A2 prints taken at the long end of an 18-270mm super zoom in a gallery, but you will find them perfectly useable on a computer or as a regular sized print.

    As long as you understand the compromises brought about by lenses with a large focal length range, then you won't be disappointed by the higher end versions of them.

    Anyway, some definitions.

    Prime lens - only has a single focal length, no ability to change (e.g. a 24mm, 50mm, or 85mm lens for example)
    Zoom lens - has a range of focal lengths, can be a narrow range or a wide range (e.g. 18-24mm, 24-105mm, 18-300mm, are all 'zoom' lenses)
    Wide angle lens - covers a wide angle of view / short focal length (for example, 16-24mm zoom, or 24mm prime).
    Telephoto lens - covers a narrow angle of view / long focal length (e.g. 400mm prime, or 100-400mm zoom).
    Normal lens - covers the angle of view / focal lengths between wide angle and telephoto. Since neither of those are hard definitions, neither is normal.

    So, zoom means 'being able to change the focal length', and telephoto is used to mean 'magnifying the image by using a long focal length / narrow field of view'.

    People usually suggest Cambridge in Colour for more information. I don't actually find the site that useful, and found it rather heavy and dull, but, just in case it helps - http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/camera-lenses.htm
     
    Andrew Flannigan and Geren like this.
  11. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    You have bought a very cost effective combination of camera and lens. The ability of the sensor in the D3300 is the same as in much, very very much, more expensive cameras in Nikon's DX range. Clearly the advanced features of the more expensive cameras are nice to have for anyone but the minimalist purists but you have bought a camera that has all the basic requirements.
    Your standard zoom is a good kit zoom within its restricted zoom range.(Probably Nikon's best economy kit zoom, and all their earlier kit 18-55s have a reputation as best of the type.) Some photographers would prefer a set of prime lenses that don't zoom at all. Some, mostly tyros, prefer a superzoom that is compromised. Personally I prefer the 16-80 as a standard lens, but it cost a lot of money for a small benefit.
    I use a brace of D500. To me they were worth the cash for the superb AF system and high frame rate but for static or slow moving subjects the image quality is no better than that from a D3300.There is a law of diminishing returns
    You may see the reults from super zoom bridge cameras such as the Nikon P900. The technology within these cameras is amazing, but if you look closely at the results then those results are smeared at anything above a post card sized print.

    My suggestion is that if you want more longer zoom then keep your present lens and buy a http://www.camerapricebuster.co.uk/.../Nikon-AF-P-70-300mm-f4.5-6.3-G-ED-VR-DX-Lens. Don't worry about a gap between 55mm at the long end of your present zoom and 70mm at the short end on my suggesion.Avoid superzooms; they will not properley exploit your camera's capability.
    If you want to extend to 500 mm it gets expensive. I use a 200-500 Nikkor f5.6. This cost less than a fifth of the 500mm f4.0. Law of diminishing returns again; only more so.

    Quite simply if you have already learnt how to use your present DX Nikon camera and Nikkor lens then looking at any superzoom alternative is doomed. You have already seen what DX can do.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017

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