We are going to stick out at the other end, remember I said about the zoom lenses, the 50mm is our prime lens but on the camera here, I got a 17mm to 40mm lens. 17 of course is a long way down from 50mm so that gives us a big wide field of view, we are going to get lots of our scene into this picture, or we can go forward to 40mm which is getting close to that 50mm area. So that area would be great for portraits or for isolating part of our scene, if we do not want the whole scene, we wanted a part of it, we can come into 40mm which will give us a bit less of the scene but will give us more detail of that scene.
This is the lens I tend to use most of the time but you might go for one that has slightly more range on it, there are different ones—on Canon they do a 24 mm to 70mm, they do a 24 to 105 and they even do an 18mm to 200, which covers a huge range in that. Now remember we said that this one was F1.8, this one is F4, so you do not get quite as much light through this lens as you do with that one. Low light, this one would be better.
The number at the end though sometimes looks like two numbers, on this one it is F4 which means its maximum aperture is F4 throughout the lens. But on here on my 100-400 we actually see two numbers and it is shown as a range, it says 4.5 to 5.6. What that means is that at 100mm, its maximum aperture is F4.5, but at 400mm it is maximum aperture is F5.6, so that is why it has two numbers there.
One other thing that you would like to recognize as being different in these lenses is this one, this is 100mm and it is F2.8, maximum aperture, so it lets a good amount of light in and it is 100mm so it is going to get us close, not as close as my 400 of course but that is not the prime difference. Although this is a prime lens, so it is nice and sharp, it has one other major selling point. This is called a macro lens. Macro lenses gets you in nice and close to things that are very, very small and can make them look huge in the picture. You could actually take a picture of a postage stamp, a standard size postage stamp and it would completely fill your picture, so you are going to get loads of detail, everything tiny happening in there. You imagine this is just a little flower, you get in close and you get all of the detail of an insect, you get wonderful detail from them, it is quite amazing.
Macro photography is not a specialist’s thing. It is something that anybody can do, you just need a macro lens, there are other ways to achieve that but this is the best way. A macro lens gets you in nice and close to small things, makes it nice and big and gives you amazing detail. So there you go, that is my 100mm F2.8 lens. And finally, just to finish, there are other ways that you can make a lens longer. This is called 1.4x teleconverter, this is a 2x teleconverter. What this would do is it would go between that lens and the camera, the camera attaches on this end and the lens on to this side and it will multiply the focal length by 1.4 so my 400mm lens would become a 560mm lens, it is going to get me in that much closer. With a 2x teleconverter, it will multiply it by two so 400 becomes 800, that is super telephoto territory.
There are other sides of it though, this do reduce the amount of light that you can get into a picture. But they are for later, those are teleconverters. For the moment, I recommend a wide angle, a mid range and a telephoto. If you can get that in one lens, that is absolutely fine, as I have mentioned before, an 18 to 200mm the lens goes from wider, all the way to the telephoto and you will be able to take all kinds of great photos with those.
So I hope those have helped you to just understand a little bit of the basics of what lenses can do. Remember it is not about how much you pay, it is about how well you know your lens get to know it well and use it in the way that was intended and then you will get really good pictures, you do not have to pay a lot of money for them. So enjoy your photography, enjoy getting to know your camera and the lenses and learn about what it can do, it can do much more than you really think. Bye-bye for now.