Camera lens

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Blog entry by Don Kondra posted 04-13-2008 10:19 PM 1318 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Geez, I thought I was done with shopping/research :)

Seems that once you have your background and lighting down pat the next step is better glass. Keep in mind when I originally purchased my camera I didn’t consider it might be necessary to upgrade the lens. I did understand I may need a different lens for landscape shots for instance.

Through this process I’ve come across various sites that show images from one end to the other of the range of a particular lens. I’m just barely starting to understand what the different mm numbers mean. The f values are easy, the lower the number, the more it costs :) And the more desireable it is for image quality and low light shooting.

Still, I wanted a concrete example I could relate to so… I sat myself down on my lawn chair on the front deck and took a couple of pics towards the road with the extreme settings of my lens. The distance is about 300’. Nothing fancy here, just hand held snapshots on auto mode…

So, this is the original lens, Zuiko 14-42 f 3.5 – 5.6


And the zoommmmm…...yeeha…

14-42mm zoom

Now, if I can talk myself into or out of upgrading this lens it’s going to cost ~$500 brand new. The camera with one lens and a memory card was $675. I should just kick my a** back into the shop and quit fooling around :) But this is way more fun than watching TV on my down time.

The upgrade would be a Zuiko 14-54mm f 2.8 – 3.5, on ebay they’re going for ~$300 – $400. I’ve read a number of reviews that say this is a better/best lens for shooting my work, without getting a second mortgage… since I don’t REALLY need it right now I’ve set myself a limit of $250 and am bidding on gently used lens. Don’t you just love that term :)

So off we go on another adventure. I want to be able to get close up shots of the deer, etc. that wander through my yard and also have the ability to zoom in on landscape, etc. type shots.

At this point I’m not really all that sure what I need but I bid on a Zuiko 40-150mm f 3.5 – 4.5 and was outbid at the last click, sigh… Bid again on a Zuiko 40-150 f 4.0 – 5.6 and win for $107 plus shipping. Brand new in the States it’s a little over $200 and in Canada I’ve seem it as low as $285.

This is a shot from the same location and same time as the last ones…


And not quite zoomed all the way, the picture was turning a little fuzzy at the extreme…

40-150mm zoom

WooHooo, now where the heck are the deer? :)

Now this is where Murphy’s Law comes in, I also placed a low bid on another 40-150 mm f 3.5 – 4.5 and won it, sigh… Anyone looking for a 40-150 mm f 4.0 – 5.6 ??? :)

While I’m at it I should also show you this, I tried sneaking up on Max sleeping contentedly in the sun but he heard me. Told him “stay” and took a snap shot anyhow. (14-42mm f 3.5 – 5.6)

Max Raw file saved to jpg

And then cropped and added a border. Would have been a much better shot if I could have got him to smile…

smaller size

Phew, okay. I’m off to ebay, uh, I mean back to making sawdust….

Cheers, Don

-- Don Kondra – Furniture Designer/Maker

3 comments so far

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389 posts in 3707 days

#1 posted 04-13-2008 11:05 PM

Yeah the lens makes all the diffrence. I have a nikon D-40 with the kit lens, but want the 55-200mm VR lens becasue it is alot better quality. It is only about 250 bucks too. For a Nikon lens that is pretty increadable. I love my camera and The amount of manual tweaking you can do with it is pretty awsome. Play with all the contrast and presets to get your pictures just the way you want them. I have some cool pictures that have the forground in focus and background out of focus, and it just looks remarcable. The speed light is also another great thing to get, it lets you bounce the light off the ceiling createing a softer look to the picture. Just a thought. Love your dog too :)

-- Tyler, Illinois

View Don Kondra 's profile

Don Kondra

114 posts in 3851 days

#2 posted 04-15-2008 02:05 AM

Ahh, Tyler….

Now that hurt, an Olympus 50-200 f 2.8 is ~ $1200, sigh…

One more test, this a shot through a dirty patio door window. The power pole is about 40’ away and however tall :) It is also a favorite perch for all manner of birds, they seem to like to sit there and tease the dog…

Power Pole

Cheers for now, Don

-- Don Kondra – Furniture Designer/Maker

View Don Kondra 's profile

Don Kondra

114 posts in 3851 days

#3 posted 04-30-2008 05:15 AM


Okay, I think I can be considered out of control now… I sold the 40-150 f 4-5.6 and bought a 14-54 f 2.8 – 3.5, sigh…. sure hope I’m done now :)

Two test shots, if you have ever tried photographing a black dog you can appreciate this. Lots of detail including the grey chin :)

Max aka broken ear

This shot still amazes me, not a great composition, etc but it was shot at night, only two lamps on and no flash. I did have to fool a bit with photoshop but still got an acceptable snapshot…

Max sleeping

And what the hay, one more :)

Years ago I planted 300 seedlings, three survived. One was eaten by deer, one was run over by a friend collecting firewood and the last one had a tree fall on it during a storm this winter… life is tough in the bush :)

Lean on me

Thanks for looking, my apologies to those of you on dial up, sigh…

Cheers, Don

-- Don Kondra – Furniture Designer/Maker

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