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Understanding Zoom Lenses

written by: AlyssaAst•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 11/17/2010

Zoom lenses are among the many different lenses used by photographers. There are many differences to each type of lens. Understanding zoom lenses is important if you plan on using them correctly as they are among the most popular photography lenses.

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    Zoom Lens

    Zoom lenses are often used by photographers because they are very convenient and are extremely adjustable. They offer numerous focal lengths for an image. These lenses make taking pictures very easy. Many cameras will allow these lenses to be used with an auto focus system.

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    Zoom Lens

    “DSLR with Zoom Lens
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    Understanding Zoom Lenses

    Understanding zoom lenses is very important if you plan on working with them. The zoom lens allows a photographer to do a number of different things that other lenses often can not do. This lens allows multiple images to be taken at different focal lengths without having to stop to change lenses. Although these lenses are very good to use, the images they produce may not be as good as the images produced using a prime lens. But the difference is very slight and often goes unnoticed.

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    Advantages of Zoom Lenses

    This lens can allow you to create unique shots that other lenses may not do as well. You can focus on an image at quite a length away. And, as you begin to expose the picture, slowly zoom in on the image. This creates a very unique image. The image it produces will have strong radiating lines surrounding the object of focus.

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    Use of Zoom Lenses

    These lenses are commonly used in a number of professional settings. This lens in often a journalist’s first choice of lenses to use when photographing news stories. Many photographers that work with children and animals prefer to use this type of lens. These professionals choose this lens because it gives them more flexibility with the subject or object they are photographing.

    This lens is a great choice for a beginner photographer to use. It is very easy to use with little restrictions. It offers much more flexibility with the focal point that other lenses do not offer. This lens is in tough competition with a prime lens. The difference between the two is that a prime lens has a fixed focal length, whereas a zoom lens does not.

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    How to Use a Zoom Lens

    When using this lens for architecture, landscapes, and housing interiors it is best to use a 16-35mm zoom lens with a wide zoom. This allows you to capture the entire image with great details.

    When photographing weddings or taking portraits, most photographers choose to use a 24-70mm zoom lens or a 35-135mm zoom lens. Any medium zoom setting will work well. This will also work well for photographing most sport activities.

    Using a long zoom lens is great to use when photographing nature and sporting events that are far away. The lens recommendations for this are 70-200mm, 100-400mm, or 50-500mm.

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    Pros and Cons

    There are many positive aspects for using this lens and the convenience of using this lens is just an added bonus. The cost of a zoom lens is certainly a benefit. They are built well and have excellent quality for the price. These lenses are very light. This is great because you may not want to carry numerous lenses around, and taking one lens will eliminate this problem.

    There are negative aspects for using this lens. A photographer can become lazy from the convenience the lens offers. Many one touch lenses will slip from position when you point them down. This can ruin a shot. It is best to buy a two touch lens if possible.

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    Photo: “DSLR with Zoom Lens" By Surely stock.xchang