Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Lesson in Lens'

Wow all sorts of stuff going on in my household today. I am writing this blog while checking up on one of my female huskies who is in the process of giving birth to puppies. My wonderful husband just bought, as a combined birthday present, a Nikon D90 and a 18-24mm lens. If you remember I had also received just recently a 50mm lens. Some of our readers might be wondering why on earth you need so many different lens. So for my post today, something a little different, aren't you surprised? I'm probably making my fabulous 3C1D cohorts crazy with my changes. Sorry, well not really.

I wanted to do a quick, little lens lesson for those that might be confused about why we all drool over different lens for our cameras. I did mention that in another life I was a middle school science teacher right? This is something I wish somebody had told me when I first started photography and something most people don't think about so much. It comes down to equipment and uses. You do not use the same lens to photograph the Grand Canyon for example, that you would use for a senior portrait, or to take a picture of a bead of water on a leaf. You can, but different lens work better for different uses.

For my quick lesson here I am going to show you the difference between taking a picture with a 14mm lens and a 200mm lens. As with a lot of photography stuff, it's kind of backwards. A 14mm lens is considered a wide angle lens whereas a 200mm lens is a telephoto lens.

All photos were taken using a Nikon D90, natural lighting and from the exact same spot of our machine shop fire mess
At F-5.6
Shutter Speed of 1/1600th of a second
Using ISO 200

This first picture is taken at 14mm and you can see that at the left hand side of the picture is a red truck and the right hand side of the picture there is an empty hog buiding and a grain bin and excavator in the center.

This second picture was taken at 24mm. As you can see you have already lost the red truck and office and half the building on the right hand side.

This third picture was taken with a 50mm lens. In this picture you have lost most of the left hand side building and most of the right hand side building.

This last picture waken with a 200mm telephoto zoom lens and you can see that in this picture both buildings are gone, along with most of the excavator.

So as you can see if you are wanting to take a picture of a grand landscape like you would at the Grand Canyon or a sweeping forest of trees you want to use a 14mm lens. If you are wanting to take a picture of a bird in flight which is a pretty specific, smaller object you would use a 300 or 400mm telephoto lens. Now, obviously this is simplified to some extent but hopefully you can get a general idea of how to use different lens, depending upon what it is you are wanting to photograph.

Now for the cool thing about my new 14-24mm lens. I can take a close up shot of something as well. The lens is not considered a macro lens but the camera was about two-three inches away from the butterfly when I took the shot and the focal point was great. Needless to say a macro would have done a better job, but it was still a fun shot to take.

Nikon D90
F8, 1/50th of a second
ISO 200
Lens 14-24mm at 24mm
Natural Lighting, taken about 3 inches away from the subject.

Sorry Brandi I didn't really connect to your photo very well at all today. I wanted to play with my new camera and lens. I hope you are okay with that.

As for right now I have to go check on a mamma dog and see if I have any puppies. Yay!!! Later all!!



  1. Hey there! Kathy and I were laying next to each other looking at the blog! Now she can see with perfect clarity my obsession with lenses! Thanks!!!

  2. 1st, I'm crazy jealous of your new d90 but you already know that since I've texted you and told you that several times the last few days.
    2nd, I hope Mama pup and babies are doing well.
    3rd, you have always been and shall always be a teacher. It's part of your soul.
    4th, you need a full solo blog to teach all of us from. I can't possibly get enough every 4th day.
    5th, if Kathy stops being my friend because of your lens post I'm going to be mad at you.
    6th, did you know that a butterfly only lives for 2 weeks? Scott (our Dude) reminded me of that fact just the other day.
    7th and most importantly, I'm so glad we're doing this together. Love you bunches!

  3. Haha Dan that's awesome! I know it looks kind of crazy to a lot of people.

    Brandi-I did not know that about a butterfly, I knew they didn't live long but wasn't sure about the length. Both Mamas and pups are doing fine.
    I'm so glad we're doing this together as well. I really do enjoy it! Love ya too and give hugs to all!