Just got the G3, dissappointed with indoor performance, change in settings?

Started Dec 19, 2012 | Discussions thread
torrilin
Junior MemberPosts: 35Gear list
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Re: Just got the G3, dissappointed with indoor performance, change in settings?
In reply to PhotoCzar, Dec 22, 2012

PhotoCzar wrote:

The D80 that we were comparing to initially does not have a kit lens, in fact it is a higher end more expensive lens. I will find out exactly what it is and the specs.

Now for a good all around fixed lens, I am torn on which one to go with. Obviously there is some substantial price difference between these 3, with the true 'pancake' lens being the 20mm and mid priced. Would I be making the right decision going with it for my purposes as well as multi use?

Sigma 19mm 2.8

Panasonic 20mm 1.7

Pana Leica 25mm 1.4

The kit zoom on the G3 is not a terrible lens. It's a pretty small, pretty light zoom lens that covers a useful range of focal lengths. The tradeoff you make for the light and the focal length range is that it's got less options for aperture size. IIRC it's got an aperture number of 3.5 set to 14mm and 5.6 when it's set to 42mm. My point and shoot's lens is about the same, 3.2 to 5.6. Basically, the aperture is the hole that lets light into the camera when you press the shutter, and the smaller the number, the bigger the hole. (in 35mm terms, my point and shoot's zoom is 35-100mm, and the G3's kit zoom is 28-84mm... not relevant for your light problems, but it may come up later when you're comparing to the D80's lenses)

The other annoying thing with aperture numbers is that they're not a simple linear scale. Wikipedia has a pretty good explanation of it under the heading F number. There's a simple chart too, so you can visualize the differences between the various aperture numbers. Working from their chart, we can treat the Sigma lens as one "step" better than the kit zoom, the 20mm lens as two steps better, and the 25 as 3 steps better... it's not exact, but it's close.

So yes, one solution is to buy a better lens. But the other solution is to make the most of the zoom's capabilities, so when it's dealing with little light it has the biggest aperture it can. Going for a fixed lens means you have to move to get the picture... sounds obvious, but sometimes moving isn't an option, like when there's a hawk perched on a telephone pole above your head. So before you spend money on a new lens, I'd suggest working out how you usually use the kit zoom. It's marked in millimeters so you can work out what fixed lens is closest to what you usually use. And the camera should record the lens information in your pictures too. I know I couldn't replace the kit zoom with just one fixed lens. I could live with 2, and in a world where I have infinite cash, I'd have about 4 or 5 fixed lenses to replace the kit zoom.

All the lenses you list are good ones, but none of them will be the one I purchase first. From working with my point and shoot, I know I do a lot of macro shots. About 1/3 of my snapshots are macro (yes, really), and almost all my planned shots are macro. So macro by far predominates in my work, and a macro lens is clearly a must have for me. Another common option is you might be the sort of person who always zooms out all the way. This isn't wrong or bad, and a lot of people who like doing portraits prefer longer lenses. But all the lenses you list are comparatively short, so if you were a portrait type, they'd be the wrong choices. And at $300 or more a pop, you don't want to go making a lot of fixed lens mistakes.

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