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When you’re looking at cameras and their lenses, it can get confusing fast. There are all sorts of measurements. What’s an 18-55mm 3.5-5.6 IS lens anyway?
The first number (18-55mm) is the focal length. Smaller numbers take wider pictures and larger numbers take closer pictures. 3.5-5.6 means that it has an aperture that at it’s widest is either f 3.5 (when zoomed out) or f 5.6 (when zoomed in). This means that you can set the picture at one focal length, but it might be too bright or dim at another when you changed nothing but the zoom.
Longer lenses like my 70-150mm lens are great for getting close to the action, but tend to have smaller maximum apertures (in this case f 4.5).
If you want a fast lens (one that can open wide), a 50mm prime (no zoom) lens is great. Mine opens all the way to f.1.8. The downside is that 50mm is pretty close for what I do indoors.
Add one other thing to the mix. Sometimes lenses with identical numbers might cost radically different amounts of money. This is normally the result of how sharp the lens is. The cheaper lens will focus well, but the better lens will be really sharp.
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