Quick Snap Guide to Digital SLR Lenses - Photography Book Review
If you already own a Digital SLR or are thinking of buying one you may or may not be aware just how crucial your choice of lenses are when building your ideal camera system.
The Quick Snap Guide to Digital SLR Lenses tells you all you really need to know if you are ready to buy your first lenses to go with your camera body.
Who is the Book For?
If you are new to Digital SLRs and are not sure what lenses you need to get the most out of your camera then this book will fill in a lot of the gaps in your knowledge. It is a simple, quick start guide aimed at people who need a book that is written in a fairly straightforward manor and will not blind them with science.
I have read a number of David's books. He has a knack of pitching the content at just the right level while delivering technical information in a way that is easy enough to understand even if you do not consider yourself to be a highly technical person.
This book is broken down into 7 main chapters. There is also an introduction, glossary and index. The 7 main chapters are:
A World of Lenses
The book starts off with David taking you through how a lens works and how it is made. From there he guides you through some technical aspects that you may have seen in lens specifications such as focal lengths, F/ stops and apertures. He also covers lens crop factors. These are well worth gaining an understanding of.
Lens Controls and Features
The next step walks through auto focus, manual focus and zoom controls. Also included in this section are image stabilisation, tripod collars and filter threads.
Filters and Lens Attachments
Adding filters and other attachments to your lens can have a big impact on the final photos you produce. Therefore it is not surprising that at 30 pages this is the longest chapter in the book. The majority of the chapter is taken up describing the different filter systems you can choose from and the different types of filters that are available to buy.
Improving the Image Quality of Your Lens
One of the biggest factors in the quality of your photographs is the quality of the lens you use. This section covers subjects such as how to test your lens for sharpness and how settings such as aperture size and shutter speed work together with your lens to maximise the sharpness of your photos.
Using Telephoto Lenses
In the second half of the book the three main types of lenses are discussed. The first type to go under the microscope is the telephoto lens. As well as covering choosing a telephoto lens David explains how they compress distances, how they isolate subjects and how they can help you get close up on sports action.
Using Wide Angle Lenses
This section has a similar format to the one covering telephoto lenses. You learn how a wide angle lens works, how to choose one and what they can do in general terms. Featured subjects include size distortion, emphasizing the foreground, and depth of field.
Using Macro Lenses
One of the biggest differences between compact digital cameras and Digital SLRs are when it comes to taking close up shots. There are a number of options available to you including using specialist macro lenses or using accessories to turn a standard lens into one capable of taking macro shots. In this section David takes you through everything you need to create macro shots.
What I Really Liked
The Quick Snap Guide to Digital SLR Lenses gives a really good grounding in the subject. It covers just about everything you need to know to get started.
Where It Could Be Better
There is very little I can come up with to improve this book.
I have thought for a long time there are plenty of books around that explain the A-Z of camera bodies, but very little that is dedicated solely to camera lenses. Therefore I think this book fills a gap in the market. In my view it is well written and is an ideal starting point for anyone who is relatively new to the subject.
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